Archives For Pau Gasol

The Atlanta Hawks couldn’t stop the San Antonio Spurs from moving atop of the Western Conference as the Spurs topped the Hawks 107-99 in San Antonio. The Spurs were led by Kawhi Leonard’s 31 points while Patty Mills — in place of the injured Tony Parker — scored 15 points and dished out nine assists. For the Hawks, they were led by Dennis Schröder’s double-double, 22 points and 10 assists.

The streak continues

February 15th 1997. That was the date the Hawks last beat the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio and last night that losing streak (now 19 games) continued.

Without LaMarcus Aldridge (get well soon) and Tony Parker, this was as good of a time as ever for the Hawks to, perhaps, emerge from San Antonio with a victory but, alas, it was not to be. Kawhi Leonard was just so good, a truly special talent and an MVP candidate. His contributions on both ends of the floor were a huge reason why the Spurs won this game, as is often the case.

Threes the key

You can look at this game in two different ways: The Hawks either lost this game because they couldn’t contain San Antonio’s three-pointers, or because they couldn’t hit their own threes. The Spurs hit a season-high 16-of-34 (47%) from behind the arc while the Hawks only hit 6-of-22 (27%) from behind the arc, San Antonio outscoring the Hawks 48-18 from three. Take your pick, either way, the three-pointer was the difference.

After, seemingly, taking steps forward when it came to defending the three — holding Memphis and Toronto to a combined nine threes — the Hawks appear to have taken a step back in San Antonio.

We’re going to take a look at some of San Antonio’s threes.

Continue Reading…

Hawks Outlast Bulls for 17th Win

Bo Churney —  December 15, 2014

After having their nine-game win streak broken in Orlando, the Hawks were able to rebound (figuratively, not literally; the were outrebounded 57-40) against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls with a scrappy 93-86 win.

The Hawks were led by Al Horford, who had one of his best all-around games of the season. Horford tallied 21 points on 10-for-19 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two steals. It was Horford’s second 20-point/10-rebound game of the season. The six assists were a season-high for Horford, who appeared to take extra effort in trying to control the offense in the fourth quarter in order to try and keep Chicago’s defense on its heels.

“We talked about wanting to have great pace coming out tonight,” said Coach Budenholzer. “The first quarter, scoring 28 points against a really good defensive team… we got some baskets in transition. The one Al got sticks out. Paul’s sticks out to me. It probably ended up being the little bit of cushion that we needed, that allowed us to get the win.”

The Hawks received two solid performances off of the bench tonight, one being from Elton Brand. Brand only played 13 minutes, but he made his presence known, scoring eight points and loudly stuffing a shot attempt by Pau Gasol. Brand followed up that block with a jumper less than a minute later, which gave the Hawks a nine-point lead early in the game. Continue Reading…

A bit of an aside from basketball, but Al Horford is appearing in a video campaign by NBA Cares and WildAid called “No Hype”, which is a new message to reduce demand for ivory and rhino horn.

The message includes five other NBA players as well: Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, Serge Ibaka, and Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls. Throughout the message the players hold iconic images of elephants and rhinos from photographer Nick Brandt.

The message will air during TNT’s doubleheader today, March 13 beginning at 7 p.m. ET when the Houston Rockets take on the Chicago Bulls and again when the Los Angeles Lakers play the Oklahoma City Thunder at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Here is the video:

With Horford out for the season due to a pectoral tear, it is nice to see him doing something that seems to be productive and beneficial for the world.

RECAP: Hawks 114, Lakers 100

Bo Churney —  December 17, 2013

FINAL

LAL(11-13) 100 – 114 (13-12)ATL

Key Performers:
A. Horford (ATL): 19 pts, 11 reb, 5 ast
N. Young (LAL): 23 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

After slightly struggling on the boards and on defense in the first half, the Hawks completely turned up the energy in the third quarter to completely take over the game. Kyle Korver had 11 points in the quarter, and the entire team was swarming on defense and using that energy to get out in transition. Coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game, “In the third quarter, I thought out aggressiveness and our intensity on the defensive end set the tone for a good second half.” That type of focus was also shown on the offensive end, as the Hawks only had ONE turnover in the entire second half; a far cry from the 27 turnovers they had against the Knicks on Saturday.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Gasol had some good looks against Horford early, but if Horford is going to play center, this is going to be expected from seven-footers like Pau. Overall, Horford had his usual consistent night, putting up 19 points and 11 rebounds. He was particular fun to watch in transition, has he took the ball up the floor even more than usual in this game, probably because of his speed advantage over Gasol. 9/10

