Archives For Atlanta Hawks

On Monday, ESPN Insider Bradford Doolittle agreed with ESPN’s Summer Forecast that the Hawks will win 50 games in 2015-16. Wrote Doolittle:

The 50-win summer forecast might seem like a steep descent. After all, as good as [DeMarre] Carroll might be, he’s not worth 10 wins, and Atlanta did add Tiago Splitter and Tim Hardaway Jr. during the summer. Yet the forecast and my system agree that while Atlanta remains a force, last season was an outlier.

Prior to last season I took exception with low expectations from national NBA analysts, including Reggie Miller and Rick Fox, who predicted that the Hawks would miss the playoffs. In contrast to those who believed the Hawks would struggle to secure the eighth seed, I wrote that the Hawks could and should compete for the conference’s top seed:

Assuming Al Horford is able to fully recover from his most recent injury and have a healthy season, I believe the Hawks should be aiming for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

My argument was that, since the Hawks took the Pacers to seven games (and should have put them away) and the Pacers took the Heat to six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Hawks should be competitive with the top teams in the East in 2014-15:

Keep in mind that the Hawks pushed the Pacers to seven games, a team that may have been better than any team in the Eastern Conference this season.

If Paul George didn’t break his leg during a Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas, the Pacers would have been the favorites in the East last season. Indiana would have retained continuity while LeBron James worked to build chemistry in Cleveland and the Heat dealt with his departure. If the Hawks took those Pacers to the brink of elimination, what would Atlanta be capable of with a healthy Al Horford? Last season, we got the answer: 60 wins. Continue Reading…

For a franchise that got so many things right over the last 12 months, the Atlanta Hawks simply cannot catch a break in the public relations game. After the Hawks hired the lead assistant of the eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in May of 2013, Mike Budenholzer was arrested for DUI exactly three months later. In July of the next year, Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson put the team up for sale after self-reporting an email in which he made racially-insensitive remarks about fans and game operations. It was later revealed that Levenson’s email came to light during an internal investigation that was launched after GM Danny Ferry made racially-insensitive comments regarding free agent Luol Deng during a conference call with ownership.

As a team, the Hawks’ players and coaches turned to each other to block out the outside noise resulting from the controversy. The team was determined to be defined by its performance on a basketball court and not by what had taken place in offices and conference rooms over the summer. The results were more than anyone could have predicted. Budenholzer won Coach of the Year in only his second season as head coach while the Hawks won a franchise-record 60 games, completed the first undefeated month in NBA history, sent a franchise-record four players to the All-Star game and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since moving to Atlanta.

But just when everything was going perfectly, Pero Antić and Thabo Sefolosha were arrested outside a New York nightclub hours after the team flew into town to face the Brooklyn Nets in one of the regular season’s final games. During the arrest, Sefolosha suffered a broken fibula and ligament damage and was lost for the season. A trial is set for Sept. 9 for the misdemeanor charges pending against Sefolosha and Antić. Continue Reading…

Atlanta used a 21-13 second quarter to take a 46-39 halftime lead en route to a 91-83 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Summer League Tournament in Las Vegas. Terran Petteway was 6-for-6 from the field for 13 points in the first half and hit his first eight shots en route to 19 points and six rebounds. The Hawks will face the Spurs at 6 PM ET tonight in the Summer League final four.

The Hawks shot 41% in the first half while limiting Dallas to 32% from the field and 5-for-18 (28%) from 3-point range. Atlanta got 21 points from their bench in the half compared to just 10 for Dallas. Glenn Robinson III led the Hawks with 23 points and two rebounds while Lamar Patterson was a game-best plus-18, scoring 16 points with four rebounds, five assists and just a single turnover.

Patterson had several nice assists in the third quarter. With 9:14 to play in the quarter, Patterson split a double team, hung in the air and dropped a pass off to Edy Tavares (six points, five rebounds) for a layup that put Atlanta in front 48-41. Then, with 2:21 remaining in the third, Patterson got a steal, drove to the basket and drew in the defender before dropping it off to Robinson III for a dunk that put Atlanta in front 64-57. Just before the close of the quarter, Patterson got a step on Jordan Crawford, got deep in the lane and set up Brandon Ashley for a layup that put the Hawks in front 68-59. Continue Reading…

Brandon Ashley had a 3-pointer, a tip in and a reverse layup during a decisive 9-0 run in the fourth quarter as the Hawks beat the Nuggets 82-73 in the second round of the NBA Summer League Tournament in Las Vegas. Ashley finished with a game-high 18 points, adding eight rebounds, and the Hawks will advance to face the Dallas Mavericks in the quarterfinals Saturday at 6 PM Eastern.

Lamar Patterson, who added a layup during the run, had 17 points with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Stephen Holt also had 17 with two rebounds, two assists and three steals. Also in double figures for the Hawks were Terran Petteway (14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists) and Mike Muscala (10 points, five rebounds).

Joffrey Lauvergne backed Muscala down in the lane and hit a short hook to draw the Nuggets within 69-66 with 6:48 to play in the fourth. Petteway responded with a jumper from the right elbow, but Lauvergne had two offensive rebounds during the following sequence, culminating in his dunk that brought the Nuggets within 71-68 with 5:45 to play. Continue Reading…

Mike Muscala led the Hawks with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds as Atlanta beat the Miami Heat 75-64 to win the opening game of the tournament portion of Las Vegas Summer League. The Hawks (2-2) will face seventh pick Emmanuel Mudiay and the 3-0 Denver Nuggets at 8:30 PM EDT tonight as the single-elimination tournament continues.

