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FalconFanSince1970

Are We Too Worried About The Three Spot?

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I see a lot of banter, worry and concern about the three spot on this forum. Rest easy my feathered friends, rest easy. This is a Bud system, which can be productive without a small forward who's a slasher. Bud doesn't need an iso, dribble, dribble, shoulder fake, iso, dribble, dribble, drive with three seconds on the clock kinda guy. That would kill his system Joe Johnson style.

His system can work with a three that can shoot, pass, rebound, screen and play defense. I mean Demarre was not Lebron James folks. There are several players on the roster that can play that role. Sap, Sef, Korver, Baze and maybe even Hardaway. None can defend like DeMarre but they all bring something he didn't. And yes Sap can play the three. He did for many years.

It's too early to predict who will be our starting five. Especially considering we might make more moves. If we had to tip off tonight, I can think of at least ten different combos that could work, depending on who we're facing. And no, none of them would be able to guard LeBron one on one. DeMarre couldn't either:

1 -Teague, Korver, Sap, Horford, Splitter

2 -Teague, Korver, Sef, Sap, Horford

3 -Teague, Korver, Baze, Sap, Horford

4 -Teague, Korver, Sap, Horford, Moose

5 -Teague, Hardaway, Korver, Sap, Horford

6 -Schroeder, Teague, Korver, Sap, Horford

7 -Schroeder, Teague, Sap, Horford, Splitter

8 -Schroeder, Teague, Sap, Horford, Moose

9 -Schroeder, Teague, Baze, Sap, Horford

10 -Schroeder, Teague, Sef, Sap, Horford

11- Neither (reserved for WOR)

12 - Other? Please post it

Which option do you like most?

tnfalcon8 likes this

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I'll go with 1 or 5... all depends on how Kyle and Thabo are feeling, and maybe the opponent.

I don't mind a 6'6" guy if they were strong like Iguodala.

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#2 is likely our starting lineup.

And you have Milsap in every single lineup, which isn't realistic.

There will be a defensive setup with Teague, Baze, Sef, Horford, Splitter.

And by the way, Sefolosha was consistently touted as being the best defender on this team last year. There won't be any defensive dropoff at the 3 if Sef becomes the starter. Just sayin.

blkbigdog35 likes this

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You say "doesn't need" like we already won a title.

A guy who can get his own shot woulda been nice while we were getting swept lol

You say "doesn't need" like a slasher three would guarantee us a championship. Best slasher threes in the league just watched Golden State win the championship. Including LeBron.

Also Leonard does just fine in this system.

Leonard didn't win jack this year. And the Spurs won four championships running the same system when he was a high school boy.

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#2 is likely our starting lineup.

And you have Milsap in every single lineup, which isn't realistic.

There will be a defensive setup with Teague, Baze, Sef, Horford, Splitter.

And by the way, Sefolosha was consistently touted as being the best defender on this team last year. There won't be any defensive dropoff at the 3 if Sef becomes the starter. Just sayin.

Chances are Sap will be in most if not all of our lineups as our highest paid player at $19.3M per.

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#2 is likely our starting lineup.

And you have Milsap in every single lineup, which isn't realistic.

There will be a defensive setup with Teague, Baze, Sef, Horford, Splitter.

And by the way, Sefolosha was consistently touted as being the best defender on this team last year. There won't be any defensive dropoff at the 3 if Sef becomes the starter. Just sayin.

Dennis is a better defender than Teague. Those long arms help a ton.

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Dennis is a better defender than Teague. Those long arms help a ton.

He's not. Teague has better anticipation, which is the reason he was averaging almost two steals a game.

Chances are Sap will be in most if not all of our lineups as our highest paid player at $19.3M per.

Not at the 3. I'd rather not have a repeat of the ECF in which LeBron was blowing past Millsap like he was just standing still. He's not quick enough to guard the 3.

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He's not. Teague has better anticipation, which is the reason he was averaging almost two steals a game.

Not at the 3. I'd rather not have a repeat of the ECF in which LeBron was blowing past Millsap like he was just standing still. He's not quick enough to guard the 3.

Teague got a lot of steals last year from big men. On handoffs, when brought the ball down, etc.

I would take Dennis simply because he picks up 94 ft, has long arms, and knows how to irritate. Not saying Teague is a bad defender though.

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Our starting lineup will be #2. We do have a lack of depth at the 3, and Sef greatly improves our defense. You don't want Korver or Sap starting at the 3 because they would both get destroyed defensively. Plus having Hardaway and Splitter coming off the bench greatly improves our bench.

Hopefully the 15th roster spot is used on a 3 who can play very good D (similar to Mario West or Damien Wilkins).

