Archives For Al Horford

Happy Friday and happy All-Star break!

Episode 9 of This Week in the Hawks covers a whole range of lovely topics including:

  • Mike Budenholzer confirming that Paul Millsap will not be traded
  • Some Larry Sanders talk
  • The Hawks looking to add talent ahead of the trade deadline, what they need and what’s out there
  • Game recaps from the Hawks’ three game Western Conference road trip
  • And some team and player stats from the last five games

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed, perhaps consider giving this an ‘aul ReTweet and apologies again for any audio issues, still figuring out the kinks of a new setup. You know how it goes.

Hello there. It’s that time of the week again, Episode 4 of This Week in the Hawks has dropped.

Topic this week include:

  • Eastern Conference All-Star talk and the case for Paul Millsap
  • News from the Hawks-sphere this week including the signing of Gary Neal
  • Game recaps from the four games the Hawks played this week (Friday-to-Friday)
  • Notable stats from the week, who’s in form and who’s out of form
  • A preview of next week’s fixtures
  • And how to eat a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, of course.

Thanks very much for listening!

Catch more audio content from HawksHoop on audioBoom.

David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Monday afternoon’s game against the New York Knicks marked the Atlanta Hawks’ 41st game of the regular season, the halfway point of the Hawks’ regular season. It has certainly been a topsy-turvy 41 games to say the least and with the Hawks not in action until tomorrow, now seems like a good time to breakdown the Hawks’ season so far using a number of different headings and awards.

Team stats

Let’s go through the splits — and where in the league the Hawks rank — first and then we’ll have a lovely little chat about it.

(Stats courtesy of NBA.com and basketball-reference and are correct as of January 16th)

Record: 24-17 (4th in the East, 11 overall)

PPG: 103 (19th)

FG%: 45.6% (14th)

3PM: 9 (19th)

3P%: 34.6% (23rd)

FT%: 71.8% (28th)

RPG: 44 (13th)

ORPG (offensive rebounds per game): 10.6 (12th)

APG: 24.1 (6th)

SPG: 8.7 (3rd)

BPG: 5.1 (10th)

TOV: 15.5 (25th)

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Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks’ seven game winning streak came to an end on Friday night as they dropped an entertaining game against the Boston Celtics, 103-101. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 28 points — including the game winner — while Kelly Olynyk poured out 26 points off the bench.

Look who’s back

We had to wait until January but last night the Hawks finally got to see Al Horford return to Atlanta for the first time as a Celtic. When he was introduced, and again throughout the game, there were quite a number of boos for Horford, something that took him by surprise.

“They were unexpected. I don’t want to say anything, but it is what it is. I know there’s a lot of fans out there that appreciated my time here, and I appreciate them.” — Al Horford

The Hawks did have a video tribute lined up and it was shown at the end of the first quarter. Horford was given a standing ovation.

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Part 1:

 

Part 2:

Howdy, introducing on HawksHoop a podcast called This Week in the Hawks, a weekly Atlanta Hawks podcast where I (Graham Chapple) discusses the various different events from throughout the week including news, games, stats etc.

Episodes 1 and 2 can be found here, and going forward you can find episodes on AudioBoom.

Here is Episode 3 where I discuss:

  • The Hawks taking Paul Millsap off the trade block.
  • Mike Dunleavy.
  • Dennis Schröder.
  • Recaps of the two games the Hawks played this week against the Mavericks and the Nets.
  • A preview of the three games the Hawks will play next, including the reunion with Al Horford and the Celtics.
  • More Al Horford talk.

Hopefully you enjoy this (currently working towards improved audio, but for now this is what we have). Thanks for listening!

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks extended their winning streak to a season best seven games after blowing out the Brooklyn Nets 117-97 at Barclays Center. Brook Lopez led the way for the Nets with 20 points.

End of the road (trip)

I know I’ve used that line before, so I apologise. Not really. Anyways, last night’s game in Brooklyn capped off a very successful four game road trip for the Hawks in which they won all four games against Orlando, New Orleans, Dallas and Brooklyn.

Of course it’s worth noting all of those teams are below .500 but you still have to take care of business and the Hawks did so, something they didn’t do on their last lengthy road trip, losing to the Suns and the Lakers.

Old friends…

Last night was the first time the Hawks were matched against the Nets and Kenny Atkinson, who was an assistant coach under Coach Bud before leaving last summer to fill the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach vacancy. There was nothing but love for Coach Atkinson both pregame — but most notably post game — where coaches and players alike greeted him with hugs.

