Archives For Monta Ellis

The Atlanta Hawks produced one of their most impressive performances of the season as (behind a 37 point third quarter) they rolled to a 104-74 home victory against the Indiana Pacers. The Hawks were led by Paul Millsap’s 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals, and three blocks in just 29 minutes of play. Al Horford also chipped in with 18 points, while Kyle Korver shot 4-for-9 behind the arc as he contributed 14 points to the Hawks’ cause. The Pacers were led by Myles Turner’s 19 points.

The Hawks now improve to 38-29, a season high nine games above .500.

Atlanta’s monster third quarter

Heading into the third quarter, the Hawks held a 52-38 advantage over the Indiana Pacers and were looking pretty comfortable. But a 13-7 Pacers run meant that they were within eight points — 51-59 in favour of the Hawks. But that would be as close as Indy would ever come after that point. The Hawks produced a 20-0 run as they tore the Pacers apart, eventually outscoring the Pacers 37-18 in the quarter — from which point the game was over.

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At approximately 3:32PM, the Hawks were not scheduled to play a game on Wednesday night, according to this Shelvin Mack tweet.

Players later corroborated this story after the team did in fact play a game; Mike Scott was taking a nap and DeMarre Carroll was at the grocery store when the two were later alerted that the game was indeed on.

“They told me the game was off and I got my family and we went to the grocery store,” said Carroll, who finished with 13 points. “We thought we were going to get snowed in. Then I get a text message when I’m in aisle seven pushing the buggy and they tell me the game is on. I had to hurry up. There was a lot of chaos.”

The effect of the late notification showed early on in the game. The Hawks were sluggish out of the gate, shooting 40% in the first quarter while allowing the Mavericks to shoot 64% from the field. The arena suffered four game stoppages in the first period as well, three for clock issues and another when the roof of the arena appeared to be leaking onto the floor.

The short delay and a dunk from Kent Bazemore allowed the Hawks to regroup, as the team came out with a little more gusto to close the first quarter. By the end of the half, the Hawks — though still down by six points — were showing momentum and controlling the Mavericks on defense, even though Monta Ellis and J.J. Barea hit a couple of contested jumpers to keep Dallas ahead. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Mavs 118, Hawks 109

Bo Churney —  October 31, 2013


DAL(1-0) 118 – 109 (0-1)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Ellis (DAL): 32 pts, 4 reb, 8 ast
J. Teague (ATL): 24 pts, 2 reb, 8 ast, 4 stls

Going into the season, I would have thought the Hawks would have a harder time acclimating to the new offense than the new defense. Well, the offense looked fine, and the defense wasn’t bad… except for the Mavs nailing every jumper they could take. Noted Hawks killer Vince Carter was hitting circus shots, and Monta Ellis shot 9-for-13 on jumpers outside of the paint. The Hawks defense could still use some adjustments, but it wasn’t as bad as it looked.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: If Al’s going to be the leader of this team, he’s going to have to be more assertive offensively. He only took 12 shots on the night and on a couple of possessions, he passed up open jumpers. Defensively, he was a stud (five steals, four blocks), and most of the Hawks’ defensive problems weren’t related to his play. 6/10

Paul Millsap: If Josh Smith had the mind of Paul Millsap… anyways, Paul had a strong offensive showing (20 points), playing a strong brand of basketball in the paint. He had some trouble guarding Dirk Nowitzki, but then again, who doesn’t have problems doing that? 7.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre had 14 points on the night, mostly from cuts to the basket that resulted in either a bucket or a chance at the foul line. Carroll’s sudden and quick movements off the ball are going to be a huge asset for the Hawks this season, even if that brand of basketball results in some bruises. 7.5/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was money for the first two-and-a-half quarters, where he had 20 points, eight assists, and only three turnovers. After that, he was a disaster, committing three more turnovers and constantly getting lost in Dallas’s pick-and-rolls. (he finished with a team worst +/- of minus-24) Teague kept trying to be aggressive, but it just stopped working for him. He showed some promise in the first half on defending the pick-and-roll, but he has to be able to do that for a full game. 7/10

