Time to start talkin’ Hawks

From Big Ray and Ando:

Ray:   Welcome, everybody, to the new (hopefully improved) fan forum known as the Hawks Hacks. That’s right, “Hacks”, as in plural. You get TWO for the price of ONE!

What can we say, we’re fans of the game of basketball. Addicts even. More importantly, we’re diehard Hawks fans who are here to talk Hawks basketball till the cows come home….and leave again. All day, all night, we’re going to keep it coming hotter than a Mike Woodson sideline glare and tighter than Flip Murray’s head band. Hey, we’re just a couple of “armchair analysts” (but aren’t we all?), inhabiting a virtual version of a Hawks sports spot. So pardon all the personifications, hyperbole, and other made up stuff. My name is Ray. Homeboy next to me is Ando. If you’re a fan of Sekou Smith’s Beat Blot, you may already know either (or both) of us.  Do we think alike all the time? Absolutely not. Are we like-minded? Absolutely? Sound contradictory? Of course! That’s the whole point, but you’ll see that soon enough.

Sure, we’ll be opening the doors to each blog, but we’re fans just like all of you, barkeeps, if you will. So grab a seat and have a drink. Or bring your own cocktail. It’s all good either way. Just to give you an idea of what’s going to be on the menu:

We plan on breaking down key points to each game, prior to the game. We may do a string of games together instead of just one at a time, depending on how the schedule and other factors go. We’ll also break down each game (or string of games) afterwards. Please feel free to add your own opinion/analysis. The way we see it, the more, the merrier. We’ll also talk about who’s stepping up the most during any given group of games, how the Hawks are relating, record-wise, to their division and the Eastern conference, and much more. So join in and bring everything you got. Doesn’t matter which seats you sit in, or how often. Once welcome, always welcome!

Ando:  What is this tandem about?

Two heads are better than one?  Not hot (not even twins), but still twice the fun?  Only time will tell.

I can’t speak to the other “fan blogs”, but Ray and I were charter members of the Hawks’ beat blog.  And, respectfully, like our peers/friends/foils, we cut our teeth, four years ago, on a team that was historically bad.  Now, the Atlanta Hawks are legitimate playoff contenders.  During that time, the volume of bloggers, and the quality of their collective, and diverse, opinions, has grown, exponentially.

So now we intend to provide a complimentary forum for anyone, and everyone, who considers themselves a Hawks’ fan.  There’s no doubt that folks will disagree.  But the great thing about this platform, about this country, is the inherent right to speak your mind freely.  As I’ve suggested before, there are two primary kinds of bloggers: cheerleaders and armchair analysts.

Which are you?

As Ray mentioned, we also intend to talk about the league, at large, as the Hawks don’t exist in a vacuum.

We’re not looking for a consensus.  We’re shooting for a perpetual discussion (a daily battle  of wits, at the “Liar’s Table”, as one of our old friends would describe it).  Heck, getting a consensus from me and Ray will be challenging enough.

Here it is, another avenue for every opinion that is the Atlanta Hawks.  As Ray said, “Bring It”, and enjoy what we hope will be a twist on your up-and-coming Atlanta Hawks!

And as I like to say, “Babble On”………..

118 comments Add your comment

mike

December 16th, 2008
3:17 pm

Lets destroy the OldGuys (celtics) tomorrow! Oh and if you are going to the game (like me) make sure you taunt Boston players and fans alike. Thats all I ask. The more personal insults the better. Make it a living hell for those guys and their bandwagon fans.

Bob

December 16th, 2008
3:19 pm

Glad to see a new Hawks blog up and running! I think we have a pretty good team this year. Al Horford is amazing! (I guess I am biased cause I am a Gator fan). Anyways, Go Hawks!!

JAMES KIRKLAND

December 16th, 2008
3:26 pm

WHAT EVER IT TAKES THE HAWKS NEEDS TO GET AL JEFFERSON FROM THE TIMBERWOLVES TO COMPLETE THIS RUN AT A CHAMPIONSHIP, GIVE UP MARVIN,AC, AND A #1 PICK. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE?

