Archives For Lou Williams

The Hawks had a huge problem on Friday night.

No, it wasn’t that they “needed a big man” like many continue to insinuate about the Hawks after the team stood pat at the trade deadline. It wasn’t that the Hawks needed Gary Neal or Ray Allen, either; this 25-point loss would not have been remedied by a roster change.

Quite simply, the Hawks did not play “Hawks basketball” on Friday night.

Sure, it did not help that Kyle Korver’s shooting was off, as the sharpshooter was 3-for-13 from the field and 2-for-11 from behind the arc. It did not help that Mike Scott was missing wide open dunks or that Paul Millsap was airballing free throws. The Hawks lost because they turned the ball over 20 times through the first three quarters.

Credit to the Raptors for playing great defense and anticipating the passing lanes well, but this was mostly on the Hawks. Their passes were often lazy and the ball started sticking a bit as the turnovers started to pile up. Millsap and Teague frequently tried driving in the lane, but when there was nothing there for them, they tried too much to get bailed out by the refs or to force an awkward pass out to the perimeter never reached its mark. Continue Reading…

Another Chance for Al Horford

Cole Patty —  October 31, 2014 — 3 Comments

Most people are familiar with Murphy’s Law or at least the current version of “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” Commonly said in situations by the Average Joe on one of the days where the bad luck comes in bunches; it’s almost as if the forces of the universe just won’t let something nice happen to them, no matter how much good karma they may have built up.

Al Horford may be a two-time All-Star, but his career also feels like the embodiment of this law. Every time Horford gets a bit of momentum going towards finally becoming the superstar he plays like, something bad seems to happen. On top of that, he is mostly overlooked in the “best center in the East” discussions, he wasn’t named an All-Star during a great 2012-13 campaign, and was constantly overshadowed during his career by the more bombastic Josh Smith. In fact, most of the mainstream media coverage on Horford is about why he should be playing power forward instead of mentioning that he is a matchup nightmare for his larger stone footed counterparts.

As for Murphy’s Law, Horford’s injuries have stifled his growth towards becoming a superstar. When Atlanta powered on to the 5-seed in the strike shortened 2011-12 seasons, Continue Reading…

I’m still in a daze. What just happened?

*shakes out cob-webs*

Ah, I can see clearly now!

This is one of those trades that we can’t really grade until each moving piece evolves over time. This is a trade could impact the Hawks in a few different ways.

Scenario #1:

Hawks dive into free agency head-first ready to make a huge splash. However, they come out of it looking like the Boys Chess Team captain asking out the Homecoming Queen. (Heck, even if you’re on the girls chess team you probably say no, am I right?)

Hawks watch as Lucas Nogueira turns Toronto into his playground, sending back opposing shots as if he were Rob Ford. With Bebe, considering how high his ceiling is as an imposing defensive specialist, this part of Scenario #1 is quite possible if his knees stay functioning. Continue Reading…

Danny Ferry takes no breaks (likely)
Danny Ferry never sleeps (rumored)
Danny Ferry LOVES cap space (100% true)

Danny Ferry was hard at work this afternoon as he dealt away Lou Williams and super-afro’d-prospect Lucas Nogueira to the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks receive John Salmons and his friendly contract (team-option; likely to be waived).

ESPN’s Marc Stein provides some clarity in this here little “tweet” thing.

Did you see Danny Green’s defense on Kevin Durant during the Western Conference Finals? Durant has been criticized for his inability to exploit a size advantage when guarded by smaller players. I believe this criticism undervalues Green, who was occasionally called upon to guard LeBron James in isolation during last year’s NBA Finals.

I’ve scoured various mock drafts looking for the next Green or Kawhi Leonard, players Danny Ferry and Mike Budenholzer had a hand in bringing to the Spurs who will now start in their second consecutive NBA Finals. Last year at this time I was doing the same, looking for 3-and-D wings or what Zach Lowe referred to as “new age Shane Battiers,” players who can hit the three and also guard both wing positions. Presently, I’m not finding such a player in this draft.

