Archives For Atlanta Hawks

This Week In The Southeast, the Wizards just keep on winning, and here comes Bradley Beal. The Miami Heat had another up and down week, while their cross town rival, the Orlando Magic, look like they might be the true dark horse threat to cause problems in the Southeast. Meanwhile, the Hornets continue to struggle out of the gate, are they bad, or is it adjusting to a new roster.

Washington Wizards, 9-3, 2nd in the East, 2-1 this week WAS

Wizards fan have to be happy with the way they’re rocketing out of the gate this year. Washington is beating up on teams they’re supposed to beat, and that’s a good thing. The problem? They’ve yet to beat a single playoff team, with this week’s loss coming to the Mavericks. Beating up on bad teams is all fine and dandy, but the Wizards have had the easiest early schedule in the entire division.

Miami Heat, 8-6, 4th in the East, 3-2 this week MIA

The Heat were very up and down this week. They had a good win against Brooklyn, and a surprisingly tough Orlando Magic team, but they had a bad loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks. While the Bucks aren’t an easy win anymore, a team of Miami’s caliber shouldn’t be losing to them.

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

So….the Hawks. While falling out of second place had more to do with their lack of games this week, there is really no excuse for a loss at home to the Lakers. They managed to stay above .500 however, winning a home game against Detroit. Their next game is on Tuesday, lets see if the extra rest and practice time helps them figure out some of their early season problems. If not, a difficult four-in-five night schedule against four playoff contender could prove to be costly for Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks. Continue Reading…

If not for questionable referee decisions in three of the Hawks’ first 10 games, the Hawks could easily be 8-2 right now and within striking distance of the top seed in the East. If such were the case, it pains me to report that it would vastly overstate where the Hawks are as a team. The Hawks are presently 23rd in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing 106.5 points per 100 possessions, and look nothing like a contender. What follows is a look at where the Hawks are, speculation on where the franchise is headed and what role exiled general manager Danny Ferry might play.

The Hawks’ five worst shooters thus far have been Kent Bazemore (26%), Pero Antic (37%), Thabo Sefolosha (38%), Shelvin Mack (41%) and Mike Scott (44%). In spite of the early shooting struggles, these five players combined to take 38 shots against the Lakers, making only 11 (29%). Al Horford, who is second on the team in field goal percentage among players with at least six games played (54%), took only eight shots against the Lakers, making seven (88%). Why did Mike Budenholzer allow his worst shooters to chuck with reckless abandon when Horford was on fire? Could it be that Atlanta’s coaching staff is concerned about placing too great an offensive burden on Horford, in light of his injury history?

I spent most of the summer pleading with the Hawks to add a difference maker in the front court. I stated the case for Greg Monroe before Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that the Hawks had in fact engaged the Pistons in trade discussions. I argued for Aron Baynes. The Hawks have been out-rebounded by eight of ten opponents this season. Horford is an undersized center who has been asking for help in the front court for years. Paul Millsap is an undersized power forward. The Hawks are currently getting nothing from reserve big men Elton Brand, Mike Muscala and rookie Adreian Payne, none of whom are the rim protector the Hawks need. Gorgui Dieng, presently tied with Al Jefferson for the 6th-best PER among centers (20.83), ahead of notables Roy Hibbert (9th), Dwight Howard (11th) and Horford (14th), could have been that player. But Ferry passed on him, not once, but twice in the 2013 NBA Draft. Continue Reading…

This week in the Southeast, the Washington Wizards are handling their easy schedule as they should, leading the division. They’re still missing Bradley Beal, so there’s no way to get a read on how good they are early. After the Wizards, we have the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks. Currently tied at second, Miami is trying to figure out how to make the best of their new roster, and the Hawks are just trying to earn a little respect. Meanwhile, Charlotte was the first team in the division to go west and lets just say it wasn’t ideal. Finally we have the Orlando Magic. A competitive team, but they can’t seem to stay healthy.

Washington Wizards, 7-2, 2nd in the East, 2-0 this week WAS

The Wizards only had two games this week, with neither team being very good, and both at home. Once again, it’s hard to get fully on board with this team until we see them get some quality wins against good teams. That said, it’s hard to knock on a team that’s 7-2. Not everybody wins the games they’re supposed to win, and the Wizards are doing that, without Bradley Beal no less.

