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blkbigdog35

March Hawks Thread

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Hawks playoff picture: Race for No. 4 seed takes a hit with Millsap, Bazemore injuries

 

By Jack Maloney

CBSSports.com | 2017-03-19 22:11:00


 

After a three-game winning streak, the Atlanta Hawks were just one game behind the Toronto Raptors for fourth place in the Eastern Conference going into play on Monday March 13. Sunday, after three straight losses, they’re now three games back, with 13 games remaining for both teams.

Further hampering the Hawks’ chase for the fourth seed, which comes with homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs, was some tough injury news the team received Sunday afternoon. Two key players, Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore, are set to miss time in the upcoming week, and perhaps beyond. Via Atlanta’s press release:


Guard Kent Bazemore, who left last night’s game against Portland with 5:27 remaining in the fourth quarter due to a right knee contusion, received an MRI this morning at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, which revealed a right knee bone bruise. He will be treated and re-evaluated in 7-10 days. He is listed as out and will not travel for tomorrow’s game at Charlotte.

Forward Paul Millsap, who missed last night’s game vs. Portland due to left knee tightness, is listed as out and will miss the next two games - tomorrow at Charlotte and Wednesday at Washington. His status will be updated as appropriate.

Millsap’s impact, of course, cannot be understated, as he’s the team’s leading scorer, the second-leading rebounder, and second in assists, steals, and blocks. He does everything for the Hawks, and they’re 0-4 this year with him out of the lineup. When he’s on the court, the Hawks are +1.6 points per 100 possessions, but their net rating drops to -5.7 when he’s out of the game. Even if he’s only out for the two games against Charlotte and Washington, that’s a really tough blow for Atlanta.

As for Bazemore, he’s been all over the place this season, but is still a very athletic and versatile player, and had scored in double-figures in his last four outings. His absence will make them pretty thin at the two, and they could recall DeAndre Bembry to take his place.

Looking at the schedule for the next few days, it’s possible Atlanta’s chase for homecourt in the first round could be over before Millsap and Bazemore get back. The Hawks could handle a struggling Hornets team Monday night, but that’s no guarantee, and their matchup Wednesday against the Wizards will be very tough without Millsap and Bazemore. That could very well end up being two more losses, extending their losing streak to five games.

Meanwhile, the Raptors’ next two games are very winnable, as they have the Pacers and Bulls at home. If the Hawks go 0-2, while the Raps go 2-0 over their next two games, respectively, which is quite plausible, the Raptors would be five games up with 11 to play. And even though the Hawks hold the tiebreaker over the Raptors, that would be quite a difficult hole to dig out of.

On the other side of things for Atlanta, their lead in fifth over the Pacers is now just 1 1/2 games, with the teams scheduled to meet in each team’s regular-season finale, in a game that will decide the tiebreaker between the two. All of a sudden, instead of being right on the Raptors’ tail for fourth, the Hawks’ position in fifth is nowhere near being secure.

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© 2004-2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

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Well, that's not good.. wanted baze out the starting lineup but not due to injury.. and sap, get well soon big guy.. because like most teams that don't have the luxury of loading up on all star players, when they lose the one they do have, it's big.. 

but yes, we will see what we're made of now.. Dennis needs to step up.. Dwight needs to step up.. rooks are gonna get some valuable development time.. 

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15 hours ago, TheTrue7 said:

Well, that's not good.. wanted baze out the starting lineup but not due to injury.. and sap, get well soon big guy.. because like most teams that don't have the luxury of loading up on all star players, when they lose the one they do have, it's big.. 

but yes, we will see what we're made of now.. Dennis needs to step up.. Dwight needs to step up.. rooks are gonna get some valuable development time.. 

He is really frustrating to watch. He backs up when defending the pick n roll. Been really hurting the team. 

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4 hours ago, Reggie_Kelly said:

He is really frustrating to watch. He backs up when defending the pick n roll. Been really hurting the team. 

