Archives For November 2014

Hawks Curb Stomp the Hornets

Bo Churney —  November 29, 2014

This game was a blowout, meaning there is very little to talk about and discuss from it, so excuse me while I have a little fun with this one.

The Hawks dominated the Hornets on Saturday night in Philips Arena, with a final score of 105-75. And really, the game was not even that close. The Hawks were up 80-36 at one point in the third quarter before they finally pulled the starters. For those that missed the game, here’s a visual representation of how it went down:

Yes, it was that bad. Charlotte’s offense is already awful and that was combined with missing Gary Neal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, with the latter’s absence also creating a hole in the Hornets’ defense. The Hawks capitalized on these weaknesses and mixed it with some hot shooting, leading to a 64-28 lead at halftime where the Hawkers were shooting 61% and the Hornets were shooting 25.6%.

“That was a good effort that hopefully we can build from,” said head coach Mike Budenholzer in a very blunt statement to open his post game interview. Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast, the Wizards begin to look mortal. Was their hot start just the effect of an easy schedule? The Hawks are now ONE GAME behind first place in the East, have they finally figured out what caused their early season struggles? Meanwhile, Miami just can’t seem to get a winning streak going, Orlando is tumbling down, and Charlotte keeps choking on their food.

Washington Wizards, 9-5, 2nd in the East, 0-2 this week WAS

The Wizards faced two good teams this week, and they lost to both of them. After a close loss to the division rival Hawks, Washington went to Cleveland on a back to back and had a horrible night, getting blown out of the building. The Wizards still don’t have a quality win this season. Lucky for them, this isn’t college football and all that matters is how many wins you have, not the quality of them.

Atlanta Hawks, 8-6, 5th in the East, 2-1 this week ATL

Atlanta is really random to start off this season. After last week’s horrible loss to the Lakers, the Hawks responded with a big win over the Wizards, and a complete game against the Pelicans. Seriously, they might be the first team all year to say they slowed down Anthony Davis. Despite the good things this week, Atlanta did get outplayed by a pretty good Raptors team. Right now there is a ceiling on the Hawks, we just can’t figure out where it is. Continue Reading…

The league’s best player so far this season — Anthony Davis — arrived in Atlanta with his Pelicans on Friday night and he left with a 100-91 defeat to the Jeff Teague-led Atlanta Hawks.

Teague’s hot night started off early, where he scored eight points in the first seven minutes of the game on a mix of floaters and layups. His magnificent play continued throughout the game, as Teague was weaving and scheming off of a bevy of screens, resulting in a 26-point, seven-assist night for the Atlanta point guard.

After giving up 126 points to the Raptors on Wednesday, the Hawks’ defense locked down on Friday, allowing just 28 points in the first half. Part of that was the Pelicans employing Austin Rivers as a starter, but Atlanta’s big men did a great job at contesting shots at the rim and the guards were fighting hard through screens to prevent New Orleans from getting open looks on the perimeter.

The Hawks were only 5-for-17 (29.4%) on 3s for the night, but an important make came late in the fourth quarter from DeMarre Carroll. With the shot clock winding down after a Davis block on Al Horford, Paul Millsap kicked the ball out to Carroll in the corner, who promptly sank a contested 3-pointer to push the Hawks’ lead back to 10 points. Continue Reading…

Hawks Fall to Raptors

Nubyjas Wilborn —  November 28, 2014

Jeff Teague and the Atlanta Hawks fought valiantly in their 126-115 loss against the Toronto Raptors. Teague scored 24 points on 7-for-14 shooting. He also dished out 12 assists.  But he also had to guard Kyle Lowry, who had 13 assists to go along with 14 points.

On a night where the Hawks had five players in double digits, they lost to a now 13-2 Raptors team that had seven guys in double digits. It felt like an 80’s Western Conference game on Wednesday night. Games like this while being a learning tool for the Hawks should also be a sign that East is no longer the sisters of the poor.

“I keep telling people our conference isn’t soft, we have some of the best point guards in the league” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Tonight is another example; we had a great game offensively because of our movement, but so did they.” “Thankfully we were able to score a few more points, but we can win like this every night.”

The Hawks have improved a lot since their season opening loss to the Raptors. Al Horford has especially shown lots of improvement since that game. He scored 23 points on 11-for-16 shooting and corralled nine rebounds to accompany four assists. Continue Reading…

The Hawks were in Washington on Tuesday night for the first game of a four-games-in-five-nights stretch and walked away with the win, 106-102. Jeff Teague led the way with 28 points and Mike Scott came up big off the bench with 17 points and seven rebounds, with 12 of those points coming in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks took a 41-39 lead into the break, but it was an uglier first half than the scoreline indicates. The referees were prominently involved on both ends, and when the teams weren’t being fouled, they were turning it over. There were 18 fouls called in the first half, split evenly between the two teams, and the teams combined to turn the ball over 23 times. Both teams shot under 40% in the first half, including a disastrous 1-for-7 performance from DeMarre Carroll and a combined 2-for-14 from the Wizards’ Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal. The two point guards led the way for their respective teams; Teague had 10 points and John Wall had 13 at the half.

Atlanta cleaned up their offense in the second half and continued to force turnovers from the sloppy Wizards guards. Wall and Beal accounted for 13 of the 25 Wizards turnovers and the Hawks took full advantage, scoring 32 points off of those 25 turnovers. Atlanta finished with 13 steals and 6 blocks, including a season-high four steals for Carroll. Continue Reading…

The season is young, but the next four games represent a critical part of the Hawks’ schedule. The Hawks will face two assured playoff teams (Washington and Toronto), another playoff contender who happens to have the best player in basketball so far this season (New Orleans and Anthony Davis), and a divisional rival that the Hawks have already played this season and lost to on fluke circumstances. (Charlotte, a terrible offensive foul call, and a banked-in Lance Stephenson 30-footer)

Luckily for the Hawks, they will host three of these four games in Philips Arena. In short, they need to capitalize on that.

