Archives For Chris Barnewall

In a deal that nobody saw coming, the Atlanta Hawks have received Tiago Splitter in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

This trade caught a lot of people off guard as nobody really expected Splitter to be going anywhere, let alone to an Atlanta team that has a top five center in Al Horford. That said, this gives them a little flexibility the recent departure of DeMarre Carroll. With Carroll gone, the Hawks were looking to replace his defense, and finding a perimeter defender to the level of Carroll was going to be difficult to say the least. Atlanta also had to take into consideration their lack of rim protection last season. With Splitter, the Hawks managed to address two issues with their roster at the same time.

Not only that, but should Paul Millsap leave, Atlanta could have a gaping hole at power forward in their rotation of bigs. With the addition of Splitter, the Hawks can just slide Horford over to his more natural position power forward and fix that hole. Although the loss in depth would be very noticeable.

DeMarre Carroll’s short time with the Atlanta Hawks has come to an end. In an announcement on Twitter/Instagram, in really the most DeMarre Carroll way possible, he announced that he will be joining the Toronto Raptors.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports had details on the deal.

This is a big moment for Carroll, whom spent the early parts of his career very injured. When the Hawks signed him, he was mainly expected to be a perimeter guard that could add depth to the wing spot. Nobody predicted him turning into a major 3-and-D threat that could punish defenses for not paying attention to him. Throughougt his time in Atlanta, the Carroll has gained the reputation as not only one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders, but also one of the most versatile players on the roster. His box score numbers may be low, but anybody that watched Atlanta knows how important he was to the Hawks success. Fans will miss him.

Sometimes we, as fans, need to just sit back and enjoy what we’re watching. In today’s current age of basketball, we are obsessed with teams playing “the right way”, or the smart way. The basketball needs to be in its purest form with crisp passing, perfect rotations, and not a single iota of ugliness to be found. Well sometimes basketball ain’t pretty and that’s probably a nice way to describe the Hawks-Wizards series that just wrapped up.

Atlanta managed to pull out a huge victory over Washington in six dramatic games that involved everything we ask for out of a playoff series. It had story lines, game winners, players toughing it out through injuries, and all the trash talk we could ever hope for. The only problems is that it wasn’t always the prettiest basketball in the world.

Atlanta was an extremely enjoyable team for much of the regular season, and they were champions of exactly what everybody wants their basketball to be. Washington on the other hand was one of the more painful teams to watch. Their offense was composed of mid-range jumpshots and an outdated philosophy that left many modern NBA fans throwing their hands in the air. When the two teams met, the series felt like it had already been decided. Atlanta played “the right way” while Washington had only recently shown an acknowledgement of 21st century basketball with their sweep of the Toronto Raptors. However, due to a lackluster first round from Atlanta, and John Wall being one of best point guards in the NBA, there was reason to believe this might be closer than originally thought. Continue Reading…

Atlanta Hawks, 60-22, 1st in the East ATL

Wow, what an incredible year for the Atlanta Hawks. Anybody that had watched the Hawks last year knew how injured they were, and how much better they were going to be this season, but 60 wins? Not even the most optimistic of Hawks fans believed that this team had that in them. They set all kinds of franchise records, got the entire city of Atlanta behind them in support, and they even brought back the old school pac man logo. Now, everything shifts. It would be easy to say that no matter what happens Atlanta had a successful season, but Hawks fans will say otherwise. This is a franchise that has never once been to the conference finals their entire time in Atlanta, despite years and years of going to the playoffs. Hawks fans are tired of being the constant image of mediocrity. It’s conference finals, or failure, with this team.

Washington Wizards, 46-36, 5th in the East WAS

Yeesh, the Washington Wizards had one heck of a weird season. They started off the year battling the Toronto Raptors for the number one seed in the entire conference, and had what felt like everybody on their bandwagon. Flash forward a few months and they’re in a nosedive towards the middle of the pack while teams like the Hawks, Bulls, and Cavs passed them. Now they enter the playoffs with the same seed as last year, arguably playing worse, and have to defeat those same Toronto Raptors. Bet both teams wish it was December again.
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This week in the southeast, Atlanta pulverizes Brooklyn, because they must REALLY want that lotto pick. Washington is rebounding nicely, because playing the East lets teams do that, Miami has fallen out of the playoff standings all together, Charlotte is somehow still alive, and Orlando is playing spoiler.

