This Week In The Southeast, the Wizards are barely holding on to that spot at the top. Can they hold off the surging Hawks much longer? While those two continue their battle at the top, the Heat battle injuries and try to find themselves before they even consider challenging the ever expanding gap in the division. The Magic just finished a brutal start to their schedule with a lot of road games, will that really matter? Meanwhile the Hornets have won two straight but blew another 4th quarter lead, what’s with this team?

Washington Wizards, 19-6, 2nd in the East, 3-0 this week WAS

In a week where the Hawks looked primed and ready to take the number one spot in the division, the Wizards just wouldn’t let that happen. Washington went undefeated this week including a squeaker against Miami. Besides the Miami game, the Wizards took care of business the rest of the week defeating Minnesota and Utah by more than eight points, each

Atlanta Hawks, 19-7, 3rd in the East, 3-0 this week ATL

The poor Hawks are doing everything they can to catch up to Washington but they’re still a half game behind. Even though Atlanta doesn’t have the best record in the division they have nothing to be unhappy about. Atlanta has won 14 of their last 16 with their last three wins coming against Chicago, Cleveland, and Houston. There might not be a team in the Eastern conference playing better than the Hawks.

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With how good the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and San Antonio Spurs often are, it is hard for road teams from the East to come into Texas and expect any success. The Hawks are not an exception to that, but Atlanta grinded out a rare victory in the Lone Star state, beating the Rockets 104-97. The Hawks now sit at 19-7 and have now won 14 of their last 16 games.

Atlanta managed to pull it out in the end thanks to some nice passing and solid execution. It also helped that Jason Terry completely forgot to cover Kyle Korver during one of the game’s most crucial moments.

While the game started off close, it wasn’t like that until midway through the third quarter. The Hawks had a decently-sized lead through most of the first half thanks to crisp ball movement getting them a lot of open looks. For the majority of the game, the best the Rockets could do was go on a small run occasionally, but the Hawks would withstand it and get right back to business and build up their lead once more. That was until the Rockets adjusted.

During halftime, the Rockets made some tweaks that managed to get them back into the game, tying the game up by the end of the quarter. Part of it was the Hawks just not hitting shots, but the Rockets rotations were much more organized in the second half; when the Hawks started to move the ball, the Rockets were right there to contest the shot. Continue Reading…

Shelvin Mack had sat out the past two games because of the Hawks’ superb depth at point guard with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder. With Teague on the sidelines due to a hamstring strain, Mack had an opportunity to make an impact on Wednesday night against LeBron and the Cavaliers.

And boy did he do just that.

Mack scored a career-high 24 points off the bench, including 17 points and a 5-for-5 performance from 3 in the second quarter that swung the game in the Hawks’ favor. After trailing by 12 in the second, the Hawks rallied to take a 65-60 lead into halftime. Mack’s play translated to the rest of the Hawks in the second half, as Atlanta outscored Cleveland 62-38 in the final 24 minutes to give the Hawks a 127-98 victory.

The Hawks took control in the third quarter by continuously running plays targeting Kevin Love on defense. Paul Millsap and Al Horford accounted for seven straight Atlanta field goals in a span where the Hawks expanded their lead to double-digits. Horford finished with 20 points and four assists, while Millsap tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Continue Reading…

Hawks Outlast Bulls for 17th Win

Bo Churney —  December 15, 2014 — 1 Comment

After having their nine-game win streak broken in Orlando, the Hawks were able to rebound (figuratively, not literally; the were outrebounded 57-40) against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls with a scrappy 93-86 win.

The Hawks were led by Al Horford, who had one of his best all-around games of the season. Horford tallied 21 points on 10-for-19 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two steals. It was Horford’s second 20-point/10-rebound game of the season. The six assists were a season-high for Horford, who appeared to take extra effort in trying to control the offense in the fourth quarter in order to try and keep Chicago’s defense on its heels.

“We talked about wanting to have great pace coming out tonight,” said Coach Budenholzer. “The first quarter, scoring 28 points against a really good defensive team… we got some baskets in transition. The one Al got sticks out. Paul’s sticks out to me. It probably ended up being the little bit of cushion that we needed, that allowed us to get the win.”

