Paul Millsap knows he needs to be heard.
The Hawks want their All-Star power forward to be a vocal leader. Several times last season, Millsap pulled players together on the floor to get them to settle down with a game on the line.
He has done it some this season. He might have to do it more.
“There were a few times when I should have done it,” Millsap said. “Times, I did it and it worked. Maybe I should do it more. It’s just how I feel. I have to do it. I have to be more vocal. I have to call the guys in and settle them down some times.
“It’s not just myself. I’m not going to put all that pressure on myself. We still have veteran guys on this team so they can help out with that too.”
Millsap enters Friday’s game against the Pistons as the team’s leading scorer at 18.0 points a game. (Jeff Teague is second at 15.8). Millsap is also averaging a team-high 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.1 steals in a team-high 34.9 minutes. According to the Hawks, Millsap is the only player in the NBA this year averaging at least 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.
The Hawks are trying to stop a two-game losing streak against the Pistons. Count Millsap as one who sees the Hawks as a better team than the 5-5 record indicates.
“Me personally, I know what type of guys we have,” Millsap said. “At the end of the day, it’s up to us if we want to be mediocre or if we want to be a really good team. I think we’ve shown signs of being a really good team. We’ve shown signs of being a mediocre team. It’s up to us.”