Atlanta Hawks’ Top 5 Performers This Week
Top 5 Performers For Atlanta Hawks This Week
The Atlanta Hawks needed a bounce back week after struggling to win games over the last couple of weeks. Atlanta won three games out of a possible four, with the one loss coming at home against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs blew out the Hawks at Philips Arena, but in this game, Atlanta was forced to play without a number of important players, such as DeMarre Carroll and Pero Antic.
Surprisingly, two games that the Hawks won this week were on the road, which is something they have struggled to do all season. However, the biggest surprise happened in their first game on Monday when Atlanta pulled off a huge win over the Miami Heat.
The Hawks may have recorded a 3-1 record this week, but in the process, they lost two key players to injuries. Pero Antic was the first causality, as he injured his ankle in the win over the Orlando Magic and will be out for 2-4 weeks. His loss couldn’t have come at a worse time for a team already struggling to replace the production of Al Horford. However, the biggest causality may be the injury to Jeff Teague. He landed on Tim Duncan’s foot in the second quarter and twisted his ankle. X-rays were negative, so he should only be out one more game, however, recovery from ankle injuries are different for every player. Hopefully, he comes back sooner rather than later, because the Hawks will need their floor general to carry the team going forward.
Despite the two gruesome injuries, this week was actually a good one for Atlanta. A number of players are starting to develop their games to become crucial pieces to the Hawks’ success going forward. The starters have increased their production slightly to overcome all of the losses, but the bench players are the ones who have really took it upon themselves to up their game. Their high level of play is a big reason why Atlanta still maintains the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, despite all of the injuries. For this reason, a couple of bench players found my list for the top five performers of the week for the Hawks. Check out who they are and who else made the list as a top five performer of the week.
5. Shelvin Mack
Shelvin Mack makes the list at No. 5 this week due to his play as both a starter and a bench player.
His best performance occurred against the Heat at home. Teague couldn't get anything going for the Hawks in this game, so coach Mike Budenholzer turned to Mack to answer the call. He took the floor and made an impact right away by scoring 13 points and dishing out seven assists in order to lead Atlanta to a huge win over their rival Miami. He also had the tough task of replacing Teague as the starter later in the week against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks dominated the Bucks in this game and Mack didn't have to play that much, but while he was on the floor, the Atlanta offense ran very efficiently with him as the starting point guard.
4. Kyle Korver
The streak still continues for Kyle Korver after another impressive week for the Hawks.
He extended his NBA record of consecutive games with at least one three-pointer to 112 and is starting to put this record out of reach with every game he plays. This week, he did more than shoot the ball well, he also showed that he can rebound and pass the ball, too. Against Miami, he scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists in order for Atlanta to get a big win over the defending champions. He followed up this performance with another great display against the Magic, where he recorded 12 points, five rebounds and seven assists to get a surprise road win for the Hawks.
3. Mike Scott
One of the biggest surprises of the season has to be the development of Mike Scott.
Recently, he's taken his game to the next level and provides Atlanta with a great scoring option off the bench. Any time the Hawks needed an offensive spark, Scott came in to give coach Bud instant offense with his ability to hit the three or attack the rim. He scored in double figures in all four games this week to help lead Atlanta to a 3-1 record during this stretch and really made an impact in all three wins. Besides maybe Mack, Scott has been the most consistent bench player for the Hawks this season. After recent performances, Scott may be in line for more minutes as the season goes on if he continues to play this well.
2. DeMarre Carroll
DeMarre Carroll may have only played in three out of four games this week, but in those games, Atlanta went undefeated.
When he plays, the Hawks are a way better team with their premier defender on the floor. However, just recently, Carroll has shown the ability to not only play superb defense, but proved this week that he can also be a scorer. In three games, he shot an incredible 72 percent from the field, which included a 75 percent mark from behind the three-point line. His best performance came against the Heat, where he scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a great performance to lead his team to big win at Philips Arena.
1. Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap, or "Do-It-All-Paul" according to Teague, really does do it all for the Hawks, which is why he takes the No. 1 spot on my list.
This week was no different for the physical power forward as he led Atlanta to a 3-1 record because of his play on the court. His most impressive stat line came against Orlando on the road, as he led the team with 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and five blocks in a monster performance to guide his team to a win. The Magic game may have been his best effort, but in the rest of the games this week, he performed at that same high level. For the week, he averaged 21.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game to carry the team on his back while many players sat out with injuries. After recent performances, I think it's time for Millsap to get the recognition he deserves by being selected to the NBA All-Star game.