The Hinrich Effect

Sunday, April 17, 2011
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks’ trade for Kirk Hinrich wasn’t nearly as big of news as the pair of blockbuster trade’s that Orlando made earlier in the season to acquire Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas, but it was the one that had the biggest impact during Game 1.

Hinrich transition into the Hawks’ offensive flow hasn’t been seamless since he joined the team in February, but on Saturday night he was a key factor in Atlanta’s offensive outburst. Kirk scored 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half to help offset Howard’s dominance inside and give the Hawks a 55-48 lead.

Still, with a backcourt already featuring high-volume scorers in Johnson and Crawford, the Hawks traded for Hinrich to upgrade the perimeter defense.

A quick glance at the box score and you might not fully appreciate the job that Kirk did on Jameer Nelson in Game 1, but if you watched the game live you couldn’t help but be impressed.

Nelson finished with 27 points in just under 36 minutes for the Magic, as he and Howard dominated the ball on offense. However, if you break down his stats and look only at the minutes that he played with Hinrich on the floor his production is greatly reduced.

–> Nelson’s Total Numbers:
—-Minutes – 35:47
—-Points – 27 (10-of-18 FGs, 4-of-7 3FGs)

–> Nelson with Hinrich on the Floor:
—-Minutes – 27:39
—-Points – 12 (4-of-10 FGs, 1-of-3 3FGs)

That means that Jameer scored 15 of his 27 points in the 8 minutes that he had on the floor with Kirk on the bench.

It will not get near as much media attention during this series, but Kirk’s on-the-ball defense against Jameer is just as important in this series as the team’s defensive strategy against Howard. If the Hawks can’t prevent deep penetration from Jameer, then they will be forced to help from the weakside and rotate defenders around the perimeter. Something they are doing everything in their power to avoid.

Al Horford made sure to give his teammate a shout-out when talking to the media this morning. He credited the big men for their effort against Howard and then acknowledged the job Hinrich did against Nelson.

“I think that’s something that went under the radar a little bit,” Horford said.

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5 Responses to “The Hinrich Effect”

  1. Andrew

    Atlanta should protest game 2 the refs suck, one sided calls for Orlando

  2. Blade

    It’s hard to win a game yet along a playoff series with 8 against 5 on the court!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Blade

    I also think the hawks could have kept attacking the basket, the championship is won in the paint. I will be in the house Friday if the good lord permits, and I want to see more heart from our super star JOE JOHNSON step it up. He did in game one but have to stay more cosistent in forcing the issue when being garded by lesser defenders. J-SMOOVE NEEDS to get at least 10 dunk attempts before settling for the long jumper, although he has improved his range he’s more effective close to the basket. Come on HAWKS we have the pieces we just have to play our roles. Go Jason keeping standing in there we Al to stay at the 4 to go deep.

  4. Keith Scott

    What a heck of a shot by the true 6th man of this year and everyother year he plays with my Atlanta Hawks. Great shot Jamal Crawford,by the way RICK SUND this game was and is the reason why you need to resign Jamal Crawford. Awesome game Hawks! However someway somehow ya gotta stop Dwight Howard and Josh Smith you neeDto play your game you are not a shooter for the love of basketball please drive the ball to the hole and dunk like you use to do. I know that seems to primative to you because you are trying to show youy evoluation and stuff but stick to what you do best,please! I mean i am practically begging you drive to the hole and dunk. Leave the shooting to Joe and Kirk and the other guys. I ain’t saying you ain’t gotta a J however what I am saying save the J for crucial situations like when the shot clock is running out. Or when you only have a few seconds then do it. Awesome game Hawks. Keep up the good work and beat the Orlando Magic as a matter of fact I wanna see ya’ll beat the shizzle out of em in the next game. And then I wanna see my awesome ATLANTA HAWKS beat the miami heat in the next series. And from there I wish you guys all the luck in the world. Because I want a NBA trophy in Phillips Arena or wherever you may put the trophy. Let’s get it hawks. Let’s go Hawks

  5. Keith Scott

    Oh yeah I forgot um Kirk Hintich good job on Jameer Nelson keep up the good job and Zaza get the boards. Joe keep on making those shots lord knows we need em To my beloved Atlanta Hawks keep on winning regardless of any obstacles that will come your way win,win,WIN.