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Q&A on Paul Millsap, with Peachtree Hoops’ Brad Rowland

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Our friends over at Peachtree Hoops stops by to tell us about Millsap

NBA: All Star Game-Media Day Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

We reached out to Brad Rowland, our friend from over at Peachtree Hoops, SB Nation’s Atlanta Hawks blog for some insight into the team’s newly acquired all-star power forward, Paul Millsap. Rowland is the managing editor over at PTH and also hosts the Locked On Hawks podcast. Check out our brief conversation below.

It seems like Millsap is a huge fan favorite in Atlanta and Utah before that. What do fans think of him?

Brad Rowland: In general, I think Hawks fans really enjoyed Paul. In some respects, he’ll always be underrated because he's a player that contributes things (ahem, defense) that go beyond the numbers. Hawks fans have showed love for him, though, and a number of them are certainly sad to see him walk away at this time.

What kind of player are the Nuggets getting in Millsap? Is his age a concern at all and did you notice a significant decline in his game over the last few years?

Rowland: For my money, he's still a top-25 player in the league. Offensively, his efficiency slipped this season but it's an open question as to whether that was Paul or having to deal with an offense that left a lot to be desired from a personnel standpoint. Defensively, he is always in the right place, has fantastic hands and can be switchable at a time where that is paramount in the NBA. Millsap isn't a dominant offensive player but his game is malleable and he can be a bucket-getter when the situation calls for it. His age is a slight concern but, given that the deal is only for two guaranteed years, there is very little downside.

Nikola Jokic is pretty similar to Al Horford on the offensive end but with a lot more individual scoring prowess. How do you see Jokic and Millsap working together?

In a word, beautifully. Millsap has thrived with ball movement (and player movement) around him and, as you well know, Jokic’s passing is unbelievable. Millsap might see his touches dwindle a bit but, if anything, that should aid in the efficiency department. Defensively, Millsap can cover up for some of Jokic’s weaknesses and even serve capably as a small-ball center if needed. One of the beauties to Paul’s game is his versatility.

Does Millsap have any nicknames, traits, or quarks fans should know about?

Hawks fans have taken to calling Millsap “The Anchorman” after TV broadcaster Bob Rathbun coined it during his tenure. It is a pretty fitting nickname given all that Millsap was able to do to make things work on both ends. Aside from that, Paul is kind of a straight shooter that is professional and always shows up.

The Nuggets had the best offense in the league after Jokic was named the starter (December 15) and the 2nd worst defense. How do you see those things changing with Millsap in the fold?

Millsap is a better defensive player than he is an offensive player at this point and I think it would be fair to describe him as a top-10 player in the league on that end. His presence almost certainly will aid Denver’s defense in a sharp way and, unless he falls off considerably, Millsap should do nothing to take anything off the table offensively. Nuggets fans should probably be salivating at the thought of “fixing” the defense with just one move without giving anything back in offense.

Any closing thoughts on Millsap, the Hawks, and/or the Nuggets?

Paul Millsap was a delight to cover and watch for four years. The Hawks are moving in a different direction and, in my view, that makes a ton of sense given the roster constraints at the moment. That isn’t Millsap’s fault, though, as he was the only premium player on the roster and I’m happy he’ll have the opportunity to play for a competitive squad in 2017-2018 and beyond. I have a feeling you’ll enjoy him immensely in Denver and Millsap has a fan for the duration in me.