Mychelfromatl

December 16th, 2008
3:26 pm

FINALLY!!!! God has saw fit to shine light on the Atlanta Sports Universe(Well except for the Thrashers)…I’m starting to lose my mind!! But one thing I do know is: Wednesday 7:00pm Hawks vs Celtics!!!!:) Time to show the world what we’re about, Philips Arena is going to be CRAAAZZZYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

Astro Joe

December 16th, 2008
3:33 pm

Congratulations! All I can say is one out of two ain’t bad! LOL!!!!

Much success on running the forum. Sincerely!

Volman

December 16th, 2008
3:36 pm

Ray and Ando, congrats on being appointed this neat position. I am sure you guys will do great with this! Very exciting!

Now can we get some break down on the Hawks/Cheaters game tomorrow? I mean Celtics.

I do not like Paul Pierce one bit!! You can add Kevin Garnett, Perkins (what has the guy done?) and Sam Cassell to the list!

Go Hawks!

Sautee

December 16th, 2008
3:37 pm

Enter your comments here

And so it begins!

Sautee

December 16th, 2008
3:40 pm

Enter your comments here

So do you think Jerome Jurenovich will call you the Hox Hax?

Hey Ando, you DID say “babble on”".

Slim Pickinz

December 16th, 2008
3:44 pm

It’s about time the Hawks get some recognition from the local media in this town.

The Atlanta Spirit may be broke and bouncing from one lawsuit to another – but our HAWKS are going to make Atlanta proud !!! Post Season is going to be a regular thing in the ATL from now on !!

We’re here baby !!!

mountain_jim

December 16th, 2008
3:45 pm

Congrats to you two from a long-time Sekou blog reader but only an occasional poster, as I don’t have the League Pass and get to see so few games on the TV. (Hawks network games blacked out here in NC) But I get to see tomorrow’s game! Go Hawks!

Melvin Jenkins

December 16th, 2008
3:47 pm

I have been a Atlanta Hawks Fan all my life. I am 49 years old & I can’t ever remember a better looking Hawks team. The entire starting line is sound. We even have a gooding looking pench. This team should monday night 12/15/08 that we can not only compete with the best in the nba. But, we can defeat them. This team rivals the Hawks of 1958-59.

sksmith

December 16th, 2008
3:52 pm

Well, well, well. The boys finally showed up for work. It’s about time fellas. Glad to have you join the party. And maybe now instead of busting my dome over something I can join in here and bust yours. Ha. This ought to be a trip for us all.

doc

December 16th, 2008
3:54 pm

Enter your comments here
well, i can say we will certainly have a little more room on the sekou blog now that we have gotten rid of you two hacks so aptly named. thank you ajc!

heh heh, luv ya, mean it and good luck and form going forward.

Marvin Hamlisch

December 16th, 2008
4:01 pm

Not that I would be a better blogger (of course I would), but perhaps you might learn, Ray, that the punctuation goes inside the second quote mark. For example: “Oh boy, these Hawks Hacks are a couple of geniuses,” Marvin said.

Oh, by the way, what qualifies you to “break down,” anything but the salad bar?

Yon

December 16th, 2008
4:04 pm

Thank god they finally allowed people who know about the Hawks to run this. The last guy was a disgrace. Looking forward to finally having some real discussion about our team!

Rod Stone

December 16th, 2008
4:11 pm

Why does Speedy travel on road trips?

jhan

December 16th, 2008
4:13 pm

Congrats Ray & Ando. This should be more than interesting to say the least! Let’s roll!

Ryder

December 16th, 2008
4:13 pm

Glad to see that two of the faithful members of Sekou’s “family” have branched off on their own. Ando, are we going to be subject to a lot of debates regarding Atlanta’s financial status from time to time? Ray, hope you will be the calming yin to Ando’s raging yang LOL. Looking forward to the great blogs between you two. Congratulations!

tommyt

December 16th, 2008
4:14 pm

I’m so glad you guys restarted a fan blog…I’ll enjoy reading you and your reader’s comments during this excellent season. With the international market turmoil…it’ll be interesting to see whether Childress stays in Greece…I know there is an out for Childress…is there an out for the Greek team?

Sautee

December 16th, 2008
4:19 pm

Enter your comments here

OK, gang, let’s get a thread going.

How can the Hawks best maximize the talents of their two young big men, both good passers, but as yet not unstoppable in the post? Ideas?