Atlanta Hawks, 57-19, 1st in the East, 2-1 this week ATL

Atlanta had a rough road trip, and they struggled a bit in their first couple games back home, but a few games against the East appears to have fixed any problems that were ailing the Hawks. They beat Milwaukee in very convincing fashion, and that’s a team that’s given them fits this year. More impressive than that was the complete beat down the Hawks gave Brooklyn on Saturday. A 32 point victory won’t give the Hawks that lotto pick they so desire, but it does make them look really scary.

Washington Wizards, 43-33, 5th in the East, 3-0 this week WAS

The Wizards had a pretty great week. Yes, two of their three wins came against the Sixers and Knicks, but they also beat a struggling Grizzlies team. That has to count for something right?…..RIGHT!? Well not really, but they have clinched a spot in the playoffs and are looking to be heading for a playoff matchup against Toronto, which happens to be the only upper tier Eastern conference team that’s been struggling as much as they have.
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This week in the southeast, Atlanta is resting, Washington’s coach is walking off, Miami has life, Charlotte is stinking, and the Magic are showing some promise.

Atlanta Hawks, 55-18, 1st in the East, 2-2 this week ATL

Atlanta’s week got off to a really bad start when they got smacked around by the San Antonio Spurs. It was the kind of game that’s starting to cause some concern among fans, and experts, about the Hawks post all-star break struggles. Is it just coasting or is there more to it? The following games didn’t say much as Atlanta beat both Florida teams before resting all their starters in a loss against Charlotte.

Washington Wizards, 41-33, 5th in the East, 1-4 this week WAS

The Wizards went out west this week and everything went to the pits for them. They went on a three game losing streak, pulled out a win against a Hornets team that can’t stay out of their way, and then immediately lost to the Houston Rockets. The “highlight” of their week is when Randy Wittman walked off the court before the game was over when his team was attempting to win the game on a halfcourt heave. Not a great look coach.
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This Week In The Southeast, the Atlanta Hawks are resting and coasting their way to the finish line, the Washington Wizards go streaking, there’s a switch in division standings for the first time in quite awhile, and the Orlando Magic are doing Orlando things. No, not going to Disney World, but losing games…and okay well maybe going to Disney World too, but what does that have to do with basketball?

Atlanta Hawks, 52-14, 1st in the East, 3-1 this week ATL

It’s weird to be talking about how the Hawks haven’t been playing well, but…they haven’t been playing well. The Los Angles Lakers game doesn’t count cause they were resting players, but before that Atlanta received a throttling to a revived Denver Nuggets, and needed a 4th quarter come back to escape Phoenix with a victory. It makes sense that after clinching the playoffs, and at this point of the season, the Hawks would coast a little to the end, but it’s a little worrisome to see them play so horribly at times. If they ever go through a stretch like that in the playoffs it could cost them a game. However, if any of these problems they’re having are real, they can figure them out now with a month before the games really begin to matter again.

Washington Wizards, 38-28, 5th in the East, 3-0 this week WAS

The Wizards are going streaking! They’ve won three in a row with some quality wins against a Hornets team they had lost five times to going in to last season, and an even bigger win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Washington has struggled beating better teams for much of the season, but if they can get back to what made them great early in the year then they could become a threat in the East once more.

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Well they can’t all be easy. The Hawks needed a late game comeback, some clutch shooting, and Al Horford to pull out tonight’s very physical victory, but they prevailed defeating the Suns 96-87.

The reason the Hawks struggled really felt like the same old story just told in a different setting with a different opponent. The team has been coasting for much of the last month and it’s quite obvious on night’s like tonight where it just doesn’t feel like the team is all the way there. The offense would randomly sputter for long stretches of time throughout the night, and far too often were the Suns allowed to get out on the break and run. Atlanta did a good job of getting back in transition, but the Suns managed to use the chaos to get off a quick set and score some easy buckets. The Hawks still played great when they had to, but it felt very inconsistent and unlike what their expectations are at right now.

Of course, this might have had to do with the physicality of the game and less to do with the Hawks themselves. The refs were letting both sides play for most of the night and Phoenix took advantage of it first. They played physical with Atlanta and used that physicality to force them out of their comfort zone, and break up a lot of their sets. It was a sloppy game, especially in the second half, that involved a lot of players having to create their own offense. This is an enviorment that a player like Eric Bledsoe can thrive in as he scored 21 points and was generally causing havoc for the Hawks defense all night.

