Archives For January 2015

The Hawks dispatched the Philadelphia 76ers 91-85 for their 19th win in a row Saturday night at Philips Arena. Atlanta built a 21-point lead late in the second quarter, but the Sixers pushed back in the third quarter, cutting the lead to just five points entering the fourth. The fourth quarter got tense as Philadelphia took a lead late in the game before the Hawks turned it on and finished the game on a 10-2 run.

DeMarre Carroll was out for the second straight game, but the news of the day came pregame, when Coach Budenholzer and the Atlanta training staff confirmed that Thabo Sefolosha will be out 6-8 weeks with an injury to his calf, suffered early in Friday’s win over the Trail Blazers. Kent Bazemore played 40 minutes against the Trail Blazers on Friday after Sefolosha went down and got the start against the Sixers, marking his first start of the season. Bazemore had a poor game offensively, shooting just 1-for-6, culminating in two badly missed free throws with 4:07 left in the game, when the Hawks were up 81-79.

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This looked like it would be the night.

First, Portland’s Damian Lillard was left off of a stacked Western Conference All-Star team. Later, it was announced that DeMarre Carroll would not play due to an Achilles strain. Finally — when the game started — Carroll’s replacement, Thabo Sefolosha, came up limping after a blown layup and was later diagnosed with a calf strain. He did not return.

it seemed as if Portland was not going to miss early after they started 7-for-8 from 3-point range. After Atlanta had put together a mini-rally to close the first half, Portland responded with Steve Blake banking in a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer. That bank seemed like it would be it; this was going to finally be the end of the Hawks’ win streak.

But when the dust settled after 48 minutes, the Hawks ended the day with a 105-99 win and the best record in the NBA.

Paul Millsap scored 21 points and Al Horford pitched in with 17 as the Hawks were able to overcome 37 points from LaMarcus Aldridge. The win represented the Hawks 18th win in a row, a streak that is tied for the ninth best in NBA history.

“We’re a resilient group,” said Horford on the adversity the Hawks faced in the game. “We just kept fighting, got stops when we needed to and really got into a good rhythm offensively.”

One of the main guys who kept fighting was Kent Bazemore, who played a career-high 40 minutes in the wake of the injuries to Carroll and Sefolosha. Bazemore recored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. Continue Reading…

Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford have been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Teague, who will make his first All-Star appearance, is averaging a career-high in points, assists, rebounds, and steals through the first half of the season and ranks third amongst points guards in Win Shares per 48 Minutes, per Basketball Reference.

Millsap will make his second consecutive All-Star appearance after being voted in by the Eastern Conference coaches last year. Millsap leads the team in points and rebounds and has improved defensively this season, ranking third in the league in Defensive Win Shares, per Basketball Reference.

Horford has rebounded well from last season’s injury and will make his third All-Star appearance, along with the 2010 and 2011 All-Star Games. Horford is shooting 55% from the field on the season, including a league-leading (among forwards and centers) 49.8% from mid-range, per NBA Savant.

Speculation around the league was that the Hawks had an outside chance of getting four All-Stars once the coaches’ votes came in, but it seems that Kyle Korver will not make it this year, unless an injury forces one of the named players to pull out of the game.

Paul Millsap led the way for the Hawks with 28 points and 15 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks won their 17th game in a row over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. The Hawks’ 38th win of the season matches their regular season total from 2013-14. Millsap got his 28 points on just nine shots, going 15-for-16 from the free throw line; Millsap’s 15 made free throws matched the Nets’ team total for the game. Six Hawks scored in double digits, including a 5-for-8, 13-point performance off the bench from Dennis Schröder.

The first quarter was less than ideal for the Hawks defensively, as the Nets put up 27 points in the first twelve minutes. After the game, Coach Budenholzer said, “We need to play better defensively than we did tonight, but that’s what practice will be for tomorrow.” The Hawks were able to match the Nets shot for shot in the first quarter, closing with three 3-pointers in the last minute and a half to take a 30-27 lead going into the second quarter. Continue Reading…

Despite a spirited effort from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Hawks walked off the court of Philips Arena with their 16th straight win by a score of 112-100.

The Hawks shot 61% in the first quarter, but Minnesota slowed the game down from the start and was creating good shots on offense. Despite the Atlanta’s shooting and only three turnovers, the Hawks led just 25-24 at the end of the first quarter.

“They executed,” said Mike Budenholzer on his opponents. “They were very good tonight… They are cutting off the ball and slashing and getting to the basket, and guys are finding them.”

The Hawks’ defense started to clamp down in the second quarter, however, as the Hawks used their activity and quickness to continuously deny the Timberwolves’ chances at getting open looks. The offense in the period was a group effort led by the frontcourt, where seven of the Hawks’ nine assists in the quarter came from a member of the frontcourt.

The 36-23 advantage that the Hawks had in the second quarter essentially sustained them for the rest of the game. The Wolves, led by Thaddeus Young and Mo Williams, were working the Hawks well enough to keep Minnesota hanging around for most of the second half. Young had 20 of his 26 points in the second half and finished the game with a filled box scored that included six rebounds, seven assists, and a steal. Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast, because it’s January things are starting to get a little predictable. The Hawks extended their lead across the division, the Hornets are in the playoffs, and everything else stayed the same.

Atlanta Hawks, 36-8, 1st in the East, 3-0 this week ATL

Another perfect week for the dominating Atlanta Hawks. The Detroit Pistons exposed a weakness the Hawks have on MLK day with their gigantic and athletic front court, but Atlanta managed to pull out a victory and extend their winning streak. The Hawks then set a franchise record for most wins in a row with a victory over a healthy, but struggling, Oklahoma City squad. 15 straight wins, and a seven game lead for first place has everybody talking about the Hawks.

