Atlanta Hawks: How Flip Murray Has Replaced Josh Childress

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMay 11, 2009

As Josh Childress departed for Greece in the summer out went their best bench player, their one true offensive threat that could carry them while their mains were vacated on the bench.

To purify the wound they signed Maurice Evans and Flip Murray. Murray has been the more productive of the two during the regular season and the bonus land known squarely as the NBA Play-offs and has developed into one of their best options not only coming off the bench but during crunch time.

Murray averaged 12.2 points during the regular season scoring 20 or more points ten times and has averaged over double-figures during the Hawks' postseason run. Including the postseason, the Hawks are 9-3 when Murray makes three three-point field goals with wins over the Nuggets, Hornets, and the Heat.

He's scored 15, 11, 23, 13, 15, and 17 points collectively for Atlanta from Round One to Round Two and is a big reason why the Hawks' have been so competitive in the postseason.
Josh Childress on the other hand only averaged 7.1 points per game and missed both his attempts from long-range in the Hawks' series against the Boston Celtics.
During the Miami series, if you take away his scoring contributions from Games Four, Five, and Seven, the Hawks' would've lost those games and wouldn't have advanced to the second round for the first time in over 10 years.
He also eats up minutes for Atlanta without picking up foul trouble (he's yet to pick up more than three fouls the entire postseason) and can guard any team's opposing point guard because of his size and solid foot-speed.
In the Atlanta-Cleveland series, Flip scored seven points down the stretch in Game Three as Atlanta at the time was battling with Cleveland for the lead. Though the Hawks weren't able to take control of the game and hold on to the lead it gave them valuable experience and the confidence that even though their playing against arguably the hottest team in the league, that they still have a shot to be their lone exception.
Prior to this, Atlanta never had a lead after the first quarter during the entire series. Its clear that the Hawks are making strides and they can thank Flip Murray for the help.


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