The Hawks received two solid performances off of the bench tonight, one being from Elton Brand. Brand only played 13 minutes, but he made his presence known, scoring eight points and loudly stuffing a shot attempt by Pau Gasol. Brand followed up that block with a jumper less than a minute later, which gave the Hawks a nine-point lead early in the game. Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast the Atlanta Hawks had the second place spot in the East, and then they didn’t. While hte Washington Wizards and Hawks create distance from the rest of the division everybody else just seems to be fumbling around. The Miami Heat don’t look like they’re going to get any better and that’s a problem this early in the year. Meanwhile the Orlando Magic continue to stay competitive while the Charlotte Hornets try to right the ship.

Washington Wizards, 16-6, 2nd in the East, 3-1 this week WAS

The Wizards could have gone 4-0 this week but they lost a sluggish afternoon road game to the Boston Celtics. While losing to the Celtics is not good it’s very difficult to fault sluggish play in an afternoon game. The Wizards responded by ripping off three straight wins, including their best win of the year over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Atlanta Hawks, 16-7, 3rd in the East, 4-1 this week ATL

The Hawks win streak finally came to an end Saturday night due to a Tobias Harris game winner in Orlando. The loss was on a back to back and Orlando has been a pain for a lot of teams this year so that’s not a bad loss. Before that the Hawks were on a nine game winning streak and at one point were second in the Eastern conference. While this week didn’t feature any big time wins, the Hawks were able to keep their streak going all the way up to the final seconds in Orlando. Also of note this week, the Hawks had quite a few blowouts which is surprising since this team isn’t known for blowing opponents out of the building. It’s safe to say at this point that Atlanta is a good team.
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The Atlanta Hawks were out-hustled, out-executed and out-coached over the final seven minutes as a Tobias Harris buzzer-beater sealed a 100-99 win for the host Orlando Magic. The loss brought the Hawks’ nine-game win streak to a humbling conclusion. Jeff Teague had a careless turnover, failed to convert multiple isolations resulting from broken plays and was a disaster on defense in the closing minutes.

Teague and Paul Millsap replaced Dennis Schröder and Mike Scott with the Hawks up 83-80 with seven minutes remaining. Kyle Korver followed up a pair of Harris free throws with an elbow jumper. Kent Bazemore, who had a season-high 10 points, missed a heat-check 3-pointer after an offensive rebound. Teague then drove the lane and threw the ball into the stands. He looked better on the next trip with a lob pass to Al Horford, whose layup put the Hawks ahead 87-82.

Harris responded with a tough pull-up in the lane over DeMarre Carroll. Teague missed a step-back three on a broken possession. Korver replaced Bazemore with four minutes to play. Teague got a blow-by layup and the Hawks led 89-84 with 3:47 on the clock. Nikola Vučević then hit a baseline turn-around before Harris fouled Korver on a 3-point attempt. Korver’s free throws put the Hawks up 92-86 with 2:57 remaining. Continue Reading…

The Hawks won their ninth game in a row on Friday at Philips Arena, prevailing 87-81 over the Orlando Magic. The Hawks shot just 37.2% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc on 29 attempts, and the Magic weren’t much better, shooting 39% from the field and 34.6% from three. Coach Budenholzer mentioned in his postgame press conference that he would have liked to see the Hawks drive to the basket more often; the Hawks finished with just 24 points in the paint. Jeff Teague and DeMarre Carroll particularly struggled to hit from range; the pair hit just two of their thirteen shots from three.

The second quarter and early part of the third quarter were particularly ugly for both teams. Atlanta scored just 11 points in the second quarter and the Magic opened on a 17-5 run in the first six minutes of the third. The Hawks came roaring back in the final 18 minutes of the game, outscoring Orlando by 42-24 down the stretch, including a key 11-0 run to close the third quarter and tie the game at 64. Al Horford and Paul Millsap combined for 33 points on 13-for-25 shooting through three quarters, with Horford making a big three-pointer that tied the game with 39.5 left in the quarter.