I’ve posted in the past that we should use some high-low sets with them, with Bibby out high and JJ and Marvin on the wings. Any takers?

Josh

December 16th, 2008
4:41 pm

I hear all this talk about Boston or Houston signing Dikembe Mutumbo. How about the Hawks make him an offer to return. He’d be a good fit playing some minutes at center so Al could move to PF. The man can still play.

Daddyrich

December 16th, 2008
4:42 pm

Congrats Ray and Ando. I dont post much but do read Sekou’s blog quite often. You both definitely have the passion and guts to run a fan site. Good luck!

Greg

December 16th, 2008
4:52 pm

The main thing with the Hawks is we have to many guys playing out of position. JSmoove need to be moved to the 3 and Al to the 4. We need to offer Bibby a 2 year extention and trade Marvin or ZAZA for someone like Chris Kaman or Joel Prizybilla, this will give us rebounding and shot blocking that we miss against the elite team. I like our current team, but it won’t win a championship which is the goal of the Hawks.

MannyT

December 16th, 2008
5:01 pm

First, congrats to you new Hacks.

Now I wonder what will happen with 3rd shift on Sekou’s blog now that the late shift has its own gig. I wish you all the success of a Law & Order spinoff. They just keep going and going like that Energizer Bunny…or an Ando post ;-)

You want a leaguewide topic…How about you’re fired and you got the best end of that deal. With all the recent NBA firings, are any of those teams better off in the short or long run for getting rid of the coach less than 1/3 of the way into the season? No camp with the new coach in charge. No opportunity to select from a broader group of coaching candidates.

*Just checking to see if new blog has old formatting rules* or **do I need to learn new tricks?**

How is it that [we don't even make the list of games to be voted on](http://www.nba.com/FanNight/) for Fan Night?

BWAF

Alex

December 16th, 2008
5:06 pm

Congratulations on the position fellas! Hopefully yall will be better than the other guy who used to do this. I think the Hawks will win tomorrow but the key will be Bibby vs Rondo. Bibby is gonna have to play like his younger years in vancouver and sactown for us to win it tomorrow!!!

ant banks

December 16th, 2008
5:08 pm

keys to victory tomorrow:
1. Hawks need to shoot atleast 48% from the field
2. Shoot 80% free throw
3. Get 48+ rebounds
4. Shoot 40% from 3pt.
5. Score 100+pts
6. Fewer than 14 turnovers
7. 30pts from the bench
8. 18+ assists

Any 3 combinations will get the Hawks a victory. All of this came from analysis of last season’s stats.

one66soul

December 16th, 2008
5:09 pm

HEY RYAN CAMERON & HAWKS ORGANIZATION PLEASE HaVE A SOUNDBITE OF A CRYING BABY WEDNESDAY WHEN BIG BABY ENTERS THE GAME…

blackprix

December 16th, 2008
5:14 pm

GO CELTICS!!!!

Another Championship awaits the Cs in 2009!

Hawks are wannabees – not this year!

ant banks

December 16th, 2008
5:31 pm

watch how many people come to the game with celtics gear on. 3 yrs ago, not even the diehards wore celtics green, now everyone and their grannies sport the celtic green. if you are from atlanta, work in atlanta, pay state taxes in ga., YOU need to be cheering for the home team which is the ATLANTA HAWKS!! don’t ride jocks, it is bad for your health

ant banks

December 16th, 2008
5:35 pm

Coach Woodson, Doc uses his bench to perfection. It may be to late to go to our bench. You should have been using them during the indy, philly, charlotte games so that you can go to them in the big game. there is no way that you can put solo in against garnett or powe and he ain’t seen no time in 3 games. law would be a better defender on rondo than bibby, but you failed to get him ready.

Please put Horford at the 5. He gets too many fouls at the 4 gaurding garnett.

