Atlanta Hawks: Plenty has gone right during 5-game win streak

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks are rolling with five straight victories, the longest current streak in the NBA, and plenty has gone right during the streak.

Al Horford, named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week (Nov. 19-25) Monday, has averaged nearly a double-double in the five wins. Zaza Pachulia and Josh Smith are helping the Hawks dominate in the paint. Jeff Teague has the transition game running at a high speed.

It hasn’t all been perfect. They needed a 3-pointer by Kyle Korver in the final seconds to defeat a winless Wizards team at home. He also hit another from long range late against the Clippers who were making a serious run from a 27-point deficit.

“I think we’ve just played well,” Horford said Monday. “We still have some work to do as a team. We can get better.”

Here is a closer look at what has worked during the current win streak, where the Hawks have outscored the Kings, Magic, Wizards, Bobcats and Clippers by a combined score of 509-452.

Transition

The Hawks preach an up-tempo style and it’s starting to come together. Teague has been running the show with Lou Williams coming off the bench and Devin Harris nursing a toe injury. Teague is averaging 14 points and eight assists during the streak.

“Jeff has been on a roll for us,” Horford said. “He’s the one that is driving what we have going on right now with his energy and finding people. He’s been finding me a lot. He’s making the game easier for a lot of us.”

Coach Larry Drew said after 12 games he is pleased with how far the transition game has progressed. There is still a need for more consistency.

Teague had a double-double each of the past two games in points and assists, a first in his career. In fact, it’s the first time he’s posted back-to-back double-digit assist games.

“I just try to push the ball,” Teague said. “We used to walk it up a lot last year. This year we are getting out and trying to push it. We are small but we are fast and we try to use that to our advantage.

Horford has hot hand

Horford missed the Hawks’ game against the Warriors with the stomach illness that hit the team on its West coast trip last week. In the five games since, he is averaging 17.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists (including 10 against the Wizards).

Presence in the paint

The Hawks have been tough inside during over the past five games. They have scored more points in the paint in each contest. They were outrebounded in two of those games, the Wizards and Magic, but still held the inside advantage. Guards have gotten into the lane and the front court has been solid, In addition to Horford, Pachulia is averaging 10 points and 8.6 rebounds.

Of the team’s success on the inside, both in points and rebounding, Pachulia said simply “Stats don’t lie.”

The bench

The Hawks’ bench has continued to be an asset. While the reserves were outscored in each of the wins over the streak, by a significant margin (214-137), roles are starting to be established. Lou Williams is fourth on the team in scoring average coming off the bench in every game this season. Anthony Morrow and Ivan Johnson are playing more minutes. Anthony Tolliver has played only 3:33 with four DNPs over the past five games.

“I’m a role player and I like to see the guys play their role and do their job and bring something to the table,” Pachulia said. “It’s beautiful to see. It’s so much fun to play in this kind of situation. Everybody is on the same page again.”

Defensive effort

The Hawks have been strong defensively, especially in the second half, during the streak. They have outscored each opponent following intermission in each game. Drew has sprinkled in some zone defense to help with matchup issues.

“I think it has really helped us win some games where we’ve played man and then went to our zone and gotten some mileage out of it,” Drew said. “… It can be to generate a different rhythm of the game. There may be certain matchups we don’t like. We may have problems defending somebody half-court one-on-one.”

* In news from practice: Harris (toe) did not participate. He could be ready by Wednesday. DeShawn Stevenson (ankle) practice and is ready to play.

- Chris Vivlamore

90 comments Add your comment

progeny

November 26th, 2012
5:13 pm

Astro Joe

November 26th, 2012
5:16 pm

Like I said a few days ago, one has to start considering the work that lester Connor has done with this team’s defense. Before the national media gets locked in on the “next great assistant”, shouldn’t the local fan base have an inkling of such a thing? And don’t give me the “Josh impact” as the only factor for the defensive performance. Hawks held the Clippers to 41 points in the first half the other night with Josh playing essentially token minutes in that half. They held OKC to <100 while Josh was out with a bad ankle. This is a reflection of the scheme (IMO) and less about an individual player. And the architect of that scheme apparently is Lester Connor. And kudos to LD for utilizing his staff properly to deliver the type of results that have led to an above average defense for the past 75+ regular season games (going back to last year). When the sum of the parts is greater than the piece-parts, you should consider more than individual players and their contributions.

