Archives For Lou Williams

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…

FINAL

PHI(16-58) 95 – 103 (32-41)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 28 pts, 17 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl
T. Young (PHI): 23 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast, 4 stl, 3 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

For a moment it looked like the Hawks were about to encounter a disaster. They were down double-digits at the end of the first quarter and the first half, seemingly getting dominated by a Sixer team that is probably the worst team in the league as currently constructed. However, the rest of the Hawks finally decided to show up to complement Paul Millsap’s monster game and the Hawks were able to end their six-game losing streak. Lou Williams came alive in the second half, scoring 16 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter where Williams hit several clutch buckets to give the Hawks the edge over Philadelphia.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Like all of the Hawks, Millsap was better in the second half than in the first, but he was essentially the the Hawk player to have a good first half. Millsap finished the night with 28 points and 17 boards, but it was the 15 points and seven rebounds from the first two quarters that really kept the Hawks afloat in this game. 10/10

Jeff Teague: Shocking development: Teague was sleep walking for most of the game and only had small spurts where he picked up his effort and played like the he was worth the $32 million contract the team gave him over the summer. Teague had 12 points on 11 shots and five assists with four turnovers; it shouldn’t be a surprise that Lou and Dennis received a good chunk on minutes in this game. 3/10

Pero Antic: Not a good effort on either side of the floor from Pero. He was 1-for-8 from the field and made a couple of bad passes that really stuck out. (he made some good ones too, but the bad ones were ugly) 2/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre had a decent game with nine points, five boards, and four assists, but the best part of it is that his effort was pretty consistent throughout, as it always is. That is always good to see, especially when you consider that DeMarre is still dealing with a rather nasty illness that kept him out of Saturday’s game. How do I know it was a nasty illness? DeMarre showed no shame when talking about it post game in the locker room. Suffice to say… you probably don’t want to know. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Welcome back to the lineup, Kyle. He struggled in his first game back after missing six games dealing with back spasms. He started off 0-for-5 from the field, but he started to come alive a bit in the second half and showed a much more balanced effort on both offense and defense. 6/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

PHX(42-29) 102 – 95 (31-38)ATL  

Key Performers:
E. Bledsoe (PHX): 20 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl
D. Carroll (ATL): 19 pts, 4 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Well, after winning five in a row after that awful losing stretch, the Hawks are back on the wrong side of the result with a third straight loss against Phoenix. The Hawks were leading at halftime, but the Suns outscored the Hawks 35-23 in the third quarter, largely behind Goran Dragic, who had 14 points in the quarter. Gerald Green then closed the game in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points over a stretch that gave turned the Phoenix lead from four into 10 with just five minutes left in the game. The Hawks are just 2.5 games ahead of the New York Knicks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap was really defended well by the Suns, but he was able to get some work in at the free throw line, going 7-for-10 from the stripe. He was only 6-for-14 from the field though and a lot of his makes weren’t from easy attempts. Suns made him work hard for the buckets. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague and the entire team were really dominated by Dragic and Bledsoe. They did a good job at cutting off passing lanes and as a result, the Hawks only had 18 assists on the night. Part of that was also fouls (the Hawks got to the line 33 times, Teague seven times), but credit to the Suns’ defense for making the Hawks work the shot clock on a lot of possessions. 6/10

Pero Antic: Pero was only 2-for-6 from the field, but there was a moment in the first half where it looked like he was heat-checking on shots… Pretty sure Coach Budenholzer didn’t appreciate Pero taking tough shots like that early in the shot clock. 3/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre scored 19 points on just eight shots, which is probably one of the best offensive games of his career. Really unfortunate that the Hawks kind of wasted this kind of game from him. 9/10

Shelvin Mack: Per the usual, conservative ball-handling game for Shelvin, who netted six assists and only one turnover, but 2-for-9 from the field is not what the Hawks need out of their starting shooting guard spot. Hawks could really use Korver back in the lineup. 5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

TOR(39-30) 96 – 86 (31-37)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 17 pts, 8 reb, 3 stl
K. Lowry (TOR): 25 pts, 4 ast, 4 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

That was…well it was a matinee game for sure. The Hawks started off looking like the better team jumping out to a very quick lead. Then towards the end of the 1st quarter it got really sloppy. Turns out the majority of the game was going to get played that way from both sides. The Hawks played the same way consistently throughout the game, sluggish with bursts of energy here and there. The Raptors meanwhile were very inconsistent, until the 4th quarter. The Raptors played rough, not good, basketball for the first three quarters. Then, it was like they flipped a switch. They outscored the Hawks 36-15 in the 4th quarter and were far and away the better team.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap had a hit and miss games. He mad moments of brilliance and then he had times where he tried to drive the ball through three defenders. He only made one shot in the 4th quarter and was largely ineffective on both sides of the ball during the Raptors big run. However he was probably the best or second best player for the Hawks today. 6/10

