Archives For Atlanta Hawks

By now you’ve probably read Lakers coach Byron Scott’s comments about 3-pointers. Scott told ESPN.com that 3-pointers help teams make the playoffs but don’t win championships. The numbers show that the opposite is true. The majority of recent NBA champions had the most made 3-pointers in the playoffs, often after posting middle-of-the-pack numbers during the regular season.

The Hawks’ loss to the Pistons was a textbook example of the importance of the 3-pointer. Late in the fourth quarter the Hawks held a 10-point lead while shooting 44% from 3-point range. The Pistons, meanwhile, were shooting only 27% from distance. Brandon Jennings, one of the most infamous streak shooters in the NBA, got hot and hit three in a row. Suddenly the Pistons were shooting 38% from 3-point range and the Hawks’ lead was a distant memory.

The real story of this game, however, is that Andre Drummond is an absolute monster and force to be reckoned with. One coach who is well-acquainted with the importance of the 3-pointer is Stan Van Gundy, who brought in former Hawk Cartier Martin as part of an offseason scour for anyone who could hit a long ball. Van Gundy will shortly be in the unique position of coaching the best center of three successive generations after previously coaching Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard. Continue Reading…

When Reggie Miller and Rick Fox predicted on NBA TV that the Hawks would miss the playoffs this season, I chuckled. But when ESPN.com projected the Hawks as the 7th-best team in the East and Tom Haberstroh wrote that the Hawks’ depth is “shallow as a puddle,” it was time to break my silence on the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks. Please take a few moments and let’s talk about the deepest team in Atlanta Hawks history.

Here’s the full quote from Haberstroh from ESPN’s preseason power rankings:

Although the Hawks mostly struck out in free agency with tons of cap space at hand, they reeled in former Thunder 3-and-D specialist Thabo Sefolosha to add much-needed depth. However, the team’s bench is still as shallow as a puddle after they shed Lou Williams’ contract.

The Hawks’ trade of Williams and former first-round pick Lucas Nogueira for the partially-guaranteed contract of John Salmons will remain a topic of debate for years to come. The team traded a useful bench player (Williams) and a former pick with some promise for a $7 million contract with only $1 million guaranteed. If you’re still dumbfounded by this move, consider this: There’s a very strong possibility that the trade was part of Danny Ferry’s preparation for a sign-and-trade offer to the Pistons that would include a max contract offer for Greg Monroe.

Continue Reading…

One thing we learned definitively from the Hawks’ pre-season loss to the Grizzlies: Memphis’ starters are better than the Hawks’ 3rd string. While Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap all played 14 or fewer minutes, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph all played 29+.

The extended shift for the Grizzlies’ front line, including a 4th-quarter stint, earned Memphis a 93-88 win and dropped the Hawks to 1-1 in the preseason. The good news for the Hawks? Johnny Cash is back. For the 2nd time in as many preseason games, John Jenkins led the Hawks with 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field and 2-for-3 shooting from 3-point range. Dennis Schröder also had a nice game, following up his nine point, four assist performance in the opener against New Orleans with a 14 point, three assist showing against Memphis.

Despite Schröder’s strong game, Shelvin Mack appears on pace to maintain his status as Teague’s backup. The owner of the NBA’s 7th-best assist-to-turnover ratio last season contributed 11 points and eight assists on 4-for-7 shooting from the field (3-for-5 from three) and committed only two turnovers. Mike Scott rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points, but it took him 11 shots to get there. Continue Reading…

In Mike Budenholzer’s first year as Hawks coach, he installed an offense based on passing, tempo, and spacing, very similar to the one he ran as the head assistant with the San Antonio Spurs. A lot was expected of this system, as Budenholzer had been Gregg Popovich’s right hand man for over a decade.

A catastrophe of injuries derailed what was expected to be a successful offensive display. Al Horford missed 53 games. His primary backup, Pero Antic, missed 21 games after Horford’s pectoral tear. Antic’s backup, Gustavo Ayon, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury not long after Antic’s injury. The most important sharpshooter in the league, Kyle Korver, missed 11 games, over which the Hawks amassed a record of one win and ten losses. DeMarre Carroll, the team’s most important defender on the wing, missed nine games after Horford’s injury, of which the Hawks lost eight.

If all of that was not bad enough, Paul Millsap — an All-Star of the 2013-14 season — also missed some time. Millsap’s absence was amplified by occurring during the stretch where Horford, Antic, and Ayon were also out. Continue Reading…

While it’s been common knowledge for awhile now, the Atlanta Hawks officially announced today their plans to unveil a Dominique Wilkins statue, to celebrate Philips Arena’s 15th Anniversary. That statue will be unveiled in a ceremony on March 15th, 2015. Nique is the biggest legend in Atlanta Hawks history, so giving him a statue is really a no brainer.

It was also announced that Wilkins has been named a special advisor to CEO Steve Koonin, and signed a new long term partnership. He will also retain his role as Vice President of Basketball, with the team.

“Being honored by the great City of Atlanta and my beloved Hawks team is incredibly humbling, I have to thank all the fans, the community and the Hawks organization, in particular the Gearon family, Rutherford Seydel and Tommy Dortch, who have been close friends and important figures since the day I was drafted,” said Wilkins. “I look forward to continuing my partnership with the team and the City for many years ahead.”

Every Hawks fan knows the name Dominique Wilkins and what he means to the team. The day he was traded scarred some fans so much, that it bothers them to this day. Nods to the all time legend with front office roles, and now a statue, are hopefully healing some of those old wounds.

The statue itself, is sure to be awesome. There are so many amazing Nique moments to choose from, but I’m almost 100% sure that he’ll be throwing down one of his rim shaking dunks in the statue. We’ll also get to see those incredible 80’s Hawks jerseys that we all know and love.

