Atlanta Hawks’ Top 5 Performers For Week Of December 16
Atlanta Hawks' Top 5 Performers For Week Of Dec. 16
Last week, the Atlanta Hawks struggled against some of the top talent in the league, going 1-2 while showing some offensive woes. Well, I think those offensive troubles can be pushed to the side because the Hawks brought some of their best performances of the season to the court on the offensive end this week. During this stretch of games, Atlanta lit up the scoreboard, producing 114, 124 and 118 points in the respective games. That kind of offensive production led the Hawks to a 3-0 record on the week.
Opponents had no answer for Coach Mike Budenholzer's offensive scheme in any of their games. The 124 points that the Hawks scored against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday was a season-high and showed people what happens when the Hawks play unselfish basketball. In fact, after the great performances the offense had this week, Atlanta now leads the NBA in assists per game. It is clear to me that the players have clearly bought into Budenholzer’s system so far this season.
When the Hawks started the week, their record was 12-12, but they gained ground in the Eastern Conference standings after going 3-0 this week. The Hawks separated themselves from the pack and now seem to be a team determined to take the no. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. I see no reason why Atlanta should not claim the no. 3 seed either based on the performances of other teams that trail the Hawks in the standings.
A lot of players stepped their game up this week for the Hawks and made it tough for me to decide the top five performers. Despite all of the great performances, only five can make this list. So check out my list to see who I believe are the top five performers of the week for the Hawks.
5. Elton Brand
Brand came off the bench and produced at a very high level on both ends of the court. His defensive performances this week were impressive. His physicality down low proved to be too much for opposing teams to handle. In his last game against the Utah Jazz, Brand dominated the Jazz on the glass with eight rebounds and had five blocks in limited minutes. Brand put in these types of performances all week, which is why he found my list at no. 5.
4. Kyle Korver
Korver almost did not make the list for the first time this season, but his performance against the Kings earned him a spot at no. 4. In the game against Sacramento, he scored a season-high 28 points, leading the team to victory with his 3-point shooting. Korver did not play well in his last game against the Jazz, but his 11 points in the third quarter propelled the Hawks to victory against the Los Angeles Lakers. Those two performances are the reason why Korver finds himself at no. 4 this week on my list of top performers.
3. Paul Millsap
I thought Millsap may never fall from the top spot, but two players elevated their games to the next level in order to dethrone the two-time top performer. Millsap continues to flirt with a double-double almost every night with the Hawks, and this week was no different. He recorded one double-double in the win against his former team, the Jazz, and came close in the other two contests. However, his numbers were not as good as previous weeks as he only recorded 18, 14 and 14 points in each game, causing him to fall from the top spot.
2. Jeff Teague
What a bounce-back week for Teague. This week, he brought his A-game to the court every game and made the offense run like a machine. His ability to distribute the ball and his threat to score really opened up the offense in all three games. In fact, I believe he’s the real reason why the Hawks managed to score so many points against all three opponents. Teague posted two double-doubles this week and probably would have had a third against the Jazz, but that game was over at the end of the first quarter. When Teague plays well, it’s amazing how much better the Hawks look offensively.
1. Al Horford
If anyone was going to take the top sport from Millsap, it had to be Horford. His performances for Atlanta this week helped lead the team to victory in all three games. This week, Horford recorded two double-doubles and like Teague, he would have had a third if not for the poor showing from the Jazz. In the three games this week, Horford scored 19, 25 and 23 points in the respective games. Those types of performances on offense are why he managed to take the top spot on my list. If Horford continues his high level of play, he is more than deserving of a sport on the NBA All-Star team for the Eastern Conference.