I now return the blog to the usual rant about the coaching staff and the perfection of our players.

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
5:17 pm

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
5:28 pm

Mr Conner maybe impacting Teague the way he did Lin with the Knicks last season? Hmmmmmmm

Teague is shooting 42% from beyond the arc!

Teague is shooting 91% from the stripe!

And his dribble penetrating inside out passing to his open shooters is starting to remind me of dare I say CP3?

He said what? Yes I said it! Teague’s play lately is starting to remind me of CP3..

Again I pose the question: Has Mr Conner been the main reason why Jeff Teague’s game is improving immensely as he starts to play heavier minutes?

Oh, did I mention his floater is unstoppable?

Sautee

November 26th, 2012
5:38 pm

slim,

Lester Connor was with the Hawks last year.

beone

November 26th, 2012
5:40 pm

hot.trod.87

November 26th, 2012
5:40 pm

Hawks are the 7th ranked NBA team.. Up from 13th last week !!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re 2nd in points allowed in the league. Hawks : 5th in the league in assists : Teague (7.3) Josh (3.5 ) Lou (3.4) Al (3.1) Devin (2.2) Pachulia (1.8) Korver (1.6) …Hawks: 6th in the league in steals….. Teague (1.5) & Lou (1.3) Josh (1.2) Korver (1.0) … After the Warriors game, several Hawks players, notably Josh Smith & Lou Williams were clearly frustrated w/ the issues on defense. Look now As a team, defensive efficiency (#1). Great leadership guys. Lou Williams has the highest PER on the Hawks team… Can’t describe how great it is to pick him up in free agency. Hawks Starting Front Court: Al 15.9 PPG 9.2 RPG 3.1 APG 0.9 BPG 0.5 STLPG … Josh 15.2 PPG 7.1 RPG 3.5 APG 2.1 BPG 1.2 STLPG …Hawks Starting Backcourt: Teague 13.8 PPG 2.7 RPG 7.3 APG 0.4 BPG 1.5 STLPG…. Lou 13.3 PPG 1.7 RPG 3.4 APG 0.3 BPG 1.3 STLPG ..

hot.trod.87

November 26th, 2012
5:43 pm

Astro Joe, Hawks held them lower when Ivan and Zaza both held the paint down so it’s not just the Josh factor. Also, he’s playing Zaza more ti help the weak perimeter defense of Teague who can’t seem to get around screens going back 2 years ago in the Bull_Hawks playoff series. The issue is lowering Josh and Al’s minutes so that they can be efficient in scoring like he does with Teague and Lou

Section 303

November 26th, 2012
5:46 pm

I love the way Teague is playing. I thought he struggled a little bit at the beginning of the Clippers game, but finished strong. Another thing…he is not afraid to take the big shot this season, espcially from 3. Last year, he passed up several chances to take big shots (thinking the home game against Golden State). He is taking, and making, those shots this year.

I was at the Bobcat game on Friday night. That team has gotten better. I’ve never really looked forward to attending a home game against the Bobcats. I’m looking forward to Wednesday night. It will be a fast paced, hard fought game.

Section 303

November 26th, 2012
5:48 pm

Also, Zaza has been awesome these past two games. I thought he was the player of the game in Charlotte on Friday. I know Al had big numbers, but Zaza made the plays down the stretch that won that game. His intensity on defense and offensive smarts sealed the deal against the Bobcats. He followed that up with another good game on Saturday against the Clippers.

hot.trod.87

November 26th, 2012
5:50 pm

Section 303.. I agree with Zaza.. adding him to the lineup has helped.

Section 303

November 26th, 2012
5:50 pm

I’ve been a season ticket holder for almost a decade now. This is my favorite Hawks team. I love the way they play. So fun to watch! Hawks play fast, play hard, and have yet to back down from anyone. Wish we lived in a decent sports town. This team should be getting better support.

