Archives For Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks, 60-22, 1st in the East ATL

Wow, what an incredible year for the Atlanta Hawks. Anybody that had watched the Hawks last year knew how injured they were, and how much better they were going to be this season, but 60 wins? Not even the most optimistic of Hawks fans believed that this team had that in them. They set all kinds of franchise records, got the entire city of Atlanta behind them in support, and they even brought back the old school pac man logo. Now, everything shifts. It would be easy to say that no matter what happens Atlanta had a successful season, but Hawks fans will say otherwise. This is a franchise that has never once been to the conference finals their entire time in Atlanta, despite years and years of going to the playoffs. Hawks fans are tired of being the constant image of mediocrity. It’s conference finals, or failure, with this team.

Washington Wizards, 46-36, 5th in the East WAS

Yeesh, the Washington Wizards had one heck of a weird season. They started off the year battling the Toronto Raptors for the number one seed in the entire conference, and had what felt like everybody on their bandwagon. Flash forward a few months and they’re in a nosedive towards the middle of the pack while teams like the Hawks, Bulls, and Cavs passed them. Now they enter the playoffs with the same seed as last year, arguably playing worse, and have to defeat those same Toronto Raptors. Bet both teams wish it was December again.
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It’s been 47 years since Atlanta real estate developer Tom Cousins and former Governor Carl Sanders bought the Hawks from Ben Kerner and relocated the team to Atlanta. Kerner also acted as the team’s general manager. Among his brilliant moves was the 1950 decision to sell Bob Cousy’s rights after refusing to pay the outrageous $10,000 salary he demanded, and the 1956 trade that sent Bill Russell to the Celtics.

Essentially, the Celtics dynasty would never have happened if not for the cheapness and incompetence of Hawks ownership. Sound familiar? If you’ve grown weary of the act, just know that it stretches all the way back to the founding of the NBA. Now, 47 years into the Atlanta iteration, we find ourselves on the doorstep of redemption.

Sometimes an athletic team finds itself in a whirlwind of negative publicity. Often that leads to finger pointing and strife that can derail a team’s aspirations. But sometimes players in that situation turn inward, embrace their teammates and insulate themselves from outside influences. On occasion, this leads to a team that exceeds all expectations. Continue Reading…

After trailing the Knicks at home by as much as 17, the Hawks tied the score at 87-87 on a Shelvin Mack 3-pointer with 9:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Hawks’ shaky perimeter defense then allowed the Knicks to hit three straight 3-pointers, including a pair by rookie Langston Galloway (6-for-6 on the night) and another by Lance Thomas, as the Knicks held on for a 112-108 victory in Atlanta. Overall, the Hawks allowed the Knicks to shoot 13-for-25 (52%) from 3-point range.

Galloway finished with 26 points, a career high, prompting Hawks radio voice Steve Holman to say he would include him on his Rookie of the Year ballot (media voters must include 10 names on their ballot).

“He’s definitely in my top 10 right now,” said Holman on the Hawks broadcast on 92.9 The Game. Continue Reading…

The Washington Wizards outscored the Hawks 38-22 in the first quarter en route to a 108-99 victory in the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., as Atlanta rested all of its starters. Of far greater importance, the Nets lost to the Bucks and the Pacers defeated the Thunder to draw even with Brooklyn in the standings with a 37-43 record. The Nets own a tie break with the Pacers, which must end with a better record than Brooklyn to finish ahead of them in the standings.

The Hawks trailed 66-45 at halftime but outscored the Wizards 54-42 in the second half, closing the gap to single digits. Mike Scott led the Hawks with 19 points off the bench. He added three rebounds and an assist and was the only Hawk to finish the game without a negative plus-minus. John Jenkins led the starters with 17 points, including 3-for-4 shooting from 3-point range, three rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Dennis Schröder started at point guard, scored 14 points and added six rebounds and three assists. Shelvin Mack was the only other double-digit scorer, adding 14 points, four rebounds and six assists off the bench. Pero Antić had eight points and a team-high seven rebounds off the bench. Continue Reading…

UPDATE: The complete text of the Atlanta Hawks press release regarding Thabo Sefolosha’s injury has been added at the bottom.

