Archives For Larry Drew

RECAP: Hawks 111, Bucks 103

Bo Churney —  April 17, 2014


MIL(15-67) 103 – 111 (38-44)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Scott (ATL): 17 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast
B. Knight (MIL): 31 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast

Atlanta ended their season on Wednesday night by getting a win over the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, finishing the season with a 38-44 record. With Paul Millsap sitting out again to rest his sore right hand for the playoffs, Mike Scott was inserted into the starting lineup and he was one of the leaders of the ATL effort. Scott led the team with 17 points (eight in the first quarter) and was also tied for the team lead in assist with four. In fact, everyone was getting in on the assist game, as six different Hawks had at least three assists; this includes rookie Mike Muscala, who had his best game as a pro with 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Atlanta’s next game will be on Saturday at 7PM (on ESPN!) as they start their first round series with the Indiana Pacers.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Mike Scott: I already went over a lot of Mike’s success in the opening statement, but here’s some other stuff he did: he led the team with 32 minutes played, scored 15 points in the first half, plus he had a pretty neat rip on a Jeff Adrien attempt in the paint. Mike doesn’t always do a lot on defense, so you have to appreciate when he doesn’t something on that end that leads to a bucket. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Only 20 minutes from Jeff, but something that I liked is that he was 2-for-5 on 3-pointers in that time. I like Jeff taking open 3s. He should get some open opportunities in the upcoming series against the Pacers and it is really refreshing to see him not only attempting, but making those shtos. 8/10

Pero Antic: Pero didn’t have a lot of touch on his shot on the night (2-for-8 from the field), but he did the other things that have made him a positive player this season: defending well, plus his general presence opening the lane for his teammates on offense. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: I was actually a bit concerned when I found out that DeMarre was playing in this game, mainly because he’s been deal with some slight ailments lately and I didn’t want his extreme-effort style of play causing another injury in a game like this that doesn’t affect the standings. Nonetheless, DeMarre looked fine, putting up 13 points, four assists, and three steals in just 22 minutes of play. And hey, he made all of his layups! 8/10

Kyle Korver: I never thought Korver could play 22 minutes in a game without attempting a three, but that is exactly what happened in this game. He still had seven points and four assists, but just so odd that he didn’t even get a shot off from 3-point land. Makes you appreciate his 3-point streak even more. 7/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 102, Bucks 97

Bo Churney —  March 14, 2014


   MIL(13-52) 97 – 102 (28-35)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 22 pts, 3 reb, 8 ast, 2 blk
E. Ilyasova (MIL): 22 pts, 10 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl

Admittedly, having to rally in the fourth quarter to beat the team with the worst record in the league isn’t the most ideal thing for the Hawks, but as Kyle Korver said after the game, “We’ll take all the wins we can get right now.” It was Korver who mostly powered the Hawks during that late run, as Kyle scored 12 of his 15 points in the final period. Jeff Teague also started cooking in the fourth, as it was this dunk of his that really sealed the game.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap was on fire early, scoring 12 points in the first quarter, including a couple of triples. After that, some foul trouble limited his overall effectiveness, but he still finished with a solid stat line of 17 points, eight boards, and four assists, which are essentially his season averages. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Teague’s first half was just a hot mess. He kept turning the ball over and he always seemed lost on defense. Thankfully, because the Bucks are terrible, Jeff being lost on defense didn’t always hurt. The second half is where he really started to come on, as he transformed from passive Teague to aggressive Teague. He still had seven turnovers for the game, but I think that dunk helps make up for that, right? 8/10

Pero Antic: Surprisingly, there wasn’t as much pump-faking from Pero in this game that we are used to seeing from him. His offense was actually sort of “meh”, but he did grab seven rebounds, which is a key stat against a team like Milwaukee that possesses a lot of length and size. 6/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre should take a page out of the Daryl Morey handbook and try to only shoot at the rim or from behind the arc. Why? Because DeMarre’s mid-range game is awful and usually results in him dribbling the ball to much. Criticism aside, DeMarre had four three-pointers on the night and that’s nothing to scoff at. He was also a team-high plus-15 for the game. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Thank goodness Kyle was able to start cooking in the fourth quarter, because I’m not quite sure how this team would have reacted to losing to the Bucks. Seriously, with all those hard fought losses out west, losing to the Bucks at home would have been a disaster. 7.5/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 112, Bucks 87

Cole Patty —  January 26, 2014


      MIL(8-35) 87 – 112 (23-20)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 20 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl
B. Knight (MIL): 27 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast

