Archives For Atlanta Hawks

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Atlanta Hawks plan to promote Mike Budenholzer to president of basketball operations, a move that will likely precede exiled general manager Danny Ferry’s departure. Assistant general manager Wes Wilcox is Budenholzer’s presumptive choice to serve under Budenholzer as general manager:

The Atlanta Hawks plan to promote coach Mike Budenholzer to the franchise’s ultimate basketball decision-maker, clearing the path to part ways with exiled general manager Danny Ferry, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Budenholzer will become president and head coach, partnering in the front office with Wes Wilcox, who will become the Hawks’ general manager, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Wojnarowski further reported that the Hawks’ new ownership, led by Tony Ressler, will not be able to finalize these moves until they take possession of the franchise. The transfer of ownership is expected to be completed June 24th, the day before the NBA draft.

Budenholzer’s reported promotion should ease the concerns of Hawks fans, who feared that Ressler’s group might bring in new front office personnel, precipitating a possible search for Budenholzer’s replacement. HawksHoop.com recommended the promotion of Budenholzer to president of basketball operations in November.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit of unusual size named Frodo Gasol. His birthright was a ring of great power, but King James of Angmar and other fell Ringwraiths sought to steal it from him. To secure the ring, he knew he must venture forth from Memphis-shire and seek powerful allies to defeat the Nazgûl. Herein, noble readers, lies the recounting of his epic quest.

On May 30th, Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype posted a partial translation of an interview with Marc Gasol by Spanish basketball site Marca.com:

I’m not Frodo [from Lord of the Rings] but still I’m obsessed with it [winning the NBA ring].

Very well, he denies being Frodo. But we will speak of his quest nonetheless. On Friday we discussed another Gasol interview with a Spanish radio station in which he named San Antonio, Los Angeles and Atlanta as appealing destinations. In discussing the cap ramifications of adding Gasol, I stated that it would be extremely difficult to sign him without parting ways with both Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll. But could the Hawks sign Gasol and still retain one of them? Continue Reading…

Getting caught up on Hawks news, Chris Vivlamore of the AJC reports that the sale of the Hawks is scheduled to be finalized on June 24th, the day before the NBA Draft. The sale is pending a vote by the NBA Board of Governors to approve the incoming group led by Tony Ressler and wife Jami Gertz, and including Atlantans Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, and husband Jesse Itzler. The vote should be a formality, given the stature of Ressler’s group.

Meanwhile AJC columnist Mark Bradley published a speculative piece (paid content) that asserted that the Hawks will most likely seek a new general manager once the sale is finalized. This, of course, induced panic on the streets of Reddit, where readers speculated that a new GM could precipitate a search for a new coach. This was just the sort of fear Bradley was hoping to monger, I’m sure. And since so many fell for it, let’s play along.

I proactively addressed this scenario in November when the scandal was still fresh. As it happened, there was a moment that should have tipped us off about Ferry’s pending fate. Vivlamore reported that Michael Gearon Jr. would retain a small percentage of the franchise. Since Gearon’s efforts to oust Ferry precipitated the sale, and with Gearon escaping exile, it seems likely that Ferry’s hiatus will become permanent.

Continue Reading…

Prior to the Eastern Conference Finals and in its immediate aftermath, former TrueHoop Hawks blogger Bret LaGree broke his silence at Hoopinionblog.com with a series preview and look ahead to a critical offseason. HawksHoop.com enlisted LaGree’s aid in compiling a postmortem for the greatest season in Atlanta Hawks history.

HawksHoop.com: It’s fascinating to look at the playoff on/off numbers and sort them by opponent to see how various Hawks performed in each series. The Hawks might not have made it past the Wizards if not for Dennis Schröder’s performance in the second half of that series. What the hell happened to him in the Cavaliers series?

Bret LaGree: Schröder improved a remarkable amount this season. In no way dismissing his ability to beat defenses, the next step forward for him will be demonstrating he can read defenses. The Cavs walled off the paint, so he rarely got that clear path to the basket, or an obvious pass to a roll man exploiting help defense. Plus, he was not immune to the team-wide inability to make open shots, or commit to a sound defensive gameplan. Continue Reading…

With the season barely concluded, the sharp minds of the Hawks blogosphere, probably much like the organization itself, immediately turned their attention to next steps for the franchise. HawksHoop editor Bo Churney surveyed this summer’s free agency marketplace. Additionally, veteran Hawks voice Bret LaGree of Hoopinionblog.com took a deep dive into the treacherous waters of the coming offseason. Here’s a sample:

Because of all the wasted resources during the Atlanta Spirit Group’s ownership — trading away first-round picks, making bad draft picks, losing good first-round picks without compensation — maintaining a 50-win team with an annual chance to win a title will require the basketball side to make consistent good decisions, and that those good decisions work out. The Hawks aren’t in as good a place as they are today without the two trades Danny Ferry made on July 11, 2012. They were massively important deals, but they weren’t a solution. They solved one problem and created opportunity, but they did not add assets.

