Archives For Memphis Grizzlies

If there were an experiment to further understand the effects of road weariness, the Atlanta Hawks would be the subject.

The Hawks finally played a ‘home’ preseason game Monday night that was only a home game in the sense that is was played in the city of Atlanta. The Hawks defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 100-88 in the penultimate game of the preseason.

The Hawks will play again Thursday at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion before a few days of practice and rest before heading out on the road for five straight road games.

The Hawks are the only team in the NBA with home opener later than Oct.27 as Phillips Arena undergoes its final stages of the first phase of a two-phase renovation.

Travel of the NBA is typical, but even so, starting the season with as much travel as the Hawks have endured have playing having to adjust as veterans like forward Kent Bazemore tries to pass his knowledge down to the many young players the Hawks have. Bazemore admits the road-life gets tough and things as simple as a home cooked meal and bed become a luxury when the team gets time off or plays at home.

“It kind of mimics what we’ve got going on to start the season on that last road trip we had, but you’ve to take it a day at a time,” Bazemore said. “One thing you kind of miss on the road is a home cooked meal and your own bed. It’s good to be back home for a little bit and enjoy that. It comes with the territory, you’ve just got to be smart. I’ve learned a lot from a lot of veterans in front of me how to optimize the rest on the road. I’m trying to share that with some of these young guys.”

For a rookie like John Collins, Monday was the first time he got to hear Ryan Cameron’s ‘Jam’ call whenever a Hawks’ player throws down a dunk. Collins was excited to play in front of his fans for the first time.

“I thought it was cool, we had a nice little road trip in preseason to start off, so it’s been good for us,” Collins said. “It’s always good to see that crowd cheering when you score a bucket. It felt good to get some energy.”

With 11 new players on the roster as of Monday, the Hawks needed to get to acquainted. The time the group has spent together has been a bit of a blessing for players to not only get a feel for what one another can do on the court but also get to know the guys and make some off the floor connections.

“We spent a ton of time together on the road, whether it be at dinner or just hanging out and playing video games,” Bazemore said. “It’s just good to kind of get that bonding time on the road. We had training camp and we came home for like a day and a half, but we’ve kind of been around each other for a little bit and kind of feeling each other out off the court and it’s starting to show on the court as well.”

After Thursday’s final preseason contest against the Dallas Mavericks, the Hawks will have five days before facing the Mavericks again in regular season-opener in Dallas. The Hawks first five games are on the road. Phillips Arena is scheduled to reopen on Friday, Oct. 27 as the Hawks host the Denver Nuggets.

The Atlanta Hawks dropped their latest contest at Philips Arena against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night, 103-91. The Hawks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 18 points.

Standings watch

The Hawks are in a race with the Toronto Raptors for home court advantage but were unable to capitalise on the Raptors’ home loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night. The gap between the Hawks and Raptors remains at 2 games.

Third quarter struggles

This game was decided in the third quarter, a quarter the Hawks were outscored by the Grizzlies 23-13. The Hawks shot 3-of-17 from the field while the Grizzlies shot 10-of-23.

“It just felt like one of those nights We couldn’t catch the ball. We couldn’t shoot it. We couldn’t pass it. We just have an off night with a lot of credit to Memphis. They are into us. They were physical. They got more 50-50 balls than we did. It wasn’t our night.”

— Coach Mike Budenholzer

You have to give a lot of credit to Memphis for Atlanta’s third quarter struggles. Their defense was dialled up a notch and they seemed to pack the paint a little more in the third quarter, forcing the Hawks into tougher jump shots rather than shots in the paint.

Continue Reading…

This game symbolized the best of times and the worst of times. Atlanta for right now is enjoying the best of times these days and Memphis is stuck in the worst. The Hawks jumped out to an early lead in the early frame and it was all she wrote from there. The Atlanta Hawks went to Tennessee and turned the Grindhouse into a vacation spot dominating the Memphis Grizzlies 107-90. The struggling Hawks defense of late, who was without Dwight Howard,  being held out for rest held Memphis to 37.8% from the field. For a complete recap of the game, check out Graham Chapple on HawksHoop.com. As always, it is a thorough and informative read.

