NBA Roundtable

Atlanta To Push The Tempo

In General NBA on December 18, 2011 at 9:16 am

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports

Before last season the Hawks said they wanted to run the fast break more often. It was easy to see why.

Atlanta had fast, athletic players at every position, notably forward Josh Smith. And yet the Hawks finished last season ranked just 11th out of 15 Eastern Conference teams in the percentage of possessions used (shot, free throw or turnover) in transition, according to Synergy Sports Technology.

The Hawks return nearly all of those same athletic players and are again planning to run more.

That’s where Jeff Teague comes in.


There won’t be many teams faster from one through five.

“They all can get up and down the floor, which gives us a tremendous advantage in transition if we commit to the run, which I am really trying to get these guys to do,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “Jeff can really exchange ends. Joe can run. Marvin can run. Josh Smith is a deer and Al is probably as fast as any five man in the league.”

Some informative numbers

Last season the Hawks actually ranked seventh in the East in transition field-goal percentage and tied for sixth in points per possession on the break, according to Synergy.

They could be even more efficient on fast breaks if they could cut down on their turnovers. Atlanta ranked last in the East in the percentage of breaks that ended with turnovers, according to Synergy.

Teague being the centerpiece to Atlanta’s plans

And, of course, give it to Teague and let him lead the charge.

“It starts with Jeff Teague,” Johnson said. “He is going to ignite it and we will help him.”

Great news. I hope this comes to fruition.

The Hawks have underutilized their speed for years now. Glad that this is finally (hopefully?) is about to change.

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