Archives For Omer Asik

Aron Baynes is the most underrated basketball player alive. just rated him 368th out of 500 players in #NBARank. Among the flotsam ranked ahead of him, just on that same page, were Jeff Withey, Meyers Leonard and Greg Stiemsma.

Last year there was another criminally-underrated player. He was rated 499th in #NBARank and started writing the number on his shoes as motivation. While he was languishing on the Golden State Warriors’ bench behind one of the deepest wing rotations in the league, I wrote on the Hawks blog that the Hawks should pursue him. I was laughed at. Why should the Hawks go after a scrub who can’t get playing time, I was asked.

That player got traded to the Lakers and averaged 13.1 PPG on 45% shooting from the field and 37% shooting from 3-point range over the last 23 games of the season. That player, now an Atlanta Hawk, is Kent Bazemore. Continue Reading…

Without question, Al Horford is one of the best 25 players in the NBA. He can score efficiently, defend all over the floor, rebound on both ends, and pass and handle the ball like a guard. He does all of these things at such an exceptional level that he is a mismatch against nearly every team in the NBA.

Despite that versatility, many veteran basketball watchers still want to pigeon-hole the 6-foot-10 Horford as a power forward instead of a center because of his size. “Power forward is his natural position” is what is often said in this argument.

One that thing often gets buried in that argument is the type of center that people would put next to Horford. “Horford would be great with a rim-protecting type of center” is among sentiments that are heard a lot.

And that line of thought is not necessarily wrong. Horford would be GREAT playing next to a center like Marc Gasol or Roy Hibbert. These players possess unique talent and Horford is a good enough talent that is assumed that he would be great next to these guys.

However, a lot of Horford’s success at center comes from the disadvantages he forces on his opponents; Horford is quick, he runs the floor well, he’s strong, and he’s exceptional at spacing the floor. Because of these attributes, a team can put any type of power forward next to him and the team will likely be better off because of it. For example, both Josh Smith and Paul Millsap have excelled as Horford’s pair because of the space he provides. Continue Reading…

Hawks Notes: Dec. 24

Buddy Grizzard —  December 24, 2013 — 4 Comments

Hawks Notes is an occasionally subjective, always stream-of-consciousness rambling on the state of the NBA in the ATL.

Teague continues to out-perform his man

We mentioned back at mid-month that Jeff Teague had a string of comparatively-strong performances against some of the game’s best point guards. Since then, Teague’s numbers compared to the opposing team’s starting point guard have only gotten better.

Teague followed up the previously-mentioned run by limiting John Wall to 13 points on 22 shots in a Hawks win. For December, Teague is averaging 14.1 PPG and 7.9 APG on 42% shooting from the field and 41% shooting from 3-point range. During the same stretch, the opposing team’s starting point guard is averaging 10.8 PPG and 6.9 APG on 36% shooting from the field and 26% shooting from 3-point range. As I mentioned on Twitter, Teague’s defense is becoming a thing. Continue Reading…

When HawksHoop’s Cole Patty wrote about Elton Brand before the start of the season, he was mainly going through how Elton would work within the Hawks’ offense. Why was this? It was already assumed that Elton would make an impact defensively, we just need to know if he could work on offense.

However, now we need to write about Elton’s defensive impact, because it is having an even bigger effect on the Hawks than previously anticipated.

This reason for this revelation is Elton’s recent increase in minutes. In the month of December, Elton is playing 14 minutes per game, which is up from the nine minutes per game he played in November. While that may not seem like a large increase on its face, consider this: the Hawks are 10-3 when Elton Brand plays more than 10 minutes. Those three losses? At Dallas, at San Antonio, and home against Oklahoma City, which are not exactly matchups to be ashamed of a losing result.

“They make sure we stay ready,” Elton said, talking about his playing time. “Guys may not play minutes, but when they come up, you’re ready.”

Is it possible that even more and more minutes need to be coming up for Elton Brand?

According to, the Hawks’ defense gets eight points better per 100 possessions (and one point better on offense) when Brand is on the floor. Basketball-Reference has E.B. with the lowest DRtg of all Hawks at 98 points per 100 possessions. Continue Reading…

When Hawks GM Danny Ferry traded Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets for spare parts, the reaction among Hawks fans was largely euphoric. When he followed this up by dumping Marvin Williams on the Utah Jazz, it seemed for a while that Ferry could do no wrong. However, there’s one interested party who seems conspicuously less-enamored with Ferry’s moves than the average Hawks fan: Al Horford.

In an interview with writer Sekou Smith, Horford expressed dissatisfaction with Atlanta’s off-season moves.

