HawksHoop has teamed with TiqIQ for a giveaway of two tickets to the April 10th game between the Hawks and the Hornets. See the graphic below to enter. You can also click on the “Hawks Tickets” tab in the nav-bar to see deals from TiqIQ for tickets to future Atlanta Hawks games.
Archives For Atlanta Hawks
It was announced last weekend that Mike Scott will miss 4-6 weeks (the remainder of the regular season, possibly into the beginning of the NBA playoffs) with a broken toe on his left foot. Thabo Sefolosha is close to returning from a calf strain that he suffered January 30th against Portland. The Hawks don’t plan on bringing back 10-day contract signee Jarell Eddie and instead have signed Austin Daye to the same short-term deal.
Coach Mike Budenholzer has been resting starters on a game-by-game basis, preparing for a run deep into the playoffs. They seem content on using the players they have and not any major outside help, as shown with the silent trade deadline last month.
But with all of this talk of injuries and sitting starters, don’t you still feel good about these Hawks?
Compared to last season, the Hawks are a completely different squad – except for the fact that they really aren’t. Sure, they signed Kent Bazemore and the aforementioned Sefolosha. Yeah, they’ve had time to gel and find more of a rhythm in Coach Bud’s offense. Sure, they are winning games at a much higher clip this season. But, the biggest change this season – something that seemed so great earlier on in the year – was the health.
Here they are, sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference on the ides of March and they have had only had one major injury to this Mike Scott announcement. Look at the rest of the conference – the rest of the league, for that matter – and you see key players going down.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were without LeBron for eight games at the turn of the new calendar year. Kevin Love has been in and out of the lineup with back issues. The Raptors missed DeMar DeRozan during the month of December. The Pistons lost Brandon Jennings for the season to an Achilles injury. Blake Griffin was out of the Clippers’ lineup for a little over a month. Wesley Matthews is no longer a factor for the Trail Blazers due to a season-ending torn Achilles. Paul George hasn’t played for the Pacers this season due to the gruesome leg injury suffered while playing for Team USA last summer.
The injury that Mike Scott suffered against Denver a few days ago was more than just a bother. The team announced that Scott has broken his left big toe and will likely miss 4-6 weeks as he recovers.
This is a tough blow for both the team and Scott, who was shooting a career-high 35.3% from the great beyond this season. The emoji-covered forward has provided serious spark off the bench and his quick-trigger shot will be missed during the remainder of the regular season.
My favorite part about watching Scott was his ability to catch fire at any given time. Definitely one of the most confident shooters out there, Scott has not been afraid to throw it up this season. From his hot 3rd quarter in Indianapolis during the playoffs last season to his highlight dunks he’s tallied up this year, Mike Scott has been a fun guy to watch.
The team also announced that they will be signing NBA vet Austin Daye to a 10-day contract. Daye, most recently a member of the Erie BayHawks in the D-League, appeared in 26 games for the San Antonio Spurs earlier this season.
I remember it like it was yesterday… Austin Daye scored 20 points on 9-of-11 against the Hawks back in 2013 when he was a bench player for the Detroit Pistons. His contributions late in the game helped the Pistons win by one point. He infuriated me with his hot shooting that night. I can only hope that now, years after ruining my January 3rd evening, he provides some of the same microwave-like spark normally held by Mike Scott off the bench.
A career 35% three-point shooter, Daye will wear number three for the Hawks.
In other news, the Hawks will not be bringing back Jarell Eddie after his 10-day contract expired this week. They signed him to a deal and he didn’t get any playing time. Huh? I’m a little surprised that Budenholzer didn’t test him out at least once, especially on nights where some starters were rested. The shooting-specialist Eddie will have to leave Atlanta without a bucket on his record.
The Atlanta Hawks announced today that they have signed sharpshooter Jarell Eddie of the NBA Development League’s Austin Spurs to a 10-day contract.
Sure, why not?
