Aerial Battle On: Hawks @ Pelicans

The Hawks are hardly a team brimming with spectacular talent.  Their two most impressive players – Al Horford (injured) and Paul Millsap (newly minted all-star) aren’t exactly known for flash, but instead rumble through the league being efficient and looking up at the rim as they put home floaters and power layups.

Despite the lack of a star and flashy play, the Hawks are still getting along pretty well by embracing the new NBA in all its glory:  They shoot a lot of threes.  In fact, they shoot the 2nd highest rate of threes in the league, jacking up a triple on 30.1% of their shots.  Since the team as a whole shoots 37% from deep, good for 8th in the league, they take advantage of the simple fact that a 37% shooter from three is at least as good than a 50% shooter from 2. (Yes, I know the math unequivocally states the 37% shooter is better – but some 2-point shooters also get lots of free throws.  3-point shooters not so much)

So tonight we get to see the first real test of the improved defense the Pelicans have sported over the past couple weeks.  Can they get out on a team that has 10 different people averaging a pair of threes or more per game?

Keys to the Game

  • Really.  Get out on those shooters.  Other than Kyle Korver the Hawks aren’t packed with good shooters, merely solid ones – so make sure those solid shooters feel pressure.
  • Assault the Boards.  The Hawks, especially without Horford, are sub-par on both ends of the floor as a rebounding team.  The Pelicans need to clean up on the glass.
  • Attack the Rim.  The Hawks have no shot blocking to speak of and are weak on the defensive glass.  Get to the rim, hit the shot, or clean it up.  Just expect few free throws.  The Hawks are one of the best teams in the league at not fouling.

Tipoff is at 7 Central.  Enjoy the Game!

3 responses to “Aerial Battle On: Hawks @ Pelicans”

  1. Your keys indicate ATL is well coached.  I haven’t seen them this year & look forward to the game tonight.

  2. Yes! Really. Like, for real. It’s kind of a big deal.
    The naming rights were for sale. You could have bought them.
    It’s a LA based company. Why hate?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.