Wink from Lithonia

December 16th, 2008
5:36 pm

Congrats guys, good to see someone seize the ball and run with it. Now bring it like always… do you! Hope Woody can get the team to run the Celtics out of town. It all depends on how the Bibby / Rondo match up shakes out; should be an exciting game. Again congrats Ray & Ando!

hometown hawk

December 16th, 2008
5:37 pm

Ha Ha, this is funny. Maybe you guys will start to get locker room passes etc with your newfound media position. I have been a longtime follower of the blog and have posted under various names throughout the years of both misery and celebration. I look forward to the breakdowns and will be sure to input my 2 cents. Good luck with it

ant banks

December 16th, 2008
5:37 pm

“BLACK PRIX” you are one of those jock riders that i was talkin’. were you supportin’ the celts 3 yrs ago? no! but now sense they are hot you are on them. i am goin’ to remember your handle, 3 yrs from now when they dismantle the team due to age/money, i want to see you supportin’ them then. i been wit’ the hawks durin’ the 13win season thats why i can scream so loud now. not a bandwagon jumper.

Kappy

December 16th, 2008
5:56 pm

Oh no. Not you two. :)

As a blogger on the original Sekou blogs of four years ago, I can honestly say that you Hawk fans are in good hands with Ray and Ando. There won’t be a pair that brings more honest, intense, and heartfelt love for the Hawks.

Good luck guys, I’ll be reading.

Don!

December 16th, 2008
6:03 pm

Grats on the blog guys!

I just wanted to make sure I got a post in here, so in years to come I won’t be labeled a bandwagon jumper. I can say that I’m OG and posted on the very first Big Ray and Ando blog.

I also think we need to get T-shirts for us persevering Hawks fans, to segregate us from the folks who just started paying attention post-Horford. I’m thinking something like, “I survived Lon Kruger” or “I remember 13-69″ or “I can’t believe we traded for J.R. Rider.”

And since this is a all-NBA blog, did anyone else notice that the nerdy disturbed guy in the new ESPN bus commercial is the same guy who did “the” Glibert Arenas video. If not, he’s a dead ringer for him. (NSFW link: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1893214 )

Later,

Don!

Najeh Davenpoop

December 16th, 2008
6:04 pm

Haha this is dope as hell! I look forward to this blog having a bright future, full of commas.

Sha

December 16th, 2008
6:07 pm

Enter your comments here
Congrats Big Ray and Ando…do a good job here and you’ll have your own TV show (like Mike & Mike in the morning) “Ray and Ando Comin At You”….from the Big A

chuckw/deadjournalist

December 16th, 2008
6:10 pm

Congrats Ray and Ando – Good to see you guys running the blog.

MannyT

December 16th, 2008
6:15 pm

Hey DON

How did you put that link in the post? I know a guy that will need that info for 90% of his posts. I only need it for half of mine.

Because a site like this one is entirely too valuable for a serious sports fan that records games.
http://www.shouldiwatch.com/

BWAF

Don!

December 16th, 2008
6:24 pm

It looks like you got it MannyT — just post the address, and it will link up automatically. I think this is standard vBulletin command software. So you and do stuff like [i]italics[/i] and [b]bold[/b] type much easier. :)

Hopefully this new board’s software will carry over to Sekou and DOB’s blogs — because, to be honest, if it wasn’t for those two guys, I’d have quit coming to ajc.com a long time ago!

Later,

Don!

Don!

December 16th, 2008
6:25 pm

Well, the faces work. :)

But not the word script … :(

Later,

Don!

Banshee 29

December 16th, 2008
6:26 pm

I have been a Hawks fan for 20+ years. This team (and more importantly, coach) is NOT a serious playoff contender. We were nearly 20 games under .500 last year, never played anything close to a competitive game away from Phillips in the playoffs, and all of the suddden we are serious contenders? Lets start with an above .500 season and then let us get excited. Can Woodson!

rms

December 16th, 2008
6:52 pm

dang guys, nice job of moving from the sekou blog to having your own. personally i have been a hawks fan since i grew up here, but i moved around a lot still managing to watch them on t.v. Now I am grown now and can somewhat affort to actually go to the arena and watch them play. Would be nice to see them make a move and get some size down low in the paint. what do u think?

Matt = niremetal

December 16th, 2008
7:23 pm

Congrats, Ando and Ray. Y’all deserve the spotlight ;-) .

Star of the Zanarkand Abes!

December 16th, 2008
7:34 pm

Blog software upgrade? ABOUT TIME, AJC!!!

This MAY even make up for the blatant lack of a Hawks Vent…ALMOST!

LET’S GO HAWKS!!! SHOCK THE WORLD!!!

cp

December 16th, 2008
8:09 pm

Enter your comments here
for some reason my first time responding did not go through. once again congrats guys.

