Archives For Gerald Green

RECAP: Suns 102, Hawks 95

Bo Churney —  March 25, 2014

FINAL

PHX(42-29) 102 – 95 (31-38)ATL  

Key Performers:
E. Bledsoe (PHX): 20 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl
D. Carroll (ATL): 19 pts, 4 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Well, after winning five in a row after that awful losing stretch, the Hawks are back on the wrong side of the result with a third straight loss against Phoenix. The Hawks were leading at halftime, but the Suns outscored the Hawks 35-23 in the third quarter, largely behind Goran Dragic, who had 14 points in the quarter. Gerald Green then closed the game in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points over a stretch that gave turned the Phoenix lead from four into 10 with just five minutes left in the game. The Hawks are just 2.5 games ahead of the New York Knicks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap was really defended well by the Suns, but he was able to get some work in at the free throw line, going 7-for-10 from the stripe. He was only 6-for-14 from the field though and a lot of his makes weren’t from easy attempts. Suns made him work hard for the buckets. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague and the entire team were really dominated by Dragic and Bledsoe. They did a good job at cutting off passing lanes and as a result, the Hawks only had 18 assists on the night. Part of that was also fouls (the Hawks got to the line 33 times, Teague seven times), but credit to the Suns’ defense for making the Hawks work the shot clock on a lot of possessions. 6/10

Pero Antic: Pero was only 2-for-6 from the field, but there was a moment in the first half where it looked like he was heat-checking on shots… Pretty sure Coach Budenholzer didn’t appreciate Pero taking tough shots like that early in the shot clock. 3/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre scored 19 points on just eight shots, which is probably one of the best offensive games of his career. Really unfortunate that the Hawks kind of wasted this kind of game from him. 9/10

Shelvin Mack: Per the usual, conservative ball-handling game for Shelvin, who netted six assists and only one turnover, but 2-for-9 from the field is not what the Hawks need out of their starting shooting guard spot. Hawks could really use Korver back in the lineup. 5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

PHX(35-24) 129 – 120 (26-32)ATL

Key Performers:
G. Green (PHX): 33 pts, 3 reb
J. Teague (ATL): 29 pts, 6 reb, 9 ast, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

That looked a little too much like a video game. Threes were being jacked up to no end (55 combined), Gerald Green defied every physical law in the book and the final score was reminiscent of an All-Star game. The Hawks were on the wrong end of this barnburner, falling victim to their own poor transition defense and allowing Phoenix to get out to an early first half lead. In the third quarter, the law of averages caught up to the Suns, who finally began missing some wide open looks. Atlanta cut their deficit to just one before subsequently giving up a 7-1 run, eventually keeping out of reach through the fourth quarter. There were some bright spots, however. Mike Muscala made his NBA debut, Jeff Teague had another strong offensive outing and in general the Hawks challenged a Western Conference Playoff team without their two best players, as well as Pero Antic.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Jeff Teague: In arguably his best game of the season, Jeff Teague dropped 29 points, had nine assists and collected six boards on 14-21 shooting from the field. What stood out was ultimately what he’s lacked when playing badly: aggressiveness. Teague was pedal to the medal, heading all the way to the basket at every opportunity. A look at the shot chart confirms what my eye test saw, Teague took few jumpers. Four to be exact, with two around the free throw line. Teague also came up with a huge block on Shavlik Randolph in the closing quarter, topping off an inspiring performance by the enthused Teague. 10/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll was a bit out of place tonight, with the Suns pace seemingly being too much for him to handle. He wasn’t able to cause as much havoc on the defensive end as he normally does, but the major issue was on the offensive side of the ball. The up-and-down flow of the game had Carroll trying to do things with the basketball he shouldn’t, even though his statistics didn’t prove to be too poor at all: 3-5 shooting, 10 points. This just wasn’t Carroll’s cup of tea. 5/10

Kyle Korver: The streak is off to 126, as Kyle got that problem out of the way rather early. He hit four threes against the Celtics and finished with 17 points overall. He also had a weird, Dream Shake-ish looking up-and-under in the third quarter that I didn’t even know Kyle was capable of doing. 7/10

Elton Brand: Brand’s lack of mobility indirectly lead to the extra help by his teammates leading to the barrage of Phoenix treys, but he didn’t struggle with defending the interior when in the right spot or nailing his short mid-range jumpers. Brand was actually second on the team in +/- with a +2, scoring 13 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. 8/10

Mike Scott: Scott picked up the shooting slack with Millsap out of commission tonight, putting up a wholesome 18 field goal tries – half of which were threes – in a whopping 40 minutes of action. He connected on eight shots to finish with 20 points, a strong outing considering he’s taken this many shots in a game just once before in his entire career. He also contributed with 5 rebounds and 3 steals. 8/10 Continue Reading…

The Hawks can’t get out of their own way.