The Hawks had an open roster spot after sending Adreian Payne to Minnesota last month and head coach Mike Budenholzer decided to use it on a standout from his old regime’s farm system. (If you didn’t like people comparing the Hawks to San Antonio, then this news probably isn’t great news for your cause)
Undrafted in 2014, Eddie was a member of the Hawks’ training camp squad and appeared in three pre-season games with before being cut and ending up in Austin. Champion of the D-League’s Three-Point Shootout this year, Eddie averaged 11.9 points per game and shot 42.2% from the outside the arc to go along with 3.3 boards and one assist in 25.6 minutes of play.
When looking at motives for the move, you can’t blame Budenholzer for taking a flyer on a guy in the Spurs’ D-League system that has improved his outside shot since his senior year of college. Only time will tell if the player hailed as a Danny Green-like project by Spurs.com turns out to be a good pickup.
There’s a nice little nugget from Eddie in that same Spurs article where he states, “Shooting’s a premium at the NBA level. With the release that I have and the size that I have, I’ve always had the mindset the I’m an NBA player. Now, it’s clear that if you keep working in the D-League, someone will spot you.”
While other teams might’ve spotted that sweet stroke, the Hawks are the first to capitalize.
The 23-year-old Jarell Eddie will wear #3 for the Hawks, so we’ll see if the 6-7′ Virginia Tech alum can provide some of the same offensive punch that pre-ACL LouWill had for the Hawks two years ago.
In the next 10 days, the Hawks take on the Cavaliers, Sixers, Kings, Nuggets, and Suns. You’d think that the NBA-leading Hawks can find a few minutes for Eddie – and the rest of the lesser-used bench – in a few of those contests.
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.
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…
“Are the Hawks becoming…cool?”
Matt Moore of CBS Sports asked this question aloud to his many twitter followers last week and the question was interesting to say the least. Has there been a more successful yet uncool franchise of the last decade than the Atlanta Hawks? It’s hard to say for sure how cool or popular a franchise is with the whirlwind of different opinions and view points that can be found in today’s age but one source we can look at is Google. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver took a look at which franchises of North America’s seven sports leagues got Google searched the most. Is this a perfect way to see how cool a team is? No, it’s not, but it gives an idea of how popular a team may be. The top team was the Yankees coming in at a 5.83 Google search popularity. Next was the Red Sox at 5.69. Followed by the Cowboys at 4.45 and the Lakers at 4.18. Meanwhile, the Hawks had a Google search popularity of .30 which put them right under the Bobcats, Wizards, Pelicans, and a handful of NHL teams.
After taking the Celtics to seven games as an 8-seed, the Hawks soon found themselves as a permanent mainstay in the playoffs. Led by Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Al Horford the Hawks were always good enough to make the playoffs and usually get into the second round, but never any farther. Despite having three very talented players and always making some progress, this never really helped the Atlanta popularity. Joe Johnson was commonly referred to as overrated because of his humongous contract. The longer Josh Smith found himself in Atlanta, the more he seemed to float away from the rim and take bad jump shots. Al Horford to this day is viewed by many as someone who is not actually a center, but a power forward.
Negative reputations and jokes were soon connected to the franchise. Atlanta became the poster child of the team you didn’t want to become. Trapped in limbo with nothing to show for yourself but a second round exit at the hand of Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, or insert eastern conference title contender, of the last seven years, here. “Never Trust the Hawks” became a staple of what twitter would say any time the Hawks were involved in a close game. Never trust them to win. Never trust them to lose. NTTH.
The Hawks found itself in the 3-seed early on in the season, but an injury to Horford and other key players throughout the season led them down to a place fans were all too familiar with when it came to the Hawks. The 8-seed is not a place most teams want to be. It’s the symbol of mediocrity; a “for sure” first round exit at the hand of a team that’s supposed to be much better. So how fitting it felt that the Hawks were right there at the end of the season in that eight spot.