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 Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

It’s time. After a whole summer of talking and a little bit of action in the preseason, it’s time for Atlanta Hawks basketball — proper. This Thursday, at Philips Arena, the Hawks tip off their season against the Washington Wizards. And let’s be honest, we have no idea how this Hawks team is going to fare this season in the Eastern Conference. We’ll get to why that is in a bit, but first let’s go over what the Hawks did this summer and we’ll take it from there.

In: Dwight Howard, Malcolm Delaney

Out: Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Kirk Hinrich,

Drafted: Taurean Prince, DeAndre’ Bembry

For better or for worse?

Al Horford is gone — gone because the Hawks didn’t want to max him (and not even the max as it turned out) for five years and gone because he wasn’t the front office’s top priority. It’s as simple as that. Jeff Teague requested a trade, that was granted and now he resides in Indiana. The two most important positions on the court are, arguably, the point guard and center positions and now the Hawks have to plug in new players into those respective positions. That’s always a concern heading into a new season, especially for a team that preached continuity at the end of the season.

To replace Horford and Teague the Hawks added Dwight Howard and gave the point guard reigns to Dennis Schröder.

I still believe that Schröder is not ready to be a starting point guard in this league. I feel he’s still too erratic and one of those players where he’ll do something and you’ll sit there and think “What the flip was that, Dennis???”. And that happens often too. I also worry about his shooting. One of the better things Teague did last year was shoot 40 % from behind the arc — a team best. Schröder shot 32% from behind the arc. Offensively, Jeff just makes better decisions and is a better offensive player than Dennis. But the one thing Dennis does have going for him is his defense — his defense is absolutely ready for a starting role and he should improve the team at the point guard position from a defensive point of view. I still think it’s too soon though…

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Have you ever known a thing — or a person — to be present in your life for nine years, only for them to walk out/exist no more after one June night? Well, that’s the reality of what happened to Hawks fans with Al Horford this summer — the All-Star center who left the only professional team he has ever known to join the Boston Celtics.

Horford was a constant in Atlanta ever since the day he was selected by the Hawks with the third overall pick in 2007, and the thought of him not being a part of the pre game player announcements (and part of the Hawks as a whole, of course) is certainly an odd thing to think about now, let alone actually seeing (or not seeing him in this case) the reality of situation on opening night.

Normally the thought of Al Horford leaving Atlanta would have been near catastrophic as the Hawks aren’t normally known for attracting the top free agents, thus filling the void Horford left (who certainly ranks among the better centers in the league) would’ve proved very difficult. But the Hawks did not leave anything to chance in an unpredictable free agency and decided to bring a center on board, even before Horford announced his intentions to sign with the Celtics.

But the Hawks didn’t just acquire any center, they acquired a high profile center — at least in terms of his name — in Dwight Howard. While the Hawks aren’t getting the best version of Dwight Howard, he was a very big fish for the Hawks to catch — the Hawks don’t normally sign players with a name as big as Dwight Howard’s. But what his signature provided the Hawks with was a very decent safety net in the event Horford did choose to leave, which he ultimately did. With Dwight’s signature agreed upon, losing Horford was not as catastrophic as it could’ve been.

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(Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

(Source: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

Normally I’d begin a column with some sort of introductory paragraph, loosely relating to the general topic of the column — in some sort of way — before getting on with the topic itself. Today I don’t feel like doing that, so we’re going to just jump straight into it — no foreplay today…

Last night the Atlanta Hawks’ regular season schedule was released, and there’s much to dissect and discuss.

The Hawks will have the benefit of beginning their season at home on October 27th against a division rival, the Washington Wizards — one of three games the Hawks will contest in October before the season shifts into gear in November.

We’re going to go through each month individually, but before we do there are some significant dates and items to mention:

  • The oh-so awaited return of Al Horford (and the Boston Celtics) to Atlanta is January 13th, which is way too long to wait, in my opinion. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN and it should be a fantastic game. Jeff Teague will make his Atlanta return on March 15th, but the Hawks and Pacers will meet in Indiana before that on November 27th. Atlanta’s marquee signing, Dwight Howard, will make his return to Houston on February 2nd, and I can’t imagine he’ll receive a video tribute or a warm reception from Houston and their fans respectively. The Rockets roll into Atlanta early enough in the season though, November 5th.
  • Very controversially, the Hawks will not host a game on Martin Luther King Day. Instead the Hawks will travel to New York where they’ll face the Knicks on MLK Day. This has left fans incensed and very upset at this scheduling decision made by the NBA. Since I’m not from the United States, I don’t fully understand or feel the same range of emotions that a lot of Hawks fans are feeling about this decision, but I understand that this is a big deal. The guys over at Peachtree Hoops shed some light on why the Hawks not hosting an MLK is a strange occurrence.

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