Archives For March 2016

The Hawks dropped their third game this season against the Toronto Raptors after succumbing to a 105-97 defeat at the ACC last night. Thankfully for the Hawks, they didn’t lose much ground in Eastern Conference home court advantage race as the Miami Heat — somehow — managed to lose to the turmoil infested Los Angeles Lakers.

The Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan’s 26 points, while Kyle Lowry also added a double-double — 17 points and 11 assists. For the Hawks, Jeff Teague poured out 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

A quick congratulations…

Well done to the Toronto Raptors for winning their 50th game last night — their first 50 win campaign in franchise history. Well earned.

Hawks just outplayed

Having struggled in their last few games, the Toronto Raptors came out to play last night. A whole bunch of Hawks players struggled on the offensive end — Paul Millsap shot 3-of-8, Al Horford shot 3-of-9, and Kyle Korver shot just 1-of-6. Korver noted that the Hawks left a lot of points out there in the early exchanges.

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The Atlanta Hawks completed the four game season series sweep of the Chicago Bulls with a 102-100 victory at the United Center.

The Bulls were led by Derrick Rose’s 20 point performance and Pau Gasol’s double-double — 19 points and 11 rebounds. Not to talk too much about the Bulls — with this being a Hawks page and all — but this was a crushing blow for the Bulls and their playoff hopes. They sit 2.5 games adrift of the Pistons — tied now with the Washington Wizards for ninth in the east  — for the eighth seed with just nine games remaining. Not good. Anyways…

A nervy ending, but a solid win

Boy, the Hawks sure know how to make you nervous. The Hawks seemed to have control of this game in the fourth quarter — up 13 with 8:37 remaining in the fourth. But the Bulls had other ideas…

The two guard lineup of Rose and Brooks caused some issues in the fourth quarter. They combined for 16 points and combined for a +/- rating of plus- 15. Teague guarded Brooks, and Korver was — for some reason — left to guard Rose and that didn’t go so well. Aaron Brooks also made some ridiculous plays in the fourth quarter and he really brought the crowd back into the game.

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The Atlanta Hawks recorded their 11th win in their last 13 games with the successful conquering of the Detroit Piston last night — 112-95. The Pistons’ push for the playoff still remains strong, as Indiana and Chicago also dropped games last night. Andre Drummond put up 19 points and 17 rebounds, while Tobias Harris led the team in scoring with 21 points. Paul Millsap led the way for the Hawks, and we’ll get to his stat line in good time.

The Hawks rested Thabo Sefolosha last night, who was feeling a little stiff after Friday’s victory in Washington.

The best performance of the season

Whoa, whoa! Steady on, Graham. The best performance of the season?? Against the Pistons? What about the game versus Houston before the new year? Or the Indiana battering earlier this month? Or rallying from 17 down to beat the Clippers by double digits?

Sure, these are all very nice wins against quality opposition (you’re looking quite sheepish there, Houston…), but it was the way the Hawks played last night rather than the quality opposition — who are still a playoff contending team with a record above .500.

I’ll give you the stats from last night and you tell me if the Hawks have had a better victory than this one:

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No matter the record or seeding, some teams just give you a tough time.

For Atlanta, that has been the Milwaukee Bucks so far this season after defeating them three out of the four meetings last year. But this year has been a different story, as the Bucks have defeated Atlanta twice with both games defeats ending in overtime. This matchup has a boxing match feel to it, two contrasting styles, Rocky versus Drago.

This one ended with Atlanta’s arm being raised up last winning 101-90, capturing their first win over the Bucks this season.

“At the end of the day they are in the top two or three, if not the best at scoring in the paint,”said Coach Mike Budenholzer. “We wanted to do everything we could to take that away.”

Hawks only trailed momentarily in the first couple minutes of the game, but never did thereafter despite not shooting the ball well — 42.3% from the field and 15.6% from 3 — because of yet another strong defensive effort. Milwaukee’s length and athleticism are the main reasons the Hawks have such a difficult time running their offense. The Bucks decided this game to place more emphasis on the Hawks 3-point attempts, which meant more opportunities inside for Atlanta. They were able to capitalize, scoring 58 points in the paint.

On defense, Atlanta decided to pack the paint and limit the longer Bucks from points in the paint. Games like is just another testament to the Atlanta’s ability to win in a variety of ways, which will come in handy in late April or May. This time instead of their usual emphasis on aggressively guarding perimeter players, they showed the ability to clog the paint and still be effective.

“This is a team that has given us problems over the last couple years,” said Kyle Korver post-game. “They are a tough team for us to play against. We wanted to protect the paint and force them to shoot from the outside. It is important for us to grind games out against a team thats big when we are not shooting the ball that well.” Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks continued their charge toward home court advantage with a 101-90 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Jeff Teague added another 18 points to the cause. For the Bucks, Jabari Parker poured in 19 points and eight rebounds.

Teague Time in the fourth quarter

When Dennis Schröder picked up his fifth foul just before the end of the third quarter, you knew that you’d see a heavy dose of Jeff Teague in the fourth quarter — and he delivered. Teague scored 12 points in the final period, in which he played 11 minutes and 47 seconds. Teague admitted, after the game, that he had “sucked” until the fourth quarter and made a concerted effort to attack the rim in the fourth.