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He's not. Teague has better anticipation, which is the reason he was averaging almost two steals a game.

Not at the 3. I'd rather not have a repeat of the ECF in which LeBron was blowing past Millsap like he was just standing still. He's not quick enough to guard the 3.

I didn't have him at the three in every line up. Milsap played the three for years. He got destroyed by LeBron like evreybody including Carroll got destroyed by LeBron.

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I didn't have him at the three in every line up. Milsap played the three for years. He got destroyed by LeBron like evreybody including Carroll got destroyed by LeBron.

Millsap has always been a PF, even in Utah.

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"Point Forward" Paul Millsap Is Doing Fine Work As A Passer



Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Posted: May 08, 2015




In his past three outings, Paul Millsap has had the three best assist games of his playoff career. In Game 6 against Brooklyn, he had 6 assists. In Games 1 and 2 against Washington, he has handed out 8 and 5 assists, respectively.


Passing-wise, Millsap is in a groove, and he has displayed a tremendous amount of versatility in racking up assists in the playoffs against two contrasting styles of defense.


Against the Nets, Millsap's role was to create offense as Plan B. If the Hawks' initial foray at scoring didn't work, Atlanta could kick the ball out to the corner where Paul could either shoot the three or make something happen off the dribble.


Against Washington, Millsap is still creating offense with his passes, but in a new way against a different style of defense.


To hear Jeff Teague tell it, the Wizards are hedging more when the Hawks run their pick and rolls. In that first instant of defense when Teague comes around the pick, both defenders are focusing on him, cutting off Teague's lane to drive to the rim, but at the same time, opening up the possibility of swinging the ball to an open shooter.


"It was different coming from a series where Brooklyn didn't hedge that much really," Teague said. "Brook Lopez, we put him in a lot of pick and rolls."


With Lopez dropping back to defend the paint, Teague had space to make an aggressive play toward the basket. Against the Wizards, the Hawks are facing an entirely different style of defense.


"Now with Nene, these guys can really guard," Teague added. "Paul Pierce, when he plays the 4 (power forward), he hedges really well."


One solution to combat the hedge is to have Millsap set the pick. When the defending power forward steps up to take away Teague's angle, Millsap can get the ball in a position where he is a triple threat to create offense via the shot, dribble, or pass.


"He is the point forward," Teague said. " Since they're hedging so much, we just throw it back to him and let him make plays. He has been making the right plays for us."


The regular season proved that Millsap was a true triple threat to shoot, pass or drive. He made a career-high 77 three-point shots on 35.6% shooting. Thanks to NBA.com/Stats and SportVU tracking cameras, there is data on how frequently players drive to the rim. Millsap did it a lot: he ranked third on the team with 359 drives, behind only point guards Teague (804) and Dennis Schroder (607). No other teammate had more than 174 drives.


Millsap explains that he is ready to take whatever the defense gives him.


"It's something I've been doing all year. Just making the right play," he said. "If they hedge out, I get the ball at the top of the key. I'll find my shooters, or attack the basket."


Randy Wittman, head coach of the Wizards, is the one tasked with deciding whether or not he wants to defend Millsap with a burly power forward like Nene or quicker power forwards like Pierce and Drew Gooden.


"(Millsap) is a little bit of a 'tweener," Wittman said, recognizing Millsap's versatility. "He could play some 3 (small forward) even, I think. He's a unique player. You want to keep some physicality on him too and have him feel you and not just run be able to run around and do what he wants. It's a little bit of both. Obviously, when he gets out on the perimeter, it's easier to have a smaller guy, but we also want to have somebody that is going to be physical with him too."


Expect to see Millsap guarded by both types of defenders, even as the Wizards' best offense stems from having a power forward who can step out and shoot three-point shots.


"We're reading it out and seeing what kind of lineups they throw out there," Millsap said. "Whatever lineup they have, just exploit it."


Expect to see too the Hawks utilizing Millsap as the relief valve, the player who can flip an overcommitted defense on its head through his ability to attack the rim and find open shooters.



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I begin with a confession: I had no idea Paul Millsap was this good. If you’d told me two summers ago that the Atlanta Hawks would be 38-8 and that Millsap would be their MVP — we can argue, but he’s my choice — I wouldn’t have known which part was more laughable.


I thought Millsap, who had seven solid years on some Utah teams that got worse as they went, might be one of those players who puts up nice numbers on middling-or-worse aggregations. (Even bad teams have a leading scorer .) I thought he was a value signing for the Hawks in the summer of 2013. Turns out he was one of the greatest buy since Microsoft.