The Hawks were led by, you guessed it, Dennis Schroder. But not on the offensive end; on this night it was on the defensive end. Schroder locked in on Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley and made him work all night long. The rest of his teammates followed his cues and dominated the game start to finish. It’s the start to my…

Three Lessons

Lesson number one: Oh, the Atlanta Hawks have a bench now?

Breaking news to HawksHoop! The Atlanta Hawks have bench scoring for a change. Even more amazing, a bench player led the team in scoring! Hawks rookie Taurean Prince led the team in scoring with 17 points. Not Dennis Schroder, not Paul Millsap, but Taurean Prince. Prince had set his career high by the end of the first quarter with 12 and went on knock down five of his six shots. Prince knocked down three of four three pointers, hit all of his four free throws, grabbed three rebounds, dropped two dimes, had a couple of steals and a block. Quite a mouthful huh? Jose Calderon scored 14 points in 19 minutes (this was a bad night for the Grizzlies folks!) to lead the consistent production from the bench all night. The is not the bench mob, but for one night it’s not Tim Hardaway Jr. show by himself.

Continue Reading…

Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks extended their winning streak to three games against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night, with a107-90 victory at Fed Ex Forum. In a wire-to-wire victory, Taurean Prince led the Hawks with 17 points while Dennis Schröder and Paul Millsap both added 16 points. For the Grizzlies, JaMychal Green led the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Mike Conley added 16 points.

Perimeter shooting proves decisive

A summary of this game — why the Hawks won and the Grizz lost — in nine-ish words: The Hawks made their shots, the Grizzlies did not.

Memphis’ shot chart

ATL’s shot chart

It really was as simple as that. The Hawks shot 50% from the floor and 50% from behind the arc while the Grizzlies shot 38% from the the floor and 17% (5-of-29) from three-point range. The Hawks’ defense was good but Memphis’ offense was quite poor and they settled for a lot of jumpshots that didn’t go down. But give credit to the Hawks, whose man and ball movement was very good but perhaps there’s another reason why the Hawks’ offense was a little more fluid in terms of ball and man movement…

Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks put themselves back in the winning column with a 95-83 victory against the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. How shorthanded? Well, the Grizzlies were without:

Marc Gasol
Mike Conley
Zach Randolph
Vince Carter
Brandan Wright
Chris Andersen (not that he’s great, but he was someone playing significant minutes for the Grizzlies)

A few notable absentees, one might say.

On the night, and among the available players they did have, the Grizz were led by Lance Stephenson’s 18 points off the bench while the Hawks were led by Paul Millsap’s 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

Home sweet home — an important victory

It feels good to be home. This was the Hawks’ first game in Atlanta since February 28th, a day when the Charlotte Hornets came to town.

When the Grizzlies went up by 12 early, it was beginning to look like the classic ‘first home game after a long road trip struggle’. But the Hawks rallied, and once they took control of affairs they never looked back, and the Grizzlies never seemed capable of mounting a comeback.

When the Hawks took on the injury depleted Miami Heat in mid February, they fell into the classic trap game situation and lost a game they should’ve won with relative ease.  This time, however, the Hawks were more intentional in respecting the injury depleted Grizzlies and took care of business:

Continue Reading…

After the Hawks took their only lead of the fourth quarter on a Paul Millsap 3-pointer, Mike Conley responded with a three of his own with 53 seconds to play to retake the lead for the Grizzlies. Atlanta’s final home game of the preseason was a hard-fought 82-81 loss against Memphis that felt like a mid-season match-up. Unlike Sunday’s loss to Miami, tonight’s game gave Hawks fans their first legitimate look at how this team is likely to operate during the rapidly-approaching regular season as all five starters played at least 30 minutes.

Atlanta started the game strong as Kyle Korver scored as many in the first quarter as Memphis’ entire roster (seven points on 3-for-3 shooting). The Grizzlies were able to chip away at the resulting 24-7 deficit in the second quarter with seven points by Courtney Lee and 14 from the bench. The Hawks went to the locker room at halftime with a tenuous 37-33 lead.

