Archives For Atlanta Hawks

Grantland’s Zach Lowe released his winners and losers from NBA free agency. Among the losers were the Atlanta Hawks, but not because of the deals of Thabo Sefelosha and Kent Bazemore. Instead, Lowe penned this on how the Hawks’ front office is having trouble even meeting with free agents:  

No one will take Atlanta’s money, despite a good core of players, a very good coaching staff, and an innovative style of play Mike Budenholzer has only just begun installing. Some stars won’t even meet with them. I almost wanted to hug Budenholzer when I saw him in Vegas. The most common theory among insiders for Atlanta’s lack of appeal is that players see the Hawks as a dull franchise with a dead crowd and a limited postseason history that almost always involves NBA TV.

That will turn around at some point, but just about everyone Atlanta has approached so far rebuffed the Hawks’ invitation to get in on the ground floor.

I have always been an ardent defender of the Hawks’ turnout for the other reason that Lowe mentions: the Atlanta version of the Hawks franchise has never really won anything of significance; no titles, no appearances in the Finals, hell, not even an appearance in the Conference Finals for the Atlanta faithful to hang their hats on.

The Hawks have four “championship” banners hanging up in Philips Arena. All four celebrate a division championship, which I don’t think is an accomplishment you should scoff at, as it is a nice accolade. It usually means that your team is in the top four in the conference and that they have some sort of chance of making it to the Conference Finals. Continue Reading…

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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Next level of flight

Bo Churney —  May 28, 2014 — 3 Comments

When the Hawks’ season ended, I did not want to write a “review piece” immediately. The way the team ended the season — blowing a very good opportunity to upset the 1-seed in the playoffs — sort of left a bad taste in the mouths of Hawks fans.

Now, almost three weeks later, I think I can give an appropriate view of what this season (on and off the court) meant and what to expect from future versions of the Hawks.

The Hawks were the 8-seed and they lost in the first round of the playoffs, but I see this season as a success. Despite a new head coach and a myriad of injuries that nearly sank the team, what the Hawks showed this season is that they really have an identity and a positive one at that. GM Danny Ferry started forging this identity last season, but with what is now mostly “his personnel”, the fans started to notice more of a team forming instead of just the “collection of individuals” that past squads resembled. Continue Reading…

As we reach the end of the season the bottom half of the Eastern conference is in a tight race. The Nets have been pulling away as of late, but they aren’t out of the woods yet. The Wizards are holding on to that 5-6 range for dear life and the Bobcats are making a mad push for the sixth seed.

But where does this leave Atlanta? Currently at the bottom of the East playoffs in that eight spot. It’s possible with the team finally healthy (when Korver gets back into the lineup) they will make a run at a higher seed. I decided to take a look at their remaining schedule, along with everybody else in the 5-7 slots, to see how they might finish position wise.

Ground rules:

I will use my judgement to try and figure out who I think should win the game based on factors such as skill, being on a back to back, and home/away.

Games between Atlanta, Charlotte, Brooklyn, and Washington will use a 1-10 number generator: 1-5 is a win and 6-10 is a loss. For the Hawks, I rolled on them. For other games, I rolled on the home team.

If there are extraneous circumstances then I will consider those. For instance, Atlanta had a back to back where they had to play in Charlotte then go back home to Atlanta. That’s a 40 minute plane flight, not the roughest travel for the Hawks.

Remember this is all in a vacuum under a certain set of rules to try and look at the remaining schedules. The intent is to give us an idea of how the season might finish out. I am not saying this is how it will end or if this is how I think it will end.

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After what has felt like an eternity, the Hawks appear to finally be returning to health. Hawks forward Paul Millsap will return to action tonight against the Warriors according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Before his injury Millsap was averaging 17 points and 8 rebounds a game with a PER of 19.8. Millsap had a True Shooting percentage of 54% and was a huge part of keeping the Hawks afloat when Horford went down for the season. Millsap stepped into his new role as the #1 scoring option and played at an all star level. This was recognized by coaches earning him a spot in this year’s all star game.