Atlanta Hawks, 5-4, 5th in the East, 3-1 this week ATL

The Hawks responded to their slow start, by ripping off three straight wins in a row. One of those was against the Knicks, but they beat a decent Jazz team, and a legitimately good Miami Heat team. They did however take a pounding against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In their defense, it was a back to back on the road, but points get knocked off for getting dominated the way they did. Even so, Atlanta is starting to figure out how to play with Al Horford in the lineup. Now if they can just start getting some respect from the general public… Continue Reading…

As you might have read by now, Dennis Schröder is leading the NBA with a 36.76 PER. He’s enjoying the best stretch of his young career. Meanwhile Thabo Sefolosha, a career 44% shooter from the field (34.6% from three), who shot better than 40% from 3-point range in two of the preceding three seasons, is shooting 22% from the field and has missed all six of his 3-point attempts this season.

Early-season statistical anomalies are always a source of talking points until the new season ages enough to spot real trends. In this case, however, the early contrast between Schröder and Sefolosha gives me an opportunity to point out why I place so much emphasis on plus-minus. For the season, despite his horrid shooting, Sefolosha is an aggregate plus-6 (click the “team” column and the Hawks will be sorted at the top). Despite spectacular per-minute numbers that currently have Schröder sitting atop the PER rankings, looking down on players such as Anthony Davis and Stephen Curry, the Hawks have been outscored by a total of nine points during his time on the floor.

For me, this confirms the eye test. My eyes tell me that, even though Sefolosha will turn 31 in May, he’s still a well-above-average on-ball defender. When Sefolosha’s shooting numbers start to regress back toward his career averages, I expect the value of his minutes to increase dramatically. The Hawks appear to be a perfect situation for Sefolosha, a willing passer who has labored in Oklahoma City’s isolation-heavy system for years. Continue Reading…

The Hawks got a critical win by defeating the Knicks on Saturday night. Game recap aside, there are some other things from the game that I would like to address.

    Thabo Sefolosha has been really bad on offense to start the season. He is 5-for-23 from the field to start the season and that is not just because of a bad jump-shooting stretch; Sefolosha is blowing what should be easy layups, too. However, there is a bright side to Thabo’s play: his defense does not have the same off switch that his offense apparently does. This helps DeMarre Carroll more than any other player, as the Hawks can now afford to sit Carroll and give him some rest, or simply allow him to get some playing time where he does not have to matchup with the opposing team’s best wing player. Sefolosha’s offense will eventually get better and when it does, he will become an extremely valuable player to have on the bench.
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It’s been almost two weeks since the NBA season began, and the Southeast division already feels very different from last year. While a couple teams have run into some bad luck early on this year with slow starts, the rest have proven why winning the Southeast is no easy task.

Washington Wizards, 5-2, 2nd in the EastWAS

The Wizards currently lead the division, but it’s hard to argue that it’s been impressive. All five of their wins come against teams that are projected to miss the playoffs, two of them alone came against a ridiculously injured Indiana Pacers team. Of course, you can’t take too much away from a team that came in and did what they’re supposed to do, but lets not praise a team with conference finals hopes on doing what they’re supposed to do, especially when their two losses have both come against likely playoff teams.

Miami Heat, 4-2, 4th in the EastMIA

While many had the Heat taking a huge drop this year, after losing LeBron James, Miami has still looked like one of the tougher team in the East. Their losses have come against the Charlotte Hornets and Houston Rockets, neither of those is a horrible loss to have on a resume. However, in their four wins, they have defeated both the Wizards and Raptors. Right now, they look like the best team in the division, but that could change when Washington gets Bradley Beal back. Until then, Miami has a chance to rack up some victories behind the incredible play of Chris Bosh. Continue Reading…

With 2:42 to play in the fourth quarter and a pesky, undermanned Pacers team hanging around, trailing only 91-83, DeMarre Carroll dove out of bounds to save a loose ball. The ball went to center court where Kyle Korver dove to touch it ahead to Al Horford. The latter passed to Carroll, got it back, was blocked by Roy Hibbert, then gathered the loose ball and put it back over Luis Scola.

And with that, Al Horford is back. The Hawks had to work much too hard to grind out a 102-92 win against a Pacers team that had only one starter available (Hibbert) from the unit that started against the Hawks in last season’s playoffs. The Pacers got 21 points off the bench from Chris Copeland, who shot 6-for-11 from 3-point range. Indiana’s starters provided balanced offense, all five scoring in double figures. But it wasn’t enough as the Hawks got 25 points, six assists, three steals, two blocks and just one turnover from Jeff Teague.

