Archives For Atlanta Hawks

This Week In The Southeast, because it’s January things are starting to get a little predictable. The Hawks extended their lead across the division, the Hornets are in the playoffs, and everything else stayed the same.

Atlanta Hawks, 36-8, 1st in the East, 3-0 this week ATL

Another perfect week for the dominating Atlanta Hawks. The Detroit Pistons exposed a weakness the Hawks have on MLK day with their gigantic and athletic front court, but Atlanta managed to pull out a victory and extend their winning streak. The Hawks then set a franchise record for most wins in a row with a victory over a healthy, but struggling, Oklahoma City squad. 15 straight wins, and a seven game lead for first place has everybody talking about the Hawks.

Washington Wizards, 29-15, 2nd in the East, 1-2 this week WAS

Washington’s struggles against upper tier NBA teams continues. This week their two losses came to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Portland Trailblazers. These losses are starting to become a concern, because they are losing games they should be winning. Yes, Portland was at home, but the Wizards were playing them while LaMarcus Aldridge was playing injured, Robin Lopez is out with an injury, and the Wizards did have the lead for a good portion of the game. So if Washington is supposed to be one of the top NBA teams, then why did they lose a game they need to win

Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks notched their 15th consecutive victory on Friday night, knocking off the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 103-93. The 15 straight wins in the best stretch in franchise history.

“I’m happy for our guys to have success,” said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, who will be the head coach of the Eastern Conference All Stars thanks to Atlanta’s record. “It’s a carry-over from the work on the court and work in the film room before practice and after practice. Our guys deserve to have an opportunity to do something. We just have to keep doing it.”

The Hawks started off extremely sloppy, allowing Oklahoma City to build a nine point lead early in the first half. “We’ve had a lot of good stars and tonight probably wasn’t one of them,” said Budenholzer. The Hawks kept turning the ball over, allowing the Thunder to get out and transition and get easy looks at the hoop. The Hawks also had some defensive breakdowns in the halfcourt that led to some open 3s for OKC.

After 12 turnovers in the first half, the Hawks started to clean it up in the second half with strong efforts from Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague. Millsap scored 17 points in the half and was the main player closing in the fourth quarter, while Teague led the Hawks through the third quarter with nine points in the period. Continue Reading…

The 2007 NBA Draft ranks among the most hyped ever. Greg Oden was projected┬áto be the most dominant big man since Shaquille O’Neal. There was this skinny kid from Texas who was supposed to be good, Kevin Durant. And Florida had just won back-to-back NCAA championships with the son of former Milwaukee Buck Tito Horford. Somehow, against all odds, the Atlanta Hawks landed the draft pick that would propel the franchise to the cusp of championship contention.

The Hawks suffered through a 30-52 season in 2006-07 and finished with the league’s fourth-worst record. On March 22, 2007, the NBA Draft Lottery was held in Secaucus, New Jersey. Things were not looking good for the Hawks as the Trail Blazers, owners of the seventh-worst record, won the right to move into the top three. The Seattle SuperSonics (fifth-worst) likewise moved up. The Hawks owed a protected first round pick to the Phoenix Suns from the trade for Joe Johnson, so if the Hawks were pushed out of the top three, the team would surrender the pick.

But then, for once, the ping pong balls landed exactly right for the Hawks. After Portland won the right to pick first and Seattle second, the Hawks moved up to the third pick. It was a crushing blow for the Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics and Bucks, owners of the league’s three worst records. With those teams moving past them, they dropped out of the top three of a draft with potential All-Stars available with the first three picks. Continue Reading…

Oh how the tides have turned.

Last season, the Hawks showed promise in the playoffs, but after a first round exit they became an afterthought once again. Fast forward through a summer full of controversy, and you have yourself a team up for sale.

According to Forbes, the Hawks were worth $425 million, with an operating loss of $3.6 million. They also ranked 27th in the league in overall value, and that was an improvement over the season prior. Overall the team was nationally irrelevant, and their value reflected that.

Sitting at 34-8 and atop the Eastern Conference, the 100% sale of the Atlanta Hawks looks much better to potential buyers. Not only is the team on the rise, but so is their national relevance. Five of the last six games have been sell outs, and it appears Atlanta is starting to get behind their team.

