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.

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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.

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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…