Archives For Taj Gibson

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…

Hawks-Bulls Preview

Bo Churney —  April 2, 2014

At this point, with the way the season is gone, I have no preference on the Hawks making the playoffs. If they miss out and get a lotto pick, I think that is good for the team. If they happen to make the playoffs, I think it is good for the team.

However, if the team really does want to make the playoffs, they will want to put a competitive effort up against the visiting Chicago Bulls. The Hawks have usually had trouble with Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and the Bulls, meaning that this game could quickly turn into a bloodbath.

So what are the keys for the Hawks to win this game?

First, the Hawks will want to try and get Joakim Noah out of the lane as much as possible. This means no more 1-for-8 performances from the field, Pero Antic. Of course, consistently pulling Noah out of the lane is harder than it sounds; Noah can move with great quickness and can easily recover back into the positions that Coach Thibodeau’s defense requires from him. It’s why the Bulls are second in the league in defensive efficiency. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Bulls 107, Hawks 103

Bo Churney —  February 26, 2014

FINAL

CHI(30-26) 107 – 103 (26-30)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Noah (CHI): 20 pts, 12 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl
J. Teague (ATL): 26 pts, 2 reb, 7 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks have had a few heartbreaking losses this season and I definitely think this one fits the bill. Atlanta led by as many as 14 in the first quarter, but they allowed Chicago to score 34 points in the second, giving the Bulls a 54-51 lead at halftime. From there, it seemed that just enough would go Chicago’s way to keep the Hawks from winning. First was DeMarre Carroll fouling Kirk Hinrich on a three-pointer with 40 seconds left, then there was Jeff Teague stepping out of bounds with 12 seconds left, and finally, there was Mike Scott getting egregiously fouled on a three-pointer when the Hawks were down three, but that foul went uncalled, allowing the Bulls to secure a victory.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Jeff Teague: It was one of those weird half-aggressive games from Teague. He did a lot of things well and was the power behind the Hawks scoring over 100 points against a Chicago team that they often struggle with, but Jeff also made mistakes at a couple of key points that resulted in the Hawks losing. Teague did have 11 points in the fourth, but he also had three turnovers, including the one outlined above. He also had some mismatches that he didn’t always take advantage of (i.e. with Noah) that could have resulted in even more points from him. Overall though, still a good game. 8/10

DeMarre Carroll: Yes, his foul with about 40 seconds left was his fault. Kirk may have jumped into DeMarre a bit to sell it, but the absolutely last thing you can do in the final minute of a basketball game where you have a lead is to foul a shooter while he’s attempting a three-pointer. Tonight just wasn’t DeMarre’s night, as he also struggled to finish in transition, which could have easily been prevented if he just slowed the ball down on a couple of possessions. That said, I will cut DeMarre some slack because he was clearly playing out of position for most of the night, as he spent a lot of it matched against Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson. 5.5/10

Kyle Korver: Korver started off red-hot, making three three-pointers in the first few minutes of the game. After that, however, there wasn’t a lot going for him. Korver and co. were able to create some great open looks for Kyle, but after those first three, Kyle had some trouble knocking those looks down. It could have been worse, as the Bulls did the same for Dunleavy, but he also missed some clean looks. 5/10

Elton Brand: Hopefully Elton Brand can play Wednesday night’s game against the Celtics, but I have no idea what the Hawks are going to do if he can’t play at least 35 minutes. (At least Dexter Pittman looks in great shape. No seriously, he looked alright.) E.B. did some great work on the rebounds, coming down with 13 of them for the game, many of which were contested rebounds where he was surrounded by several Bulls, but still managed to grab the board. He also had a couple of nice blocks and was a team-high plus-6 for the game. I guess the only consolation for Elton is that he doesn’t play for Thibodeau, right? 8/10

Shelvin Mack: For most of the night, Teague and Shelvin did a good job at limiting Hinrich and DJ Augustin. The Hawks guards really outplayed their counterparts by a wide margin, which I would have thought would have been enough for the Hawks to win if you told me that in the beginning. Shel was his usual conservative self when he was the primary ball-handler, turning the ball over zero times in his 27 minutes of play. He also had 17 points to round out a rather strong offensive effort. 7.5/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Bulls 100, Hawks 85