With all of that being said, the question of the Hawks’ value still remains. How much will the team sell for? If their new franchise value is any indication, the price tag may soar to the $1 billion mark.

According to Forbes’ new NBA value numbers released on Wednesday, the Hawks are now worth $825 million — $400 million more than last year. They also posted a revenue of $133 million after five straight seasons of losses. Also, the team jumped from 27th to 22nd in overall value.

Citing the new national TV deal as well as their new deal with Fox Sports locally, Forbes indicates that the Hawks jump in value goes along with the entire league’s increasing numbers.

As 100% of the team is set to be sold — and the NBA promising that they stay in Atlanta — the new owners will have to open their wallets acquire the franchise. These aren’t your same old Hawks.

Mike Scott scored on consecutive dives to the basket to put the Hawks ahead 78-72 with 7:50 to play in the fourth quarter after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 3-pointer drew the Pistons within two. Scott’s baskets ignited a 17-6 run capped by Jeff Teague’s 3-point play with 2:28 remaining as Atlanta defeated Detroit 93-82 to run its win streak to 13 games.

Scott opened the fourth with a jumper and a layup as he scored eight consecutive points for Atlanta and eight of the team’s 10 points to open the quarter. Paul Millsap followed Scott’s offensive outburst with a pair of layups and a 17-footer to equal him with a game-high 20 points, adding seven rebounds and two assists. Scott also contributed five rebounds and two steals.

Al Horford added 14 points, six rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block and was a game-best plus-19. Horford was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 21.6 points, eight rebounds and 6.3 assists last week. Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast, the Hawks’ winning streak is up to 12 games in a row, the Wizards have reclaimed the second spot in the East, and Charlotte is still surging. Meanwhile, the state of Florida is just confusing with the Heat bouncing back on a west coast road trip and apparently the Magic are still alive.

Atlanta Hawks, 33-8, 1st in the East, 5-0 this week ATL

Make it 12 straight for the Hawks. Are they currently the best team in the NBA? It’s definitely up for debate with how their defense has shaped up, and the way they beat all the top teams in the East this week. What’s been most impressive about their strong week is not only are the Hawks winning against other conference contenders, but they do so in such a convincing fashion. Atlanta throttled the Wizards by 31 points to start off the week, throttled the Raptors by 23 points, and then beat the Bulls by eight — in Chicago — on a back to back. The Hawks are scary good.

Washington Wizards, 28-13, 2nd in the East, 3-2 this week WAS

The Wizards had a solid week, but two bad losses kept it from being perfect. They had a bad loss at home to Brooklyn, but made up for it with the victory in Brooklyn on a back-to-back. Washington’s bigger problem right now is the Wizards are a tier below the Hawks right now, and there’s nothing to say they have the talent to join them at this moment. Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks have now won 12 straight and as usual they look unstoppable. On Saturday, the Hawks were in control from start to finish, and even though the Bulls were always within striking distance, the game never felt particularly close. Chicago was constantly down nine points, and struggled throughout the game to close that gap.

It was the usual Atlanta offensive strategy involving ball movement, screens, and a barrage of 3-pointers that the Hawks have mastered and tailored into their own style. They’ve s have become so famous for their offense, by this point of the season, that it’s assumed everybody knows about it by now. Well apparently the Bulls missed the memo, because their defensive collapses were very concerning for a team that prides itself on that side of the ball. Chicago just couldn’t keep up with the constant ball movement, and it showed with how often they were slow on rotations. There were multiple times tonight the Hawks found wide open players on the perimeter or in the corner, and frankly is that is inexcusable for a Tom Thibodeau defense.

The worst (best?) of it all was how the Bulls allowed Kyle Korver open look after open look. This is the best shooter in the NBA, currently shooting 52 percent from 3-point range, and he’s getting open looks? It doesn’t matter if the scheme doesn’t fit, after Korver has made his fourth 3-pointer there should be a man on him at all times, but the Bulls never adjusted allowing Atlanta to punish them to the tune of seven triples for Korver. Continue Reading…

This Week in the Southeast, the Hawks dominate the Western conference to further prove how good they are. The Wizards rebound from their rough patch last week, but there are still questions about their validity as a top tier team in the East. The Miami Heat are imploding and it’s time to start asking questions about how long they can keep that 8th spot in the West. Meanwhile, Charlotte has won five straight and are showcasing Ewing theory to it’s maximum potential, and Orlando….we don’t speak about Orlando around these parts.