I watch Millsap now and marvel, and I’ve seen enough basketball not to marvel much. He’ll turn 30 next month, and I feel as if I’ve just discovered something. I watched him for the Hawks last season, and he was impressive then. But now I’m just … amazed.


And also more than a bit abashed. How did I not know this all along? And was he this good all along?


Opinions vary. Lionel Hollins, against whose Brooklyn Nets Millsap scored 28 points (on only nine shots) and took 15 rebounds in the Hawks’ 113-102 victory Wednesday, said the guy “was a great player at Utah.” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, a San Antonio assistant for all seven of Millsap’s Jazz seasons, said: “I really didn’t know Paul could do this much.”


Hawks teammate DeMarre Carroll, who played alongside him in Utah, said Millsap’s emergence is merely a case of “opportunity — the right situation, the right place.” Said Kyle Korver of Millsap: “He’s unbelievable. He just gets better and better.”


In sum, there’s no consensus about what Millsap was. There’s raging consensus about what he is. He has made himself — OK, so Budenholzer and his assistants have helped — into one of the hardest men to guard in the NBA, and he has done this without flying above the rim like Anthony Davis and with there being some question, as Millsap concedes, about his quickness.


There are, however, different strains of quickness. Millsap isn’t Jeff Teague-quick, but he’s swift for a power forward. (He’s 6-foot-8, 253 pounds.) He has a first step that seems to cover 10 feet, and when those 253 pounds are put in motion, the man is a load. He can get from the 3-point arc to the hoop as fast as any power forward in the sport, and therein hangs a tale.


“He’s a small forward,” Teague said, “in a power forward’s body.”


It wasn’t always thus. With the Jazz, Millsap was a post-up guy. “Stretching the floor was tough,” he said. But coming to the Hawks in the same year as Budenholzer’s arrival left the new No. 4 man open to the joys of pace-and-space.


In seven seasons in Utah, Millsap took 113 3-point shots. In 1 1/2 seasons as a Hawk, he has made 123 treys. The Hawks encouraged him to expand his range — remember when a different bunch of Hawks wished Josh Smith would contract his? — and with the new-found ability to face the basket and make a 3-pointer, the NBA became Millsap’s oyster.


“The 3-pointer changed everything,” said Korver, who knows the power of that shot as well as anyone. The threat of Millsap hitting from 25 feet made defenders play him more closely on the perimeter, and a simple pump-fake — it’s now Millsap’s staple move– became his key to the kingdom.


“When you try to close out on him,” Al Horford said, “you’re at his mercy.”


If a defender doesn’t bite on the up-fake, Millsap shoots the trey; if he does, Millsap ducks his shoulder and takes that massive first step and thunders into the lane. Sometimes he passes. (He’s a deft passer.) Sometimes he gets to the hoop. Often he’s fouled.


“He has amazing hands,” Budenholzer said. “You can imagine him as a tight end.”


Millsap himself credits Budenholzer’s offense for much of what he’s doing: “When I do get a guy in the air, our spacing is so good that the lane is open.” But not every power forward could make the jump shot that renders the fake such a lure, and not every big man could get to the basket without charging into someone.


Back to our beginning: I didn’t know the man was capable of such brilliance, and I told him so Wednesday night. And Millsap, a quiet and dignified presence, smiled. He conceded he hadn’t been this good in Utah. “I was an OK player then,” he said.


And now he’s the best player — again, we can disagree — on the NBA’s second-best team. I didn’t see this coming. I don’t think Paul Millsap did, either. Somehow that makes me feel a tad better.



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Teague, Hardaway, Sef, Sap, Horford. I like having the D at the 3, to make other teams wing scorer work.

Dennis, Korver, Bazemore, Muscala, Splitter. To me that is a 2nd unit that can keep the foot on the gas

With The depth and options the Hawks have it will be interesting to see how Coach Bud mixes it nightly. He is probably already started going team by team and deciding his rotation

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Teague, Hardaway, Sef, Sap, Horford. I like having the D at the 3, to make other teams wing scorer work.

Dennis, Korver, Bazemore, Muscala, Splitter. To me that is a 2nd unit that can keep the foot on the gas

With The depth and options the Hawks have it will be interesting to see how Coach Bud mixes it nightly. He is probably already started going team by team and deciding his rotation

I could see this as well unless we have a surprise or two from summer league and I like to see what Holiday will bring to this rotation as well.

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Korver needs to have his min reduced. He avg. 32 min a game, that is way too much for a 34yr old. We need Korver healthy for the playoffs. We saw how his shot was effected when hurt. I think less min. Will increase his efficiency while on the floor and likely still avg. 12pts a game. Just like Ginobili avg. 22min 10pts.

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