Archives For Top Tier Defense

No matter the record or seeding, some teams just give you a tough time.

For Atlanta, that has been the Milwaukee Bucks so far this season after defeating them three out of the four meetings last year. But this year has been a different story, as the Bucks have defeated Atlanta twice with both games defeats ending in overtime. This matchup has a boxing match feel to it, two contrasting styles, Rocky versus Drago.

This one ended with Atlanta’s arm being raised up last winning 101-90, capturing their first win over the Bucks this season.

“At the end of the day they are in the top two or three, if not the best at scoring in the paint,”said Coach Mike Budenholzer. “We wanted to do everything we could to take that away.”

Hawks only trailed momentarily in the first couple minutes of the game, but never did thereafter despite not shooting the ball well — 42.3% from the field and 15.6% from 3 — because of yet another strong defensive effort. Milwaukee’s length and athleticism are the main reasons the Hawks have such a difficult time running their offense. The Bucks decided this game to place more emphasis on the Hawks 3-point attempts, which meant more opportunities inside for Atlanta. They were able to capitalize, scoring 58 points in the paint.

On defense, Atlanta decided to pack the paint and limit the longer Bucks from points in the paint. Games like is just another testament to the Atlanta’s ability to win in a variety of ways, which will come in handy in late April or May. This time instead of their usual emphasis on aggressively guarding perimeter players, they showed the ability to clog the paint and still be effective.

“This is a team that has given us problems over the last couple years,” said Kyle Korver post-game. “They are a tough team for us to play against. We wanted to protect the paint and force them to shoot from the outside. It is important for us to grind games out against a team thats big when we are not shooting the ball that well.” Continue Reading…

Defense the Key for Teague?

Bo Churney —  September 4, 2013

Last year, the Hawks ranked 10th in defensive rating, allowing 104.4 points per 100 possessions. Of course, that was with Josh Smith, who is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. With Smith off to Detroit, how will the Hawks try to maintain a top 10 defense?

It all starts with Jeff Teague.

Last year, Teague was abysmal on the defensive end. According to MySynergySports, Teague ranked 342nd in the league in overall defensive plays. Not privy to those kind of stats? Well, here was my breakdown of how Teague’s awful pick-and-roll defense was a major factor in the Hawks giving up 42 points to Carmelo Anthony in a loss at New York.

You see, when Jeff struggled to get through screens, or if he got lost in traffic on D, he forced Smith and Horford to help too much. Teams, like New York as described in the post linked above, Continue Reading…