The NBA season is still very young, but Paul Millsap has been doing a very good job of helping the Atlanta Hawks not miss the departure of Josh Smith during the offseason to the Detroit Pistons one bit.
Smith hasn’t helped the Pistons catch fire yet with Detroit struggling at 4-7 after losing 93-85 Wednesday at Atlanta. Smith didn’t do much to help them get that fifth win with 5-of-15 shooting.
But Millsap was expected to help the Hawks pick up the slack without Smith and he has done so in convincing fashion including a solid 19-point performance against Detroit.
Atlanta is at 7-5, but Millsap is going to have to help his team maintain a competitive pace all season in order to make the postseason and then do something significant after that.
Millsap has been playing steady basketball at 16.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. His stats are comparable to what they were the past few seasons for the Utah Jazz. He’s not having the shooting struggles that Smith has been incurring in Detroit. Millsap, after his team’s first 10 games, was shooting 53 percent from the floor, a little higher than his 51.7 percent career clip. His three-point shooting of 36.7 percent is up a little bit from his career mark as well.
Right now, Millsap is showing himself to be a complete ballplayer. Atlanta pulled out what the Hawks considered an ugly win against the Pistons. But they’re finding ways to win with the likes of Millsap leading the way.
For that reason especially, it’s going to be a fun season for the Hawks.