Big Ray

December 16th, 2008
8:26 pm

Guys & Gals,

We really appreciate the support and encouragement in this endeavor. Ando and I feel very honored to get the opportunity to do this. Truthfully, any of us could do this. So many guys from Sekou’s Beat Blog have such incredible talent, and we are just two of those many, many contributors from that nationally famous blog. As always, pile in and pile on as you please. The more, the better!

Marvin Hamlisch,

Good correction on the grammatical error. I’d use the excuse of what I was drinking when I posted, but that’s poor sport. Now you really don’t want to go there with me on salad bars. I’ll break ‘em all down! As for what qualifies me to break anything sports related down….nothing. I’m a fan, and this is a fan’s forum. So if you can blog better, then bring it, because you’ll only make THIS blog the better for it! Looking forward to your contributions. Seriously.

Ben Halpern

December 16th, 2008
8:35 pm

If you are going to the HAWKS/Celtics game tomorrow, you better wear your shock the world tshirt that was giving out during the playoffs. The players want us to go NUTS so lets GO NUTS

HB Ando

December 16th, 2008
8:37 pm

And so it begins:

Sam, on the REAL blog just posted that he doesn’t believe tomorrow nights’ Celtics game is a “statement”, in his opinion (IMO, he says, forgetting the H? Guess not, huh, Sam).

I have to concur, and intended to address that very point tonight.

It’s not a “statement” game. But it is a measuring stick, in the truest since of the term. We should be able to measure quite a bit about the Hawks, after tomorrow night. We know what they did, in taking the C’s to 7 games last spring. We know what they did, 4 weeks ago, in about as quality of a game a team can have while still coming out with an L.

So now we’re playing the red-hot, World Champion Celtics, at home. And they know what we did last spring and four weeks ago (their quotes, in Sekou’s article, highlighted their respect for the Hawks, and the acknowledgment that they must bring their best effort if they want to win here in Atlanta). They know what we did against the Cavs on Saturday.

So the truth is that both teams go into this game with full respect for their opponent, and understanding the implications of a win. Or a loss. There can be know excuses from either team, should they lose. The outcome of this game will literally measure the level of the Hawks’ growth, from last spring to now.

Match ups are, as always, critical to the expectations for the game. I mentioned last night that the Bibby-Rondo match up is huge (something that many folks have noted, so it’s obviously not a novel comment). Both are playing great. Maybe Rondo caught Bibby by surprise last spring. Maybe Bibby wasn’t 100% healthy. Or maybe Rondo’s length and athleticism are just a challenging match for Bibby. But, again, we should be able to measure where things stand, NOW, based on how it goes down between those two.

More important is how Woody plans on handling minutes and rotations on his front line. The Hawks (Woody) have done a pretty good job of imposing their will on other teams, as it relates to matching up. But the C’s front line is one of the ones in the league that really challenges Horford-as-center. Me, I don’t think it’s the best, defensively, to have Horford guard Perkins, Smith cover KG, and Marvin take Pierce (if he’s limited, it will really minimize this point). Zaza on Perkins, Horford on Garnett, and Smith hounding Pierce, should be much stronger. Of course, that then limits Marvin’s minutes, and it makes us a much weaker shooting team, on offense. So the Hawks are going to have to pick their poison, on one end of the court.

This all goes back to the long-standing discussion regarding whether the Hawks can ever reach their potential, in the coming years, with Horford at center.

Sautee addresses utilizing the high-low with one of our young bigs, and notes that a strong post game, on offense, is still lacking with these guys. But the challenge, without obtaining a legit big who can face the basket and stretch opposing defenses, while allowing Horford to slide over to the four, is that Horford at the elbow still leaves us without a legit post scorer, other than JJ (versus opposing two’s). And we really don’t want JJ taking a beating down there, and minimizing both his outside shooting and play-making ability from the perimeter.

Guess we’ll see.

Should be crazy loud at Philips, and that’s one of the greatest things about an improved Hawks team!

Thanks to all our brothers from Sekou’s blog, as we feel like we represent all of us.

P.S. Astro, thanks for the props. But I know Ray is disappointed that you only approved of my half of the partnership……..

jhan

December 16th, 2008
8:58 pm

Good one Ando!!