The Atlanta Hawks lost to the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs. Atlanta did take the series all the way to game seven, but there were too many poor performances to overcome for a victory. Here are my first round grades for every Hawks’ player.
Take away his 28 and 29 point performances after games one and six, respectively, and Teague wasn’t stellar. Many saw Teague as the hero in many games as he used his explosive speed to get to the rack, but Teague’s inability to set others up on offense really hurt his team. Teague only averaged five assists per game in the playoffs and the lack of ball movement was evident when the Hawks went on long runs where they couldn’t score. Overall he had a decent series especially in limiting Indiana point guard George Hill. Oh and I can’t forget, his circus shot he hit in game three (see below).
Regular season: 18.5 PPG, 7.5 APG and .438 FG%
Playoffs: 19.3 PPG, 5.0 APG and .393 FG%
Not known for his defense, I believe Korver did a solid job on limiting Paul George and Lance Stephenson offensively. He wasn’t lockdown by any means, as George had many huge games, but he didn’t spend a ton of time guarding George but instead mainly Stephenson. Shooting-wise, he took many forced 3-pointers, especially late in game seven. Overall, a solid job by the best marksman in the league.
Regular season: 12.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and .472 3P%
Playoffs: 13.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG and .426 3P%
Carroll has been the “Junkyard Dawg” all season for the Hawks, and the playoffs were no different. He fought for loose balls and was usually the first Hawks’ player back in transition. He’s a good defender who struggled with having to guard an explosive George who seemed incapable of missing jumpers late in the series. It was a disappointing series offensively and defensively for Carroll but a never ending hustle helped boost his grade.
Regular season: 11.1 PPG and .470 FG%
Playoffs: 8.9 PPG and .469 FG%
Millsap has been a model of consistency for the Atlanta Hawks since Al Horford went down for the season. Atlanta’s best player during the regular season was even better in the playoffs. Millsap improved in the three major categories (PPG, RPG and BPG) for a power forward during playoff play. All of this came against a good Indiana frontcourt and in particular David West.
Regular season: 17.9 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 1.1 BPG
Playoffs: 19.4 PPG, 10.9 RPG and 1.9 BPG
Our Macedonian spark plug in Antic was going to be very valuable going into the series as he would draw Roy Hibbert out defensively to open the lane for Millsap and Teague. This proved true in the first few games, but Antic’s inability to hit a shot (even the rim) allowed Indiana to protect the paint later in the series.
Antic’s only significant contribution of the series was his “Zaza Pachulia-esque” head-butt of West in game one that turned the game in Atlanta’s favor. Otherwise he was atrocious. He did a good job defensively on Hibbert, but couldn’t hang around with the likes of West, Luis Scola and Ian Mahinmi.
Regular season: 7.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, .418 FG% and .327 3P%
Playoffs: 3.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, .167 FG% and .120 3P%
To the naked eye, Scott was amazing. His 17 second quarter points in game five was historic, as he appeared to have magic hands that couldn’t be cool down. He’s a likable character and his sudden offseason growth made him a fan favorite in Atlanta. However the fact remains that he was not good against Indiana. In more minutes, he averaged less points, rebounds and shot a lower percentage per game than in the regular season. He looked lost on defense, being overpowered on individual assignments and failing to rotate properly. Scott got a little trigger happy from beyond the arc, and overall it hurt the team. He did however provide many highlight moments (see below).
Regular season: 9.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG and .479 FG% in 18.5 minutes per game
Playoffs: 9.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG and .365 FG% in 20.9 minutes per game
Williams was supposed to be the Manu Ginobili of the Hawks. He struggled early in the season and eventually fell out of the rotation. After a few injuries, he was back in and playing well. Unfortunately, his good play did not translate into the playoffs as his numbers dipped drastically. More concerning than his scoring struggles were his iso-Lou mentality that caused the offense to go stagnant during multiple games. He was a mismatch defensively on whoever he guarded as Hill, Stephenson, and Evan Turner all play too physical for Williams.
Regular season: 10.4 PPG, 3.5 APG and .400 FG%
Playoffs: 8.3 PPG, 1.1 APG and .380 FG%
Given more minutes, Mack would have easily surpassed his regular season numbers in every category. He provided a good spark off the bench and did a good job keeping turnovers at a minimum. He did the best job of any Hawks’ guard in setting up his teammates for good looks at the basket. Defensively he was good, not great.
Regular season: 7.5 PPG, 3.7 APG and .417 FG% in 20.4 minutes per game
Playoffs: 8.1 PPG, 3.6 APG and .404 FG% in 16.9 minutes per game
He was horrible offensively and lack of playing time made it hard for him to get into any offensive rhythm. He was however effective defensively as he provided a big veteran body who knew how to play smart. Brand’s lack of playing time was due largely to the fact Atlanta was running an up-tempo offense and Brand was slower than Scott and Antic.
Regular season: 5.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG and .539 FG% in 19.4 minutes per game
Playoffs: 1.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG and .167 FG% in 11.6 minutes per game
*Mike Muscala, Dennis Schroeder, and Cartier Martin didn’t play enough minutes in the playoffs to be evaluated.
Don’t agree with my grades? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below, or tweet me @briangarcia0724!