Hawks ready for prime time?

Philips Arena better get ready for a few close ups this season now that the Hawks are scheduled for seven nationally televised games this season.

Philips Arena better get ready for a few close ups this season now that the Hawks are scheduled for seven nationally televised games this season.

HAWKSVILLE - Mike Woodson has been asking for it since he got here.

He’s was selling the Hawks as a potential prime-time player when they were stuck in the mud of a 26-win season. “Win,” the sixth-year Hawks coach would say often, “and everything else takes care of itself.”

Everything else seems to be falling into place these days. And that includes the Hawks’ position as true “prime-time players” during the 2009-10 season (the schedule was released this afternoon). The Hawks will be on one of the league’s network broadcasts a whopping seven times this season (matching their combined total from the previous 11 years). Six times they’ll play on ESPN and once on TNT.

After going without a single nationally televised regular-season game during his first four seasons at the helm, Woodson’s Hawks clawed out two appearances last season, one that was added after the season was already underway. He admitted to being fired up at the prospect of his team being on display this season. “I do feel a little bit like it’s overdue,” he said. “We thought we were a team worthy last season, but we kept our heads down and kept working. It all comes in time.”

Hawks coach Mike Woodson says any national love his team receives has been well earned.

Hawks coach Mike Woodson says any national love his team receives this season and beyond has been well earned.

Woodson relished the opportunity for his team steal a little of the spotlight last year, even if they did lose both of those nationally televised games (to Boston and Cleveland). But anyone wondering what kind of boost back-to-back playoff appearances can have on a franchise, need only check out the Hawks rising profile.

Woodson has been gushing about the Philips Arena crowds and the added advantage those home crowds gave his team since the playoff run against Boston two years ago. It seemed laughable then, when the Hawks were still struggling to fill up the place against the undesirables on the schedule. Yet no one can argue that those playoff crowds lacked any of the fervor needed to rile the rest of the feathered masses.

“The first four years we were here we couldn’t have bought our way onto the air,” Woodson said. “But since we’ve made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons you could sense things were turning around for us. And this is huge. This is a huge turnaround and one that I think goes right along with all the strides we’ve made as a team and franchise.”

The Hawks open the season Oct. 28 at Philips Arena against Indiana. The first nationally televised game is Nov. 13 in Boston, while four of the TV games will originate from Philips Arena, starting with the Thanksgiving night contest against the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic (8 p.m.). In addition to that Thanksgiving night game, the Hawks will also ring in the New Year by hosting the New York Knicks Jan. 1 at 7:30.

“This is a testament to our players and the work they’ve put in,” Woodson said. “When you turn things around and stick to your plan, good things happen. Right now, I think we’re seeing the rewards of all our hard work.”

It’s certainly a good start.

112 comments Add your comment

True Hawks Fan

August 4th, 2009
1:43 pm

True Hawks Fan

August 4th, 2009
1:46 pm

Okay, now let’s sign Marvin.

Ben

August 4th, 2009
1:52 pm

Get a BIG man in here ASAP! WTF are we doing?

Rufus1

August 4th, 2009
2:00 pm

Sekou

FINALLY A LITTLE RESPECT!!! We are the Jeffersons…”Moving on UP”

mountain_jim

August 4th, 2009
2:01 pm

Means I can watch more this year (in NC and not willing to spend on the overpriced Season Pass)…

BrittishAnger

August 4th, 2009
2:02 pm

Fantastic news, old Davey Stein hooked it up, and we don’t have to wade through a three week period of road games like last season…Very Nice….

Rufus1

August 4th, 2009
2:05 pm

I will be buying a game package this year. The Hawks will now get some of my money. The organization is acting like they want to win and I appreciate it.

HAVE SOME $$$$$$$$$$

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
2:06 pm

Definitely an anchievement for the team. Nice to know that ESPN thinks that they can sell advertisement time for a game involving he Hawks. Interesting that we make very early West Coast trip after 1-2 games. We have been playing the Lakers after the All-Star break for the past few years, now we have them on 11/1. I guess that is a good thing.

CONGRATS to the Hawks. Now let’s make sure that we win at least 5 of those 7 nationally televised games.