Bret gave me my first shot at writing for TrueHoop Network before he retired his blog. I was more fortunate still when Bo found enough marginal entertainment value in my paranoid ramblings to allow me to continue when HawksHoop became the new TrueHoop Hawks blog. In blog retirement, Bret has covered the PGA for Masters.com and been featured on ESPN.com. He’s one of my favorite writers in any genre ever, and I’m glad to see him pick up the pen again.

Within moments of the conclusion of the Hawks’ Game 2 loss, Hawks PR was churning out excuses and essentially conceding the series.

The Cavaliers have suffered injuries as well, but I doubt Cavs PR would be packing it in two games into the series. HawksHoop editor Bo Churney referred to the Hawks’ effort in Game 2 as “laughable.” In the most important game of their careers, Al Horford was minus-27, Paul Millsap scored four points on eight shots and Jeff Teague was humiliated by Matthew Dellavedova. Continue Reading…

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore tweeted that starting shooting guard Kyle Korver will be out for the remainder of the season with a severely sprained ankle suffered in Friday’s Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Philips Arena.

@CVivlamoreAJC: BREAKING: Kyle Korver is OUT for the remainder of the playoffs with ankle injury.

Vivalmore followed up that there is no word on who will start in Korver’s place in Game 3 in Cleveland on Sunday. The Hawks already lost Thabo Sefolosha for the season to a broken leg suffered during his arrest by NYPD. Kent Bazemore seems the most likely candidate to start in Korver’s place. Following is the text of an Atlanta Hawks press release:

Hawks guard/forward Kyle Korver suffered a right ankle injury with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter of last night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. X-rays performed at Philips Arena last night were negative. A follow-up MRI and examination this morning at the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed a severe high right ankle sprain. Korver will see a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment. He is out for the remainder of the postseason.

LeBron James dunked with 37 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to end a 13-1 run that drew the Atlanta Hawks within 91-87. Kent Bazemore’s layup with under a minute to play kept it close before James scored then combined with Iman Shumpert to ice the game at the free throw line. The Cleveland Cavaliers won 97-89 at Phillips Arena to take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

In worse news for the Hawks, DeMarre Carroll sprawled on the ground and writhed in agony after suffering what appeared to be a serious left knee injury with five minutes remaining in the fourth. Carroll had to be helped from the court as he was unable to put any weight on his left leg. His diagnosis will not be confirmed until he can get an MRI.

James finished with 30 points, eight rebounds, six assists and a steal and JR Smith added 28 points (including 8-for-12 shooting from 3-point range), eight rebounds, three assists and a block. Cleveland seized control of the game with a 22-4 run spanning the third and fourth quarters. Smith hit the second of consecutive 3-pointers with 2:30 to play in the third to put the Cavs in front 71-63, then opened the fourth with three more to put Cleveland ahead 85-67. He also assisted Tristan Thompson on an alley-oop during the run. Continue Reading…

It’s no secret that the Atlanta Hawks have struggled shooting the ball in the post-season. Playoff teams generally rank above average defensively, and defenses are highly-motivated with the season on the line. But the Hawks’ shooting struggles can’t entirely be written off as the result of playoff defense. The Hawks are generating 20.6 wide-open shots (defined by NBA.com as a shot taken with no defender within six feet), by far the most of any playoff team, but have seen a drop in shooting percentage even on these shots.

During the regular season, Atlanta shot 46.1% from the field and 39.4% from 3-point range on wide-open shots. In the playoffs, those numbers have dropped to 41.7% from the field and 37.3% from three. As a result, while the Hawks generated 23.7 points per game via wide-open shots during the regular season, Atlanta is generating only 22 points per game in the playoffs.

Atlanta has seen a decrease of only about 1% in wide-open shot opportunities in the post-season. Thus, even when you account for decreased opportunities, Atlanta is still leaving about a point and a half per game on the table on wide-open attempts. When you consider how many close games the Hawks have played in the post-season, losing close to a full basket on open shots is significant. Continue Reading…

Sometimes we, as fans, need to just sit back and enjoy what we’re watching. In today’s current age of basketball, we are obsessed with teams playing “the right way”, or the smart way. The basketball needs to be in its purest form with crisp passing, perfect rotations, and not a single iota of ugliness to be found. Well sometimes basketball ain’t pretty and that’s probably a nice way to describe the Hawks-Wizards series that just wrapped up.

Atlanta managed to pull out a huge victory over Washington in six dramatic games that involved everything we ask for out of a playoff series. It had story lines, game winners, players toughing it out through injuries, and all the trash talk we could ever hope for. The only problems is that it wasn’t always the prettiest basketball in the world.

Atlanta was an extremely enjoyable team for much of the regular season, and they were champions of exactly what everybody wants their basketball to be. Washington on the other hand was one of the more painful teams to watch. Their offense was composed of mid-range jumpshots and an outdated philosophy that left many modern NBA fans throwing their hands in the air. When the two teams met, the series felt like it had already been decided. Atlanta played “the right way” while Washington had only recently shown an acknowledgement of 21st century basketball with their sweep of the Toronto Raptors. However, due to a lackluster first round from Atlanta, and John Wall being one of best point guards in the NBA, there was reason to believe this might be closer than originally thought. Continue Reading…