Archives For Goran Dragic

This Week In The Southeast, the All-Star break has come and gone and each team has reached the midway point of the season. Instead of recapping this week’s action we’ll be recapping how each team has looked for the season, how they project for the playoffs, and what trajectory they’re currently on.

Atlanta Hawks, 43-12, 1st in the East ATL

The Hawks started off the season a little slow, and a lot of us were wondering what their ceiling was, but then things started to get interesting. The offense was never a problem, but the defense started off the season struggling. This was likely due to Al Horford shaking off some rust and getting used to this season’s defensive scheme, but when it all came together oh man did it come together. The Hawks set a franchise record with 19 straight wins and some of the best basketball we’ve ever seen. They topped the NBA’s best time and time again, including a victory over the Golden State Warriors, and showed that they’re one of the top contenders in the NBA. However, they went into the All-Star break not playing like themselves, and recently were uncharacteristically blown out by the Raptors. It’s probably just boredom, or a random rough patch, but after all those wins early in the season it’s weird to see this group struggle at all.

Washington Wizards, 33-22, 5th in the East WAS

The Wizards started off the season as the best team in the East and got a lot of people jumping on to their bandwagon. John Wall was getting early season MVP consideration, Marcin Gortat was an All-Star, and that defense was just suffocating, but there was one problem that’s still showing up to this day. The Wizards started off the season with a very easy schedule, and they still can’t seem to beat a lot of the NBA’s best teams. They limped into the All-Star break falling all the way down to 5th in the East, and it feels like there’s just no chance of them catching the Hawks. Whatever Washington’s problems are they need to get it together, because the rest of the East is starting to put things together and the Wizards are looking outclassed by all of them.

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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…

HH Team Preview: Phoenix Suns

Cole Patty —  October 29, 2013

2012-13 Record: 25-57 (15th in West)z-suns

Playoff Result: N/A

Key Additions: Eric Bledsoe (trade), Alex Len (draft), Archie Goodwin (draft), Emeka Okafor (trade)

Key Losses: Jared Dudley (trade), Michael Beasley (cut), Marcin Gortat (trade)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 26-56, pre-Gortat trade (15th in West)*

What to Expect: It’s a new day, the sun is rising….

That was a terrible pun…

Going with it.

Last season, the Phoenix Suns might have been the most unwatchable team in the league. With the departure of Steve Nash, the team tried a rebuild on the fly with a Michael Beasely reclamation project that went exactly how it sounds. They fired Alvin Gentry, picked up the other Morris twin in a savvy move to complete their package, and made the other Zeller relevant for a short amount of time. Despite all of these efforts it was much of the same under Lindsey Hunter. At least Goran Dragic seems like a bargain at $7.5 million. It wasn’t all bad last year. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 107, Suns 94

Bo Churney —  March 15, 2013

FINAL

PHX  (22-44) 94 – 107 (36-29) ATL

Key Performers:

D. Harris (ATL): 15 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl
G. Dragic (PHX): 21 pts, 8 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks were able to get back at the Suns for the loss in Phoenix, riding fiery three-point shooting (52%) to put them on top. Josh Smith returned and nearly put up a triple-double, and Devin Harris was set the tone early by constantly getting out on the break, resulting in a fastbreak point disparity of 29-5 over the Suns. After the game, Larry Drew credited the win to swarming defense at the three-point line, as the Suns only shot 3-for-19 (16%) from deep.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: An impressive return from Smoove after sitting out the Lakers game. He was on triple-double alert early, and joked after the game “hey man, all I can do is distribute” when asked how he fell short of double-digits on assists. His game started off strong, as he was 5-for-6 in the first quarter, with five of those attempts coming inside the paint. The 17-11-7 line gave Josh his 25th double-double on the season, and for good measure, he banked in his only free throw attempt on the night. 8.5/10

Al Horford: Al’s shot was off tonight, but it didn’t look like it did anything to his confidence, because he was willing to keep shooting. After starting 1-for-6 from the floor in the first half, he recovered to shoot 5-for-10 in the 2nd. Al also had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, meaning that the Hawks improved to a record of 15-2 when he and Josh both record a double-double in a game. 7/10

Devin Harris: Devin started at point for the first time this season, and he set the tone for this game early with his quick play on the floor. Coach remarked, “I thought Devin did a phenomenal job pushing the pace of the game. He was able to get to the basket and make plays, and we tried to sustain that throughout the game.” To me, this is the most important aspect of the game for the Hawks; they have to set a fast pace early in the game, and force teams to match their energy. Despite Josh’s near trip-dub, I would give Devin MVP honors for today’s game. 9/10

Kyle Korver: The streak is up to 58 games, as Kyle scored 16 points tonight on 4-for-5 three-point shooting. I was really happy to see a game like this from Kyle, because the last few games of the streak had seemed to hanging by a thread at some points. Barring Steph Curry’s game against the Warriors, this performance was likely enough to put Kyle back on top of the league in three-point percentage. 8/10

DeShawn Stevenson: DeShawn added to the three-point barrage the Hawks employed tonight, knocking down three three-pointers of his own. He was also able to force some turnovers, which helped a lot with the transition game. 6/10

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