Jeff Teague: After attacking the basket non stop in the first match up, the Raptors looked like they didn’t want to let that happen again. Giving Teague kickout passing lanes but not allowing him to get to the rim. While racking up 5 assists, it took Teague 13 shots to get 16 points. 5/10

Pero Antic: Rough game for Antic. One made shot and missed all five of his long range attempts. 2/10

DeMarre Carroll: Great game by Caroroll standards. 5 steals, 1 made triple (which ended up being a 4 point play), and 4 rebounds. On the defensive side of the ball he was hounding everybody. However I think he shot the ball too much scoring 17 points on 13 shots. Most of the shots were within the offense though so the complaints are minimal. 8/10

Shelvin Mack: Less than typical day for Mack but nothing egregious. 3-for-7 on 7 points is below his usual efficiency but he only had 1 turnover which is to be expected from him at this point. While he did a solid job of not being a big negative on the floor, he was never very noticeable in his 28 minutes on the floor. 5/10 Continue Reading…

The Hawks had a good solid bounce back after their 14 losses in 15 game stretch, but their winning streak ended at five games on Friday night after Anthony Davis and the Pelicans swooped into town and scooped up a victory.

Davis was an absolute monster, putting on a magnificent showing with his all-around game including highlight dunks, and believe it or not, highlight mid-range jumpers. Davis was not afraid to delve into extreme difficultly on his shots, converting a couple of plays were he was fouled (one didn’t count) and another fade-away that started off from behind the backboard. The scary part? Davis commented after the game that he still felt “under the weather” and that he wasn’t 100% after missing the Pelicans’ last game against the Raptors. Davis finished the night with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and one very emphatic block on a DeMarre Carroll shot attempt.

For the Hawks, they were missing Kyle Korver, who was scratched right before the game due to a flare up of back spasms during his pre-game shooting routine. His absence really showed how well prepared New Orleans was for the Hawks’ three-point attack, as Atlanta went just 8-for-28 (28.6%) from behind the arc in this game. Credit to New Orleans coach Monty Williams, who after the game praised Korver as the “best to ever do it” in terms of shooting. He also praised the overall talent that the Hawks have from deep, expressing great difficulty in trying to guard the three-pointer when all five starters can extend their games out that far. Shelvin Mack started in place of Korver and he had a decent offensive showing with 18 points and four three-pointers, which were half of the Hawks’ makes from three-point land. Continue Reading…

FINAL

   NYK(21-35) 98 – 107 (26-29)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Scott (ATL): 30 pts, 8 reb
C. Anthony (NYK): 35 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Defining moment of this game is easy to find. After a Carmelo Anthony three-pointer with 5:56 left in the third quarter, Melo and DeMarre started jawing at each other, resulting in technical fouls for each of them, plus Mike Woodson. The game was 63-48 at the time. After that, DeMarre closed the quarter with 10 points, helping the Hawks to cut the deficit to just 73-68 when the quarter ended. From there, it became the Jeff Teague show, as Teague scored a career-high 16 fourth quarter points to propel the Hawks into the lead. The Knicks simply didn’t have an answer for Teague, as neither Felton nor JR Smith could contain the aggressive version of the Hawks’ point guard. And as Elton Brand said, “We got off that slide, that’s the most important thing.” The Hawks’ eight-game losing streak is now history.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Jeff Teague: Raymond Felton and JR Smith make a great remedy for a long slump. Jeff appeared to re-injure his ankle in the first quarter, but he fought through it to put up one of his best efforts of the season. Teague was consistently able to get into the paint and draw contact, resulting in 15 trips to the foul line, where he made 13. Teague’s final line on the night was 28 points (16 in the fourth quarter), three rebounds, six assists, and only one turnover. 10/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll guarded Carmelo about as well as anyone can, but Melo was just making extremely tough shots at a high rate. Still, scoring 24 points is a great way to cut into Carmelo’s 35. As the intro says, it was DeMarre’s stretch in the third quarter that allowed them to get back into the game. DeMarre said after the game: “I’m trying to develop into a leader, because I think that’s what we’re really missing on this team.” If he keeps acting like this, the Hawks might have found a good one in Al Horford’s absence. 10/10

Kyle Korver: Not much going for Korver in this game. He only had seven points on eight shots, but did connect on two threes to extend the streak to 124 games. He wasn’t a part of the Hawks’ big run late in the game, which is weird, because most runs by this team are usually sparked by a couple of Korver makes. 4/10