Kyle Korver: Korver didn’t extend his three-point streak until late in the game, but he finally got to 74 straight after hitting a three to make it 102-92 in the fourth. Dallas did a good job of containing Kyle off the ball, as he didn’t have too many good looks on shots. 4/10 Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 41-41 (10th in West)z-mavericks

Playoff Results: N/A

Key Additions: Monta Ellis (free agent), Jose Calderon (free agent), Samuel Dalembert (free agent), Devin Harris (free agent), Shane Larkin (draft), Ricky Ledo (#25DollarsOfFaith)

Key Losses: O.J. Mayo (free agent), Elton Brand (free agent), Chris Kaman (free agent), Darren Collison (free agent)

Projected 2013-14 Record: 34-48 (12th in West)*

What to Expect: Mark Cuban’s courage is noble; his cigar blowing plane rides, late-night trophy showcasing endeavors, his championship urinal trips are imperial. His eccentricity is what sets him apart from other owners: you know who Mark Cuban is. His honesty – for good or bad – is refreshing. His confidence is unparalleled. The world was shocked when the Mavericks – behind a number of heroic playoff performances from a number of players – snatched the throne from the hands of King James.

But Mark Cuban – in the midst of his vibrant celebrations – was already planning his next move. He is a natural business, after all. He let free agents Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler – both major defensive components of the 2011 championship run – walk away for nothing. He signed a plethora of players to one year deals and began eyeing the 2013 summer. Continue Reading…

Well, if you’re wondering why the Hawks haven’t signed Jeff Teague yet and are looking at Monta Ellis (ew) and Brandon Jennings (super ew), here you go.

According to Grantland’s Zach Lowe, Teague is “almost unwanted in Atlanta, sources say.”

I’m just going to come out and say it… WHY?!?

I get that Jeff can be a bit of an enigma, but when the possible replacements are Ellis and Jennings at a higher salary… you’re just going to have to deal with that.

Jennings’ career FG% is 39.5% and Ellis shot worse on threes last season than Josh Smith, and both of these guys are shoot first players. Considering that neither of them play defense, I don’t see how either of them would be a better option that Teague.

If the Hawks were tanking, I wouldn’t have an issue with this. However, with Horford, Millsap, Korver, and Lou Williams in tow, this isn’t exactly a roster that’s going to lose 60 games. The Hawks also have an extremely flexible payroll, something that quite be the same if they signed Brandon or Monta to a $10+ million contract.

Hopefully these reports about Atlanta’s interest in these two players is just the posturing of agents, and not actually real possibilities.

RECAP: Hawks 104, Bucks 99

Bo Churney —  March 25, 2013


MIL  (34-35) 99 – 104 (39-31) ATL

Key Performers:
A. Horford (ATL): 24 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast, 2 stl
L. Sanders (MIL): 15 pts, 12 reb, 3 blk

This was a HUGE game for the Hawks to take. They survived Monta Ellis’ three-point barrage in the fourth quarter to comeback and win in Milwaukee, giving the Hawks a 4.5 game cushion over the eighth-seeded Bucks. The key in this game was mismatches, as Ersan Ilyasova couldn’t handle Josh Smith, and there was no way Larry Sanders was going to be able to make up for the mistakes of the guys around him. And despite Monta’s three threes in the fourth, the Bucks only went 5-21 from three-point range, as the Hawks looked invigorated after that terrible defensive effort against the Trail Blazers on Friday night. The Hawks have now won the season series with Milwaukee and only have 12 games remaining on the season; Atlanta would have to lose at least five of their remaining games for the Bucks to even have a shot to catch up.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: AJC reporter Chris Vivlamore asked Josh Smith about his career-high in seasonal three-point attempts on Saturday, and Josh responded in an even bigger way on Sunday… by taking five three pointers IN THE FIRST HALF! He didn’t take any in the second half, however, and Josh actually did a good job of attacking the basket when he saw he had a weak defender on him. His eight fourth quarter points were also very critical in surviving Monta’s consecutive threes. 8/10