Atlanta Hawks, 28-8, 1st in the East, 3-0 this week ATL

Remember that loss to Milwaukee that was ending all of Atlanta’s positive momentum and “oh god that’s so typical Hawks”? Ha, me neither. This team is fun to watch and they’re really good to boot. They finished off their Western Conference road trip with a solid win against the Clippers, going undefeated on that trip, came home and beat a very good Memphis Grizzlies team on Tinder night, and survived a comeback effort by the smoking hot Pistons. Two wins against the Western Conference in one week is something not many East teams have the ability to do. Conferences are no problem for this fantastic team.

Washington Wizards, 25-11, 3rd in the East, 3-0 this week WAS

The Wizards had a nice rebound to last week’s rough patch by going undefeated this week. They had a solid win against an inconsistent Pelicans team and then beat the pants off the Bulls. The Wizards can handle the Bulls and anybody below them, but it’s teams like Atlanta, Toronto and the Western Conference that make me question how good the Wizards are. Is Washington in the same tier as Atlanta and Toronto right now? Continue Reading…

With Wednesday’s 96-86 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, the Hawks are now 6-0 against the top six teams in the Western Conference. Atlanta has registered wins against all of them except Golden State, a team the Hawks will host Feb. 6 in the first of two meetings. Some time around Jan. 19, Eastern Conference coaches will receive their All-Star voting instructions.

Between now and then, the Hawks face a stretch of five of six games on the road. Three of those games will be against top four teams in the East (Washington, Toronto and Chicago). The stretch starts with a visit to the Detroit Pistons, owners of the longest current winning streak in the NBA (seven games). The Pistons have not lost since waiving former Hawk Josh Smith.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, currently fifth in the East, are 4.5 games behind the fourth-seeded Wizards. Thus, the Cavaliers are closer in the standings to the 8th-place Miami Heat than they are to being a top four team in the East. By the time Eastern Conference coaches sit down to fill out their All-Star ballots, they will have seen the Hawks play every Eastern contender plus the streaking Pistons.

I’m operating under the assumption that Paul Millsap is an All-Star lock. Among Eastern Conference power forwards he’s third in scoring (17.2, second on the team), tied for fourth in rebounds (team-leading 8.1) and first in steals (1.88, tied for 6th in the league) and assists (3.1). Prior to being selected as an All-Star last season, Millsap led all Eastern Conference power forwards in scoring (17.7), was third in rebounds (8.2) and second in assists (2.9), steals (1.7) and blocks (1.2). Continue Reading…

Coming into last season, there was an immense amount of mystery surrounding what the Atlanta Hawks were going to become. Gone were the likes of Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Mike Woodson, and all remnants of the last seven years. They were bringing in a rookie head coach, a few mid-level free agents, and overall this was the beginning of something new.

Most pundits and fans projected that longtime Spurs’ assistant Mike Budenholzer would simply pour this roster into the mold of Gregg Popovich’s system, and we would all see the second coming of San Antonio’s culture. At first, one would assume that Budenholzer’s time in San Antonio would lead to a mimicking of their system, but a closer look at the Popovich coaching tree reveals that it was far from a lock. Coaches like Mike Brown, Jacque Vaughn, Monty Williams, Brett Brown and others have come from the same place, but had a differing style of play. At the very least there were no copies of the system out there.

Of course, we’ve all seen how Budenholzer has built his style around his old stomping ground, and that led to countless comparisons to San Antonio. At first, seeing the ball zip all over the court was a new and welcoming sight for Philips Arena. Through the month of November and some of December last season, the Hawks were sitting third in the Eastern Conference. Having 30 assists in one game no longer brought shock when it came to this team, and it was clear that the culture had changed — and it had changed fast.

As we all know, Al Horford missed the rest of the season, the Hawks were decimated by injuries and ended up finishing under .500. They did make their seventh straight trip to the playoffs though, and pushed the top-seeded Indiana Pacers to the brink of elimination. Continue Reading…