Archives For October 2012

harrisandteague

I’ll go ahead and say that I’m am not a fan of this move.

According to the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore
, Jeff Teague and Devin Harris will likely form the starting backcourt for Atlanta in Friday’s opener against the Rockets.

Personally, I wanted Lou Williams or Anthony Morrow; even Stevenson could have been better in that role as the team’s only good wing-defender. (Of course, Stevenson’s offense is.. well… offensive)

The case is really Harris vs. Williams for the starting spot. Over the past three years, Lou has been the better shooter, better ball-handler (while controlling the ball about as much), and better rebounder. And according to Synergy, Lou was the better defender by a mile last season: Continue Reading…

jamesharden1

Well, that escalated quickly.

Unable to come to an agreement on an extension, the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded the reigning Sixth-Man of the Year to the Houston Rockets. For full details on the trade, click here. Harden will likely sign an extension with Houston before Wednesday’s deadline.

Believe it or not, this move does affect the Hawks.

If Harden remained in OKC without an extension, he would have become a restricted free agent after the season. Without the extension, it would be unlikely that the Thunder would match an offer for Harden. (which is obvious, otherwise they just would have given him the extension) With the amount of cap space that the Hawks will have, it is without a doubt that the team would have pursued Harden, even if he wasn’t one of the team’s initial targets. (which are still Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Josh Smith)

I’ve got to hand it to Thunder GM Sam Presti, though; he does not mess around when it comes to his team. While Harden may be a great player, the contract that he is seeking would have completely restricted that franchise from making any moves in the future. They are still title contenders and can add more pieces pieces in the next couple of years, but they will surely miss Harden for his play-making abilities.

NBA Preseason Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers

AJC’s Chris Vivlamore reported yesterday that the Hawks have waived guard James Anderson and forward Damion James. Anthony Tolliver has made the team, and his contract will become guaranteed if he is still on the roster on January 10th.

Anderson being released is not a surprise. The Hawks currently have a surplus at his skill set. (3-point shooting) Anderson did have a bit of a sophomore slump last year, but the .391 mark he posted from behind the arc in his rookie year means that he will get a shot with another squad.

I did not foresee Damion being cut. I thought that the lack of depth at the SF position, combined with his decent showing this preseason, meant that he would have had a spot on the team. However, this roster move means that the Hawks will start the season with 14 players and an open spot, which will allow the team to make a pickup throughout the season, if they so wish.

Teams are allowed to have 13 players on the active roster. Seeing as he’s on a guaranteed contract and the Hawks aren’t playing him, Johan Petro will likely be the team’s inactive player for most of the season, barring injuries. If you are wondering why, here’s a link to Petro’s Basketball-Reference page, which shows he has negative offensive win shares for his career. (If you aren’t into analytics, let me express it this way: he’s not good)

The Hawks open the season at home versus Houston on Friday, a game that instantly got more exciting with the Rockets’ acquisition of James Harden from OKC. (More on that later)

louwilliams1

This isn’t going to be a normal recap, since the game wasn’t on TV and I wasn’t able to watch it, but there are some of the things I took out of the box score:

  • Yikes, Tolliver, Scott, and James! The three went a combined 4 for 22, which is not something to be proud of, unless you are Monta Ellis. (Monta is currently riding a 4 for 30 stretch) It’s a good thing that all three of these guys are, in my opinion, safe from a roster cut, because none of these guys had a performance that you want to end the preseason on.
  • Three of Josh’s nine shot attempts were long twos. The preseason may be a small sample size, but it still doesn’t look like Josh has kicked this habit of long jumpers. That’s not a good sign for him, nor the Hawks.
  • More bad news: the team shot 40% (30-75) overall, had 20 turnovers, and allowed the Pistons to shoot over 50%. Come on Hawks; you’re not the Bobcats.
  • Some good news: the team was 10-22 on three pointers, led by Kyle Korver and Lou Williams. Williams had a good game on offense, with 17 points on ten shots. He and Korver, though, had a total of seven giveaways.
  • Thoughts on the opposition: Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond played well, which is good news if you’re a Detroit fan. Those two players are certainly the future in Detroit, and could grow into a rather fearsome duo. Watch out for these two in the coming years, NBA!

