Archives For June 2014

I’m still in a daze. What just happened?

*shakes out cob-webs*

Ah, I can see clearly now!

This is one of those trades that we can’t really grade until each moving piece evolves over time. This is a trade could impact the Hawks in a few different ways.

Scenario #1:

Hawks dive into free agency head-first ready to make a huge splash. However, they come out of it looking like the Boys Chess Team captain asking out the Homecoming Queen. (Heck, even if you’re on the girls chess team you probably say no, am I right?)

Hawks watch as Lucas Nogueira turns Toronto into his playground, sending back opposing shots as if he were Rob Ford. With Bebe, considering how high his ceiling is as an imposing defensive specialist, this part of Scenario #1 is quite possible if his knees stay functioning. Continue Reading…

Danny Ferry takes no breaks (likely)
Danny Ferry never sleeps (rumored)
Danny Ferry LOVES cap space (100% true)

Danny Ferry was hard at work this afternoon as he dealt away Lou Williams and super-afro’d-prospect Lucas Nogueira to the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks receive John Salmons and his friendly contract (team-option; likely to be waived).

ESPN’s Marc Stein provides some clarity in this here little “tweet” thing.

With the 43rd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks have picked Walter Tavares, one of the more intriguing second round prospects of this class.

The Cape Verde import stands at 7’3″ with an even greater wingspan, garnering lots of attention from alma mater of Mike Budenholzer and Danny Ferry, the San Antonio Spurs. Tavares is primarily a rebounder and shot-blocker right now, with everything else very much raw. The good news is he is open to play abroad to develop before coming to the NBA.

Although the Hawks are now stacked in the frontcourt, Tavares is a safe draft-and-stash pick whose rights can, in all likelihood, be dealt for another second round pick if need be.

You can read his full DraftExpress profile here.

The Hawks also traded a future second round pick for Lamar Patterson, the 48th overall pick that originally belonged to the Milwaukee Bucks. Patterson is a 22 year old shooting guard out of Pittsburgh who was named to the all-ACC second team. With Atlanta currently sporting Kyle Korver, Lou Williams and John Jenkins at the two, Patterson could be stashed overseas for the time being.

You can check out his DraftExpress profile here.

Hawks Select Adreian Payne

Bo Churney —  June 26, 2014

With the 15th pick in the 2014 draft, the Hawks have selected Michigan State power forward Adreian Payne.

As a senior, Payne averaged 16.7 points and 7.3 rebounds last season with the Spartans. One of Payne’s biggest attributes is his shooting, as he shot 43% on 3s during the year.

“We want to play with pace and space,” said Hawk GM Danny Ferry after the selection. “Adreian is a guy who can do both.”

“I’m very excited that I can continue to play my game,” said Payne, “and stretch the floor and play inside and out.”

Ferry went on to praise the Michigan State program: “Michigan State guys are guys that we like. They play with a high level of competitiveness… Michigan State is a program we really respect. Playing for four years for Tom Izzo can only be a good thing.”

Payne expanded on that in his presser, saying “From Michigan State, we have a toughness, the players leave there, and I’m going to just bring toughness, hard work, and I’m going to play hard every game and in practice.”

With the 2014 NBA Draft just around the corner, I sat down with a few potential Atlanta Hawks draftees during the NBA’s media availability session to get their takes on what kind of players they wanted to model their games after, how their workouts with Atlanta went and how they would fit in with the Hawks’ schemes.

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With the 2014 NBA Draft just a couple of days away, mock drafts have predicted the Hawks to go in several different directions with their 15th overall pick. Chad Ford‘s latest work has Atlanta selecting Shabazz Napier as a replacement for Jeff Teague, while Yahoo! Sports expects the Hawks to take Jusuf Nurkic so they can “move Al Horford to his more natural power forward position.” Though nothing can be said for certain as to who the Hawks will be drafting on Thursday night, there’s plenty to sort out as far as what they don’t need, what they might and what they do need.

Don’t Need:

  • A center to “move Al Horford to his more natural power forward position.” Why is this still being said? Al Horford was on his way to having the best season of his career at the five. The NBA is progressively getting smaller so Atlanta wants a 6’10” unproven three-point shooter at the four? What happens to Paul Millsap? Is any center available at this point going to even turn out to be anything more than a decent starter? This is silly.
  • Continue Reading…

Iman Shumpert Available?

Bo Churney —  June 23, 2014

Late last night, ESPN’s Marc Stein had this to say about New York Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert:

With the Hawks desperately needing a third player that can play defense on the perimeter, this news definitely piqued my interest. Shumpert can effectively play defense on both guard positions, plus he can occasionally guard the 3-position on teams that are small. Shumpert’s offense has been extremely inconsistent over his three NBA seasons, but there is one factor that was in New York that makes me think this can easily be fixed on a team like Atlanta: former Knicks head coach, Mike Woodson. Continue Reading…

After capturing basketball fans hearts during summer league, there was a lot of excitement for Dennis Schröder’s rookie season. Schröder was supposed to be the future point guard of the Hawks. After Jeff Teague’s contract ran out, Schröder would be able to take the reigns. It’s where this excitement for his potential led to expectations for his rookie season getting a little high.

Schröder started off the season well, being featured in a lot of dual point guard lineups with Teague thanks to his tenacious defense. However, his shooting never improved. This and opposing teams getting a scouting report out on the rookie led to an extended rough patch for Schröder. His lack of ability to space the floor and struggles to run the offense led to Schröder being taken out of the rotation. He just wasn’t effective enough on offense to justify him being part of the rotation when players like Shelvin Mack were playing so well.
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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Kyle Korver’s name? In nine out of ten cases, it’s probably going to be that deadly stroke. A 42.5% career three-point shooter, Korver’s marksmanship is going to go down in the first line of his bio, forever. Such was the case this season, when Korver connected on a ridiculous 47.2% of his threes – which led the league – while breaking the NBA record (and by a mile) for most consecutive games with a three pointer made. This streak was as good a representation of Korver’s dedication to the craft as could be, and it captivated Hawks fans night in and night out.

“For Hawks fans, it became incredibly special as the season took a downward spiral. Injury after injury, game after game, the team was getting weaker and falling in the standings. But every game, Korver prevailed with this streak to give the fans something to watch, something to hope for, and something to get excited about the next time around,” wrote HawksHoop’s own Bo Churney when the streak finally ended. Continue Reading…

2014 Review: Elton Brand

Bo Churney —  June 13, 2014

“I played 42 minutes once, so I’ll give myself a [team MVP] vote.”

That quote really sums up Elton Brand’s season with the Hawks. In the season’s first month, Brand did not play in eight of Atlanta’s first 15 games. However, or the rest of the season, Brand would become a huge part of the Hawks’ rotation as the team dealt with devastating injuries to its frontcourt.

Brand came to the Hawks on a cheap contract — one year, $4 million — expecting to play any role that the Hawks would need from him: veteran leader in the locker room, guy off the bench when needed, etc. What he likely did not expect, however, was to end up starting 15 games, including a seven game stretch in February where the 15-year vet was playing over 34 minutes per game and was nearly averaging a double-double (9.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg) along with two assists and two blocks.

Defense is where Brand made much of his impact during the 2013-14 season. After Al Horford went down with his pectoral injury, Brand became the de facto defensive anchor on a number of nights and became the team’s best rim protector. Brand had a career-best block percentage with 4.9% (via Basketball-Reference) and kept opponents to just 50.2% shooting at the rim. The league average for defending the rim was around 53%, which of course does not include attempts such as breakaways that have no defender at the rim. (via Continue Reading…