Every run seems punctuated with defensive ineptitude, every quarter seems closed with a sluggish submission, every game seems lost by the fourth quarter– the Hawks just can’t stop themselves from tripping over their own feet.

Game 2 against Indiana was more of the same.

The issue is not the ability to score points, it is getting stops. In the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game, the Hawks starters returned (with the abysmal bench lineup returning to their seats), and the offense was a buzz saw. Indiana could not contain Teague in transition or stop Smith from making plays in the halfcourt. Smith’s foul trouble quickly turned the tables on Atlanta, but the Hawks were and have been successful against the NBA’s top defense, an accomplishment worth noting. But, something you’d rather go unnoticed is the fact that Atlanta’s depth and inability to field a respectable lineup for 48 minutes has harpooned their chances of stealing home court advantage.

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FINAL

IND(44-27) 100 – 94 (39-32) ATL

Key Performers:
J. Smith (ATL): 20 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast, 4 stl, 2 blk
R. Hibbert (IND): 17 pts, 13 reb, 3 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Coming off an important win over the Milwaukee Bucks last Sunday, Atlanta failed to capitalize on any positive momentum and fell flat against the Pacers on Monday night. It was a lethargic effort from the Hawks, who were plagued by a lack of activity from the starters apart from Josh Smith. Teague struggled from the field and failed to successfully initiate any sort of offense, and that reflected in Horford’s offensive production, as he only shot 6-15 on the night. More on player specificities later, but the energy, as I’m sure Larry Drew would like to say, was not there– the energy (cut to LD nodding vigorously)– was lacking. Obviously it isn’t easy working in the paint against Roy Hibbert, one of the league’s premier defensive centers, and defending the Gerald Green renaissance isn’t any fun either, but the Hawks failed to pick up what would have been an impressive win in an important stretch of the season.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smith played the best of any Atlanta player on Monday night, and one thing that is worth mentioning, whether it’s obvious or not, is that Smoove is so much better when he’s moving towards the hoop. Any shot in which his body or his motion is carrying him in a direction closer to the rim is usually a good Josh Smith shot. That was clearly evidenced by the work he did on Paul George in the post. Smith, who is a left handed player, frequently posted George while showing an intent to attack with a left-handed hook (a shot for which he has an affinity). Instead, however, Smith backed George down, showed the ball left, and then swerved and turned his body right for a right-handed shot around the hoop. The first three times he did this the Indiana help was late and he scored rather easily. Now for his jumpers: one was at the end of the shot clock and the other was a play in which the two and the three came off screens to the top of the key. This demonstrates the issue with Smith at the three offensively in Drew’s system because it flushes him out to the perimeter where he can jack in-rhythm or out-of-rhythm jumpers. Even though his 18-footer was in-rhythm on Monday night, you knew it was a bad shot. Still– is anyone complaining about Smith? He went 7-10 from the field. 8/10

Al Horford: At this point we’re all so used to 20-10 games from Al that anything less seems disappointing. It seems as if Hibbert’s defense had an effect on Horford early, and that effect perpetuated itself throughout the game. Hibbert contested six of Horford’s 13 shots, and of those six Horford only made one. He had much more success backing down/working against Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph. The Hawks have recently used a crossing screen with a guard on one block and Horford on the other to allow Al an easy seal-and-post right next to the hoop. They ran that twice against Indiana, once with Jones setting the screen, the other time with Korver. It works. 6/10

Johan Petro: He’s usually ineffective offensively because he’s not great with setting picks/scoring off picks due to his mobility (or lack thereof). His midrange shooting is somewhere between poor and inconsistent. He can be a spatial liability at times, but on occasion his hustle and defensive activity make up for that. That wasn’t the case on Monday as he failed to establish any sort of interior defensive presence. He did, however, have 4 offensive rebounds that all required a whole bunch of tipping and tapping. 4/10

Dahntay Jones: He kicked things off for Atlanta with a three-pointer in the opening minutes, but he didn’t score the rest of the night. He only played 12 minutes, so not too much to discuss here. 3/10

Jeff Teague: The Indiana defense did an exceptional job on Teague, but he missed his fair share of open looks. His outside shot was off the mark, but all 5 of his attempted layups were challenged by Hibbert, and as we know, that generally has a distinct correlation with low field goal percentages. On the other hand, his penetration didn’t seem to open the offense up as much as it usually does. That probably has something to do with Indiana’s number one ranked defense. 4/10

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