One final highlight! Continue Reading…

Jeff Teague Rodney Stuckey

For their final tilt of the preseason, the Hawks (3-3) head up to Auburn Hill to take on the Pistons. (3-4) Some notes:

  • This is a huge game for Anthony Tolliver, Damion James, and James Anderson, as one of these guys is likely to be cut after the game. To be honest, I think AT and Damion are pretty secure, mostly because the Hawks already have 839 guards ahead of Anderson. Anderson is not a terrible player, but I’m was confused that the Hawks picked him up to begin with; he never really had a shot with all of the depth the Hawks have at that position.
  • The starting lineup tonight will likely feature Devin Harris again, which is something that I’m not exactly happy with. My preferred starting lineup at this point would be Teague/Stevenson/Korver/Smith/Horford, which gives the Hawks a good wing defender and an elite shooter to play with. Having Harris and Stevenson at the two and three just seems way too small. (which is noteworthy, considering the league has essentially turned into smallball)
  • For the other side, some fun players to watch for are Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Monroe’s lack of defense will be fun for the Hawks, but he’s also a very underrated offensive player. Drummond was selected with the ninth pick in the first round, and is a more traditional presence in the paint. (aka: he’ll probably be covering a lot of Monroe’s mistakes during the season)
  • The game starts at 7:30pm, and can be heard on 680 The Fan. (no TV again)

hawkshooptwitter

I sent out a Twitter question asking what fans of other NBA teams thought of the Hawks this season, and where they would finish. Here’s what they said:

 

 

Continue Reading…

Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew second from right talks with guard Anthony Morrow 22 forward Josh Smith and guard Louis Williams 3 during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Sunday Oct. 7 2012 in Atlanta. The Hawks won 92 79. AP Photo Todd Kirkland

The Atlanta Hawks: contender, pretender, or mystery object behind door number three? (which of course, is always terrible)

As the beginning of the 2012-13 season nears (which for the Hawks, is Nov. 2nd against Houston), we thought it was time that we here at HawksHoop released our predictions for the Atlanta Hawks’ ceiling, floor, and our predictions for the season.

1. What is the ceiling for the Hawks this season?

Jerold Wells, HawksHoop: For a ceiling I’d say these Atlanta Hawks could overachieve at a 55 win clip. An uptempo team featuring guards that can score, bigs that will outrun most 4s and 5s and a coach willing to put the ball in his best player’s hands with a “go win the game” imperative could turn into something special.

Bo Churney, HawksHoop: I don’t think this team is any worse than the Joe Johnson teams, which seemingly hit its ceiling in the 09-10 season with 53 victories. With the logjam of teams “meh” teams behind Miami, 53 wins could be good enough for 2nd in the East. However, I think this happens if, and only if, Josh Smith and Al Horford both play like All-Stars this year.

Nubyjas Wilborn, HawksHoop: I know Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus predicted the Hawks as the 2nd best team in the East. That is a bit too rich for my blood. I believe the ceiling for the Hawks is the 4th seed. Heat, Celtics, & Pacers in my opinion are all better than the Hawks. But I do believe the Hawks can be in the mix with the Rose-less Bulls, questionable Knicks, uncertain Nets and oft-injured Bucks.

Continue Reading…

The guys over at Hardwood Paroxysm were kind enough to write a novel for everybody, which is their 2012-2013 season preview. (Yes, it really is worth going through all 131 pages)

The Hawks are the first team previewed, and the team over at HP expects more of the same: middle-seeded playoff team, early round exit, etc. However, there is definitely more optimism about the team than previous years. You should check it out!

Videos courtesy of Nubyjas Wilborn.

NBA Preseason Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Could the Hawks be an even better team than they were last year? Could they even take a venture deep into the playoffs?

Sure, they made some trades; Joe Johnson’s gone. Marvin Williams is in Utah now, and Kirk Hinrich is back with the Bulls. All three are known around the league as plus defenders, and Marvin and Joe played pretty well offensively last season. Point is that those three guys are gone and someone has to replace them.

Enter: three-point shooting barrage.

It’s not that Joe and Marvin were terrible at shooting from deep; they had percentages of .388 and .389 last year, which are well above the league average. It’s just that two of the players that are likely to usurp many of their shots, Anthony Morrow and Kyle Korver, are even better. (both players’ career averages from behind the arc are comfortably over .400)

Here’s the kicker: those two aren’t the only ones on the Hawks who know how to knock down three-pointers. John Jenkins, Lou Williams, Jeff Teague, and Devin Harris can also hit those shots with proficiency. In fact, let’s take a look.

3pt numbers
Continue Reading…