Al Horford: Like Josh, Horford also helped out in closing the deal in the fourth quarter, as he had 10 points in the final period. This might have been one of his best all-around nights, as he also had zero turnovers to go with his six assists and he converted all of his foul shots. Well, now that I actually look at it, Josh had zero turnovers as well… HOW WAS THAT POSSIBLE??? 9.5/10

Kyle Korver: His three-pointer streak of 63 games is now the fifth longest in NBA history. He had a trio of triples in this game, and made of couple of key passes and hustle plays on defense. Pretty much par for the course: nothing really flashy, but a lot of key plays made in small areas to help propel the team to victory. 6.5/10

Devin Harris: Guess who’s hurt? Hurt again? Devin’s hurt… tell a friend. Devin did hurt his foot again in this one (an issue that Larry Drew said shouldn’t be too serious), but before that, we was tearing it up in his home state once again. In just 29 minutes of action, he had 16 points, including four triples. Hopefully, this injury doesn’t linger, because the Hawks can’t exactly make up for injuries any more. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Are the Hawks not allowed to have both of their point guards excelling at the same time? Jeff struggled mightily in the first three quarters, but as soon as Devin went out in the fourth, it was a completely different ball game. After starting out 3-for-9 with five turnovers, Jeff didn’t turn the ball over all in the final 12 minutes, and added six points and three assists. While I’m glad we finally got to see aggressive Teague… it would be nice if he could play that way more when Devin is also on the floor and attacking. 6.5/10

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MIL (34-33) 90 – 98 (38-30) ATL

Key Performers:
A. Horford (ATL): 26 pts, 15 reb, 1ast, 2 stl, 2 blk
L. Sanders (MIL): 19 pts, 14 reb, 2 ast, 4 blk

If you look at the box score of this game, the first thing that stands out is how many players had seven or more rebounds– there were seven (three of which who had 14 or over), and one who had six in 11 minutes of play. The reason, mainly, is that there were a lot of missed shots, especially by Milwaukee. The interesting thing about this game, however, was that, defensively, it was the complete opposite of Monday night’s effort against Dallas, where the Hawks seemingly hit a wall and allowed a barrage of perimeter scoring. Wednesday night was different: Milwaukee shot 37% from the field as opposed to Dallas’s 60+%, they shot 42% from beyond the arc as opposed to 59%, and they were out-rebounded by the Hawks 47-46 as opposed to out-rebounding them by 13. In short, the Hawks took note of their recent shortcomings, and made a concerted, whether conscious or not, effort to turn them around.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: The field goal percentage was ugly. It’s always ugly. Whatever, I’m going to move past that. You could probably guess the kind of shots he took without even watching the game, anyway. And, just like almost every game, I start out with some negative comment on shot selection or something or another, but then I move on to say that he did his part in other areas. And boy did he on Wednesday. He hauled in 16 rebounds over Milwaukee’s super-lengthy front court and also dished out six assists. But because this is Josh Smith, something had to offset those positive markings, so just to troll everyone, he also had six turnovers. 5/10

Al Horford: There’s so much to be said about how well Horford understands the spacing in the Hawks’ offense. He flashes to the right spots every time Teague penetrates the lane, whether that be to the top of the key or out to the wing, and it really opens things up when he’s connecting on his jumper. He was doing so tonight, and was once again a man amongst boys. He scored 26 points on 11-20 shooting and hauled in 14 rebounds. 10/10

Kyle Korver: He was 3-6 from beyond the arc and kept the streak of games with a made three-pointer alive. He’s only 25 or so games away from breaking the record. His streak is clearly more impressive than the other streak that continued Wednesday night (pshhhh 24 wins is supposed to be good or something?). Anyways, Korver wasn’t exactly a defensive stopper as he struggled to stay with both Redick and Dunleavy most of the night. 4/10