Horford scored 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting with four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Meanwhile Paul Millsap continued his slow offensive start to the season, scoring 13 points with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block after opening against Toronto with 13 points. Continue Reading…

First reported by the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore and later announced by the team, the Hawks have agreed to a new TV deal with FOX Sports that starts with the 2015-16 season.

From the team’s press release:

FOX Sports South and SportSouth senior vice president and general manager Jeff Genthner, and Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, today announced a new long-term television rights agreement. The new agreement goes into effect with the 2015-16 NBA season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the new agreement, SportSouth – a FOX Sports regional network – will remain the exclusive regional television partner of the Atlanta Hawks and will produce all locally-available regular season games not exclusively selected by a national network. The regional network will also televise three preseason games, select Hawks Playoff games and produce 10 hours of Hawks-themed original programming each season.

“We are excited to extend our partnership with SportSouth and build off the record-setting ratings that we established during our thrilling playoff series last season,” Koonin said. “The broadcast of live sports is crucial to our business and we are fortunate to have a great partner with such a large footprint to grow our fan base.”

This is exciting news for the team and solves a problem that the HawksHoop team has been rather adamant about. The best way to reach your fans is to televise as many games as you can and the Hawks had not been doing that the past several seasons. Shout out to Hawks CEO Steve Koonin for trying to do as much as possible to engage the Atlanta fan base.

The Hawks dropped their first game of the 2014-15 season with a 109-102 loss to the Raptors, and it could have been much uglier that that. Atlanta started out sloppy and played poorly on the defensive end, but a late run sparked the team. Costly mistakes threw away their final chance to come out on top.

Despite the loss, there were a few things we can take away from the game:

    The Hawks lacked depth last season — mostly due to injuries — but were coming into this season with a lot of versatile players on a deep bench. By the beginning of the second quarter, Mike Budenholzer had played 11 guys, showing how deep this team really is. Elton Brand was the first sub off the bench, followed by Kent Bazemore shortly after. On more than one occasion, Bud rolled out a Mack-Bazmore-Sefolosha-Scott-Brand lineup, and it proved to be a nice spark. Scott was the best bench player in the game, channeling his fire emojis for 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting. In the end, 10 guys played at least 11 minutes, and no starter played over 33 minutes.
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After Bruce Levenson announced he would be selling his stake in the Atlanta Hawks back in September, the franchise’s future has been in flux. Former Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins has interest in buying the team, as well as former NBA star Chris Webber. The mayor of Atlanta has said he would like the team to be sold by the end of the year, which means we may see a resolution to the ownership issues in the coming months.

Professional sports franchises have sold for astronomical amounts recently, so many have wondered how much the Hawks would sell for. A post from stated that Atlanta could be the franchise that bucks this recent spike in price, using low attendance as a reason for a lower price.

When it comes to NBA franchises and their price tags, there are two recent examples when it comes to buying and selling. The Milwaukee Bucks sold for $550 million back in April, after being valued at just $405 million by Forbes. The Clippers have just recently sold to professional hype man Steve Ballmer, and their price reached a record  $2 billion. They were valued at just $575 million, which shows how overvalued franchises have become in professional sports.

So will the Hawks reverse the trend?

According to Sports Business Journal, it doesn’t seem likely.The SBJ is reporting that the Hawks will sell for a minimum of $750 million, and that price has the chance to rise to the $1 billion mark. Valued at just $425 million, that would mean the trend would indeed continue with Atlanta carrying the baton.

Despite low attendance and being a nationally maligned team, there are a few things to remember when it comes to the sale of the Hawks. First off, there are only 30 teams in the NBA. That means only 30 individuals in the world can call themselves a majority owner in the NBA. Secondly, the league is growing both financially and globally. They recently signed a gigantic nine-year, $24 billion TV deal with Turner and ESPN, giving the league an unprecedented amount of money for the right to broadcast their games. There is real value to owning a franchise in the NBA.

It is important to remember that this is not the same ol’ Hawks. This team is starting to make real strides both on and off the court. With Mike Budenholzer as head coach, the system is aesthetically pleasing to watch, and should soon start to attract more fans. With the combination of two of the top 30 players in the league and legitimate depth, the Hawks could be in for a special season. They also are installing some state of the art arena operations — like a new scoreboard and player introductions.

As potential owners start to be revealed, and the ownership problem begins to end, you can expect the price to be on par with the recent purchases in professional sports. Although they may not be going for $2 billion, $750 million is certainly nothing to scoff at.