Archive for October, 2010

Hawks Fans: Another fast start?

As some of you have already noted, we’ve been here before.

You know, that run of wins at the beginning of the season. How long will it last this time? Last season saw the Hawks start things up at home, winning two in the Highlight Factory (are we still calling it that?), then going on a foreboding 4 game road trip which featured three tough western conference opponents and an eastern conference nemesis. They returned home having gone 2-2 on the road. Then came the wondrous 7 game winning streak (five of which were at home), and the Hawks stood 11-2 before losing three of their last four in the month of November.

This season? The Hawks won their first two games, which were on the road, and won their home opener for a 3-0 start. Of course, all three wins were against lesser teams. Furthermore, the rest of the November schedule looks fairly promising, if the Hawks can stay focused. Tuesday’s contest will be against a definitely different Cleveland Cavaliers squad, which should be …

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Hawks still better than Grizzlies, but Sixers are next

Different year. Same personnel (mostly). Different methods. Same results.

The Memphis Grizzlies came into this season with aspirations of truly earning a spot in the western conference as a playoff team. There haven’t been many changes to their roster, certainly no big ones. The Hawks entered this season looking to maintain their position as a top 4 team in the East, and perhaps even have a better playoff showing. Put both thoughts on hold for the moment. Neither team is anywhere close to knowing if their goal is attainable. What we do know is this – the Hawks are still better than the Grizzlies by a double digit margin, and it doesn’t really matter who has what kind of game. Other than the fact that the Hawks look really good running this new offense, there isn’t much to take from a road win against Memphis. At the same time, there isn’t much we can take away from it (the prevailing notion is that the game changes if Marc Gasol is available or Zach Randolph doesn’t get hurt). …

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Season opener

The NBA regular season opens tomorrow evening with three games, and you can bet the vote getter for “headliner” is Boston vs. Miami. For Hawks fans, however, things get kickstarted on Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, whom the Hawks also faced during the preseason.

The preseason affair may or may not be an indication of how the Hawks will do in their opener. A high scoring loss marred by both a massive amount of turnovers and haphazard defense is something that neither the team, coaches, or fans want to see again. At the same time, there were things in that game that we’d all like to see, such as Jeff Teague’s aggressiveness, Zaza Pachulia’s committment to the glass on both ends, and Marvin Williams playing quite well. That said, let the series of experiments begin. It all starts with whether or not Larry Drew can get more out of this core of players. But as always, the devil is in the details. Here are a few things to consider.

A tale of three captains

Joe …

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Hawks Fans: What you were waiting to see

It’s official.

Head coach Larry Drew’s offense can work for the Hawks.

And guess what else? So can the Hawks’ defense, when properly applied. Ok, so we can’t overhype this victory because…wait for it….it’s just preseason. However, didn’t we all want to see if the Hawks were making any real progress in their quest to learn and play a different offense, one that is supposed to be harder to guard? Didn’t we want to see if they could actually defend a team, or play well against a highly regarded opponent? After succumbing to Orlando in the meekest fashion yet again, Atlanta came alive and stayed that way against that loudly heraled “other” NBA team from the state of Florida. Well? Does this victory mean anything, or no? Preseason wins/losses aside, should we put an asterisk next to this game, because Dwyane Wade wasn’t in it? 

How did that happen?

Defense. Let’s start with LBJ. Sure, he had 38 points and 11 rebounds, and he shot 50% from the field. Sound bad? Look closer – …

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Tune-ups and Statements

The NBA real season is nearly upon us, finally.

In just over a week, we’ll be able to change our ever-present caveats from “it’s just preseason” to “it’s only been five games”, or something to that effect. Come now, we all know that this is precisely what we like to do, when discussing both positive and negative results and observations of games, where the Hawks are concerned. Until then, there is little to do besides hashing over the final three or so preseason games. Oh yeah, and waiting to see how contract extension negotiations go for center Al Horford. Hawks beat writer currently reports no movement, but there is time yet. There isn’t much else to be heard on the subject, other than opinion. Speaking of which, here is what Hoopopinion.com had to say on the subject.

 

Just Another Preseason game? Hardly

Normally, tonight’s preseason game would be little more than an opportunity for Hawks fans to watch their favorite team play (the other games have hardly been accessible …

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Will the Hawks get what they paid for?

Let me start things off by getting one thing out of the way. This is NOT about Joe Johnson and his contract. Okay? I promise you, it’s not.

Whatever you may think about Joe Johnson’s contract, you already know what you’ll get out of Joe. He’ll score upwards of 20 points, gather in 4 or 5 rebounds, and dish out 4 or 5 assists. And he’ll do that just about every game. What’s more, he’ll give the Hawks some of the stingiest defense on a shooting guard or small forward you can stand, more often than we tend to give him credit for it.

But this isn’t about Joe. It’s about a lot of other guys. I know it’s just the preseason. I also know that I just typed one of the most cliched sentences in the history of sports. However, might there be some indicators in the preseason that point towards what we might see in the future? Are the Hawks going to get what paid for? Let’s take an ultra-early look at some guys that the Hawks have either re-signed to contracts a year ago, recently, or …

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Preseason ponderings

Well, the NBA preseason is finally here, and the Hawks lost their opener to a Memphis Grizzlies team that is looking to compete better in a fairly tough Western Conference.

I didn’t get to see the game, but if there is anybody who did, please share with the rest of us! What can be gleaned from what we’ve read or seen of  the first preseason game? Of course, we’ll go through all the usual motions about how the preseason just isn’t the regular season, some teams are coasting, most are experimenting or trying new personnel out, blah, blah, blah. However, there are still things to talk about. Some of them old, some new, and some are just ripe for drawing premature conclusions. But we love those, don’t we?

 

It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Apparently, team defense is still an issue for the Hawks, as evidenced in their 115-111 to Memphis. For all those hollering about Larry Drew’s defensive philosophy, he’s more or less laid it out on the table now. Drew has as much said that camp …

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Coaching effects

Four days into training camp, and it seems that things are definitely different for the Atlanta Hawks. Or are they?

 

Same ol’, Same ol’ ?

According to Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham, there are some hiccups, some of which are probably to be expected. After all, the Hawks are doing things in practice as their primary game plan now, that they’ve never seriously or consistently done before. There is always going to be a period of adjustment when it comes to a new set of Xs and Os. But what about the physical side of things? Reportedly, there is already some grumbling about the amount of running that Larry Drew is putting the team through. Oh yeah? Well guess what. To be the best, you have to beat the best, and the best train pretty hard. It seems that Larry Drew knows this, and knows that the intensity level in practice is where it all begins. For those who tend not to believe, recall the success of current GM and former coach Pat Riley, who has a handful of rings to …

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