Battling against a defensive powerhouse caused the Hawks to lose some of their finesse. Several fouls early in the third put both Al Horford (13 points, game-high 14 rebounds) and Millsap (17 points, nine rebounds) in trouble and forced coach Mike Budenholzer’s hand in giving his starters some much-needed rest. Unfortunately, this was the turning point Memphis needed to finally pull away, and they took the lead for the first time with 3:19 left in the third on a layup by Jeff Green. Zach Randolph’s 11 third quarter points (4-for-5) sent the Grizzlies on a 24-6 run that stretched well into the fourth and put them ahead 70-57. Continue Reading…

FINAL

MEM(27-22) 79 – 76 (25-24)ATL

Key Performers:
Z. Randolph (MEM): 20 pts, 6 reb, 3 blk
P. Millsap (ATL): 20 pts, 11 reb, 6 ast, 5 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Good god almighty that was an ugly game. The Grizzlies were missing their starting point guard in Mike Conley and that resulted in no flow at all in their offense. The Hawks were as usual missing Al Horford and that resulted in major struggles against the Grizzlies big bruising front line. The Grizzlies perimeter defense was as stifling as usual. The Hawks couldn’t score inside or outside. Bo Churney, the editor here at HawksHoop, actually wondered aloud if the team to get to 60 first would win. It was one of those nights.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: After seeing Millsap struggle against a big and strong front court like the Pacers a few nights ago, I was curious to see if Millsap would be able to handle the Grizzlies big and bruising front court. Millsap handled it just fine, stuffing the box score and doing everything in his power to bring it back in the end. 9/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll had himself a game. He was all over the court on offense and defense doing all the little things that you like to see him do. He was cutting off ball, shooting spot up jumpshots, setting screens, you name it and he did it. 8.5/10

Kyle Korver: While Millsap had no problems with the Grizzlies physicality, Korver, on the other hand, did. He was clearly frazzled by the Grizzlies. While he managed to knock down two triples (streak is now at 118) he didn’t contribute much else. 3/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was another player to find himself struggling against the Grizzlies physicality. Teague struggled at creating due to the mix of Nick Calathes and Courtney Lee all over him. When Teague would penetrate he would be swarmed by the likes of Gasol and Randolph. Teague did what he could but 8 points, 4 turnovers, and only one trip to the free throw line is an awful game for someone that got all star consideration earlier this season. 3/10

Gustavo Ayon: Not a bad outing for Goose. Perfect from the field (2-for-2, 6 points) and he grabbed himself eight rebounds. He spent a lot of the game splitting time with Brand. Bud was smart and kept his big men fresh. 6/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

MEM.gif(17-19) 108 – 101 (20-18)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Conley (MEM): 21 pts, 4 reb, 13 ast, 4 stl
P. Millsap (ATL): 21 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast, 3 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks were without Pero Antic (back spasms), but that wasn’t necessarily their biggest issue; if the Hawks keep relying on Mike Scott to keep trying to save the team after slow starts in the first quarter, they are going to have a bad time. The Grizzlies got out to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter and really held that kind of advantage for the entire game. The Hawks had the lead a couple of times, but for the most part it was always Grizzlies by single-digits. Mike Conley torched the Hawks on both ends of the floor and really outplayed Jeff Teague; Conley was a game-high plus-20 in a contest that was decided by seven points.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: The value of plus-minus can be seen with Conley’s rating above. The downside? Millsap played a good game… but was a minus-17. All that really means is that Paul was in and out of the game at inconvenient times. (like in for the 9-2 Memphis start, out for the Hawks’ run with Mike Scott in the game) Paul hit one three on the night, but it was late in the game when the Grizzlies had a big enough lead that the Hawks had to keep playing the foul game. 7.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: The Hawks probably could have used Carroll on Conley a lot more. Courtney Lee and a 33 year old Tayshaun Prince concern me a lot less than Conley, who has been playing great lately. Offensively, Carroll was efficient by scoring 15 points on nine shots and no turnovers. Since I usually harp on his transition game, he did fine in that aspect. 8.5/10

