We've highlighted some folks that have named Paul Millsap as a 2014 NBA All-Star.
Now, one of the most high-profile NBA writers on the Interwebs, Grantland's Zach Lowe, joins the cacophony of NBA watchers that appreciate the level of play the 2 year, 19 million dollar man has added to the still-third-in-the-East Atlanta Hawks.
Millsap has kept the Hawks afloat against a tough schedule since Al Horford's season-ending injury with one of the league's most diverse offensive games - one that now includes a proficient, high-volume 3-point shot.
#Trillsap! What Lowe's says is all true. The last time that Horford went down with a pectoral injury and missed a significant portion of the regular season, Josh Smith carried the team to the playoffs and the team hardly seemed to miss a beat. Now, it's Millsap's turn, and he has responded with a 19.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.6 SPG, 1.3 BPG effort.
For the advanced statistical groupies (like me), his efficiencies are mixed since then. His usage is obviously up (27.9% of possessions compared to 23.3%) as is his assists (18.4% rate to 13.2%) and NBA Media Stats Player Impact Estimate (14% compared to 12.8%).
*PIE (Player Impact Estimate) measures a player's overall statistical contribution against the total statistics in games they play in. PIE is calculated based on player and game statistics only when a player is on the floor. (PTS + FGM + FTM - FGA - FTA + DREB + (.5 * OREB) + AST + STL + (.5 * BLK) - PF - TO) / (GmPTS + GmFGM + GmFTM - GmFGA - GmFTA + GmDREB + (.5 * GmOREB) + GmAST + GmSTL + (.5 * GmBLK) - GmPF - GmTO)*
For comparison sake, the NBA Top 3 in this category are Kevin Durant (21.5%), LeBron James (19.9%) and Chris Paul (19.2%).
Still, with only Jeff Teague as a core player left and a roster full of role players (albeit fun, productive role players!), Millsap has handled the role of Best Player on the Team well.
Part of the recognition might also come from the Hawks' standing in the East (3rd) and fill the slot with a Hawk that might have been forecasted for Horford.
Either way, the momentum is building for Millsap -- and it would be fantastic to have the #Trillsap phenomenon on display in New Orleans February 16th.