Archives For Kyle Korver

Earlier in the season I wrote about the numbers versus perception of Jeff Teague’s defense. While the numbers show that Teague has taken a dramatic step forward this season, the eye test still betrays lapses where Teague doesn’t give full effort.

The disconnect between perception and metrics is also startling for Dennis Schröder. While Teague often appears to be going through the motions, Schröder is always down in his stance with active hands. He’s quick, has an enormous wingspan and a reputation as an excellent defender. And yet, somehow Teague is ranked as the 9th-best defensive point guard in the NBA by ESPN.com’s Real Plus-Minus while Schröder is ranked 64th of 84 point guards rated.

At the bottom of this post you will find a continuation of a tradition I started during last year’s playoffs. I have compiled the “Enhanced Play-by-Play” for Game 1 and, at the end, listed the individual “defensive miscues” by play. These are instances where an advantage is created for an offensive player because a defender is out of position. Defensive miscues are not necessarily mistakes. Defensive scheme may call for a player to double team or guard a different area of the floor. Teams play the averages with their defensive schemes, but a defensive miscue happens when a defensive player makes a mistake or plays the averages and loses. Continue Reading…

In the past few years, the Hawks have often not had much in terms of expectations for the playoffs. In those years, a win in Game 1 would have usually been seen as a huge victory.

On Sunday, the Hawks’ 99-92 Game 1 win over the Brooklyn Nets left something to be desired.

The 1-seed Hawks — with 60 wins and the status as the overwhelming favorite — got off to a strong start, outscoring the Nets 32-20 in the first quarter. The Hawks took advantage of six Brooklyn turnovers and were using them to create open looks on offense. This continued into the beginning of the second quarter, as the Hawks increased their lead up to 16 points and appeared to be well on their way to blowing out their opponent.

However, the Nets stopped turning the ball over and ramped up their defensive effort to start putting pressure on the Hawks. “We had turnovers early, but we finally cut down on our turnovers and figured out how to execute and score,” said Nets head coach Lionel Hollins. “We got ourselves back close in the game.” Continue Reading…

The Hawks won big in the box score by beating the Nets 131-99, but they could have lost big time with an injury to Paul Millsap.

Millsap was injured in the second quarter on a collision with Brooklyn’s Earl Clark. Clark rammed into Millsap’s shoulder on a scramble for a loose ball, resulting in Millsap coming out of the game for good. Millsap will be re-evaluated on Sunday and Monday, but this is definitely poor timing for the Hawks’ leading scorer to sustain an injury.

Back to the game, the Hawks absolutely dominated the Nets in every fashion, maintaining a lead of 39 points at one point in the third quarter. “We played great tonight as a team, moving the ball,” said Jeff Teague, who had 20 points and eight assists in 24 minutes. “We trust one another on the floor. We know guys can make shots and tonight we made a lot of them.”

Indeed they did make a lot of shots, as the Hawks were 49-for-82 (59.8%) from the field and 17-for-33 (51.5%) from 3. The accurate shooting resulted in 40 assists for the Hawks, two shy of the team’s season-high set against the Sacramento Kings a few weeks ago. Continue Reading…

Sometimes Mike Budenholzer comes up with clever ways of punting.

The Hawks lost to the Pistons on Tuesday night by a score of 105-95 and all five Hawks starters played… but not in the way that we are used to seeing.

About midway through the first quarter — with the Hawks’ starters struggling majorly defensively against Detroit — Budenholzer pulled all five starters in favor of the bench unit. The bench guys were actually able to fight back and make the game reasonably close again by the end of the first quarter.

And then Budenholzer did it again; he subbed all five starters back in to start the second quarter, followed by another five-man platoon sub later in the quarter. Budenholzer continued this strategy throughout the game, until pretty much everyone played a nice, even number of minutes. hawks-minutes Continue Reading…

Not only did Kyle Korver have a non-spectacular first half, but the Milwaukee Bucks were sticking around and giving the Atlanta Hawks a close game to worry about on their home floor. That all changed when Korver went on an 11-0 run in the third quarter.

The run by Korver took little more than a minute and consistent of four long jumpers, each drawing a bigger ovation from the crowd than the previous. When the dust settled, a five-point game was turned into a 16-point breakaway, which gave the Hawks enough of a buffer to hold off the Bucks and get the 101-88 win.

Those 11 points were the only ones that Korver scored all night, as the sharpshooter was 0-for-6 from the field outside of that 65-second period in the middle of the third. Korver also had five assists in his 34 minutes of play.

Outside of Korver’s run, DeMarre Carroll was the most important Hawks player on the court on Monday night. Carroll scored over 20 points for his second consecutive game, notching an impressive stat-line of 23 points, eight rebounds, and a career-high five assists. Carroll’s offensive game showed his underrated diversity of skill, as he hit two 3-pointers, scored off a variety of cuts, and he even hit a few floaters in the lane. Obviously Carroll is not a guy who is going to carry you offensively, but he is often the guy that scores a difficult bucket when the Hawks need it. Continue Reading…

The Hawks allowed the Magic to score 31 points in the opening quarter, showing signs that Atlanta’s prolonged defensive slump may still be alive and result in the team’s first four-game losing streak of the year.

Thankfully for the Atlanta fans, the Hawks’ defense finally showed up in the second half, as Orlando was held to just 31 points over the final 24 minutes of the game as Atlanta cruised to a 95-83 victory.

Paul Millsap finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and four blocks in leading the Hawks to the win. Millsap’s play was extremely vital in the first half when the Hawks were struggling; the power forward had 18 points and eight rebounds in that half alone, which helped keep the Hawks within five points when the buzzer sounded to end the second quarter.