“I sucked the rest of the game so I tried to do something to help the team when I was out there on the floor.”

“It was just me attacking. I think I was being a little casual just seeing what the defense would give me. I made a concerted effort to drive the ball.” — Jeff Teague

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On Monday night, the Washington Wizards snapped the Atlanta Hawks’ five game winning streak. Last night, the Hawks returned the favor by ending the Wizards’ newly acquired five game winning streak with a 122-101 victory in Washington. The Hawks were led by Dennis Schröder’s 23 points, while the Wizards were led by Marcus Thornton’s 23 points.

Revenge game

The Hawks haven’t fared too well in these ‘home and away’ fixtures this season. After winning two straight against Charlotte in their third and fourth games of the season, the Hawks dropped both of their home and away games against the Knicks and the Magic. Having dropped the first game of this home and away sled, the Hawks treated this game as a revenge game.

“…Guys might not say that but in my mind, we had to come out and get this. We did and it feels good.” — Al Horford

“It was a pride thing. We didn’t like the way we played (Monday). Obviously, they played well in Atlanta. It was definitely good to come out and win the game and get a little bit of revenge.” — Thabo Sefolosha

“Yeah, you can’t let a team beat you twice. It’s a tough league but as a team, as a team that wants to be great, you’ve got to take some pride in that. We took a little pride in that tonight. We came out and played angry and came out with the win.” — Paul Millsap

The victory sees the Hawks return to third seed (tied with Boston), in what is a very tightly contested race for home court advantage between Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, and Boston.

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The Washington Wizards snapped the Atlanta Hawks’ five game winning streak (so the ‘HaWWWWWks’ W’s disappear on Twitter, sadly) after triumphing over the Hawks 117-102.

Led by John Wall’s 27 points and 14 assists, the win puts the Wizards back in the playoff hunt with a .500 record — 35-35. The Hawks, meanwhile, were led by Jeff Teague’s 23 points, and Al Horford’s near triple double of 14 points, nine rebounds, and a season high nine assists.

The bottom line

Sometimes, in a loss, we try and pick at tiniest details as to why the Hawks lost, but that just isn’t necessary here. The bottom line is this — the Wizards just played better.

They scored more points (obviously), out rebounded the Hawks (44-33), dished out more assists (27-23), took more shots than the Hawks (91 FGA-78 FGA), turned the ball over less (9 TO’s-14 TO’s), came up with more steals (10 STLS-5 STLS), shot a better percentage from the field (50.5%-48.7%), shot a better three-point percentage (52%-39.4%), scored more second chance points (15-5), scored more points off of turnovers (14-9), scored more points in fast break situations (14-7), scored more points in the paint (36-34), held a lead as large as 16 (edging the Hawks’ largest lead of six), and never trailed in the second half.

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The Atlanta Hawks rolled to their fifth consecutive victory following their 109-97 triumph over the Houston Rockets. Michael Beasley — yes, Michael Beasley of all people — led all scorers with 30 points off of the Houston bench on the second night of their back-to-back sled. The Hawks, meanwhile, were led by Al Horford’s 22 points (on 10-of-19 shooting) and nine rebounds.

A five game winning streak can only mean one thing…

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That’s right, for the first time since the very early stages of this season, the HaWWWWWks are back.

Dwight Howard and “Sticky-gate”

OK, OK. In all seriousness, this is the thing that people are actually talking about — and I guess this is what we’re calling it?

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The Atlanta Hawks may not be seen as one of the most physically intimidating teams in the league, but their mental toughness makes up for that and then some.

In December, Atlanta battled back to win 121-115 against the Houston Rockets after overcoming a 17-point deficit at halftime. Today, the Hawks fought through a dismal second quarter of nine turnover and Mike Beasley’s best game off the bench since returning to the league (30 points); but once again, that showed the true make up of this team.

“I feel like we are a much better team right now than we were before, said Al Horford, who finished with 22 points and nine rebounds. “We are much more focused, our defense is really good and we are starting to put it together on the offensive end.” Continue Reading…

Last night was the completion of a full circle for Tim Hardaway Jr. as an Atlanta Hawk. With Kent Bazemore forced to sit out with a knee injury against the Denver Nuggets last night, Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer called upon Tim Hardaway Jr. to fill in for the injured Bazemore — Hardaway’s first game as a starter for the Atlanta Hawks.

It’s been a long journey for Hardaway to reach this point – an arduous and challenging journey. To understand just how far he has come, we must backtrack.

Hardaway was acquired by the Hawks on draft night 2015 in a deal that sent to Kelly Oubre (No.15 pick) to Washington, and Jerian Grant (No.19 pick) to New York.

The dominos were, seemingly, lined up so that Hardaway would be put in a position to contribute right away.

DeMarre Carroll left for Toronto in free agency, while Atlanta’s other wing players – Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha – both sustained season ending injuries and would not be pushed too hard at the beginning of the season (both would sit out at least one game of a back-to-back sled).

This, added to the fact that the Hawks gave up a very decent pick at 15 – a pick they could’ve easily addressed their rebounding issues with Bobby Portis, perimeter shooting in Sam Dekker, or perimeter defending in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – to acquire Hardaway, so you would imagine the Hawks would have plans to play him right out of the gates.

All the signs pointed toward such an eventuality – but Coach Bud had other plans…

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