Washington Wizards, 29-15, 2nd in the East, 1-2 this week WAS

Washington’s struggles against upper tier NBA teams continues. This week their two losses came to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Portland Trailblazers. These losses are starting to become a concern, because they are losing games they should be winning. Yes, Portland was at home, but the Wizards were playing them while LaMarcus Aldridge was playing injured, Robin Lopez is out with an injury, and the Wizards did have the lead for a good portion of the game. So if Washington is supposed to be one of the top NBA teams, then why did they lose a game they need to win

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Hawks Score 15th Straight Win

Bo Churney —  January 23, 2015

The Atlanta Hawks notched their 15th consecutive victory on Friday night, knocking off the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 103-93. The 15 straight wins in the best stretch in franchise history.

“I’m happy for our guys to have success,” said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, who will be the head coach of the Eastern Conference All Stars thanks to Atlanta’s record. “It’s a carry-over from the work on the court and work in the film room before practice and after practice. Our guys deserve to have an opportunity to do something. We just have to keep doing it.”

The Hawks started off extremely sloppy, allowing Oklahoma City to build a nine point lead early in the first half. “We’ve had a lot of good stars and tonight probably wasn’t one of them,” said Budenholzer. The Hawks kept turning the ball over, allowing the Thunder to get out and transition and get easy looks at the hoop. The Hawks also had some defensive breakdowns in the halfcourt that led to some open 3s for OKC.

After 12 turnovers in the first half, the Hawks started to clean it up in the second half with strong efforts from Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague. Millsap scored 17 points in the half and was the main player closing in the fourth quarter, while Teague led the Hawks through the third quarter with nine points in the period. Continue Reading…

The Hawks looked to win their 14th game in a row Wednesday night as the Pacers came to town. Indiana has put Atlanta out of the playoffs each of the last two years, but this Pacers team is a much different animal without Paul George and Lance Stephenson patrolling the perimeter on defense. Atlanta took full advantage from the tip to the final whistle, quickly opening up an eight-point lead early in the first quarter and not relenting until it was time for John Jenkins and Mike Muscala to make their way into the game late in the fourth.

DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague led the way for Atlanta with 17 points apiece and six of the Hawks were in double figures, including an impressive 4-for-7 shooting performance from Pero Antic. The Hawks took an 11-point lead into the half, but came out on fire in the third quarter, scoring 36 points and ending all hope the Pacers had to stop Atlanta’s win streak. Carroll and Teague combined for 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting in the period, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, as the Hawks’ lead ballooned to 27.

For the game, Atlanta shot 50% from the field and 44.8% from 3, but it was the passing that caught Coach Budenholzer’s eye after the game; the Hawks had 30 assists on 39 made baskets. Atlanta has had six games with 30 or more assists in the last ten days, two more than the rest of the NBA combined over that stretch. As the Hawks get more and more acclimated to one another, the passing has become the trademark of their fantastic start to the season. Continue Reading…

The Hawks are off to a franchise best start at 34-8 and are currently on a 13-game winning streak with six games to go on the current homestand. The HawksHoop staff takes a stab at assessing just how good the Hawks are.

1) Who has been the most surprising player on the Hawks so far?

Bo Churney: I have to say Jeff Teague. He’s being more efficient on offense and just looks more comfortable in Mike Budenholzer’s offensive system. He’s seventh in assists per game, 10th in steals per game, 11th in PER, and eighth in win shares per 48 minutes. He is really being a great player on offense, plus he is actually giving an effort on defense, which has made a big difference for the Hawks. He could legitimately be an MVP candidate if he keeps this up.

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Chris Barnewall: It’s probably Kyle Korver. We’ve always known he can shoot, and run off screens, that’s what he does and he’s really good at it. I don’t think anybody expected him to have the potential to be the first 50/50/90 player EVER. Reggie Miller didn’t do it, Ray Allen couldn’t do it, and Steph Curry was always the player we thought could do it first. Instead that might be Korver and that’s pretty surprising.

Nubyjas Wilborn: Kyle Korver’s improvement has been amazing to watch. He’s become such a super efficient player. Korver spreads the floor and allows the Hawks offense to create even when he is not shooting. If he goes 50-50-90, it’ll be one of the top shooting seasons in NBA history. He’s become way more than a role player shooter. Continue Reading…

Oh how the tides have turned.

Last season, the Hawks showed promise in the playoffs, but after a first round exit they became an afterthought once again. Fast forward through a summer full of controversy, and you have yourself a team up for sale.

According to Forbes, the Hawks were worth $425 million, with an operating loss of $3.6 million. They also ranked 27th in the league in overall value, and that was an improvement over the season prior. Overall the team was nationally irrelevant, and their value reflected that.

Sitting at 34-8 and atop the Eastern Conference, the 100% sale of the Atlanta Hawks looks much better to potential buyers. Not only is the team on the rise, but so is their national relevance. Five of the last six games have been sell outs, and it appears Atlanta is starting to get behind their team.

With all of that being said, the question of the Hawks’ value still remains. How much will the team sell for? If their new franchise value is any indication, the price tag may soar to the $1 billion mark.

According to Forbes’ new NBA value numbers released on Wednesday, the Hawks are now worth $825 million — $400 million more than last year. They also posted a revenue of $133 million after five straight seasons of losses. Also, the team jumped from 27th to 22nd in overall value.

Citing the new national TV deal as well as their new deal with Fox Sports locally, Forbes indicates that the Hawks jump in value goes along with the entire league’s increasing numbers.

As 100% of the team is set to be sold — and the NBA promising that they stay in Atlanta — the new owners will have to open their wallets acquire the franchise. These aren’t your same old Hawks.