Bo Churney —  February 12, 2014

FINAL

CHI(26-25) 100 – 85 (25-25)ATL   

Key Performers:
J. Noah (CHI): 19 pts, 16 reb, 11 ast, 3 blk, and a partridge in a pear tree
L. Williams (ATL): 13 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks started off this game with three quick buckets in the paint, appearing to have a good game plan for getting through Chicago’s tough defense. Those turned out to be the easiest points the Hawks got all night, as Joakim Noah, who was everywhere, and crew dominated Atlanta for the majority of the night. The Hawks were outrebounded by a 58-27 margin and allowed 100 points to one of the worst offensive teams in the league. Not a lot of good to be taken from this one, as the Hawks have now lost four straight games and have dropped to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Pretty bad night from Paul, who actually hit three three-pointers, but was just 3-for-9 on twos. Millsap seemed very hesitant on open shots and ruined the Hawks’ rhythm with his weird decision-making when they were only down eight in the fourth. He had looks on open looks from three, but he passed them up and tried pump-faking, which was odd, because he always ended up in a worse position than before. One time he did actually pull the trigger on a three… he was heavily guarded by Noah and there was a lot of time on the shot clock; just an odd night overall. 3/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre was dribbling way too much in this game, which was more of a sign of a failed team effort than something that was his fault. He still had a decent night of 11 points, two boards, and two dimes, and I can definitely say that the team’s poor defensive effort wasn’t his fault. 7/10

Kyle Korver: Ditto for Korver on the “too much dribbling” thing; that’s usually a sign of an impending disaster for the Hawks. The Bulls didn’t give him much room to operate, but he was still able to knock down a couple of long-balls and extend #KyleStreak to 119 games. 5/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff Teague got a flagrant foul on Taj Gibson late in the game, which is about the most aggressive thing I’ve seen Jeff do since mid-December. Teague was actually 6-for-9 from the floor and looked like he should have been able to create more opportunities for himself, but he just didn’t do it. 5/10

Gustavo Ayon: *looks at Joakim Noah’s line, looks at Gustavo, looks back at Joakim’s line* Yeah, Gustavo had a very, very bad game. It was worsened when it appeared in the first half that he was the only one of the floor that wanted to actually do anything on offense. Bonus point for effort? 4/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Bulls 93, Hawks 76

Raj Prashad —  February 3, 2013

FINAL

CHI(29-18) 93 – 76 (26-20)ATL

Key Performers:

L. Deng (CHI): 25 pts, 14 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl, 2 blk
J. Smith (ATL): 19 pts, 13 reb, 5 ast, blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

No Joakim Noah, no Carlos Boozer and still without their electric point guard, Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls were able to outlast the Hawks, Saturday night. Chicago used an undersized lineup with 6-9 Taj Gibson playing center and head coach Tom Thibodeau combated Atlanta’s lineups with multi-guard sets. The Hawks led multiple times throughout the evening- clinging to a one-point lead when they did- but Chicago used a 9-0 run to close the third and they walked away with their second blowout win over Atlanta this year.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Two shots. That is how many shots J-Smoove took in the second half. He made one three-ball, missed his other attempt and grabbed seven rebounds as Jeff Teague did his best to stop Chicago’s third-quarter run. Smith was solid, but his disappearing act against an overmatched Chicago team doesn’t bode well for the Hawks moving forward. 7/10

Al Horford: Without Noah and Boozer, the Bulls didn’t have any problems with Atlanta’s interior duo of Horford and Smith. Chicago used speed against Horford on the defensive end and attacked him offensively, as he admittedly couldn’t find his shot throughout the contest Saturday. Horford notched a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double, but his inability to battle at the rim made it easy for Gibson to score 19 points and grab 19 rebounds on his career night. 7/10

Kyle Korver: 40 straight games. Korver has hit a trey in 40 straight games now, as his only three makes on the night came from beyond the arc. Korver is good for his 10 points and around five or six rebounds nightly, which was his production Saturday against the Bulls. He left some to be desired on the defensive end, letting Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton waltz up and down the court, though. 6.5/10

DeShawn Stevenson: Stevenson put up a dreadful 1-of-6 performance against the Bulls despite being in the starting lineup. The Hawks needed a full-team effort and Stevenson failed to show up when they needed him Saturday. It’s very possible that his knee is still bothering him. 3/10

Jeff Teague: Teague left midway through the first quarter with a right hip contusion, which gave a partial explanation for his struggles on the defensive end. The point guard scored 16 points on the night, including nine in the third quarter, but he had no answer for Nate Robinson. Robinson matched Teague’s nine with 12 of his own in the third and he had 20 points and eight assists for the game. Just imagine what kind of nightmarish matchup this team will be with Derrick Rose back to full strength. 6/10 Continue Reading…