Archives For Atlanta Hawks

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.

Continue Reading…

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.

Of course, with Chris Paul likely off the table and Dwight Howard expected to sign elsewhere, eyes turn to Atlanta’s own free agent in Josh Smith.

On Sunday, Josh met with the Detroit Pistons, who apparently made a rather intriguing offer.

Detroit would be a rather strange fit with Smoove. Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe are good players, but both work best when they are closer to the basket, meaning that Josh would again find himself out on the perimeter. Of course, after Detroit’s last free agency debacle (Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva), they are definitely looking to sign a guy that’s actually good this time around. Even with as much criticism as Smoove takes, he’s still a good player.

Reports say that Smith returning to Atlanta isn’t out of the question. According to Yahoo!’s Marc Spears, Smith is very respectful of Mike Budenholzer’s tenure under Gregg Popovich and would still be very open about returning to his hometown team. With CP3 and Dwight likely out of the equation, the Hawks are going to have to offer money to someone and all indications are that Smoove may be that someone.

At one point, the Hawks possessed the 44, 47, and 50 picks in the draft. They ended up only using one. With the 44th pick they acquired from Dallas, Atlanta took Mike Muscala out of Bucknell.

Muscala wasn’t expected to fall this far. Chad Ford had him going 31st in his last mock draft and many people had him going in the latter part of the first round. The Hawks getting him at 44 is a steal.

Muscala is a 6’11″ forward-center with great skills. He was extremely efficient in college and showed that he can play inside and out. He was a great rebounder at Bucknell, but he will likely need to add a bit of muscle for that to translate; he weighs in at 230 pounds and doesn’t have the athleticism to make up for lack of strength.

The other two picks the Hawks made, Raul Neto and James Ennis, were traded. The two trades aren’t completely official, but it was confirmed by the Hawks that the two are not going to be part of the team.

hh-logo-DRAFTThe point guard situation in Atlanta is far from being a known quality. Sure, the Hawks could play it safe and just re-sign Jeff Teague, but it would be hard to believe Danny Ferry will just look off an option like Chris Paul without at least considering using the cap room for a more impact player. If the Hawks grab use their cap on guys like Iguodala or Pekovic, they could be looking for a point guard in the draft. That being said, the team needs a point guard, and Teague is likely the best one available after CP3. It seems like a long shot that they’d go through the draft to get a point, but if they do, Shane Larkin may be the best one available at the Hawks’ picks.

Measurements: Larkin is a 20 year old prospect, whose birthday comes in early October. Being 21 on what will potentially be open night means Shane is likely stuck right next to the mean age for players in the upcoming draft. Larkin is only 5′ 11.5″ in shoes, and his short 5′ 10.75″ wingspan doesn’t make up any ground. Size is definitely the big issue in Shane’s scouting report Continue Reading…

hh-logo-DRAFTKyle Korver appears to be one of the more coveted Atlanta assets. However, if the Hawks aren’t able to resign him, they will have to look at other options. Russian prospect Sergey Karasev could definitely be one of these options. A late bloomer during the draft process, Karasev was once pegged as a mid-twenties selection of the first round. However, once he came to the states and showed a miraculous touch on the long ball, he became a draft day wild card. Rumored to go anywhere from ninth to the very end of the first round, it is unclear if Karasev will be there at 17th, or if he will be even considered a good selection there by the Hawks brain trust. Nevertheless, with his size and flash for shooting, he’s an interesting name waiting to be called on during draft night.

Measurements: Karasev is 19; this makes an Olympic appearance and leading Russia’s top professional league in scoring all the better. Also since he is 19, it has been rumored that he is flexible on when he comes to the USA to play. This could potentially be valuable for the Hawks, Continue Reading…