Archives For Atlanta Hawks

This Week In The Southeast the Atlanta Hawks had the second place spot in the East, and then they didn’t. While hte Washington Wizards and Hawks create distance from the rest of the division everybody else just seems to be fumbling around. The Miami Heat don’t look like they’re going to get any better and that’s a problem this early in the year. Meanwhile the Orlando Magic continue to stay competitive while the Charlotte Hornets try to right the ship.

Washington Wizards, 16-6, 2nd in the East, 3-1 this week WAS

The Wizards could have gone 4-0 this week but they lost a sluggish afternoon road game to the Boston Celtics. While losing to the Celtics is not good it’s very difficult to fault sluggish play in an afternoon game. The Wizards responded by ripping off three straight wins, including their best win of the year over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Atlanta Hawks, 16-7, 3rd in the East, 4-1 this week ATL

The Hawks win streak finally came to an end Saturday night due to a Tobias Harris game winner in Orlando. The loss was on a back to back and Orlando has been a pain for a lot of teams this year so that’s not a bad loss. Before that the Hawks were on a nine game winning streak and at one point were second in the Eastern conference. While this week didn’t feature any big time wins, the Hawks were able to keep their streak going all the way up to the final seconds in Orlando. Also of note this week, the Hawks had quite a few blowouts which is surprising since this team isn’t known for blowing opponents out of the building. It’s safe to say at this point that Atlanta is a good team.
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The Atlanta Hawks were out-hustled, out-executed and out-coached over the final seven minutes as a Tobias Harris buzzer-beater sealed a 100-99 win for the host Orlando Magic. The loss brought the Hawks’ nine-game win streak to a humbling conclusion. Jeff Teague had a careless turnover, failed to convert multiple isolations resulting from broken plays and was a disaster on defense in the closing minutes.

Teague and Paul Millsap replaced Dennis Schröder and Mike Scott with the Hawks up 83-80 with seven minutes remaining. Kyle Korver followed up a pair of Harris free throws with an elbow jumper. Kent Bazemore, who had a season-high 10 points, missed a heat-check 3-pointer after an offensive rebound. Teague then drove the lane and threw the ball into the stands. He looked better on the next trip with a lob pass to Al Horford, whose layup put the Hawks ahead 87-82.

Harris responded with a tough pull-up in the lane over DeMarre Carroll. Teague missed a step-back three on a broken possession. Korver replaced Bazemore with four minutes to play. Teague got a blow-by layup and the Hawks led 89-84 with 3:47 on the clock. Nikola Vučević then hit a baseline turn-around before Harris fouled Korver on a 3-point attempt. Korver’s free throws put the Hawks up 92-86 with 2:57 remaining. Continue Reading…

There might be only one reason why Greg Monroe is not playing for the Atlanta Hawks. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported over the summer that the Hawks were one of three teams that discussed trade proposals involving Monroe with the Pistons. Monroe’s agent said two teams offered him a max contract as part of those discussions. Of the teams mentioned by Wojnarowski, the Hawks and Phoenix Suns had the most cap flexibility.

Shams Charania reported on Real GM that Van Gundy scuttled trade talks by demanding All-Star talent in return. Thus, the most likely reason Monroe isn’t a Hawk is because Van Gundy thought he could make the mismatched trio of Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and Monroe work. Van Gundy was wrong.

The Pistons have been an unmitigated disaster. A quarter of the way through the season, Detroit is tied with the league-worst 76ers in the loss column. Monroe took a huge financial risk by signing the qualifying offer. If Monroe gets injured, he doesn’t have the security of a long-term deal and it could reduce his career earnings. Even if Monroe hasn’t “checked out” on the Pistons, how could it fail to impact the team’s chemistry, knowing that he’s gone at season’s end?

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The Atlanta Hawks and Phillips Arena today announced the hiring of Nzinga Shaw as the organization’s new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. The decision to create this role within the organization was made in the wake of racially-charged comments by Hawks part-owner Bruce Levenson and GM Danny Ferry that came to light over the summer. The Hawks are the first NBA organization to hire a CDIO.

Shaw, a Spelman College graduate with a graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, previously worked in a similar role with Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, and has worked for the NFL and Yankees Entertainment.

“My goal as the CDIO is to help our organization rebuild trust and partnership in the Atlanta community, emphasizing civility, sportsmanship, and human decency in an effort to ensure that everyone can be a fan of the team, attend home games, and so that we can serve as a model for inclusion in the NBA,” said Shaw in the press release announcing her new role. Continue Reading…

Jeff Teague has always been one of the more underrated players in the league. In a league full of athletic and talented point guards, Teague quietly puts up solid numbers on a perennial playoff team and the majority of causal NBA fans have no idea.

Much like Atlanta sports teams, Teague shows flashes of greatness, but at times has struggled with consistency. Last season, he started off strong and it had many wondering if this was his all-star year. Through the month of December last season, Teague was averaging over 19 points and eight assists per game, prompting Hawks’ fans and writers to believe in the point guard.

A bomb went off in December though, as Al Horford went down with a torn pectoral, and Teague had a tough test ahead of him. Through the month of January, he averaged just 13.6 points and 4.6 assists on 37 percent shooting from the field. He also posted an ugly 16 percent clip from three-point range.

So where did the All-Star Jeff Teague go?

Though he rebounded from a terrible month of January, Teague never got back to the level he showed in the early months of the season. That is, until the playoffs rolled around. Continue Reading…

As the Atlanta Hawks continue their romp through the NBA’s easiest early-season schedule, the team has now assembled its first 7-game win streak since 2009. The Hawks won the first quarter 28-18 and never looked back, finishing off the Pacers 108-92 behind 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and three blocks from Al Horford, along with 21 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals from Jeff Teague.