Shooting guard Gary Harris from Michigan State looks like a knockdown shooter and plus defender, but due to size (6-foot-2.5 without shoes) he may have to guard point guards in the NBA. Clemson’s KJ McDaniels gets compared to Tony Allen, which is apt since he’s a lockdown defender who can’t shoot. He’s also 6-foot-4.5 without shoes.

Continue Reading…

I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself at The Joey Crawford Review, hereafter referred to as Game 6 of the 1st round NBA Playoffs series between the Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers. Seriously, that was the most bizarre officiating I have ever witnessed. I may have spoken too soon in the Game 2 preview when I said the refs probably wouldn’t help the Pacers. By my calculations, they’ve they’ve swung two games in the series thus far.

Looking ahead to Game 7, I will say that the keys are the same as they were in my preview for Game 5: If DeMarre Carroll impacts the floor at both ends and either Pero Antic or Mike Scott gets hot from outside, the game is winnable. After writing that preview, Carroll scored 15 points on six shots and Scott shot 5-for-6 from 3-point range in Game 5.

Prior to the Game 5 win, Carroll scored only three points and Scott and Antic combined to shoot 1-for-7 from 3-point range in a Game 4 loss. In Game 6, the same issues cropped up again. Carroll scored only seven points on seven shots and Scott and Antic combined to shoot 0-for-10 on 3-pointers.

Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 98, Pacers 85

Bo Churney —  April 25, 2014 — 1 Comment

FINAL
Hawks lead series, 2-1

IND(1-2) 85 – 98 (2-1) ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 22 pts, 2 reb, 10 ast
L. Stephenson (IND): 21 pts, 13 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

It was a must-win situation for the Hawks; losing meant relinquishing home-court advantage back to the Pacers. They needed a strong performance in their home building and what happened?

Jeff Teague shrugged.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In front of a sold-out and raucous crowd, the Hawks used a 59-point second half to take a 2-1 series lead on Indiana. Jeff Teague, despite the 7-for-20 shooting night, was tremendous, as he was constantly attacking the Pacer defense. Helping out Teague were Korver and DeMarre Carroll, who combined to shoot 12-for-17 from the floor and 6-for-11 from 3-point range. They were rewarded with a trip to the podium after the game.

demarre

The Hawks now have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead on Saturday.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Jeff Teague: I’m just going to let Jeff’s highlights speak here:

Like I said in the intro, I don’t care if Jeff was 7-for-20 from the field. He was extremely aggressive and produced a lot of open looks for himself and his teammates. 9/10

Paul Millsap: Millsap was a bit sloppy on the night (six turnovers), but he still managed to put up 14 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists. One of his biggest contributions was a clutch 3-pointer that he banked in as the shot clock expired. 7.5/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle finally got his shots to start going in, going 6-for-9 from the field for 20 points. He was responsible for one of the daggers in the fourth quarter, sinking an open corner 3 to give the Hawks a 12-point lead with not much time remaining. 9/10

DeMarre Carroll: In addition to scoring 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting, DeMarre held Paul George to just 12 points on 3-for-11 shooting. He had no turnovers and had a plus-16 rating for the game. It’s probably a good thing that the Hawks didn’t trade him “and more!” for Jeff Green. 10/10

Pero Antic: In 23 minutes, Pero was 0-for-5, scored on one point and only had three rebounds… yet he probably still outplayed Roy Hibbert. Hopefully Pero can get his shooting touch back soon, because he might have a couple of huge shots come his way during the rest of the series. 5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

CHA(42-39) 95 – 93 (37-44)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Scott (ATL): 20 pts, 6 reb
A. Jefferson (CHA): 27 pts, 15 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks really didn’t have anything to play for tonight other than pride and tooling up for the playoffs. Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, and DeMarre Carroll all did not play. Despite this, the Hawks probably should have won. The Bobcats played horrible basketball most of the night but the Hawks were only able to capitalize on it once. The Hawks had tons of wide open shots from deep but couldn’t hit a large chunk of them. I guess you can’t expect the bench unit to finish off the opposing team, but you don’t usually expect them to blow a 15 point lead against the opposing teams’ bench plus one starter, and that’s what happened tonight. A very weird game.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Lou Williams: Ever since reentering the rotation, Williams has not disappointed. Looking at his box score I’m surprised he had as poor a game as he did because he did a lot of small things really well such as pushing the pace and running the fast break. Still, 0-for-7 from deep is really tough to overcome. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Teague continues his strong finish to the season. Tonight he did a little bit of everything with some points here, some assists over there, and some rebounds here. He finished with a stat line of 11-5-4, but that’s not what was so great about his play tonight. Teague shut down Kemba Walker. Walker was hounded all night long and had a dreadful game. Even when he did get an open shot he looked uncomfortable because of everything Teague was doing. 8/10