Every NBA player can be useful with the right coaching staff, system, or organization. Defense can be taught to just about any player. I’ve held these beliefs ever since I started to get deeply into the NBA and I truly believe it.

So when the Hawks signed Kent Bazemore to a new contract, I got excited. Bazemore was a young player that never really got a chance in Golden State, and was allowed to run free in Los Angeles. Despite the solid numbers he put up in Los Angeles, Bazemore was seen as nothing more than end of the rotation roster filler. He might be able to make a few three pointers every once in awhile, but for the most part, he’s just kind of there.

It’s unlikely that Bazemore is going to be turned into an all star player in Atlanta; or even a starting caliber player for that matter. He’s 25 and players with high level talent rarely go unnoticed by coaches. If he was really something special, he would have played in Golden State. But there’s no reason to think that he can’t be a highly useful rotation weapon in the Atlanta system. Continue Reading…

HawksHoop.com spoke with Rev. Markel Hutchins, organizer of a group of civil rights leaders seeking to meet with the Hawks, who said he has been in contact with Hawks officials. Rev. Hutchins said he expects the meeting, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 10th, will be rescheduled by the end of this week for a future date. In Hawks’ CEO Steve Koonin’s apology to fans, he wrote: “We have, are and will continue to meet with community leaders, not just now, but in an ongoing way to ensure that our values reflect, in the broadest sense, the community in which we play and work.” Rev. Hutchins told HawksHoop.com that his group has not met with Hawks officials, but anticipates that meeting will take place.

“There are Hawks officials who have met with community leaders but Steve Koonin and the senior leadership were not a part of those conversations,” Rev. Hutchins said. “The civil rights leaders and I remain anxious to have that conversation. The longer it goes, the more contentious that conversation may be.”

The group Rev. Hutchins helped organize includes Joe Beasley, Southern Regional Director for the Rainbow Push Coalition; Rev. Frank Brown, President of Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta; Ms. Helen Butler, Executive Director for the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda; ​Dr. Gerald L. Durley, co-chair for the Regional Council of Churches; the Hon. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus; Rev. Francys Johnson, Esq., President of the Georgia NAACP; Ms. Nancy Flake Johnson, President of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta; Mr. Michael Langford, President of United Youth-Adult Conference; Ms. Janice Mathis, Esq., Vice President and Executive Director of the Rainbow Push Coalition’s Peachtree Street Project; Rev. Timothy McDonald, III, founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council; Rev. Samuel Mosteller, Georgia President for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; ​​​Rev. Charles White, the National Field Director for the National Action Network; and Rev. Dr. R.L. White, President of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP.

HawksHoop.com previously conducted a two-part interview with Rev. Hutchins. You can see video of the interview here.

Yahoo Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that the investigation that uncovered a racially-insensitive email by Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson was initiated after Hawks GM Danny Ferry used inappropriate language in describing Heat forward Luol Deng during a conference call with ownership. Wojnarowski went on to describe Ferry’s remarks as an isolated incident:

There had never previously been a suggestion that [Ferry] had been insensitive or intolerant on issues of race.

There’s just one problem with Wojnarowski’s reporting: It’s inaccurate. In 2006, Sacramento Bee reporter Marty McNeal quoted William Phillips, the agent for Bonzi Wells, accusing Ferry of using a racial slur in reference to his client:

“Ferry (allegedly) called him a (racist name),” Phillips said. “That part of it never gets reported.”

McNeal elaborated on his 2006 reporting via Twitter on Tuesday:

The statements by Wells and his agent may be untrue, as Ferry claimed, but the suggestion that Ferry had never been accused of racial insensitivity is historically inaccurate.

It appears that former Atlanta Hawks great Dominique Wilkins is interested in becoming majority owner of the Atlanta Hawks. According to TMZ, Nique is interested in taking on a bigger role with the Hawks organization.

Multiple NBA sources tell us … Dominique is “extremely interested” in becoming the next owner of the Hawks — and has already been pre-approved for ownership by the NBA.

We’re told Wilkins — who has amassed his own small fortune over the years — has partnered up with a “very well-known businessman” who believes Wilkins would be the best person to lead the Hawks back to NBA glory.

The Hawks are searching for a new majority owner after an offensive email by, soon to be former, majority owner Bruce Levenson came to light.

Nique taking over as owner might be a match made in heaven for the Hawks. This is a franchise that has never fully recovered from the day they traded their lone Atlanta superstar. No former Hawks player has been embraced the way Nique has been in Atlanta.

If this does happen, it would be a bit of a promotion for the all time great. He is currently a member of the organization as the Vice President of Basketball, and is also the local broadcast’s color commentator during games.

There’s a common debate among bloggers, fans, media, and even in some front office circles. When should a young player be given more playing time? Many out there feel that a young player, once they show any kind of promise, should be given a lot of minutes; let them work out the kinks in a trial by fire setting. Only then will we know their worth. Others want them to earn every single minute they play. If they want to play then they have to beat out that guy in front of them no matter the skill level. Obviously both of these feel like extremes. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.

During the 2013 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Dennis Schröder. This pick excited Hawks fans. Those not happy with Jeff Teague’s play, so far in his career, claimed Schröder could be the point guard of the future in three years. After a strong summer league, this only got fans even more excited. To make things even better, Schröder had a strong beginning to the season. Unfortunately for him, that strong play didn’t continue.

As Schröder’s play faltered, another player rose. Journeyman Shelvin Mack began to outplay Schröder on a nightly basis. Mack never turned the ball over and was a consistent player, something the Hawks lacked. This left the team with a decision, do they go with trial by fire for the young rookie, or the consistent veteran where they had an idea of what they would be getting, production wise? Continue Reading…