Archives For Shelvin Mack

The Atlanta Hawks won their third straight game on the road after picking up an impressive 91-84 victory against the Utah Jazz last night at the Vivint Smart Home Arena — not to be confused with the C-Viv(int) Smart Home Arena. Terrible pun involving Chris Vivlamore of the AJC, I know. Actually, I saw Bob Rathbun tweet that last night and I just found it amusing and wanted to re-use it. Anyways…

The Hawks were led by Jeff Teague’s 24 points, and Paul Millsap put up 18 points and nine rebounds against his former club. The Jazz, meanwhile, were led by Gordon Hayward’s 22 points, while Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood both added 16 points.

The victory ensures that Hawks’ are guaranteed to have a .500+ record on their five road trip, as this victory puts the Hawks road trip at 3-1 — the only loss coming to Golden State in overtime.

Defensive enforcement continues

Since February 1st, the Hawks have led the entire NBA in defensive rating at 94.7. Their net rating, since February 1st, ranks second in the league at +8.7 — only trailing the 54-10 San Antonio Spurs, whose net rating is +11.9. Last night the Hawks held the Jazz to just 84 points on 34.9% shooting. Over their last six games (including last night’s victory), the Hawks have held their opponents to just 37% from the field.

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Even with Kyle Korver out to injury and Al Horford out for rest purposes, the Atlanta Hawks hung on to Monday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings to get the 110-103 victory.

The first quarter of this game helped signify that it would be a close affair all night. The Kings were shooting well and playing with pace on offense. DeMarcus Cousins was a load early on both offensively and defensively; at one point, he blocked shots on consecutive Atlanta possessions and simply made the Hawks look silly in their offensive attempts. Thankfully for the Hawks, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap were able to make shots and take advantage of some mismatches, leading to the two scoring eight points a piece in the quarter.

The Hawks started to pull away in the second quarter, largely thanks to the play of one Jeffrey DeMarco Teague. Teague’s agressive play, combined with the defensive intensity of Kent Bazemore, allowed the Hawks get an advantage, resulting in a 53-47 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was a repeat of the first… almost literally. The Kings won the first quarter 29-28 and they won the third quarter by the same score. Jason Thompson and Andre Miller started making their impacts in this period, as their play sparked a 16-7 mini-run by Sacramento that allowed the Kings to stay in the game. This run was despite DeMarcus Cousins nearly having a meltdown, as the former Kentucky product recorded four turnovers, four fouls, and one technical foul in the period. Continue Reading…

Head coach Mike Budenholzer pulled a very Spurs-like move before this game against the 76ers, electing to sit Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and DeMarre Carroll for the sake of rest. And like the Spurs, the Hawks had no problems with their absences.

Al Horford notched his first career triple-double, finishing with 21 points (8-for-10 shooting), 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 105-87 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday night. The Hawks’ offense just ran through Horford all night and he delivered by putting on one of the best performances of his career.

In spite of Horford fine play throughout the game, this contest was pretty difficult to watch early on; both teams had problems hanging onto the ball, creating for a sloppy and oddly paced game. It was not until Michael Carter-Williams hit an and-one to tie the game at 33 that the Hawks finally turned in on, closing out the half on a 16-4 run that included 3s from Kyle Korver and Mike Scott.

The second half was essentially a continuation of that run, as the 76ers simply could not keep up with the Hawks’ superior ball movement. Even at the end of the game — when they were playing Mike Scott at SG with Adreian Payne, Mike Muscala, and Elton Brand in — the Hawks were still moving the ball and scoring.

With Teague out, Dennis Schröder and Shelvin Mack performed admirably at the point guard position. Schröder had 13 points (2-for-3 on 3s) and six assists and Mack recorded his second career double-double with 12 points and 10 assists. Mack’s previous double-double came last season against the Knicks and was also in an effort from off of the bench. Continue Reading…

Shelvin Mack had sat out the past two games because of the Hawks’ superb depth at point guard with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder. With Teague on the sidelines due to a hamstring strain, Mack had an opportunity to make an impact on Wednesday night against LeBron and the Cavaliers.

And boy did he do just that.

Mack scored a career-high 24 points off the bench, including 17 points and a 5-for-5 performance from 3 in the second quarter that swung the game in the Hawks’ favor. After trailing by 12 in the second, the Hawks rallied to take a 65-60 lead into halftime. Mack’s play translated to the rest of the Hawks in the second half, as Atlanta outscored Cleveland 62-38 in the final 24 minutes to give the Hawks a 127-98 victory.

The Hawks took control in the third quarter by continuously running plays targeting Kevin Love on defense. Paul Millsap and Al Horford accounted for seven straight Atlanta field goals in a span where the Hawks expanded their lead to double-digits. Horford finished with 20 points and four assists, while Millsap tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Continue Reading…

The Hawks dropped their first game of the 2014-15 season with a 109-102 loss to the Raptors, and it could have been much uglier that that. Atlanta started out sloppy and played poorly on the defensive end, but a late run sparked the team. Costly mistakes threw away their final chance to come out on top.

Despite the loss, there were a few things we can take away from the game:

  • DEPTH
    The Hawks lacked depth last season — mostly due to injuries — but were coming into this season with a lot of versatile players on a deep bench. By the beginning of the second quarter, Mike Budenholzer had played 11 guys, showing how deep this team really is. Elton Brand was the first sub off the bench, followed by Kent Bazemore shortly after. On more than one occasion, Bud rolled out a Mack-Bazmore-Sefolosha-Scott-Brand lineup, and it proved to be a nice spark. Scott was the best bench player in the game, channeling his fire emojis for 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting. In the end, 10 guys played at least 11 minutes, and no starter played over 33 minutes.
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There’s a common debate among bloggers, fans, media, and even in some front office circles. When should a young player be given more playing time? Many out there feel that a young player, once they show any kind of promise, should be given a lot of minutes; let them work out the kinks in a trial by fire setting. Only then will we know their worth. Others want them to earn every single minute they play. If they want to play then they have to beat out that guy in front of them no matter the skill level. Obviously both of these feel like extremes. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.