Elton Brand: Elton Brand played 43 minutes tonight. ELTON BRAND PLAYED 43 MINUTES!!! The box score doesn’t really show his impact beyond his three blocked shots, but Coach Budenholzer commended Elton’s overall defensive effort and communication on the floor. Huge 43 minutes considering Elton is currently the team’s only healthy center. (Dexter Pittman doesn’t count) 8/10

Mike Scott: Usually I only have the starters in the first five, but Mike Scott’s game warrants getting bumped up here. Let me make this clear: Mike Scott scored 30 points on 14 shots. THIRTY! Teague and Williams did a great job of running pick-and-rolls that freed up Mike for open jumpers and Mike was hitting all of them. The 30 points are a career-high, surpassing his old high of 23, which came against the Knicks last season. 10/10 Continue Reading…

With the trade deadline fast approaching and the Hawks dealing with more injury troubles, Lou Williams could potentially be a name worth shopping. He’s struggled, teams could look at him as a buy-low option and Atlanta is very desperate for some help because of injury troubles that have aided in the Hawks losing six straight games. But in reality, if Atlanta were to trade Williams now they’d be doing themselves more harm than good.

What the Hawks desperately need at the moment is not a major shake-up of any means, but some more depth with players dropping like fruit flies in bug spray. Williams’s contract is by no means a very destructive one. It expires at the conclusion of the 2015 season, with Williams earning about $5.3 million per year. Even in this down season, players of similar (or worse) production are earning even more than Williams – names such as J.R. Smith, Richard Jefferson, Caron Butler and Derrick Williams.

The bench help doesn’t necessarily have to arrive through a trade either, as exemplified by Cartier Martin’s signing this season. There are viable options still on the market if need be, as well the option to turn to the D-League. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Pacers 108, Hawks 98

Bo Churney —  February 19, 2014 — 1 Comment

FINAL

IND(41-12) 108 – 98 (25-27)ATL    

Key Performers:
P. George (IND): 26 pts, 2 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl
K. Korver (ATL): 19 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

I guess there is some solace to be taken in that the Hawks were even in this game in the fourth quarter? The Pacers started off red-hot from the field, making 13 of their first 14 shot attempts. At one point in the first quarter, Indiana led the Hawks 31-9. The Hawks battled back to make it a 56-49 game at half, however, largely behind the efforts of Shelvin Mack and Lou Williams off of the bench. Coach Bud’s squad was essentially able to keep it in single-digits until the fourth quarter, when the massive amount of turnovers (22) finally allowed the Pacers to take a substantial lead with very little time remaining. The Pacers scored 35 points off of those 22 ATL turnovers. The Hawks are now on a six game losing streak and this game against Indiana was the first of a four-game/five-night set for Atlanta.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: At one point, I thought things couldn’t get worse for Millsap in this game… but then Gustavo Ayon got injured, leaving Elton Brand as the team’s only healthy center. This meant that Millsap was often matched up against Roy Hibbert, who is just simply to big for Millsap to cover without expending all of his energy. Paul finished with just seven points on 10 shots and simply looked overwhelmed. 3/10

Cartier Martin: Cartier got the start for the injured DeMarre Carroll and he actually had a decent night. He didn’t score that much until the fourth quarter, but his major weakness (defense) really wasn’t exposed too much by Paul George and the Pacer attack. Yes, George had 26 points, but a few of those makes were on rather tough shots that George managed to knock down. We also got to see Cartier finish the game at power forward because the Hawks were simply that parched for big men after Ayon’s injury. 6/10

Kyle Korver: Korver had three turnovers, which was partially because Jeff Teague didn’t really feel like playing point guard tonight. Off of that, Korver hit 5-for-7 from three-point range and was a large reason why the Hawks were able to turn the 22 point Indiana lead into just a single-digit deficit. 7.5/10

Jeff Teague: Usually players are excited to be playing back in their hometown. Teague takes on the opposite persona. Jeff looked extremely passive all night and the result was that the Hawks played a lot better when either Shelvin Mack or Lou Williams were running the point. I know part of Teague’s struggles are related to the absence of Al Horford, but he’s been consistently outplayed by Shelvin for the better part of two months now. This is probably why, as Zach Lowe commented the other day, Danny Ferry isn’t exactly in love with Jeff Teague’s contract anymore. 1/10

Gustavo Ayon: Can the Hawks get a center that can consistently make a layup? Both Ayon and Brand had trouble finishing near the rim in this one. Gustavo’s night was cut short, however, as a rather impressive block that he made on Roy Hibbert caused him to injure his shoulder. His status is currently unknown. 3/10 Continue Reading…