Archives For Jrue Holiday

The league’s best player so far this season — Anthony Davis — arrived in Atlanta with his Pelicans on Friday night and he left with a 100-91 defeat to the Jeff Teague-led Atlanta Hawks.

Teague’s hot night started off early, where he scored eight points in the first seven minutes of the game on a mix of floaters and layups. His magnificent play continued throughout the game, as Teague was weaving and scheming off of a bevy of screens, resulting in a 26-point, seven-assist night for the Atlanta point guard.

After giving up 126 points to the Raptors on Wednesday, the Hawks’ defense locked down on Friday, allowing just 28 points in the first half. Part of that was the Pelicans employing Austin Rivers as a starter, but Atlanta’s big men did a great job at contesting shots at the rim and the guards were fighting hard through screens to prevent New Orleans from getting open looks on the perimeter.

The Hawks were only 5-for-17 (29.4%) on 3s for the night, but an important make came late in the fourth quarter from DeMarre Carroll. With the shot clock winding down after a Davis block on Al Horford, Paul Millsap kicked the ball out to Carroll in the corner, who promptly sank a contested 3-pointer to push the Hawks’ lead back to 10 points. Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 27-55 (14th in West)z-pelicans

Playoff Result: N/A

Key Additions: Jrue Holiday (trade), Tyreke Evans (sign and trade), Anthony Morrow (free agent), Jeff Withey (trade)

Key Losses: Robin Lopez (trade), Greivis Vazquez (trade)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 35-47 (10th in West)*

What to Expect: There comes a time where a team that has their franchise number one pick on the roster decides to finally build around them. With the Pelicans, the process seems to come sooner than later with how they built around Anthony Davis going into 2013-14. They acquired an All-Star in Jrue Holiday and former Rookie of the Year winner Tyreke Evans to tackle the perimeter minutes around the University of Kentucky big man. By paying such large amounts for both – along with the max contract they have in Eric Gordon – they look to not be a bottom feeder in their inaugural season under their new nickname.

Will these moves be worth it, is a much different question. The Cavs tried a very similar set of moves with Larry Hughes and Damon Jones for LeBron in 2005, and the Magic brought in a crew of characters such as Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter to help Dwight. Neither team were able to convince their stars to stay, as the cast they brought in seemed insufficient. It seems like such a far day away, but wondering what will make this experience different in New Orleans. Continue Reading…

FINAL

  PHI(23-37) 96 – 107 (34-26)ATL

Key Performers:

J. Teague (ATL): 27 pts, 2 reb, 11 asts
D. Wright (PHI): 20 pts, 9 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

There’s no better way to bounce back from a three game road losing streak than to come home, play a crappy team, and kick them around for 48 minutes. The Hawks overcame a sluggish start to blitz the 76ers and get back to their winning ways, which was a welcomed change of pace for John Jenkins, who turned 22 on Wednesday– no one wants to lose on their birthday. So happy birthday day, John. You’re lucky you played the 76ers and not the Heat or the Clippers or something.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: He played only 30 minutes, which is less than usual, but he scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds, so no one’s complaining. His stat line was marred by the 4 turnovers, 3 of which came early during Atlanta’s putrid start, but he cleaned things up and worked his way into the paint for some buckets. He seemed to be comfortable converting that left-handed hook from the middle of the lane Wednesday night, but while his shooting was passable, his free throw shooting was once again pathetic. 1 of 6 from the stripe is just not going to get it done. 6/10

Al Horford: Another game, another double-double. Horford bossed his way to 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists. He shot 10 of 17 from the field, good for 58%, and continued to connect on those pick-and-pop jumpers. Quite simply, at the moment, Al Horford cannot be stopped. He’s playing like one of the best players in the NBA.  10/10

Devin Harris: Harris arguably had the highlight of the night when he took the Sixer defense on a ride, penetrating the lane and curling out on the other side to hit a forgotten Horford under the hoop for a slam. The pass was beautiful. Other than that, Harris’ game was mediocre. There isn’t much to talk about, really. 6 points on 3 of 8 shooting and 2 assists. 5/10

DeShawn Stevenson: No one knows DeShawn for any sort of offensive prowess, but on Wednesday night he played a very smart game. He made more than a few nice passes and spaced the offense enough for four open three point attempts. He only made one, but that’s besides the point. His impact wasn’t too palpable or anything, but he came on the court and made the right plays. Although having him start likely didn’t help the Hawks’ godawful, scoreless opening 5 minutes. 5/10

Jeff Teague: Aggressive Teague is the best Teague. He broke down Philly’s defense with relative ease and looked like he was partaking in a pre-game layup drill– literally he drove into the paint for three straight uncontested layups at one point; and then Devin Harris got one on the next possession. The Sixers were playing matador defense for sure, but Teague exploited the heck out of it. He shot 10 of 15 from the field and was excellent with Horford in the pick-and-pop. The correlation between those two playing well together and the Hawks winning is definitely a positive one. 10/10 Continue Reading…