Paul Millsap: Good bounce back for Millsap after his struggles against the Knicks. He had more steals than turnovers tonight (four to two) and he had an extremely solid offensive night with 18 points on 13 shots. The only negative for Millsap is that he did seem to do a poor job boxing out in the first half, which was a big reason the Lakers were doing so well during that time. The problem did correct in the second half, though. 8/10

Jeff Teague: So Robby, Sekou Smith, and I were criticizing Jeff Teague before this game. Why? Because we saw his shot chart and noticed that he’s making less than 50% of his attempts at the rim, which is well below the league average. Coincidentally, another point guard that has this same problem is… Brandon Jennings. Now, scoring troubles aside, Teague did well at orchestrating the offense against the Lakers, especially in the third quarter, where he had six assists. What he did in that quarter that was so successful was partially a team effort, but Jeff made his move extremely quickly in the pick-and-roll, allowing his man to get freed up for the shot attempt. For Jeff to be successful, he has to continue to be quick, decisive, and aggressive in the PnR. 7.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: Since I’m the main force behind the “WHY IS DEMARRE DRIBBLING?” campaign, I should be the first to point out that he did not turn the ball over at all this game. He did, however, take eight shot attempts in the first half (probably not the greatest thing), one of which was a wide open floater from about three feet out that he clanked off the rim. =/ Defensively, he did very well when he was on Kobe, usually keeping the Hall of Famer from getting into the lane. 7/10

Kyle Korver: It was a rocky start for Korver, who missed four open three-point attempts in the first quarter. He did recover from that and scored all 11 of his points in the third quarter, nine of which came off of three-pointers. The streak is now at 94 games with a made three-point field goal. 7/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Lakers 105, Hawks 103

Bo Churney —  November 4, 2013

FINAL

LAL(2-2) 105 – 103 (1-2)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Gasol (LAL): 16 pts, 13 reb, 2 ast
K. Korver (ATL): 22 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

At one point, the Lakers had a 21-point lead in this game. Los Angeles started 7-for-10 on three-points, and the Hawks were having trouble getting to open shooters in transition and off the pick-and-roll. That shifted in the second half, as Kyle Korver’s shooting and an engaged defense allowed the Hawks to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. The Lakers escaped, however, as Jordan Hill was able to come up with a key offensive rebound, which then led to two Pau Gasol makes from the free throw line. Kyle Korver got the ball on the last possession for the Hawks, but it was blocked by Gasol.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: He was strong on the boards and was a terror for Gasol on defense, but Al’s offensive game just wasn’t there today. I don’t think that was entirely his fault (see Teague’s grade), but the Hawks definitely need Horford to be more assertive in the offense sometimes. Al had some key turnovers late in this game, and it would be nice if he could start consistently making free throws again. 6/10

Paul Millsap: Paul was missing free throws (along with the rest of the team) in the first half, and generally had a poor showing to start the game. But like he’s done so far this season, Millsap rebounded in the second half to the game, scoring 10 points and grabbing five boards after the break. Personally, I’d like to see the Hawks try and establish Millsap in the paint earlier in the game than they have been 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: Per the usual, DeMarre had a couple of nice off-ball cuts and a couple of nice passes, but foul trouble limited his effectiveness in this game. He picked up his third foul in the third quarter, which meant that Cartier Martin took most of the SF minutes in the final period. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff only had two turnovers, but was 7-for-18 from the field and was, in my opinion, bad at running the offense of the pick-and-roll. And several plays off of a Horford screen, it seemed like Jeff held onto the ball for too long, passing up a wide-open Al on the elbow to essentially reset the offense. He definitely wasn’t make those swift passes that he did in the first two games. 5/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle was HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT from the field tonight, hitting all six of his three-pointers and eight of his 10 shots overall. Kyle’s 30-foot jumper with 1:16 left was absolutely breathtaking, and Kyle’s flubbed last play can’t cancel out his performance in the second half of this game. 10/10 Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 45-37 (7th in West)z-lakers

Playoff Result: Lost in First Round

Key Additions: Chris Kaman (free agent), Nick Young (free agent), Wes Johnson (free agent)

Key Losses: Dwight Howard (free agent), Metta World Peace (amnesty), Earl Clark (free agent)

Projected 2013-14 Record: 35-47 (11th in West)*

What to Expect: So much of LA’s season depends on when Kobe Bryant comes back from his Achilles injury and if he can still contribute at the highest level like we are so accustomed of seeing from him.

Just my thoughts on the matter: Kobe will be slowed a little bit, but he’ll still easily have the game to be a high-scoring player. His post game was as good as we’ve ever seen from a guard last year, and I expect him to be more reliant on that than ever. However, his ability to get to the basket will definitely be effected. I think he ends up with less free throws and buckets around the rim than in the past, but he’ll still have enough post and mid-range game to get his 20-plus points per game. Continue Reading…