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Game #7: Hawks outlast Bobcats, 103-94

Atlanta Hawks 103 FinalRecap | Box Score 94 Charlotte Bobcats
Josh McRoberts, PF 31 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +2It’s not a good sign for Charlotte that McRoberts is the only player comfortable taking open threes. It helps when he’s hitting them, though. Josh was the best player on the floor for Charlotte tonight, pairing his five three-pointers with seven assists.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 33 MIN | 6-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 16 PTS | -6MKG was ultra-aggressive to start the game, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter and doing a good job of chasing Korver around screens. Unfortunately, he peaked early. Kidd-Gilchrist only took one shot in the second half, and didn’t score a point. When things are going well, MKG reminds me of prime Gerald Wallace: he finds creative ways to score, has an excellent touch around the rim, and is willing to sacrifice his body for a play. He just needs to go the whole 48.
Al Jefferson, C 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +4It took Jefferson a while to thaw himself out after missing five games, and he didn’t score in the first half. When he started calling for the ball in the post, though, you could see a glimpse of what the front office shelled out for. Even though it has a tendency to stop offensive movement, Jefferson’s post moves are definitely pretty. His passing was, too. Defense, though: not great. He got caught ballwatching a handful of times, which is probably going to be a running theme.
Kemba Walker, PG 32 MIN | 3-11 FG | 6-7 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -4Kemba struggled with his shot, and he’s in the middle of a mini-slump. Over the past three games, he’s shot 28.3 percent on 46 attempts. Tonight added an additional hurdle, as Walker and the team needed to adjust to Al Jefferson’s addition on offense. Finding that rhythm will take some time.
Gerald Henderson, SG 33 MIN | 3-8 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | 0A quiet night, minus a pretty dunk over Kyle Korver. Henderson’s game is built around his mid-range shot, and when it’s not falling he has a tendency to disappear.
Cody Zeller, C 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -14Sloppy defense and too many jump shots. Zeller’s still looking for that breakout game.
Bismack Biyombo, C 17 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -4This was Biyombo’s first game off the bench since opening night, but he didn’t seem to notice. He continued to rebound well in limited minutes, and just stayed out of the way on offense. A few mental miscues, including a goaltend and a defensive three-second violation, but those have been rarer so far this year.
Ramon Sessions, PG 20 MIN | 3-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -4Great job stabilizing the team in the second quarter; when the Bobcats gave up an early advantage, Sessions got aggressive and helped put them back up by five. He also played heavy minutes to start the fourth, cutting into a Hawks lead and keeping the game relatively close. On the whole, though, Sessions’ value drops when he isn’t getting to the line at a high rate. 10 points on 10 shots won’t push the needle much.
Jeff Taylor, SG 25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -13Taylor had a few nice drives the basket, but he still needs to find some consistency and finish a bit better. The team could also use some long-range shooting, but Taylor’s regressed there. He’s an ice-cold 17 percent from three through seven games.
Steve CliffordClifford made his return after recent heart pain sidelined him for Friday’s game against the Knicks. Good to see him back, but he’s still got a lot of offensive dysfunction to iron out.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Jeff Adrien’s getting squeezed out of the lineup, which is sad but understandable. His defense and rebounding are nice, but Tolliver’s shooting is important and Zeller needs minutes to develop.
  2. MKG Jump Shot Watch: 1-for-4. That includes a very optimistic three-pointer (he missed it), but doesn’t count his free throws. Not a great night, but he’s still an encouraging 5-of-11 on mid-range shots this season.
  3. Cody Zeller Jump Shot watch: 0-for-3 tonight, 3-for-9 from mid-range so far.