Devin Harris: He was the first quarter offense, scoring 10 points early to keep the Bucks from building any sort of lead when the Hawks just seemed out of sorts offensively. He was the only one attacking the lane and getting to the line at the start of the game, and he also had an awesome fake pass that opened up him for a made three-pointer. He finished the night with 15 points and was active on defense, even if he was beaten off the dribble a few times.  6/10

Jeff Teague: That’s another 20-10 game for Teague, who now has eight of those by my unofficial count, and 12 double-doubles on the season. He also has six games where he’s been either one or two assists away from having a 20-10 game. So, in essence, he finds himself with this sort of stat line a lot, which is clearly good for the Hawks. He was a lightning rod Wednesday night, getting into the lane with ease and finishing on some floaters and runners. He was one point away from his career high and tallied 11 assists to go along with those 27 points.   10/10

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RECAP: Hawks 103, Bucks 102

Bo Churney —  February 24, 2013


MIL (26-28) 102 – 103 (31-23) ATL

Key Performers:

A. Horford (ATL): 23 pts, 11 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk
E. Ilyasova (MIL): 19 pts, 9 reb, 2 stl

The Hawks were down 100-93 with about three minutes remaining when Larry Drew took a timeout. After another failed possession, the Hawks were able to take advantage of an Ersan Ilyasova miss, and got a three from Devin Harris after Jeff Teague pulled off an absolutely amazing wrap-around pass. Another great defensive possession turned into a Josh Smith three (!!!), and the Hawks were only down one. Al Horford the closed the game, getting a dunk off the Josh Smith-Al Horford hi-low, and then scoring with five seconds left on a fake hand-off play.

The Hawks shot 14-28 from behind the arc, which made up for the huge disparity in FG% and rebounding that favored the Bucks. This was their eighth straight game with 25 or more assists, including three games over that span with 30 or more. The victory improves the Hawks to .500 (13-13) on the road.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Josh Smith hitting a clutch three when he was 5-18 from the field before that is the most Josh Smith thing ever. Obviously, he took some questionable shots, but he missed a lot of shots around the rim (seven shots within five feet, to be exact) that he usually converts at a higher rate. He was good defensively tonight, and probably could have had even more rebounds if he boxed out on a couple more plays. 6/10

Al Horford: He took an elbow from Monta Ellis late in the game, but that didn’t stop Al from hitting the game winning bucket. Al is averaging almost 20 points and 10 rebounds on 65% shooting over his last 10 games. This is probably the longest stretch of the year where he has looked completely comfortable with his shot, and he is even doing some good work in the post. Of course, Larry Drew is also continuing to run great plays to get Al the best looks, of which Al is capitalizing on. 9/10

Zaza Pachulia: Guess who holds the Hawks record for most offensive rebounds in a quarter? Yep, it’s Zaza now. He had seven of them in the 2nd quarter, which was instrumental in helping the Hawks erase a nine-point deficit from the first quarter. Sam Dalembert just couldn’t handle Zaza on the boards, resulting in the two getting in a couple of heated scuffles. It never amounted to much, but you can always count on Zaza to get under the other team’s skin. 7/10

Jeff Teague: This was Jeff’s ninth 20 point game in the last 16 games, a stretch where he is truly showing his improvement from last season. Not only does he appear more comfortable at finishing in traffic, but his passing game is showing that he really is one of the better point guards in the league. (he’s 10th in assists, people) And even now, I still don’t understand how he pulled off that wrap-around pass late in the game. 9/10

Devin Harris: Devin didn’t disappoint playing in his hometown. He had 21 points, and you could tell he was giving it his all when he dove into the stands to save a ball from going out of bounds. He really wanted to win this game and it showed. 8/10 Continue Reading…