Archives For Johan Petro
No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit. That’s the fate that faces the Atlanta Hawks if they lose this game.
The Indiana Pacers come to Atlanta having won the previous two games with offensive dominance. Paul George has been spectacular, scoring 20 plus in each game, while playing 83 of a possible 96 minutes. Indiana’s usually great defense, however, has not been as strong so far; Atlanta is shooting almost 50% from the field and 40% from the line, both better marks than the Pacers.
Indiana, however, has been marching through the lane and getting to the free throw line, something the Hawks have not been able to do. For Atlanta to win this game three, they will have to change that.
How? Well, the Hawks have tried multiple defenders on Paul George already. Kyle Korver didn’t exactly work. Devin Harris and DeShawn Stevenson did better, but George was still able to tear the Hawks about.
It is time for Josh Smith’s turn.
Larry Drew has elected to go big for game three, starting Johan Petro at center, moving Smith to the small forward position. Smoove may be hobbled a bit by an ankle injury, but he’s still the best overall defender Atlanta has. According to mySynergySports, Smith is giving up only 0.67 points per possession in isolation, good enough for 43rd in the league. (which is extremely good, by the way) Considering that Smith has already had turns guarding LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins, and Monta Ellis, I don’t think Josh will balk at the challenges that Paul George will bring.
Other keys for the Hawks? Running the offense through Al Horford. Now matched up against David West, Horford should be able to work more down low than he was able to against Roy Hibbert. He should still have a good speed advantage, but Coach Drew should attempt to get his star big man established down low early.
One final key: please Larry, sub Ivan in for Petro as soon as you can. Please…
Zaza Pachulia’s high motor, energy off the bench and nasty altercations with some of the league’s elite players have made him a fan-favorite with the Atlanta Hawks, but more importantly a key player in it’s playoff rotation.
This season, Pachulia has been hampered with a nasty Achilles injury that won’t seem to go away. Originally diagnosed as tendinitis in the Achilles around January 22, reports have now surfaced that the veteran center is concerned about tearing the tendon, which has led to his increasing absence from the floor.
“Right now, I can just say that I’m out indefinitely,” Pachulia told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday. “We are in the process of different treatments. There is no timeframe. All I can say is it is indefinite. There is no report from the doctors yet. Basically, every day matters. We are expecting it to get better. We don’t know when or how soon. Hopefully the treatments will help.”
During his extended absence, Ivan Johnson was expected to garner more minutes and a larger role. With a thin roster as it is, head coach Larry Drew was forced to shift around the roster, essentially pushing Johan Petro into Pachulia’s role as occasional starter and big off the bench. Continue Reading…
This isn’t exactly what the Hawks needs.
Zaza Pachulia is still battling Achilles issues, so naturally, he should sit out as long as he needs. That is not an injury that you should mess around with.
Ivan Johnson is not with the team due to personal reasons. It is unsure what his availability will be for tomorrow night’s game against Brooklyn.
DeShawn Stevenson is on his usually rest for back-to-backs. He will be ready for the game against the Nets.
In lieu of these injuries, Johan Petro (!) will get his first start of the season. Petro is averaging two points and two rebounds in 18 games this season. Petro will join Teague, Harris, Smith, and Horford in the starting lineup.
K. Bryant (LAL): 34 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast
A. Horford (ATL): 24 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]
The comeback Hawks tried to be magical again, erasing a double-digit deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Of course, Kobe Bryant wasn’t going to have any of that. Bryant scored the Lakers last six points, including a thunderous dunk, and a driving layup past Josh Smith to seal the game in the final seconds. The Hawks did have another chance to take the lead, but in true Hawks fashion, it was blown by player miscommunication.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]
Josh Smith: This might have been the most Josh Smith game ever. (I think I’ve said that many times before, but whatever) He was actually efficient from the field (9-16) and had seven assists, but he missed all six of his free throw attempts and turned the ball over six times. Of course, he also let Kobe punk him down the stretch (Josh probably shouldn’t have been guarding him), and then failed to control the ball on the final play. Very Smoove-like, indeed. 5/10
Al Horford: Al extended his streak of 20+ point games to 10, which is good, but it still felt like Al didn’t take full advantage of the situation he was in. The points are good, but he seemed overpowered on the boards at times when he shouldn’t have been. And, of course, since I usually kill Josh on this, I have to point out that Al missed some buckets in the fourth quarter that probably should have dropped. Not a bad night at all from Al, just a bit disappointing from what could’ve been. 8/10
Kyle Korver: The three-point streak climbs to 51, and that wasn’t all; Kyle was a huge reason the Hawks were able to get back into this game. The team was able to get him a lot of open looks, and he knocked down quite a few of them. It’s of my opinion that he could have had more, but you can’t fault him for a 6-13 shooting night that much. 6/10
Jeff Teague: Speaking of leaving something to be desired, Jeff wasn’t exactly a killer out there for the Hawks. He didn’t turn the ball over a ton like he usually does when he has a bad night, but his erratic shooting in the first half is what helped the Lakers build the double-digit lead that they had. Dwight Howard is regaining his form on defense, so you can’t exactly fault Jeff for not being able to get good looks in the paint, but he has to make up for it by making jumpers if that is what he is going to do. 3/10
Devin Harris: Hey Jeff, take note of what Devin did this game before he starts cutting heavily into your minutes again. Devin made most of his shots, got to the line more than Teague, and had six assists against zero turnovers. Considering they both excel at the same style of play (attacking), you really can’t chalk this up to Devin being a “change of pace” from what Jeff should be doing. And while I usually don’t like using single-game +/-, Devin was a plus-24 and Jeff was a minus-25. That’s something that should not be happening. 8/10 Continue Reading…
AJC’s Chris Vivlamore reported yesterday that the Hawks have waived guard James Anderson and forward Damion James. Anthony Tolliver has made the team, and his contract will become guaranteed if he is still on the roster on January 10th.
Anderson being released is not a surprise. The Hawks currently have a surplus at his skill set. (3-point shooting) Anderson did have a bit of a sophomore slump last year, but the .391 mark he posted from behind the arc in his rookie year means that he will get a shot with another squad.
I did not foresee Damion being cut. I thought that the lack of depth at the SF position, combined with his decent showing this preseason, meant that he would have had a spot on the team. However, this roster move means that the Hawks will start the season with 14 players and an open spot, which will allow the team to make a pickup throughout the season, if they so wish.
Teams are allowed to have 13 players on the active roster. Seeing as he’s on a guaranteed contract and the Hawks aren’t playing him, Johan Petro will likely be the team’s inactive player for most of the season, barring injuries. If you are wondering why, here’s a link to Petro’s Basketball-Reference page, which shows he has negative offensive win shares for his career. (If you aren’t into analytics, let me express it this way: he’s not good)
The Hawks open the season at home versus Houston on Friday, a game that instantly got more exciting with the Rockets’ acquisition of James Harden from OKC. (More on that later)