On occasion yes.. sometimes he's creating space for the on ball defender to go under the screen, since the on ball defender doesn't even try to fight over the screen.. 

if they're switching on the screen, which they should honestly do more often, he has been a little lax to come out..

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36 minutes ago, TheTrue7 said:

On occasion yes.. sometimes he's creating space for the on ball defender to go under the screen, since the on ball defender doesn't even try to fight over the screen.. 

if they're switching on the screen, which they should honestly do more often, he has been a little lax to come out..

I really wish he would flash because it could be intimidating but I agree he has to become involved there. I think that is why we see alot of teams doing that to them more frequently. I think that the whole team has to be more aggressive on defense to hopefully get this offense going again.

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30 minutes ago, blkbigdog35 said:

I really wish he would flash because it could be intimidating but I agree he has to become involved there. I think that is why we see alot of teams doing that to them more frequently. I think that the whole team has to be more aggressive on defense to hopefully get this offense going again.

My question is how is the interior defense when he's out of the game? Pretty bad.. along with the obvious rebounding deficiencies..  

they should switch more in my opinion.. it's gonna create mismatches but it'll help on the perimeter.. 

 

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57 minutes ago, blkbigdog35 said:

I really wish he would flash because it could be intimidating but I agree he has to become involved there. I think that is why we see alot of teams doing that to them more frequently. I think that the whole team has to be more aggressive on defense to hopefully get this offense going again.

This. Show hard and get back. Re-route the player allowing his teammate to get over/under through screen.

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41 minutes ago, TheTrue7 said:

My question is how is the interior defense when he's out of the game? Pretty bad.. along with the obvious rebounding deficiencies..  

they should switch more in my opinion.. it's gonna create mismatches but it'll help on the perimeter.. 

 

True but I think they have to commit to defense

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27 minutes ago, jayu70 said:

This. Show hard and get back. Re-route the player allowing his teammate to get over/under through screen.

Exactly but you would think that Bud would address this after viewing game film. I truly think these guys can fix it just with having a more committed effort.

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13 minutes ago, blkbigdog35 said:

Exactly but you would think that Bud would address this after viewing game film. I truly think these guys can fix it just with having a more committed effort.

You almost wonder sometimes if he's being told to lay back.. being he's not yanked immediately thereafter 

Edited by TheTrue7

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4 minutes ago, TheTrue7 said:

You almost wonder sometimes if he's being told to lay back.. being he's not yanked immediately thereafter 

Well he has chewed some azz tonight.

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3 minutes ago, blkbigdog35 said:

Well he has chewed some azz tonight.

Did he? I'm not listening to the game.. watching but not listening.. family time 

:D

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7 minutes ago, blkbigdog35 said:

Defense is seriously lacking tonight

Everything is trending in the wrong direction.. I wanna know how when they switch on defense on one side of the court, someone on the opposite side is wide open.. 

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3 minutes ago, TheTrue7 said:

Everything is trending in the wrong direction.. I wanna know how when they switch on defense on one side of the court, someone on the opposite side is wide open.. 

Man it's frustrating watching it happen to often now.

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8 minutes ago, blkbigdog35 said:

Man it's frustrating watching it happen to often now.

Didn't understand the Kelly over Moose move.. or Delaney over Calderon.. 

 

Edited by TheTrue7

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1 minute ago, TheTrue7 said:

Didn't understand the Kelly over Moose.. or Delaney over Calderon.. 

 

Bud is getting desperate. He needs to drop the GM duties. I honestly don't know what unit he could put on the floor right now and be productive with. :shrug:

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Just now, blkbigdog35 said:

Bud is getting desperate. He needs to drop the GM duties. I honestly don't know what unit he could put on the floor right now and be productive with. :shrug:

So desperate that he chooses Kelly over Moose and Hump.. that's absurd.. and Delaney had 4 turnovers in 16 minutes.. I know it's tough without sap but Kelly? 

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