I was under the impression some changes were going to happen. They didn’t happen. And I have to deal with it and adjust to this new style of play. Continue Reading…

If you’re a Hawks fan, get ready for a full season’s worth of trade rumors and speculation regarding this team. Bill Simmons declared the Hawks “built to trade” in his video preview of the Hawks’ season with Jalen Rose. And now Zach Lowe continues the theme in a piece for Grantland in which he suggests the Hawks may be in the market for Luol Deng or Omer Asik.

[Paul] Millsap is a valuable piece, and the Millsap/Al Horford pairing gives Atlanta impeccable spacing. But he’s also something of a Horford Lite, and if Danny Ferry can turn him into a game-changing wing or center (Omer Asik?), then they should at least think about it.

I polled the HawksHoop staff and the overwhelming reaction to this proposed trade was negative due to the spacing issues Lowe cited. Bo Churney also questioned whether Atlanta’s frugal ownership will want to pay Asik the $15 million owed in the last year of his poison pill contract (even though the cap hit is only $8 million, slightly less than what Millsap makes). Continue Reading…

Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears reports growing frustration in Jeff Teague’s camp with the lack of communication from the Hawks’ front office:

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer previously told that Teague “is someone I feel strongly about and he’s part of why I’m excited to get this opportunity.” Teague in turn told the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore, “I’m excited to work with a coach who has worked with one of the best point guards in the league in Tony Parker.”

But now it seems the love-fest is on the rocks. Friday’s signings of Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll, combined with Wednesday’s signing of Kyle Korver, as Bo Churney noted, have put to rest any question of tanking for the Hawks next season. Continue Reading…

Sam Amick with USA Today reports that two people with knowledge of Monday’s meeting in Los Angeles between the Houston Rockets and Josh Smith indicated that the Rockets intend to pursue both Smith and fellow Atlanta native Dwight Howard.

Earlier I downplayed the market for Smith, referencing a Yahoo! Sports report that the Rockets had only promised to make a contract offer to Smith if the franchise failed to land Howard. Amick now reports that the Rockets will try to land both players. He noted that Ken Berger’s report on the eve of free agency that the Rockets will make Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin available in trades indicates preparation for this effort. Wrote Amick:

There would be serious hurdles to this sort of deal, but the Rockets may be able to get it done if they could convince Smith’s former team, the Atlanta Hawks, to take part in a sign-and-trade that would clear the necessary salary cap space to sign both players.

I’ve been a fan of Jeremy Lin ever since he put the hammer down on John Wall in NBA Summer League. Although Lin won both head-to-head match-ups this season, if you compare the 2012-13 age 24 regular season stats for both players (4th season for Teague, 3rd for Lin), you see that Teague wins almost every category except rebounding and steals. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Rockets 109, Hawks 102

Bo Churney —  November 2, 2012 — 2 Comments


HOU(1-0) 109   –   102 (0-1)ATL

 Key Performers:

J. Harden (HOU): 45 pts, 7 rebs, 2 asts
L. Williams (ATL): 22 pts, 4 rebs, 5 asts, 3 stls

Well, welcome to super-stardom, Mr. Harden. The Beard went nuts, scoring 45 points (a career high) on 14-19 shooting and 15-17 from the line. Atlanta couldn’t stop him and Jeremy Lin, who nearly had a triple-double himself. Lou Williams had 13 in the 4th quarter, but it wasn’t enough to give the Hawks their sixth-straight season opening win.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smoove did play good on the defensive end and showed some nice work around the basket, but again took too many jumpers. (2-7 on those) Asik did play great against him in the post, but Josh’s commitment at times around the basket was a plus. 18 points on 21 shots isn’t going to cut it, though. 6/10

Al Horford: Horford was just destroyed by Asik on the boards in the first half. He did shoot efficiently, though, going 6-10 with 14 points. Him only taking 10 shots (and only one in the first) is not the proper gameplan. 6/10

Lou Williams: Sweet Lou shot poorly early, but showed up late in the game and kept the Hawks in it. His play making off from the two-guard spot is such a contrast from ol’ Joe Johnson, and Lou’s driving ability opened up so many lanes and opportunities for Atlanta. I know Larry Drew likes to have a spark-plug off the bench, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lou slide into the starting lineup if he keeps playing games like this. 8/10

Zaza Pachulia: Zaza’s play, like Lou’s, was also instrumental in the Hawks getting back in the game. He had 13 points and 8 boards, which were huge considering the Hawks didn’t look like they could rebound anything against Asik for a while. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Had a quiet 14 and 7, which is great, but he still made some costly errors. For one, he wasn’t aggressive at all; the officials were calling practically any contact on drives, and Jeff hardly drove into the lane. There was also the possession late in the game, where he passed up and open three to pass to… Josh Smith… for three. (which I wouldn’t recommend, personally) 7/10 Continue Reading…