Gustavo Ayon: Gustavo did some work on the boards (seven in just 14 minutes), but I’m sort of perplexed as to why you start Gustavo over Elton Brand with the way Elton has been playing lately. Sure, Elton still got his minutes, but since the team keeps getting off to bad starts, they might want to consider starting off games with their defensive anchor and a more capable offensive player in the lineup. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Mike Conley is a very good defender, meaning he gave Teague some fits without Horford there to act as Teague’s security blanket. He started off kind of slow in the first half and he blossomed a bit in the second half… as did Mike Conley, only Conley’s transformation was on a bigger scale. Conley had 12 points, eight assists, and three steals in the second half and Teague and co. simply could not keep up with that kind of production. In the end though, a 1:1 assist:turnover ratio (five assists, five TOs) isn’t going to cut it from your starting point guard. 5.5/10

Kyle Korver: It took until the third quarter for Kyle to extend his three-point streak to 107 games, but he did get it done. Memphis paid a lot of attention to keeping Kyle off of the three-point line, meaning he got a mix of two-pointers and passing opportunities that he was able to convert into five assists. Of course, Kyle’s passing has been a bit more on display this season, and his three dimes per game are a career high. 7/10 Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 56-26 (5th in West)z-grizzlies

Playoff Result: Lost in Conference Finals

Key Additions: Dave Joerger (head coach), Mike Miller (free agency), Jamaal Franklin (draft), Kosta Koufus (trade)

Key Losses: Lionel Hollins (former head coach)

Projected 2013-14 Record: 50-32 (6th in West)*

What to Expect: The Grizzlies had the second-most dominant defense in the entire league last year, made it to the Western Conference Finals, now get to play a full season with their post-Gay era squad which far outplayed their previous installment – and they also got a lot better this offseason.

Of all the “certainties” that can be proclaimed weeks before the 2014 season begins – calling Memphis one of the West’s and league’s best teams is a sound judgement.

The Grizzlies’ biggest issue last season was their offensive spacing. As suffocating as their defense was, oftentimes their offense got them in trouble – with misses leading to transition buckets for the opposition. The problem wasn’t simplicity, more so that the roster lacked shooters to make the offense function fluently. Zach Randolph was doubled and tripled in the post in last year’s Western Conference Finals to no end, all but shutting him down because of perimeter players being unable to make San Antonio pay from outside the arc. These troubles are partially alleviated with the signing of Mike Miller. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 93, Grizzlies 83

Bo Churney —  December 8, 2012

FINAL

MEM(14-4) 83 – 93 (12-5) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 24 pts, 8 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls
M. Gasol (MEM): 18 pts, 8 rebs, 5 asts
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Taking the Hawks seriously yet? Atlanta improved to 12-5 with the win over the Grizzlies, and now have wins over three of the top four teams in the West. (Clippers & Thunder are the other two) This particular game was won in the third quarter, which was a 32-13 advantage for Atlanta. The Hawks outrebounded the Grizzlies on both the offensive and defensive glass, which is a clear improvement over the start of the season when the team couldn’t rebound to save their lives. Hawks have won nine out of the last ten, and could potentially take first place in the East against the Heat, pending that the Knicks lose to the Nuggets tomorrow.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: He dominated Rudy Gay on both offense and defense, and is really starting to come out of his slump. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 22-11-4-2-2 on 48% shooting, and 50% (!!!) three-point shooting. His four turnovers aren’t enough to deduct a point from this one, in my opinion. 10/10

Al Horford: Al had his motor going in this one, pulling in six offensive rebounds and ending with 19 points and 14 total boards. His hustle was extremely evident tonight, and was one of the best things to watch in this game. (even though it led to him getting poked in the eye once. =/ ) 9/10

Zaza Pachulia: I know LD likes to set up the starting lineup based on team-to-team matchups, but Zaza has earned serious consideration as a full-time starter. The team plays better when he’s on the court, and both NBA.com and Basketball-Reference rate lineups that have a Smoove/Horford/Zaza frontcourt among the Hawks’ best. 7/10

Jeff Teague: He rebounded nicely from that horrific shooting game he had against the Wizards, but his work around the rim still needs work. He helped keep Conley under control for the most part, and had no turnovers for only the second time this season. 7/10

Lou Williams: Lou had a pretty poor start to the game (1-6 in the first half), but then went supernova in the third quarter, hitting back-to-back-to-back threes in the middle of an 18-0 Atlanta run. Admittedly, that stretch made him a little jumper happy, but that stretch was a huge reason why the Hawks won this game. 7/10 Continue Reading…