The Hawks have lost some close games this season and could easily be 8-3. But as Buddy Grizzard pointed out, that record wouldn’t really matter; the Hawks have played like a mediocre team so far this season. Has part of that been because of DeMarre Carroll’s injury at the hands of JR Smith? Sure, but if the Hawks want to prove that they are good and not just average, these next four games give them the chance to do that.

Here are some things that I want to see from the Hawks this week that I think will improve the team’s chances against a schedule that is about to toughen up.

  • MORE HORFORD (MOREFORD?)
    Horford has been solid in his return from his pectoral injury last season. However, his presence within the team’s offense and his minutes have been reflective of a player that suffered a season-ending injury the year before. But I think around now is when Coach Budenholzer and the Hawks should start to ramp up Horford’s involvement in the offense. As of now, 40% of Horford’s shots are long 2s. He is shooting an other-worldly 55% on those shots, but Horford has the ability to operate as a play-maker and scorer off the dribble and in the post. He can give more than what the Hawks’ offense is having him do at this point. Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast, the Wizards just keep on winning, and here comes Bradley Beal. The Miami Heat had another up and down week, while their cross town rival, the Orlando Magic, look like they might be the true dark horse threat to cause problems in the Southeast. Meanwhile, the Hornets continue to struggle out of the gate, are they bad, or is it adjusting to a new roster.

Washington Wizards, 9-3, 2nd in the East, 2-1 this week WAS

Wizards fan have to be happy with the way they’re rocketing out of the gate this year. Washington is beating up on teams they’re supposed to beat, and that’s a good thing. The problem? They’ve yet to beat a single playoff team, with this week’s loss coming to the Mavericks. Beating up on bad teams is all fine and dandy, but the Wizards have had the easiest early schedule in the entire division.

Miami Heat, 8-6, 4th in the East, 3-2 this week MIA

The Heat were very up and down this week. They had a good win against Brooklyn, and a surprisingly tough Orlando Magic team, but they had a bad loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks. While the Bucks aren’t an easy win anymore, a team of Miami’s caliber shouldn’t be losing to them.

Atlanta Hawks, 6-5, 5th in the East, 1-1 this week ATL

So….the Hawks. While falling out of second place had more to do with their lack of games this week, there is really no excuse for a loss at home to the Lakers. They managed to stay above .500 however, winning a home game against Detroit. Their next game is on Tuesday, lets see if the extra rest and practice time helps them figure out some of their early season problems. If not, a difficult four-in-five night schedule against four playoff contender could prove to be costly for Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks. Continue Reading…

After taking crippling losses to the Cavaliers and Lakers in the past week, the Hawks finally got back on the right track with a 99-89 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

Jeff Teague was magnificent, particularly in the second half. Teague scored 19 of his 28 points in the second half and absolutely dominated Brandon Jennings and DJ Augustin on both ends of the floor. “His defense on the other end of the court [was good],” said head coach Mike Budenholzer on his starting point guard. “A lot of people talk about his points and his offense, but I thought his defense was very good on the ball. They run a ton of pick-and-rolls. I’m really please with Jeff’s effort, particularly on the defensive end of the court.”

In addition to the 28 points on 9-for-15 shooting, Teague also recorded four rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks. It seems that Teague always gives extra effort against Brandon Jennings and the result was one of the best games of Teague’s career.

Although the Hawks had control for most of the game, they did run into some trouble at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth. The Piston completely wiped out a 19-point Atlanta lead to tie the game at 74 with eight minutes left. The Hawks then used a group effort to drive back into the lead, as each starter scored in the final eight minutes to get the lead back into double digits. Continue Reading…

Hawks Assign Payne to D-League

Jeff Siegel —  November 20, 2014

The Hawks sent 2014 first-round big man Adreian Payne to the D-League on Thursday. Payne will play with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants this weekend in their two games against the Erie BayHawks.

Payne was drafted 15th overall but has yet to play for Atlanta this year, due to injury and the depth the Hawks have at forward and center. He was inactive for the first five games of the season due to plantar fasciitis, an injury that also plagued him at Michigan State. Once healthy, he couldn’t crack the rotation at forward or center, so the D-League should give him the opportunity to test his skills against top competition and prove that his plantar fasciitis has healed.

Budenholzer said before the season that he planned to use the D-League this year, recognizing that the playing time young players receive at that level is crucial to their development.

After their two games against Erie, Fort Wayne doesn’t play again until November 28 and 29, so it remains to be seen whether Payne will stay with the Mad Ants next week or be called back up to the Hawks.

After getting dismantled by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, the Atlanta Hawks returned home to face the 1-9 Lakers. Los Angeles has been terrible on the season, and their league-worst defense offered an easy opportunity for the Hawks to bounce back. That wasn’t the case, as the Lakers came out firing, and put Atlanta at a disadvantage early.

The Hawks defense was awful, allowing Kobe Bryant and company to get whatever they wanted on the offensive end. LA dropped 31 points in the first quarter, and they had one of their most efficient halves of the young season. Paul Millsap scored 13 of the Hawks’ first 15 points, but had to go to the bench due to foul trouble. The rest of the team could only muster up seven points in the first period.

Things didn’t get much better for the Hawks in the second, as the Lakers started to pile on. The Hawks started to show some life on the offensive end, but defensively they struggled for the second straight game. The Lakers were moving the ball more than they had all season, and Atlanta’s rotations weren’t sharp. Nick Young came off the bench in his first game and burned the Hawks, seemingly hitting every shot he took. The Hawks trailed 67-52 at the half, and things weren’t looking good for the home team. Continue Reading…