Paul Millsap had a more impressive week than the individual performances of Carmelo Anthony and Terrence Ross.
The Hawks power forward was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference player of the week for his play Jan. 20-26, the league announced Monday. He led the Hawks to a 3-1 record, including a win over Miami. He averaged 21.3 points on 50.8 percent shooting with 7.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals and two blocks.
The overall effort topped the 61-point game of New York’s Anthony and the 51-point game of Toronto’s Ross. Millsap’s most impressive performance came in a 121-114 win over Miami on Jan. 20 (26 points, seven rebounds and four assists). He had 24 points, six rebounds, five assists, five blocks and three steals in a 112-109 win over Orlando. He also had 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in a 112-87 win over Milwaukee.
Millsap said he was excited and grateful for the award and credited his teammates and coaches.
“I didn’t even think about it,” Millsap said of his body of work. “To be honest with you, I forgot about the week that we had. We went 3-1. I guess all that was overshadowed by the San Antonio loss. We had a great week. Our team played great this week and I give a lot of credit to that.”
It’s the first player of the week award for Millsap after his first seven seasons in Utah.
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant was named the Western Conference player of the week.
Other nominees for the awards, in addition to Anthony and Ross, were: Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic, Charlotte’s Al Jefferson, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Memphis’ Zach Randolph, Miami’s Chris Bosh and LeBron James, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.
Mack warned: Shelvin Mack received a flop warning, the league announced Monday.
The guard was cited for a play early in Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee. With 6:15 remaining in the first quarter and the Bucks leading 11-10, Mack fell backward in the paint after making contact with Brandon Knight.
“I was very shocked (by the warning) because he stepped on my foot and I fell,” Mack said. “It wasn’t like I was trying to get a call or anything.”
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer declined to comment on the warning.
While the first violation draws a warning, Mack would be hit with a $5,000 fine for a second infraction. He is the only Hawks player to receive a warning this season.
Hawks get exception: The Hawks received a $5.25 million dollar disabled player exception for the season-ending loss of Al Horford.
The Hawks had to apply to the NBA for the exception, which was granted by the league last week. Should the Hawks elect to sign one player to replace Horford, the exception would allow them to exceed the salary cap. The player could acquired via trade or free agency.
In order to obtain the exception, an NBA-designated physician ruled it substantially more likely than not that Horford would be unable to play through the June 15.
“The exception provides us another resource as we continue to evaluate our team and it provides us valuable flexibility,” general manager Danny Ferry said. “As always, we will look for opportunities that make sense for the short- and long-term interest of the organization.”
The Hawks entered the season with a total salary of $57,265,966, putting them $1,413,034 under the salary cap.
According to the NBA collective bargaining agreement, the Hawks could sign a player for one season for $2,652,000 (their non-taxpayer mid-level exception) or trade for a player in the last season of his contract making no more than $2,752,000 (their non-taxpayer mid-level exception plus $100,000).
Teague out: Jeff Teague missed his second game with a left ankle sprain. The starting point guard suffered the injury in Friday's loss to San Antonio. He missed Saturday's game at the Bucks and did not join the team for Monday's game in Oklahoma City.
Mack started in Teague’s place.
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