The Hawks faced a myriad of injuries coming into their contest against the Milwaukee Bucks, with Jeff Teague being the latest addition to the list. The good news is they played the lowly Bucks, a squad whose 8-35 record ranked last in the NBA. Atlanta took full advantage of the weaker competition and paced out to a 60-45 halftime score behind an impressive two turnovers and 8-16 shooting from beyond the arc. The third quarter was where the Hawks really shined however, tallying up 36 points to push the lead to 32. This resulted in the fourth quarter mainly being garbage time, which included Jared Cunningham’s first points as a member of the Hawks and James Nunnally making his third appearance for the team.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap was named ESPN’s key performer for the game, and with good cause. He was the easily the best bigman on the floor for both squads, with his efficient 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Millsap struggled to begin January, valleying with his 1-10 night against Indiana, but he’s putting together the types of nights that are expected of him. Making a strong case for an All-Star bid with Thursday being the coach selection day. 8/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll was a surprise start for the Hawks tonight, and he stepped up in Teague’s absence. He went 4-for-5 from the field (3-for-3 from three) for 12 points while adding six rebounds. He also added in four assists in the first half, which matched his season high. Carroll has missed two shots total over his last two games and has averaged 14.5 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists in that time frame. Hopefully that will carry over into Monday’s game against the Thunder. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle clanked his first two attempts, and worry filled the air of whether or not he was going to have an off night. Almost immediately he extended his streak to 112 straight game with a three pointer, and quickly after he banged home a four point play. He ended the night 3-for-7, but more importantly 3-for-4 from deep. He wasn’t anything special tonight, but he didn’t really have to be in such a blowout. 6/10

Shelvin Mack: Mack’s numbers weren’t eye-popping, but he was rock solid in his first start of the season. In 24 minutes, his nine points and four assists were close to his per-36 marks for the season. Which is more than enough from a spot-starting backup in injury relief. 7/10

Gustavo Ayon: Inarguably Ayon’s best game of the season. He finished well at the rim, didn’t look completely lost defending down low, grabbed a few rebounds, and even threw in two steals. The five fouls and three turnovers looked bad, but this is a much better effort from Ayon, who has had a down year. Maybe this is the game that turns it around for the third year pro. 10/10

Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 38-44 (8th in East)z-milwaukee

Playoff Result: Lost in First Round

Key Additions:
Caron Butler (trade), O.J. Mayo (free agent), Brandon Knight, (trade) Zaza Pachulia (free agent), Carlos Delfino (free agent), Gary Neal (free agent), Giannis Antetokounmpo (draft), Nate Wolters (draft), Larry Drew (coach)

Key Losses: Brandon Jennings (trade), Monta Ellis (free agent), J.J. Redick (trade), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (trade), Mike Dunleavy Jr. (free agent)

Projected 2013-14 Record: 29-53 (11th in East)*

What to Expect: After making the playoffs for the first time in three seasons last year, Milwaukee has revamped nearly their entire roster.

They did enough over the summer to fight for the eight seed in East (again), but won’t be bad enough to contend for a top draft pick. Milwaukee built depth, but they’ve got no real direction or star power.

The Bucks are building around Larry Sanders as their franchise big, similar to what Milwaukee’s head coach Larry Drew did in Atlanta with Al Horford. They let Jennings, Ellis and Redick walk, then filled their spots with Luke Ridnour, Mayo and Butler. It’s easy to see their scoring will likely take a hit, but Milwaukee should play as a more cohesive team. Drew is the perfect coach for this situation, where it seems that players will likely be interchangeable from the bench to the starting lineup throughout the season to match other teams. Continue Reading…

Robby, Nubyjas, and I discuss the hiring of Mike Budenholzer and the impact the move will have on the rest of the team’s decisions.

Evaluating Larry Drew

Bo Churney —  May 28, 2013

The Hawks have hired Spurs’ assistant Mike Budenholzer, meaning that Larry Drew is out as head coach.

The Hawks were 128-102 in three seasons with Drew as the head coach. Drew had been with the team since 2004, when he was hired by Mike Woodson as an assistant.

This really doesn’t come as a surprise. Drew’s contract was slated to end after this season, and one would figure that GM Danny Ferry would want to bring in his own hire for however he plans to rebuild. Drew has also been under fire by fans for his entire head coaching tenure for the leash that he allowed Josh Smith to operate on.

However, that shouldn’t be what Drew is remembered for in Atlanta. Drew arose to the head coaching in a hot situation; Woodson was fired after being swept for a second consecutive playoffs and the then assistant took a shot in the dark to earn his first head coaching position.

Drew had his work cut out for him; he was essentially guiding a team with three guys (Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Al Horford) that would ideally work as a second option. To compound this problem, the best player out of these three, Horford, was the one who didn’t assert himself to be the number one guy, leaving Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford (!), and Josh Smith hoisting the majority of the shots. Continue Reading…

Keeping Drew?