This is fantastic news for a Hawks team that has been suffering with injuries to their front court throughout February. Hawks forward Pero Antic returned to action the other night against the Blazers and now the Hawks, while not at full strength are a little better off than they were previously. While there is sadly no hope of getting centers Al Horford and Gustavo Ayon back, no longer should we have to see Elton Brand playing 40 minute nights. This will also take a little pressure off of 10 day contract signings like Mike Muscala who has been asked to do a lot more than usually expected of a 10 day contract signing due to these injuries

Aaron McGuire over at Gothic Ginobili has been taking a look at early statistical trends and one thing he has noted is that the East has very few guards playing at an All-Star level. I suspected that Jrue Holiday’s move to the Western Conference might open up a spot for Jeff Teague if he made the leap that Bo Churney discussed. It turns out that, with a rash of injuries to and poor play by a number of Eastern All-Star regulars, Teague would make the team easily if selections were made today.

Be sure to click through and read McGuire’s full analysis, which includes the following quote:

There are only five eastern conference guards with above-average win-shares among guards playing 27+ MPG. Jeff Teague and Brandon Jennings are leading Eastern Conference guards in PER. Ray Allen, Arron Afflalo, and Mario Chalmers are leading Eastern guards in shooting — add in James Anderson, O.J. Mayo, and Martell Webster and you have the only six eastern conference guards with a TS% over 55%. This isn’t just a “below average” thing. Eastern conference guards have been an absolute horror-show in the early going.

Teague is presently second in the East in assists, just behind John Wall. Among the Eastern guards listed, only Aaron Afflalo sports a higher PER than Teague. Continue Reading…

Hawks Rookie Point Guard Dennis Schröder has been suspended one game for punching Kings Center Demarcus Cousins in the groin. The groin punch happened during a pick and roll where Cousins was setting a screen on Schröder. Cousins was not pleased.

Schröder is currently averaging 18 minutes a game. His absence will leave a decent sized minutes hole in tonight’s game against Denver. The Hawks will definitely miss his defensive abilities as they take on Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets tonight. However, Denver is a very bad team so I don’t think the Hawks will be in too much trouble without him.

The Hawks have been using Schröder in a lot of duel point guard lineups with Jeff Teague and has been a great option to play at the end of 3rd quarters and the beginning of 4th quarters while Teague takes a breather before the end of the 4th.

The Hawks have made what appears to be the final adjustments to their roster by cutting Royal Ivey and Eric Dawson. With these two cuts the Hawks roster has been trimmed down to 15. It’s possible the Hawks make one final cut before the season as Danny Ferry usually likes the flexibility of an extra roster space being available, but at the moment it looks like the 15 we see is what we’re going to get at the beginning of the season.

This final roster is a little questionable on the defensive end. While they have a few quality defenders in Horford and Carroll I think the defense will probably be average to above average for the season. This roster is going to be a lot better than last season on offense, less spacing issues, more incentive to move and keep the ball moving. Should be very fun to watch.

Current Roster:

Pero Antic F
Gustavo Ayon C
Elton Brand C/F
DeMarre Carroll F
Jared Cunningham G
Al Horford C/F
John Jenkins G
Kyle Korver G
Shelvin Mack G
Cartier Martin G
Paul Millsap F
Dennis Schröder G
Mike Scott F
Jeff Teague G
Louis Williams G

That is your 2013-2014 Atlanta Hawks!

Per Chris Vivlamore at the AJC, the Hawks have signed forward Paul Millsap. The deal is for two years, $19 million.

With Dwight going to Houston, this was one of the better front court options left for the Hawks. Millsap’s defense is a little shaky, but he can shoot and is more than willing to rebound the ball.

Millsap has played with Utah his entire career, and averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per-36 minutes last season. He’s shot 51.6% from the field for his career and could possibly stretch his game out to the three-point arc if he keeps improving on that part of his game.

Adrian Wojnarowski also is reporting that the Hawks have signed Millsap’s Jazz teammate DeMarre Carroll to a two-year, $5 million deal. Carroll is a forward that averaged 6.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in under 17 minutes of action per game last season.

What does this mean for Josh Smith? Well, the Hawks just signed a starting-caliber power forward and another wing that is capable of getting 15-20 minutes off the bench. Needless to say, it looks like the team is making real preparations for life after J-Smoove.