Real GM’s Shams Charania is reporting that, according to league sources, Thabo Sefolosha suffered a broken leg during his arrest yesterday in New York and is out for the season. Following is a tweet from Charania:

More specifically, Thabo Sefolosha has sustained a fractured tibia in his leg, league sources tell RealGM. MRIs ongoing on other damages.

Sefolosha was limping noticeably in footage showing him leaving NYPD’s 10th Precinct for arraignment. The loss of Sefolosha is a significant blow to the Hawks’ defense as he is rated 25th in the NBA in defensive real plus-minus per and sixth among small forwards. Sefolosha is Atlanta’s highest-rated defender per real plus minus.

The following is the full text of a press release from Hawks VP of Public Relations Garin Narain:

Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha suffered injuries during yesterday’s early morning incident. An examination of Sefolosha’s right leg, including an X-ray at Barclays Center yesterday and an MRI today at Peachtree Orthopaedics revealed a fractured fibula and ligament damage that will require surgery. He is out for the remainder of the season, including the entire postseason, and a timeline for his return will be updated at a later date.

“This is a very difficult situation for Thabo and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery. We know that his approach and dedication will serve him well in his rehabilitation,” Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our team remains focused and will be prepared as we head into the postseason.”

 Click here for video from TMZ of Sefolosha being arrested.

The gravitational force of Kyle Korver sucked in a pair of defenders, setting up Al Horford for a dunk and a 112-111 Hawks lead with 19 seconds to play in a back-and-forth game with the Nets in Brooklyn. After missed threes by Jarrett Jack and Bojan Bogdanović, Jeff Teague added a pair of free throws for the final 114-111 margin as the Hawks completed a 4-0 season sweep of the Nets. The win extended Atlanta’s franchise record for victories in a season to 59, a record that was set with last night’s win over the Phoenix Suns.

The game was an understated masterpiece for Korver, who finished with only nine points on six shots (3-for-4 from 3-point range) but added seven assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block. Korver was a game-high plus-25. The only other player with a double-digit positive plus-minus was Horford (plus-12). In July, Grantland’s Zach Lowe revealed that only Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George had a higher “gravity score” than Korver last season, a player tracking metric that measures how closely a player is guarded away from the ball. On the winning play, Brook Lopez cheated toward Korver as he received the ball, even though Deron Williams had him closely guarded. That left Horford alone under the basket for the winning dunk.

In the first half, the Hawks led 46-38 on a pair of Jeff Teague free throws with 5:45 to play in the second quarter. Brooklyn responded with a Lopez jumper, a three by Joe Johnson and a Bogdanović layup to draw within 47-45 with 4:41 remaining in the second quarter. From there, Mike Scott had a putback and a dunk to help Atlanta ignite an 18-10 run to close the half. Teague added a pair of layups and a 5-footer and Horford a pair of baskets as the Hawks led 65-56 at halftime. Horford had a game-high 15 points with two rebounds at the half and Scott added 14 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. Continue Reading…

This week in the southeast, Atlanta pulverizes Brooklyn, because they must REALLY want that lotto pick. Washington is rebounding nicely, because playing the East lets teams do that, Miami has fallen out of the playoff standings all together, Charlotte is somehow still alive, and Orlando is playing spoiler.

Atlanta Hawks, 57-19, 1st in the East, 2-1 this week ATL

Atlanta had a rough road trip, and they struggled a bit in their first couple games back home, but a few games against the East appears to have fixed any problems that were ailing the Hawks. They beat Milwaukee in very convincing fashion, and that’s a team that’s given them fits this year. More impressive than that was the complete beat down the Hawks gave Brooklyn on Saturday. A 32 point victory won’t give the Hawks that lotto pick they so desire, but it does make them look really scary.