Bo Churney —  May 16, 2013

It has been almost two weeks since the Hawks’ season ended… and Larry Drew is still under contract. To me, this is a huge surprise.

Now, I think Drew is a good coach, but with his contract coming to an end, I figured the Hawks would have gotten rid of him already. It seemed like GM Danny Ferry would want to hire his own guy and would have sent Drew on his way by now. However, Drew is still under contract, even though the Hawks are looking at other candidates. To be fair, the Hawks have allowed Drew to interview for any job he may want.

I still don’t think Larry will be back in Atlanta next year, but his odds have increased (to me, at least) purely from the fact that he’s still around. And to be honest, if Josh Smith is gone, I think Drew could work for this team. The two clearly can’t seem to agree on shot selection, meaning that they would probably be better off in different cities next season.

The Hawks have talked with Nate McMillan. Two words: bad idea? McMillan has the same M.O. as Mike Woodson: isolation offense and is supposedly a great defensive coach, despite team defensive efficiency not being reflective of that. Now, McMillan may have learned some things since he was fired from the Trail Blazers, but hiring an isolation-heavy playcaller when you don’t have a dominant wing player would leave me scratching my head. I’d rather have Drew, regardless of the Josh Smith situation.

Of course, I still believe Stan Van Gundy is the best option as coach. He’s a proven winner and has a system that is fun to watch. The Hawks should do everything they can to get him or Brian Shaw, who is probably the best assistant coach in the Association right now.

I understand your skepticism.

Josh Smith comes to mind immediately. The screams of “NOOOOO!” from a harassed Philips Arena crowd are probably still ringing through your ears. Why on earth would the Hawks want another “mid-range shawty” jacking up three-pointers?

Because Horford needs to start shooting threes.

Al’s a good shooter; there’s no denying that. This season, he shot 45% on long-twos longer than 15 feet. The two seasons before that (excluding the injury shortened 2011-12 season), Horford shot 48% (!) and 53% (!!!) from that distance.

Recently, it seems that Horford has been working to expand his shooting range. He took six threes this season, the most of his career, and a few of those weren’t just late-clock situations; they were plays specifically set up for Horford to shoot the three. In his pre-game warmups, part of his routine was hitting a three from five spots on the floor. He always ended his warmups by hitting a corner three.

Horford expressed to the media earlier this year that the three-ball is something that he wants to add to his repertoire. While it is still a work in progress, coach Larry Drew did have plays drawn up that had Al set up behind the arc. Continue Reading…

The Hawks had a chance. The series was tied at two games each and it looked like Larry Drew made an adjustment in the lineup that the Pacers might not be able to counter.

That chance was clanked away.

Losing game five was a blow to the Hawks, but one the team could have managed. The whole series had been determined by homecourt to that point, and it was thought that the Hawks would continue to hold serve and force a game seven. However, the Hawks didn’t get to seven; neither in number of games, nor in second quarter shooting percentage. (6.7%)

The Pacers, to their credit, played extremely strong defense. George Hill took the task of keeping the Atlanta ball handlers out of the paint, and even with they got through, Roy Hibbert and David West proved more than capable of cleaning up the mess. Indy’s offensive game was weak and Paul George was limited to four points, but the efforts of Hill (21 points on 14 shots) and Hibbert (17 points on 14 shots) were enough to help the Pacers climb into the second round of the playoffs.

This loss isn’t new ground for the Hawks; they’ve failed to win a game in the second round for the fifth time in the last six years, despite making the playoffs each season. However, this defeat is unique in that the future is now an unknown. Only three players (Horford, Williams, and Jenkins) have guaranteed contracts next season. Josh Smith appears to be heading out the door and not coming back, and Danny Ferry will have over $33 million in cap space to work with in creating a new team.

Even with how poorly this game played out, we still have a positive thought to take from this 2012-13 season. With the odds against them all season, these Hawks never quit. After losing Zaza Pachulia and Lou Williams to season-ending injuries, the Hawks still managed to grab the sixth seed. Despite falling 2-0 in the series, they fought back to even it up and give themselves an opportunity. And even after being down 17 points in the fourth quarter facing elimination, the crowd was electric, cheering on their team, who managed to cut the Pacer lead to three.

Yes, the Hawks lost, but as Al Horford noted in his postgame presser, the team didn’t quit like they have in the past. Moral victories aren’t always the greatest, but at least we know that Larry Drew left the players of this team with an attitude that they will always have a chance to win.

With Horford likely playing the role of franchise player for the next three, hopefully that persona continues to exist in Philips Arena atmosphere for the coming seasons.

Hawks After Game Three Win

Bo Churney —  April 28, 2013