Section 303

November 26th, 2012
5:53 pm

Also…looking forward to watching the Knicks/Nets game tonight. Will be a great atmosphere.

Plus, I’m going to Brooklyn when the Hawks play there in March. Can’t wait to see the Barclays Center.

grimey

November 26th, 2012
5:58 pm

Great streak

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
6:13 pm

Oh then never mind Sautee..lol

vava74

November 26th, 2012
6:17 pm

Soft Schedule. Don’t overreact. Encouraging start, but lets be realistic.

Next five games could be five losses. We simply can’t tell right n

vava74

November 26th, 2012
6:18 pm

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
6:19 pm

doc,are you going to watch MV7 versus Cam tonight on Monday night Football?

Thats if MV7 is even playing after that nasty concussion he received two weeks ago?

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
6:21 pm

“Soft Schedule. Don’t overreact. Encouraging start, but lets be realistic. ” -Vava74-

The Man of reason, at least when it comes to basketball analysis! hehehehe

keith

November 26th, 2012
6:22 pm

Hope the coach will start Zsa Zsa each game moving forward. His size and toughness cannot be quantified. This team functions much better with Zsa Zsa starting at the 5. His intangibles are the
keys to this streak.

hot.trod.87

November 26th, 2012
6:23 pm

vava74.. shut up. We beat the Clippers.. Almost beat the ROckets, Clippers away, Heat, & Warriors.. We are starting to gel and Drew is finding his rotation.

Rod from College Park

November 26th, 2012
6:27 pm

“Soft Schedule. Don’t overreact. Encouraging start, but lets be realistic.

Next five games could be five losses. We simply can’t tell right n”

Another decent post by vava. You would think the Hawks have made the finals based on some of the post the last couple of days. People, its early. Hawks have started fast the last couple of years if I remember correctly. The team is still a work in progress, but putting Zaza in the starting lineup, and replacing the invisible man with a guy who can actually kncok down wide open shots has helped a lot so far this year. Once teams adjust to how we play, the key will be if LD can adjust. Let’s at least wait till the midway point before we crown them the best team in the league. LOL

hot.trod.87

November 26th, 2012
6:29 pm

Clippers is ranked so that is not a soft schedule and the Bobcats (7-5) are sixth in the East.. Close to beating the Heat, Rockets, Warriors, and Clippers. then we were looking for rotations and chemistry.

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
6:31 pm

Sixers Fans must be pissed off that Bynum is gone indefinitely since he got traded to Philly..

The Lakers and Celtics have a knack at screwing fellow franchises.Those two are like a Trojan Horse!!

Do not trade with them ever!

Did the Lakers have a secret they withheld from Philly? Hmmmmmm

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
6:35 pm

Section 303 thanks for the reminder tonight on TNT between the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at 7pm!!

9-3 vs. 8-4

Jason Kid is out tonight. Ouch!

Rev in Tampa

November 26th, 2012
6:53 pm

The strike-shortened season last year spoiled me. It seems like it takes FOREVER between Hawks games.

doc

November 26th, 2012
6:54 pm

rod, some folks buried them before the season started. most reasonable people know the season is early. no one here has awarded them anything but acknowledgment of their efforts. most are just giving due credit when it is warranted. the same balanced folks will point to deficiencies when they do occur. assuredly, it is a given or promise that there will be down moments.

Rev in Tampa

November 26th, 2012
7:11 pm

I thought that the Hawks would lose their first 5 games of the season. The fact that the Hawks are 12 games into the season without losing 5 games yet is all gravy to me. Plus I’m still on a sugar high from attending the game against the Wizards last week.

Plus, the fact that the Hawks have not had one of those embarrassing blowout losses this year is reason for thinking that things have changed this season for the better.

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
7:18 pm

So Sir Charles believes the Nets are a superior team due to their superior rebounding stats and defense.He also like their bench over the Knicks bench…

Kenny Smith likes the Knicks over the Nets because he feels they have better shooters. He also states the 3 ball will keep falling.. Now that remains to be seen..

One alarming stat for the Knicks is in the 1st 9 games they held opponents to about 90 ppg. In the last 3 games that avg. has dramatically risen to roughly 115 ppg! Ouch!