Washington Wizards, 43-33, 5th in the East, 3-0 this week WAS

The Wizards had a pretty great week. Yes, two of their three wins came against the Sixers and Knicks, but they also beat a struggling Grizzlies team. That has to count for something right?…..RIGHT!? Well not really, but they have clinched a spot in the playoffs and are looking to be heading for a playoff matchup against Toronto, which happens to be the only upper tier Eastern conference team that’s been struggling as much as they have.
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DeMarre Carroll scored 19 of his 24 points in the first half to help stake the Hawks to a 55-37 lead on the way to a 99-86 win over the visiting Miami Heat. The victory, combined with Cleveland’s loss in Brooklyn, clinched the regular-season Eastern Conference championship for the Hawks for the first time since 1994 and assured Atlanta of home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“It’s a great accomplishment but I think we’ve got bigger goals,” said Carroll with a shrug after he was informed by Fox Sports South’s Olivia Harlan that the Hawks had clinched the East. “We’ve just got to keep playing the right way and keep playing Hawks basketball.”

The victory moved the Hawks to 55-17 for the season, ensuring Atlanta will finish with no worse than the fifth-highest win total in franchise history. Paul Millsap added 11 points and seven rebounds in the first half on the way to 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks. Dennis Schröder started in place of Jeff Teague, who sat out after rolling his ankle in Orlando. Schröder finished with 12 points, 11 assists, one steal and just two turnovers. He continued a month-long tear. He entered the game averaging 14.6 points, 5.6 assists, 2.2 turnovers and 36.6% shooting from 3-point range in March. Continue Reading…

This week in the southeast, Atlanta is resting, Washington’s coach is walking off, Miami has life, Charlotte is stinking, and the Magic are showing some promise.

Atlanta Hawks, 55-18, 1st in the East, 2-2 this week ATL

Atlanta’s week got off to a really bad start when they got smacked around by the San Antonio Spurs. It was the kind of game that’s starting to cause some concern among fans, and experts, about the Hawks post all-star break struggles. Is it just coasting or is there more to it? The following games didn’t say much as Atlanta beat both Florida teams before resting all their starters in a loss against Charlotte.

Washington Wizards, 41-33, 5th in the East, 1-4 this week WAS

The Wizards went out west this week and everything went to the pits for them. They went on a three game losing streak, pulled out a win against a Hornets team that can’t stay out of their way, and then immediately lost to the Houston Rockets. The “highlight” of their week is when Randy Wittman walked off the court before the game was over when his team was attempting to win the game on a halfcourt heave. Not a great look coach.
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With the Atlanta Hawks trailing 68-43 with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter, coach Mike Budenholzer received his second technical foul and first ejection as a head coach for arguing a non-call on an Al Horford layup attempt. The Hawks were briefly energized, closing the quarter on a 22-14 run, but it wasn’t enough. Boris Diaw trolled the Hawks with 15 fourth-quarter points as the Spurs held off Atlanta for a 114-95 win at Philips Arena.

Diaw was drafted by the Hawks with the 21st pick in the 2003 NBA draft and became an enigma in Atlanta. Coach Mike Woodson implored Diaw to focus on scoring, but his nature was to play point-forward. The Hawks later packaged Diaw with a pair of first round draft picks in the trade that landed Joe Johnson from the Suns. Diaw eventually found a home in San Antonio, where his ball distribution was welcomed and he helped the Spurs re-emerge as champions. Today he seemed to send a message to Hawks fans by looking for his own shot in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of his 17 points on eight shots in the period to stamp out the Hawks’ rally.

After the game, Kyle Korver had this to say:

“I think at this point in the season, it’s not about little things anymore, it’s bigger picture stuff. I think we’re at a point in the season where we have a good lead in the standings and we know the playoffs are coming. We’ve had this long roadtrip and it’s easy to kind of relax a little bit, but the good teams are able to keep their foot on the pedal.”

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