Archives For May 2013

“The Future Power Rankings are ESPN Insider’s projection of the on-court success expected for each team in the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

Consider this a convenient way to see the direction in which your favorite team is headed.”

ESPN asked a series of questions to it’s expert panel, which involves yours truly, to rank each team in the NBA based on the expectations over the next three season. These questions were based on roster, money, market, and the team’s management. Here is the article. (ESPN Insider required)

Now, I usually try not to get caught up in things like rankings, but something about this intrigued me. The Hawks fell three spots from the last time this survey was done, which was in August 2012. The biggest factor that took a hit was the management category, which fell from 13th down to 19th.

Now, a few things need to be clarified about this survey: more people participated than the last time it was done in August. For all I know, the question may have been different then as well. The survey was also completed BEFORE the Hawks hired Mike Budenholzer as head coach. Continue Reading…

Robby, Nubyjas, and I discuss the hiring of Mike Budenholzer and the impact the move will have on the rest of the team’s decisions.

Evaluating Larry Drew

Bo Churney —  May 28, 2013

The Hawks have hired Spurs’ assistant Mike Budenholzer, meaning that Larry Drew is out as head coach.

The Hawks were 128-102 in three seasons with Drew as the head coach. Drew had been with the team since 2004, when he was hired by Mike Woodson as an assistant.

This really doesn’t come as a surprise. Drew’s contract was slated to end after this season, and one would figure that GM Danny Ferry would want to bring in his own hire for however he plans to rebuild. Drew has also been under fire by fans for his entire head coaching tenure for the leash that he allowed Josh Smith to operate on.

However, that shouldn’t be what Drew is remembered for in Atlanta. Drew arose to the head coaching in a hot situation; Woodson was fired after being swept for a second consecutive playoffs and the then assistant took a shot in the dark to earn his first head coaching position.

Drew had his work cut out for him; he was essentially guiding a team with three guys (Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Al Horford) that would ideally work as a second option. To compound this problem, the best player out of these three, Horford, was the one who didn’t assert himself to be the number one guy, leaving Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford (!), and Josh Smith hoisting the majority of the shots. Continue Reading…

According to Yahoo! Sports, the Hawks are in conversations with Spurs’ assistant Mike Budenholzer to become the next head coach of the team.

As of 4:10PM, AJC beat writer Chris Vivlamore reported that the Hawks have indeed hired Budenholzer.

This could be considered a coup for the Hawks. While GM Danny Ferry did used to be under the employ of the Spurs, it was unknown if he would be able to lure Budenholzer away from San Antonio; Budenholzer was supposed to be the successor to legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Budenholzer had been with the Spurs since Popovich’s first year in 1997.
Continue Reading…

NBA: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks*Daniel Shirey – USPresswire

Lou was signed in the offseason to a 3-year/$15 million contract and immediately became a fan favorite. Not only was he from Atlanta, but he played the part well; he worked within the community and had the guys doing public practices in HS gyms. In about a month, he had probably done more in Atlanta than Joe Johnson did over a seven year span.

His first few games in an Atlanta uniform only added to his status. In his sixth-man role, he was ready at any time to become the team’s number one option on the court. Unlike the passive Johnson that he was essentially replacing, Lou let his emotions be seen on the floor and his fearlessness in the paint gave something that the Hawks desperately needed: a guy that could live at the free throw line. Unfortunately for Lou and the Hawks, his season ended about halfway through the year, when he tore his ACL in Brooklyn against the Nets.

Lou Williams

While his per-36 numbers are great for a third option on a team, the overall Continue Reading…

Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Lou Williams has had some free time on his hands as he rehabs from ACL surgery. In that free time, Williams has made his first foray into the rap game, releasing his first single “Playin Wit Dem Racks.” Williams has long wanted to venture into making rap music and has had his share of features on other artists tracks. It is well known that LouWill is a long-time friend of Meek Mill, a member of Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, and Williams frequently can be spotted out at clubs with many rappers. You can listen to “Playin Wit Dem Racks” by Lou Williams featuring Anakin & Bop here.  (Warning: Very Strong Language).

My first thought was that I was relatively impressed by Williams’ flow. He clearly is influenced heavily by his boy Meek Mill as he has much of the same sound and lyrical rhythm as Meek with the way he fluctuates speed and pitch. Williams was the strongest on the track by far, and had some quality lyrics. If this is an indication of Williams’ future rap career, then he could become one of the best basketball player/rappers. That admittedly is not a difficult feat with so many awful attempts in the 90s by basketball players, but he could climb into the Stack Jack (Stephen Jackson) range. Now, onto the highlights. Continue Reading…

A summer of immense change awaits this Atlanta Hawks team, with the majority of players facing free agency and a coaching vacancy soon needing to be filled. Among all of the hysteria that comes with rebuilding a team nearly from scratch, there is one person Hawks and their fans can be thankful to have anchored in position with the team. That’s Al Horford, two-time All-Star, whose second half of this prior season has solidified his name with the best bigs in the entire league.

Post All-Star break, Horford put up averages of 19.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists a night on 54.8% shooting from the field. The lingering effects of his left pectoral muscle tear – an injury which nearly erased Horford’s 2012 season – have seemingly worn off completely, and Horford has shown us but a snippet of how strong his game is at full health in the late stretch of this past year. This level of performance for such a well-rounded player extended throughout an entire season would raise the question of whether or not he’s a star.

That said, Horford is 26 years old and his contract with the Hawks is set through the 2016 season. With a major rebuilding in the making, having a piece such as Horford gives the Hawks a couple of options to deliberate in the off-season. Atlanta can build around Horford as their star player, and spend their cap space on bringing in the best surrounding cast they possibly can. Or, the Hawks could have Horford take a supplementary role behind one or two star players. There are many aspects here to consider, so let’s begin. Continue Reading…

This morning, the Hawks posted an account of one of the greatest games in NBA history: 1988, game seven between Atlanta and Boston.

A lot can be taken from this game. How different would history be if the Hawks had won? Would they have won a title? Hell, how much different would ATL attendance be if the team at least had an Eastern Conference Finals appearance to hang its hat on?

Here’s the link. It’s a fantastic read that is totally worth your time.

The Hawks have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. From choosing a new coach to attempting to lure Chris Paul or Dwight Howard, GM Danny Ferry has a lot of stuff on his desk to tackle.

However, what’s to become of the lesser free agents that are currently still on Atlanta’s roster? While many are focusing on the big names, the Hawks will still need a group of solid bench players to fill out next season’s roster.

So who should they keep?

It’s already well known that the team wants Kyle Korver, so I will skip over him. It’s also likely that the Hawks will let go of DeShawn Stevenson, as he showed severe signs of decline this year and has a non-guaranteed contract. Ivan Johnson can still be tendered with a qualifying offer. Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack will be on Atlanta’s Summer League squad, and figure to be in the mix as cheap sign-ees over the summer.

The players I am most interested in are Devin Harris, Anthony Tolliver, and Zaza Pachulia. Not only are these guys still productive, but they are also likely to attract attention from other teams.

Starting with Harris, I think he’s still got a lot left in him if he can stay relatively healthy. (i.e. 60+ games a season) Despite battling injuries this year, he was still able to put up 10 points and three assists a game on good enough shooting percentages. He’s also a plus-defender and was one of the most important players on the Hawks in terms of on/off efficiency. With this class of free agents and the importance of having a serviceable back up point guard, Devin is likely in the market for a decent chuck of cash, around $5 million per season. Continue Reading…

We will be going live at 1PM to discuss the last series against the Pacers, the current search for a head coach, and of course, free agency!