Rev in Tampa

November 26th, 2012
7:18 pm

Furthermore, I see the Hawks play Charlotte, Cleveland, and D.C. in the next five games. When did these teams become world-beaters?

keith

November 26th, 2012
7:23 pm

Great to see Joe Johnson in another uniform. We were much more predictable with Iso Joe running the show. No way we beat the Clippers and Thunder with Average Joe…

keith

November 26th, 2012
7:25 pm

Joe Johnson missing at the rim. Wow, what a flashback. Most overrated player ever!

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
7:27 pm

Joe’s jumper is broke tonight.

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
7:29 pm

Those Brooklyn chants sound more like a college game…Different

keith

November 26th, 2012
7:32 pm

Knicks are going to be dangerous in the playoffs, i am not sure how we defend these guys. They are too long and too athletic from 2-5.

PG-Felton
SG-J R Smith
SF-Ronnie Brewer
PF-Carmelo Anthony
C-Tyson Chandler & Rasheed Wallace

6th Man of the year: Amare Stoudemeire

keith

November 26th, 2012
7:36 pm

When do we play Brooklyn and Broadway Joe Johnson? I am looking forward to that basketball game.

ag

November 26th, 2012
7:44 pm

I was at the Clipper game. I was a little disappointed in the crowd. I thought that game would sell out. Also FYI

If you are a former 7′ Atlanta Hawk center and all-time shot blocker, when they drop the cows from a parachute for fan give away, please give some kid the one you grab instead of stashing it in your pocket. LOL…..

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
7:48 pm

Nets come to Phillips Wed. Jan. 16th! Then the Hawks go to play in Brooklyn Friday night the 18th!

Knicks come to Phillips on Jan. 27th!

keith

November 26th, 2012
7:52 pm

Mike Woodson holds the Hawks franchise back for many years and is rewarded with a better job. This makes no sense! Only in America can you Screw up and move up, just look at Woodys Playoff record. THE ATLANTA HAWKS ARE MUCH BETTER OFF TODAY THAN THEY WERE 4 YEARS AGO, MR PRESIDENT.

ag

November 26th, 2012
7:52 pm

Stackhouse getting minutes with Nets….

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
7:55 pm

0-8 [woody in the 2nd rd.] [just brutal]

doc keeps reminding me Keith! lol

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
7:59 pm

Joe Johnson took 17:30 off the clock to score his 1st basket? Wow…

A Josh Childress sighting?

keith

November 26th, 2012
7:59 pm

Joe Johnson missed his first 5 shots. Sound familiar? Too bad we did not ship Joe and Woody to Utah with Marvin.

Jay Dawg

November 26th, 2012
8:01 pm

Please remind Josh he cannot shoot 3s or long jumpers for that matter. Play great D and drive to the basket and get fouled….

keith

November 26th, 2012
8:03 pm

Joe acted unprofessionally at his press conference IMO as he dissed his former teammates,. I have no respect for him after that classless act. Joe is a career loser as far as i am concerned.

Blast

November 26th, 2012
8:06 pm

Congratulations to Al Horford for winning the East Conference Player of the week award. He deserves it for his stellar play. Now if he could just make his free throws like he used to, he could really pad those numbers.

The team is jelling and playing well. Don’t forget, they beat the Thunder and Clippers. Starting line up should be Zaza, Al, Josh, Korver, and Teague. Ivan can back up Al and Zaza.

Teague is turning into a beast. With enough minutes, he could even be better than Chris Paul. Paul is crafty, but he does not have the speed and penetrating abilities of Jeff. And how about that floater, huh?

Stackhouse wasn’t hitting those threes when he played with the Hawks. Joe is 2 off 6 and finally got to the line.

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
8:07 pm

ISO Joe is so much more effective if does not hesitate when he receives the pass and just attack the basket..

Blast

November 26th, 2012
8:10 pm

There you go, Joe hitting that breakaway three.

Love ya, but don’t miss ya!

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
8:14 pm

Nets=13 offensive rebounds

Knicks just 3! Sheeh!

Slimjr

November 26th, 2012
8:16 pm

Melo going for 30+ tonight again

MVP candidate?