The Hawks led 42-40 at halftime despite 13 turnovers to just seven for the Heat. Muscala had nine points and five rebounds in the half while Glenn Robinson III had nine points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal but committed three turnovers. He was 3-for-4 from the field and hit his only three pointer. Robinson III finished with 11 points and four rebounds and was a game-best plus-20.

Lamar Patterson added 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and a steal with only two turnovers on an efficient 4-for-9 from the field. It was his third double-digit scoring game out of four games with the Hawks at Summer League. Tavares completed the double-digit scorers with 10 points, seven rebounds and another five blocks.  Continue Reading…

In a score that flattered Atlanta, the Hawks lost 84-74 to the NBA Development League Select team in Game 3 of Las Vegas Summer League. Atlanta’s coaching staff evidently decided to take the idea of position-less basketball to a new level by starting a back court of Glenn Robinson III at shooting guard and guard/forward Lamar Patterson at point guard. When Patterson set up Edy Tavares for an alley-oop dunk in the fourth quarter, it was the first assist of Summer League for a Hawks’ starting point guard after Stephen Holt (who did not play in Game 3) failed to record an assist in the first two games.

Patterson led the Hawks with 15 points after failing to hit a shot from the field or free throw line in Game 2. He was also the Hawks’ leading scorer in Game 1, and added five rebounds, two assists and three steals in this game. Patterson scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter as Atlanta closed the gap after trailing in the quarter by as much as 24.

Tavares had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but has totaled 17 fouls in three Summer League games. Robinson was the only other scorer in double digits for Atlanta with 10 points and four rebounds. He had a pair of highlight dunks including a break-away 360 in the second half when D-League Select were already firmly in control. Only a 25-17 fourth quarter for the Hawks prevented this game from finishing as the blowout it was for most of regulation. Continue Reading…

The Hawks got off to an inauspicious start at the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, falling to the Nuggets 86-71. Denver was led by Gary Harris, the 19th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, who scored 15 points and added four rebounds and three assists. The Nuggets also got 11 points, five rebounds and four assists from 2015 seventh pick Emmanuel Mudiay, who shot just 5-for-15 from the floor and missed all four 3-point attempts.

The Hawks were led by 2014 second round pick Lamar Patterson, a 6-5 guard/forward who scored a game-high 16 points with four rebounds and three assists. Patterson played last season for Tofas Bursa of the Turkish Basketball League and joins the Hawks for Summer League again, doubtless hoping to secure a camp invite. The other double-digit scorers for the Hawks were Brandon Ashley (15 points, five rebounds) and and Terran Petteway (11 points, two rebounds and two assists).

Ashley went undrafted after a junior season at Arizona during which he was named Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-12 Tournament. He bears some comparison to Austin Daye as a player with great length and a smooth shooting stroke who doesn’t make much of an impact on the defensive end. At 6-8 in shoes, Ashley is undersized for a stretch power forward until you consider his 7-3 wingspan. Continue Reading…

In the apparent culmination of what has been an underwhelming offseason, the Hawks signed former Warriors shooting guard Justin Holiday, the brother of Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans’ former All-Star point guard. That’s not to say that Holiday’s signing is underwhelming … it has sneaky-good value addition written all over it. But taken in aggregate, Mike Budenholzer’s first offseason as President of Basketball Operations and Wes Wilcox’ as GM has not been nearly as impressive as it needs to be.

The AJC’s Mark Bradley does a great job of summing up the stakes. Could the recently-concluded 60-win season and run to the Eastern Conference Finals be as close as the current iteration will come to championship contention? Prior to losing DeMarre Carroll in free agency, it was possible to imagine the Hawks salary dumping enough of its under-performing bench to keep the starting five intact and give it another run. With Carroll, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver under contract, the Hawks might have entered the summer of 2016 with max cap space and the ability to re-sign Al Horford with Bird rights after spending it.

And that’s why this offseason needed to be more impressive than it has been. In 2016, almost every NBA team will have max space as the cap jumps by an estimated $20 million. There will be more teams with max space than there will be free agents worth spending it on. When every team has the same money to spend, what differentiates one destination from another? For these Hawks, the answer needs to be sustained contention, something that became much harder when Carroll bolted for Toronto. Continue Reading…

According to RealGM and other outlets, Paul Millsap has re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks.

Outlets are also reporting that the third year on the deal is a player option, which would allow Millsap to opt out and seek even more money in free agency under the larger salary caps with the new NBA television deal. The AJC’s Chris Vivlamore tweeted out what Millsap’s salary figures are likely to look like:

This move was a must for the Hawks after DeMarre Carroll opted to sign with the Toronto Raptors with a four-year, $60 million contract. Carroll’s absences will likely force Thabo Sefolosha, Kyle Korver, and Kent Bazemore to step up in the small forward spot. but the Millsap re-signing — combined with the trade for Tiago Splitter — gives the Hawks one of the best three-man big combos in the NBA.

In a deal that nobody saw coming, the Atlanta Hawks have received Tiago Splitter in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

This trade caught a lot of people off guard as nobody really expected Splitter to be going anywhere, let alone to an Atlanta team that has a top five center in Al Horford. That said, this gives them a little flexibility the recent departure of DeMarre Carroll. With Carroll gone, the Hawks were looking to replace his defense, and finding a perimeter defender to the level of Carroll was going to be difficult to say the least. Atlanta also had to take into consideration their lack of rim protection last season. With Splitter, the Hawks managed to address two issues with their roster at the same time.

Not only that, but should Paul Millsap leave, Atlanta could have a gaping hole at power forward in their rotation of bigs. With the addition of Splitter, the Hawks can just slide Horford over to his more natural position power forward and fix that hole. Although the loss in depth would be very noticeable.