In the third quarter, the Hawks’ defense really started getting the Magic’s offense out of rhythm by forcing bad shots. Orlando became so frustrated that they started taking almost any shot they could get, which resulted in 3-point attempts early in the shot clock by shooters who probably are not suited to take those attempts. However, thanks to some good defense of their own, the Magic maintained a three-point lead heading into the final period.

After Dennis Schroder hit a 3 to open the period and tie the game, Orlando went on a 7-0 run and things were looking bleak for the Hawks. However, the offense that the Hawks have been winning games off of all season finally showed up in the fourth quarter, as Atlanta got the ball moving, created open shots, and connected on those opportunities to open up a 24-3 run that finally buried the Magic. Continue Reading…

Hawks Collapse in OKC

Bo Churney —  March 21, 2015 — 3 Comments

It was the end of the west coast road trip. The Hawks were down three key rotation players with the absences of Mike Scott, Kyle Korver, and Thabo Sefolosha. And most importantly, individual regular season games are not that vital when you have clinched the division and are likely to take the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.

But boy was this game a stinker.

Russell Westbrook and Anthony Morrow ran wild on the Hawks in the fourth quarter, scoring 27 of Oklahoma City’s 33 fourth quarter points on their way to completing a comeback over Atlanta to win 123-115. Westbrook coordinated a 23-6 run in the quarter that was a result of great execution by Oklahoma City and non-existent execution by the Hawks.

The first half started off extremely hot, as both teams were shooting a high percentage from the field. Even Pero Antic woke up from his shooting slump, tying a career-high 18 points before the half had even ended. Antic finished the game with 22 points, and overall, the Hawks shot 58% in the half and maintained a 68-61 lead into the intermission.

The Hawks started to show some cracks in the third quarter, but were able to keep their lead thanks to some great play from Paul Millsap. Millsap was 4-for-5 from the field in the quarter with nine points, which were enough to keep the Hawks afloat. Millsap finished the game with a line of 19 points, three rebounds, three assists, four steals, and two blocks.

Continue Reading…

In the ever Popovichian-move, Coach Budenholzer decided to rest three starters against the Los Angeles Lakers. Little did he know is that he would soon be without a fourth.

The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Lakers 91-86 on Sunday night despite Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll, and Paul Millsap all sitting for rest purposes. The Hawks also played most of the game without Kyle Korver, who suffered a broken nose in the second quarter after hitting an Ed Davis screen. Korver, who was likely scheduled to be rested for Monday night’s game against the Kings, has officially been ruled out for that game.

Back to this game: it was all about Dennis Schröder. Schröder recorded a career-high 24 points and 10 assists in leading the shorthanded Hawks to the victory. This was Schröder’s third double-double for the season, all three of which have come on the road in games where Dennis got the start over an injured or rested Teague.

Even with the lack of active players, the Hawks still controlled this game for the first three quarters. The Lakers, who have dealt with injury issues the whole season, do not have a lot of talent that they can currently put out on the floor and the result Schröder and Al Horford dominating in spots where they were supposed to dominate. Continue Reading…

Hawks Destroyed in Denver

Bo Churney —  March 11, 2015 — 1 Comment

Well that was not exactly the way the team wanted to start off the road trip.

The Atlanta Hawks went into Denver on Wednesday night and were absolutely demolished by the Nuggets, losing by a score of 115-102. The Hawks were saved from an embarrassing score by the team’s garbage unit, who went on a 24-1 run in the fourth quarter to make the game a little interesting by cutting Denver’s huge lead to just single-digits with about a minute to go.

However, that one run was not indicative of what really happened in this contest. The game was similar to the Hawks win against Sacramento on Monday night, only in reverse and seemingly worse. The Hawks had problems making shots and executing on offense throughout most of the game while Denver was not missing from the field, regardless of the difficulty of the shot attempt.

The first quarter appeared to be a fluke, but it proved to be a sign of things to come. The Hawks committed silly turnovers like stepping out of bounds twice and missing a few open 3s. Atlanta was getting some decent looks inside the perimeter, however, shooting 9-for-14 on 2s during the quarter. This combined with Denver’s 60% shooting from the field seemed to show that the Hawks could rebound later in the game. Continue Reading…

The Hawks opened the game with two straight DeMarre Carroll threes and didn’t stop shooting until the final buzzer, running up a season-high 130 points against the Sacramento Kings Monday night at Philips Arena. Each of the five starters shot at least 50% as the Hawks rang up 42 assists, tied for the fourth-highest total in Atlanta’s history. Atlanta hit 20 3s, a franchise-record for a single game, and notched their 50th win of the season, marking the first time since the team moved to Atlanta that the Hawks were the first team in the league to reach 50 wins.

The Hawks came out firing in the first quarter, assisting on 12 of their 13 field goals and shooting 57% in the quarter, including five 3s from Carroll and Kyle Korver. Korver had been struggling since the All-Star Break, shooting just 31% from 3 and 32% overall since the extended time off. Korver finished 6-for-8 from 3 as the Kings lost him numerous times in transition and in the half court offense. Korver has recently said that his shooting troubles date back to before the break, so this big game should do wonders for any issues through which he’s been working.

Atlanta scored 76 points in the first half, their highest total in a half all season, racking up 25 assists along the way. The Hawks shot 62.5% from the field in the first half, including 12-for-19 on 3s, as the ball continued to find open shooters while the Kings scrambled on defensive rotations. Continue Reading…