Pero Antic did not play in the game due to flu-like symptoms and Coach Budenholzer said pregame that he would not travel with the team for Saturday’s game, opening up minutes from Elton Brand and Mike Muscala. Brand responded with one of the better one point, two rebound performances you’ll ever see and was the talk of the locker room after the game. Carroll praised Brand’s defensive toughness: “He came in there and just told us to be aggressive … Everybody started playing as hard as he did.” Horford echoed Carroll’s statement, saying, “His aggressiveness on defense and toughness really got us over the top.” Muscala didn’t see the floor in Antic’s absence due to Brand’s play.

Dennis Schröder had a terrible shooting night but changed the game with his defensive intensity. He even forced a five-second violation after a Hawks turnover and consistently picked up Magic guards as soon as they got the ball, hounding them all the way up the court. Coach Budenholzer had good things to say about the young guard after the game: “He was 1-for-7, but I was more interested and more encouraged by how active he was, his pace, and everything he did to help us turn the momentum.”

The Hawks may have played an ugly offensive game, but those games are going to happen in a long season and they did well to fight on the defensive end to close out a scrappy Orlando Magic team. The Hawks see the Magic again on Saturday in the second game of their home-and-home series in Orlando, where they will go for their tenth win in a row, something they haven’t done since January 1997.

There might be only one reason why Greg Monroe is not playing for the Atlanta Hawks. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported over the summer that the Hawks were one of three teams that discussed trade proposals involving Monroe with the Pistons. Monroe’s agent said two teams offered him a max contract as part of those discussions. Of the teams mentioned by Wojnarowski, the Hawks and Phoenix Suns had the most cap flexibility.

Shams Charania reported on Real GM that Van Gundy scuttled trade talks by demanding All-Star talent in return. Thus, the most likely reason Monroe isn’t a Hawk is because Van Gundy thought he could make the mismatched trio of Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and Monroe work. Van Gundy was wrong.

The Pistons have been an unmitigated disaster. A quarter of the way through the season, Detroit is tied with the league-worst 76ers in the loss column. Monroe took a huge financial risk by signing the qualifying offer. If Monroe gets injured, he doesn’t have the security of a long-term deal and it could reduce his career earnings. Even if Monroe hasn’t “checked out” on the Pistons, how could it fail to impact the team’s chemistry, knowing that he’s gone at season’s end?

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The Atlanta Hawks and Phillips Arena today announced the hiring of Nzinga Shaw as the organization’s new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. The decision to create this role within the organization was made in the wake of racially-charged comments by Hawks part-owner Bruce Levenson and GM Danny Ferry that came to light over the summer. The Hawks are the first NBA organization to hire a CDIO.

Shaw, a Spelman College graduate with a graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, previously worked in a similar role with Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, and has worked for the NFL and Yankees Entertainment.

“My goal as the CDIO is to help our organization rebuild trust and partnership in the Atlanta community, emphasizing civility, sportsmanship, and human decency in an effort to ensure that everyone can be a fan of the team, attend home games, and so that we can serve as a model for inclusion in the NBA,” said Shaw in the press release announcing her new role. Continue Reading…

Jeff Teague has always been one of the more underrated players in the league. In a league full of athletic and talented point guards, Teague quietly puts up solid numbers on a perennial playoff team and the majority of causal NBA fans have no idea.

Much like Atlanta sports teams, Teague shows flashes of greatness, but at times has struggled with consistency. Last season, he started off strong and it had many wondering if this was his all-star year. Through the month of December last season, Teague was averaging over 19 points and eight assists per game, prompting Hawks’ fans and writers to believe in the point guard.

A bomb went off in December though, as Al Horford went down with a torn pectoral, and Teague had a tough test ahead of him. Through the month of January, he averaged just 13.6 points and 4.6 assists on 37 percent shooting from the field. He also posted an ugly 16 percent clip from three-point range.

So where did the All-Star Jeff Teague go?

Though he rebounded from a terrible month of January, Teague never got back to the level he showed in the early months of the season. That is, until the playoffs rolled around. Continue Reading…