They say reputations take a long time to change and Atlanta is no exception to this. Gone is Joe Johnson’s contract and Josh Smith isn’t in Atlanta any more to shoot long twos. But the reputation of NTTH lived on. Even with a new General Manager with forward thinking ideas, a Spurs system coach, and an overhauled roster built to play a fun brand of basketball. General view points on the Hawks remained the same. A 1-8 seed Pacers-Hawks matchup. A rematch of last year’s 1st round series that was the most hated series of them all. Reaction to the rematch was… let’s say it wasn’t very positive. Lots of “You can’t make me watch that series” and “We have found our NBA TV series” a joke usually reserved for the least popular playoff series. Of course people that had watched the Hawks all season knew this would be nothing like the previous year. The Hawks were going to shock the common NBA landscape.
The Hawks stole Game 1 and the change was almost immediate. NTTH became “PLAYOFF TEAGUE!” and “Josh Smith long twos became Atlanta’s 5-out strategy. The barrage of 3-pointers and above average pace caught fans by storm. It helped that there was a growing dislike of the Pacers, who were crumbling before our very eyes. The Hawks had the underdog story behind them and they had the 3-ball. It was NCAA tourneyish in the way they captured fan interest. Then there was the other side of the coin. The Pacers were a train wreck that fans were sick of; bad body language, incompetent offense, and a top defense that was being exploited by a team that barely had over 30 wins. The image had changed. Fans were warming up to a team they had constantly given the cold shoulder. Philips Arena, forever associated with jokes of being empty, was full and it was loud. The Hawks were getting a little cooler.
When it really did feel like the Hawks had finally become cool was when they released the “new” logo before Game 6. Atlanta was going back to the PacMan logo. It has a little bit of a modern spin to it but everybody associates it with the days of Dominique Wilkins and those cool 80s uniforms;t hat retro modern thing that’s cool with the kids these days. Going into Game 6, the Hawks were up 3-2 and had a chance to be one of the few 8-seeds to ever defeat a 1-seed. The release of the new logo caused a huge amount of Hawks fans on twitter to change their twitter avatar to the modern PacMan logo. The image change was complete. People who were closet Hawks fans changed their avatar and displayed their Hawks fandom with pride. Basketball fans who didn’t have a favorite basketball team saw all the buzz surrounding Atlanta and decided to become Hawks fans. NTTH officially died that day.
The Hawks ended up losing the series in seven back at Indiana. There was disappointment, but there was something different about it. There was hope. The Hawks fans that were revived or born out of the series didn’t go away, they stayed. Hopeful for what the next season was going to bring. There wasn’t any “Oh there’s the Hawks losing in the 1st round again” it was “You know if they had Al Horford, this team really could have been something”. Even though the Hawks lost another first round, this one isn’t the same. These aren’t your same old Hawks. This team is fun, this team has a future, and yes, this team is cool.
Fans getting behind you and everything is nice, but they aren’t going to stay around if the Hawks can’t find a way to keep winning. A large part of why the Hawks found themselves in a situation where they had to win back some of their own fans is in their entire history of being in Atlanta, they have never gone to the Eastern Conference finals. During this span they have made the playoffs 24 times. According to Jon Bois of SB Nation the statistical probability of this is 0.1%.
However, because the Hawks managed to bring the 1-seed Pacers to seven games, the cap space Atlanta has, and that you hear nothing but good things about Mike Budenholzer, bright days should be ahead. Players pay attention to the teams around them. They see what the Hawks managed to accomplish without their best player. Some of the better players in the NBA see a team that is one piece away from being contenders. They also think they can be that piece.
Atlanta has the potential to be an NBA free agent hot spot. They have the nightlife, they aren’t a small market, and they’re a warm weather city most of the year. They just have to make the team itself attractive. With a playoff series like the one they had against Indiana, they are well on their way to doing so. The barrage of 3-point shooting with lots of ball movement is fun to play in and the extra cap space is nice too. They had the chance to showcase all of that against Indiana and did a great job in making the most of that opportunity.
This Atlanta team’s image has changed. Not only in the eyes of fans, but in the rest of the NBA as well.
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.
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.
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