Archives For Ricky Rubio

This game could have definitely been billed as a trap game for the Hawks.

While the Timberwolves haven’t been good all year, they finally have gotten some of their injured pieces healthy. Ricky Rubio is back, Kevin Martin is back, and Nikola Pekovic and Shabazz Muhammad were both healthy for this game. With the Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back coming off of a loss against Memphis where Jeff Teague was hobbled with a slight ankle injury at the end, it would not have been too surprising if Atlanta got caught napping by a Minnesota team that still hopes to prove something this year.

Of course, this Hawks team is still proving that it is not one that is going to get caught napping very often.

Al Horford scored a season-high 28 points and DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 26 points to pave the way for Atlanta in a 117-105 win over the Wolves in confines of the Target Center in Minnesota. The win kept the Hawks from losing consecutive games for the first time since mid-November, when the team dropped games to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

It definitely looked early on like that streak could end, as Minnesota was aggressively attacking the boards and getting second chances on offense. The Wolves had 23 offensive rebounds in the game and turned them into 27 second chance points, constantly extending possessions where the Hawks had to reset after playing 15 or 20 second of good defense. The rebounds were a big reason why Minnesota was hanging even with the Hawks at halftime with a score of 57-53 in favor of Atlanta.

But the Hawks turned it around in the third quarter, led by Carroll’s 11 points in the period. Overall, the Hawks committed more to running in transition, scoring a whopping 14 fast break points in the quarter. To their credit, the Wolves kept grinding on the glass and getting second chance opportunities, but the Hawks were mostly able to shut them down and forced the Wolves into 7-for-21 shooting in the period for just 19 points. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 120, Wolves 113

Bo Churney —  February 2, 2014

FINAL

MIN(23-24) 113 – 120 (25-21)ATL

Key Performers:
K. Korver (ATL): 24 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast
K. Love (MIN): 43 pts, 19 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Before the game, Rick Adelman informed the media that Kevin Love was a game-time decision due to the ankle he injured the night before. Well, Kevin Love decided to play and he played like a monster, getting to the line 18 times and putting up 43 points. However, Love and the T-Wolves could have used some defense, as the Hawks were able to score 120+ points for a second consecutive game, largely led by Kyle Korver in the third quarter. The Hawks move back to a season-high four games over .500 with the victory.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap set a strong tone early, scoring 10 points in the first five minutes of the game. He fell off after that, though, finishing the game with 20 points on 18 shots before fouling out with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Millsap was also rather sloppy handling the ball, resulting in five turnovers. 6.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: Budenholzer again had strong compliments for DeMarre after the game, stating that DeMarre is the guy who sets the defensive tone for the team. 113 points is a lot to give up, but it probably would have been more if it hadn’t been for DeMarre’s effort in the third quarter. He also had a weird offensive night, taking 15 shots, but scoring 19 points. 8/10

Kyle Korver: For what DeMarre was on defense in the third quarter, Korver was that on offense. Korver hit a trio of threes in the period and the Hawks scored 38 points to Minnesota’s 21. Korver also had a key play at the end of the first half, where he was fouled by Corey Brewer on a 30′ three-point attempt with 0.1 seconds left. Korver sank all three of the free throws, which moved the Hawks from down nine to only down six. 9/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff’s ankle didn’t seem to be bothered by the back-to-back at all, and he had a good night despite the tough matchup with Ricky Rubio. Teague had eight assists and only one turnover for the second straight game, plus three steals. 8/10

Gustavo Ayon: #NeverForget: Gustavo Ayon hitting a running layup off the glass late in the game to help seal the game for the Hawks. Didn’t know Goose could do that. 7/10

Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 31-51 (12th in West) z-Minnesota

Playoff Result: N/A

Key Additions: Nikola Pekovic (re-signed), Kevin Martin (trade), Corey Brewer (free agent), Shabazz Muhammad (draft), Gorgui Dieng (draft)

Key Losses: Luke Ridnour (trade), Andrei Kirilenko (free agent), Mickael Gelabale (He was important, I swear!)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 45-37 (7th in West)*

What to Expect: I think we can expect the end of Kevin Love doing knuckle push ups, right? The Timberwolves again have playoff aspirations that they hope won’t be derailed by the injury bug that they’ve been plagued with over the past couple of seasons. First it was Ricky Rubio, then it was Kevin Love, then it was… well, everybody.

However, the additions of Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer creating a rather interesting starting lineup with Rubio, Love, and Pekovic. Behind all of that, they will still have Shved, Dieng, Muhammad, Budinger, and Derrick Williams to come off the bench. With a coach as good as Rick Adelman, the only reason the Timberwolves SHOULDN’T make the playoffs is if devastating injuries pop up again. They were 25th in offensive efficiency, but that should vastly improve with Love returning from injury and with the ├╝ber-efficient Martin joining the team. The only concern could be the defense taking a step back with the departure of AK-47 and the aforementioned addition of K-Mart. Continue Reading…