In the first half, it looked like the Hawks were going to blow open another one. The Hawks led 47-29 on a layup and free throw by Kyle Korver with 5:15 to play in the half. The Pacers responded with 3-pointers from Damjan Rudez and Rodney Stuckey and baskets from Luis Scola and Solomon Hill to close the gap to 49-39 before Mike Budenholzer called a timeout with 3:15 remaining in the first half.

Out of the timeout, Teague scored eight of his 10 points in the half, including a pair of layups in the last 30 seconds as the Hawks closed on an 11-4 run to take a 60-43 lead at halftime. Teague was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, had two assists, one rebound and a steal and was plus-11, best among the Hawks’ starters. Carroll shot 3-for-5 from 3-point range to finish the first half with 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal. Horford scored a team-high 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting with six rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. Continue Reading…

With the Hawks sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference after Sunday’s win over the visiting Denver Nuggets, those who predicted a strong season for Atlanta might be tempted to pat themselves on the back. However, in light of the fact that the Hawks have played by far the easiest schedule to this point, it might be time to pump the brakes. While the Hawks are having an amazing season offensively, the team is among the league’s worst in rebounding and opponents’ at-rim FG%.

What follows is an overview of what the Hawks are doing well and what areas need improvement. First, the good news. If you go through NBA.com’s player tracking data, you will see that the Hawks are at or near the top in almost every offensive category. The Hawks lead the NBA in catch-and-shoot effective FG% (57.2) and points per game (34.3), are eighth in PPG off drives (31.4), are second only to the Warriors in PPG created via assist (59.8) and are fourth in the league in overall effective FG% (53.1).

Interestingly, the Hawks are ranked eighth in effective FG% on pull-up shots (43.7) despite the fact that the Hawks attempt the second-fewest pull up shots per game. This indicates that the Hawks are shooting well from the perimeter regardless of shot type, but have made a systemic decision to eschew pull-up attempts in favor of shots created via assist. That the Hawks are effectively 13.5% better on catch-and-shoot attempts (compared to pull-ups) illustrates why this decision was a good one. Continue Reading…

This week in the southeast, the Wizards look like a pretty damn good basketball team, but the Hawks are right on their tail. These are not only two of the best teams in the division; they might be two of the best teams in the conference. Meanwhile, the division is starting to get a little top heavy, with Miami falling to below .500, there are now three teams below .500 in a division many thought was going to be very good this year.

Washington Wizards, 13-5, 2nd in the East, 4-0 this week WAS

Does it really matter that the Wizards haven’t beaten any great teams this year if they keep beating up on everybody else, cause that’s what they’re doing. They won a game against Miami that, at the time, looked like a good win but Miami’s recent slide has put that wins validity into doubt. Their best win of the week was an 83-80 defeat of the New Orleans Pelicans. Overcoming a low scoring game like that can be difficult for a lot of teams but the Wizards handled it well, using it to send them on a four game winning streak.

Atlanta Hawks, 12-6, 3rd in the East, 4-0 this week ATL

The Hawks have entered that Wizards range where they’re beating the teams they should beat, which is a good thing. There were some concerns after Atlanta lost to teams like Los Angeles and Charlotte, but it appears they’ve started to figure things out after extending their win streak to five with a thrashing of Brooklyn. Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks remain difficult to draw conclusions about in the early part of the season. Entering Saturday ranked 25th in defensive efficiency and giving up a bloated 106.6 points per 100 possessions (the Hawks currently rank 21st), and playing a fourth game in five nights, the Hawks were stellar defensively for the second night in a row. After holding the Pelicans to 28 first-half points Friday, the Hawks’ best defensive first half of the season, the team repeated the feat against the Hornets.

Much was made (by me) about the Hawks’ playoff defensive performance against the Pacers. After ranking a mediocre 14th in defensive efficiency for the 2013-14 regular season, the Hawks held the Pacers to 101.6 points per 100 posessions and ranked third among 16 playoff teams. Some chalked up the Pacers’ poor offensive showing to internal strife, a theory that is looking good after the Hornets’ implosion since acquiring Lance Stephenson.

I theorized that the Hawks’ playoff performance was evidence of defensive progression under Mike Budenholzer. Then this season happened. Despite playing Paul Millsap at center frequently while Pero Antic recovered from a stress fracture in his foot, the Hawks had a strong defensive series against Indiana. This season opened with a healthy roster featuring the return of Al Horford, a technically-sound defender with quick feet, able to guard centers and switch onto opposing perimeter players. Despite relative good health, the Hawks were giving up 2.5 more points per 100 possessions compared to last season. Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast, the Wizards begin to look mortal. Was their hot start just the effect of an easy schedule? The Hawks are now ONE GAME behind first place in the East, have they finally figured out what caused their early season struggles? Meanwhile, Miami just can’t seem to get a winning streak going, Orlando is tumbling down, and Charlotte keeps choking on their food.

Washington Wizards, 9-5, 2nd in the East, 0-2 this week WAS

The Wizards faced two good teams this week, and they lost to both of them. After a close loss to the division rival Hawks, Washington went to Cleveland on a back to back and had a horrible night, getting blown out of the building. The Wizards still don’t have a quality win this season. Lucky for them, this isn’t college football and all that matters is how many wins you have, not the quality of them.

Atlanta Hawks, 8-6, 5th in the East, 2-1 this week ATL

Atlanta is really random to start off this season. After last week’s horrible loss to the Lakers, the Hawks responded with a big win over the Wizards, and a complete game against the Pelicans. Seriously, they might be the first team all year to say they slowed down Anthony Davis. Despite the good things this week, Atlanta did get outplayed by a pretty good Raptors team. Right now there is a ceiling on the Hawks, we just can’t figure out where it is. Continue Reading…