During the 2013 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Dennis Schröder. This pick excited Hawks fans. Those not happy with Jeff Teague’s play, so far in his career, claimed Schröder could be the point guard of the future in three years. After a strong summer league, this only got fans even more excited. To make things even better, Schröder had a strong beginning to the season. Unfortunately for him, that strong play didn’t continue.

As Schröder’s play faltered, another player rose. Journeyman Shelvin Mack began to outplay Schröder on a nightly basis. Mack never turned the ball over and was a consistent player, something the Hawks lacked. This left the team with a decision, do they go with trial by fire for the young rookie, or the consistent veteran where they had an idea of what they would be getting, production wise? Continue Reading…

Shelvin Mack didn’t come into the 2013-14 season as a surefire second string point guard, but it certainly ended with him being one. Mack showed some good signs in his 20 games as a Hawk late last season after being picked up as a free agent, but seemingly held the third string position coming into this year with Atlanta’s drafting of import Dennis Schroder. The rookie struggled with transitioning to the NBA game, allowing Mack to step in and cement his role on the team. After five DNP-CD’s in the year’s first nine games, Mack went on to average 20.4 minutes over 73 games.

With all of Jeff Teague’s inconsistency this year, it was always a breath of fresh air whenever Mack checked into the game. Not because he’s a better player, but he’s one that you can expect to bring relatively the same thing every night out. It also doesn’t hurt that what he brought was solid shooting, few giveaways and the ability to play system defense.

The increase in playing time was quickly justified, as throughout the season Mack was as steady and reliable a backup as one could hope for. He ranked tenth among qualified point guards in assist-to-turnover ratio, as good a descriptor as any for his stability with the rock. Almost 30% of his possessions ended in an assist, a huge mark that’s a testament to his ability to a run an offense. Mack was rarely out of control with the ball in his hands, only forcing shots when the entirety of the team’s was stagnant or the shot clock was running down. Continue Reading…

FINAL
Hawks lead the series, 3-2

IND(2-3) 97 – 107 (3-2) ATL

Key Performers:

M. Scott (ATL): 17 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast

P. George (IND): 26 pts, 12 reb, 6 Ast, 6 stl

[FULL BOX SCORE]

At home, the bench thrives. Or that’s at least how the narrative goes.

The Atlanta Hawks weren’t worried about any stinking narratives Monday night when Mike Scott dropped 17 second-quarter points and the road team took a commanding 3-2 series. lead. This game was much less about Indiana staying close to Atlanta and more about the Hawks squandering opportunity after opportunity. They couldn’t execute much on offense and when they did, the shot simply wouldn’t fall. Well that was the case for three of the four quarters, not including the second.

As a team, the Hawks scored 41 points to Indy’s 19 in the second. Shelvin Mack scored 13 off the bench in that frame alone and Atlanta built a 61-40 lead at the break. The Pacers stormed back in the second half, but couldn’t fight back from the 20-point deficit.

Now, the Hawks have a chance to win their first playoff series since 2010-11, when Atlanta stifled Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Jeff Teague: When the Hawks offense was falling apart, Teague kept it above water. Atlanta couldn’t get anything going to start the contest, but the point guard knocked down a few shots early to keep up with the Pacers start. He was one of the Hawks’ six players to finish the night in double-digits points-wise. 7/10

Paul Millsap: Millsap is still the engine pushing this Hawks machine forward. He’s gotten the better of the likes of Roy Hibbert and David West and continued to do the same Monday. Another great all-around game for the forward. 10/10

Kyle Korver: Korver got the 3-ball working Monday and pushed the Hawks with a team-high +21. He hit five triples and nearly recorded a double-double. 8/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll chipped in 15 points, but struggled a bit defensively as Paul George exploded for 26 points. 6/10

Pero Antic: Yet another really bad night for Antic. Couldn’t figure out anything on offense, but had a few solid defensive possessions. 1/10

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The Hawks and RPM

Bo Churney —  April 9, 2014

Last week, ESPN released a new stat called Real Plus-Minus (or RPM) as a new perspective into gauging the impact a player has on the court. For ESPN’s intoduction of the stat, click here.

In a nutshell, adjusted plus-minus stats work by taking your regular plus-minus figures and attempting to set a value to each player’s situation based on their teammates, their opponents, and even coaching. It then tries to put those numbers together and assign a “real plus-minus” as a figure of a player’s overall value. RPM is measured in net-point differential per 100 possessions. (100 possessions is about the length of your average game)

As with all stats, I don’t think you can just take one and use it to end an argument. With that said, RPM should provide an interesting new tool to look at when trying to confirm the impact of a certain player(s). Continue Reading…

According to the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore, Kyle Korver did not travel with the team to Minnesota and will not play Wednesday against the Timberwolves. It is currently unknown if Korver will be able to play for Thursday’s night home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is a huge blow to the Hawks, who have lost three straight games and are shooting just 21-for-71 (30%) from three-point range. That isn’t necessarily from lack of open looks either; the Hawks just haven’t been able to connect from deep like they usually do and the absence of Korver is a big part of that.

According to Vivlamore, Coach Bud will go with Mike Scott in the starting lineup instead of Shelvin Mack. Scott will play small forward, pushing DeMarre Carroll into the two-spot. Expect to see a lot of Lou Williams as well, who played great in Monday’s night loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Hawks will also need Pero Antic to play well, as he is a big component with the team’s spacing.