Pero Antic: Antic returned from injury and got the start. Unfortunately for him that did not lead to much success. He struggled all night long and was far less effective than Muscala and Brand. 2/10

Mike Muscala: Muscala had one of his best games as a rookie tonight. 21 minutes and given the task of helping out on Al Jefferson, the rookie stepped up. His defense wasn’t spectacular but it wasn’t horrible. On the offensive end Muscala was 3-for-5 with 8 points and a lot of nice hustle moments. 6/10

Cartier Martin: Martin also deserves big props for his efforts on the defensive end tonight. While Teague was busy hounding Walker, Martin found himself with the task of of guarding Gerald Henderson. Martin held Henderson to a dreadful shooting night and between him and Teague, they shut down the Bobcats starting back court. 7.5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

MIA(54-26) 85 – 98 (37-43)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 25 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast, 4 stl
L. James (MIA): 27 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks won their third straight game, with this victory over the Heat clinching the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The win is thanks to Jeff Teague, who was extremely aggressive in attacking the basket nearly the whole night. He wasn’t really attacking in the fourth quarter, but that’s because Lou “Chicken Man” Williams was cooking up something extra crispy. Williams had 23 points on the night, 18 of which were scored in the game’s final period. Lou actually completely closed the game for the Hawks, scoring the team’s final 12 points after the 2:54 mark to thwart any chance of a Miami comeback.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap was rather quiet on the night, only putting up 11 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, which broke his streak of seven consecutive double-doubles. One thing of concern: Millsap appeared to twist his ankle in the fourth quarter, but he remained in the game. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks decide to rest him over the final two games. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was attacking the basket with AUTHORITY on several occasions, putting up a couple of highlight and-one finishes that got the Hawks contingent of the crowd to make some noise. “He always sets the tone when get gets out there and is aggressive and he pushes the tempo,” said Paul Millsap of his starting point guard. “He attack and he attacks. It’s good for us. It’s what we need from him.” So… how about some of that same aggressive stuff in the playoffs, Jeffrey? 9.5/10

Elton Brand: With Pero Antic sitting out, Elton Brand had to start for a second consecutive game. He played 27 minutes and made his defensive presence known when he had a highlight reel block on a LeBron James layup attempt in the first quarter. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: LeBron turned it up a bit at the end of the game, but for most of the game, DeMarre played great defense on the league’s best player. DeMarre made LeBron work for each and every bucket when he was on the floor. On offense, DeMarre had five turnovers, but he also hit three 3-pointers and was an overall plus on that end, too. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Really quiet night from Korver; only four points and three rebounds. Wade was scoring early, but that was more a factor of Wade hitting jumpers than of poor defensive play by Korver. 3/10 Continue Reading…

The Hawks and RPM

Bo Churney —  April 9, 2014 — 2 Comments

Last week, ESPN released a new stat called Real Plus-Minus (or RPM) as a new perspective into gauging the impact a player has on the court. For ESPN’s intoduction of the stat, click here.

In a nutshell, adjusted plus-minus stats work by taking your regular plus-minus figures and attempting to set a value to each player’s situation based on their teammates, their opponents, and even coaching. It then tries to put those numbers together and assign a “real plus-minus” as a figure of a player’s overall value. RPM is measured in net-point differential per 100 possessions. (100 possessions is about the length of your average game)

As with all stats, I don’t think you can just take one and use it to end an argument. With that said, RPM should provide an interesting new tool to look at when trying to confirm the impact of a certain player(s). Continue Reading…