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This Week In The Southeast, the Atlanta Hawks have clinched their way to the playoffs and that means they’re ready to coast the rest of the regular season, the Wizards have finally finished their regression to the mean, and the Heat and Hornets race for the playoffs is starting to heat up. The Magic? Well…they’re a team that plays basketball.

Atlanta Hawks, 49-13, 1st in the East, 2-1 this week ATL

Two big things for the Hawks happened this week. To start things off they clinched the playoffs already and it’s March. They also unveiled a statue of Atlanta Hawks legend, Dominique Wilkins, and had one of the greatest throwback nights in recent memory. They took on the Cleveland Cavaliers that night and managed to look pretty good against a team many people believe should have the advantage over Atlanta come playoff time. Of course, Atlanta couldn’t finish the week undefeated when they decided to rest starters to the Philadelphia 76ers and lose. Hey, the 95-96 Bulls lost to the expansion Raptors and who’s not to say that this Hawks team are the 95-96 Bulls?

Washington Wizards, 35-28, 5th in the East, 1-2 this week WAS

It’s hard to believe the Wizards were at one point the number one team in the Eastern conference, and a favorite to win the the Southeast Division. Their slide appears to have found a happy medium and Washington has regressed to a mean that fits around what they were last season. Just good enough to maybe make some noise in the playoffs, but just mediocre enough to not give you any real hope. This week the Wizards beat the playoff hopeful Miami Heat, and then they lost to the Bucks and Bulls.

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It’s weird to say that the Atlanta Hawks sleepwalked their way through a double digit win, but that’s sure what it felt like during today’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks have been struggling ever since that huge win over the Warriors, and those struggles reached a head on Friday night against Toronto. Atlanta was completely thrashed by Toronto, and a lot of the same issues that led to said thrashing re-appeared in today’s win.

Atlanta started off the game not playing their typical style of constant ball movement. Constantly they allowed the ball to stick in one spot and let the Milwaukee defense set up against their offense. The Bucks have a fast, and athletic, group of wing defenders that can easily stay in front of the Hawks if they aren’t constantly moving the ball. Why Atlanta chose to let the ball stick so often throughout the game is a mystery in of itself, but the bigger question might be is do the Hawks have a problem?

A lot of the sluggishness early on can be explained away by this being a matinee game against a tough defense. Most NBA teams don’t look good in early afternoon games, and the Hawks are no exception, but throw a good defense on top of that and the basketball can get sloppy, and it can’t be stated enough that the Bucks have been a thorn in Atlanta’s side at times this season.

Of course, despite all of these complaints, the Hawks still won by double digits, and they still looked really good in the process. When the ball wasn’t sticking their offense was what fans have come accustomed to, and the defense remained top notch throughout the game. It’s not always easy to hold an opponent under 90 points, but the Hawks did that with relative ease. They might have held them to less had it not been for a scoring outburst by Milwaukee in the third quarter.

The Hawks came out of the half just as sluggish as they started the game, but this time their defense didn’t show up. The Bucks scored 29 points in the third quarter and brought the Atlanta lead all the way down to two points. After this, Atlanta stopped messing around and picked up their defense, but seeing the Hawks play so inconsistent like this was just really weird.

Even a look at the box score is a trip down the strange for Atlanta. Nobody played particularly well except for Al Horford, and even he needed 21 shots to get his 23 points. The Hawks shot a mere 40% from the field, and only connected on nine of their 30 3-point shot attempts. Korver made four of that nine, but he struggled yet again in a 4-for-11 shooting effort. Really, had the Bucks manged to knock down more than four 3-pointer, we might be talking about a much closer game.

So do the Hawks have a problem? At the moment it’s safe to say that no they don’t have a problem, but the lackluster play of late is worth concern. Today was a matinee game against a team that has given the Hawks fits before this season, and for them to struggle against the Bucks should have been expected. It’s just coincidence that it happened to come off a blowout loss to the Raptors, and a not so great finish entering the All-Star break. There’s no need to panic, or start comparing the Hawks to last year’s Pacers team, but it might be worth keeping an eye on how the Hawks finish out their February.