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
2:09 pm

Rufus1

August 4th, 2009
2:11 pm

Win 4…Compete in the other 3

Rufus1

August 4th, 2009
2:11 pm

Enter your comments here

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
2:29 pm

Interesting, Acie Law’s first home pro game was against his home town Dallas Mavs. And Teague’s first home game will be against his home town Indy Pacers. Let’s hope the similarities end there.

STRETCH

August 4th, 2009
2:31 pm

Those games will probably be with the bullies of the East, so they can humiliate the Hawks on national TV…LOL!

doc

August 4th, 2009
3:02 pm

now things will be complete when the BASG graces us with a complete roster to include one more big man in some form to carry the heavy load. it would be a disgrace to the fans, players and national attention if they left this important issue undone this off season. open your fiscal door a little wider for all to see you are truly going for something in the short term as well as the long term. no excuses now. dont wait too much longer here BASG.

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
3:05 pm

doc, other than Joe Smith, is there anyone left who is worhty of opening the “fiscal door”? Plenty of minimum wage guys left but I struggle to find any one worth more than the bare minimum (other than Maryland Joe).

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
3:06 pm

Previous post is restricted to UFAs.

PD

August 4th, 2009
3:20 pm

Anakin Joe I wish the Hawks went after Ryan Hollins or kept Solo and used. He was only considered bad because he lacked the minutes to develop. If he was really that bad the Hawks would have never started the fews times they had to start him.

Brian D

August 4th, 2009
3:29 pm

53 wins this year baby!!!! Please sign joe smith or perhaps ben wallace, robert swift. Go hawks!!! I am a hawks fan who lives in cleveland, ohio. Kinda wish we kept solo but whatever. The hawks need to run some different offensive sets this year.pick and pop with zaza, more of marvin ( sign please by the way), josh posting up not shooting jumpers. He abused varajao in the playoffs.

PDubATL

August 4th, 2009
3:34 pm

Serviceable PF/Cs (other than Joe Smith): Sean Marks, Jarron Collins
Serviceable SFs (we need 1 more): Rodney Carney, Gerald Green

newkid

August 4th, 2009
3:41 pm

First impression: great to finally get some national exposure after such a long drought; second impression: Woody sounds as if he’s in full blown sales mode (for contract extension). Would like to contribute a buck to help Woody purchase an adjective/adverb to supplement the trite ‘huge’.

UGA

August 4th, 2009
3:51 pm

I would not be opposed to Carney. From what I remember, he can shoot the 3 ok. We do need another 3 (SF).

Shawn

August 4th, 2009
3:53 pm

Does anyone proofread these blogs? Some of the most egregious and despeciable writing errors I’ve ever seen in my 46 years.

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
3:59 pm

newkid…. Your 3:41 post ws HUGE! :LOL:

I’ll chip in a dollar for a thesaurus for Woody. He needs to get his national TV vocabulary ready for those quick interviews during TV time-outs.

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
3:59 pm

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
4:01 pm

Shawn, go to http://www.kateturabian.com for banter featuring better use of the language. We’re too busy discussing basketball to spell check each and every post.

Melvin

August 4th, 2009
4:04 pm

Don’t like our upcoming season schedule at all. Hawks play a bunch of scrub/no exciting teams on the weekends.
Whats up with the game vs Detroit on Sun, Nov 29 @1pm? Why would they schedule that day and time slot during football season?

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
4:12 pm

Melvin, good call on the 11/29 game. Falcons are at home against Tampa. Strange to compete aginst the Falcons in this city… even if it is Tampa (who should be awful this season). They should have tried to schedule the game as part of a sports doubleheader, like if the Falcons game started at 4:15, it would be perfect.

chaz

August 4th, 2009
4:16 pm

2010-11 payroll

bibby 6M + marvin 7.5M + josh 11.5M + al 5.5M
crawford 10M + teague 2M + mo 2.5M + zaza 5M

= 50M for 8 players. assume we sign 3 scrubs for 1M each to fill out the roster, and we are already at 53M before we sign JJ (payroll was 68M last year and is currently around 64M for this season).

so unless JJ takes less than his current 15M salary to stay here, how do we resign him without expanding payroll (which doesn’t seem too likely) or trading away a key piece of the core? signing a joe smith, hunter, green, etc. to anything more than a 1-year deal will just make it that much more difficult to resign JJ and keep the core together next summer.

everyone (even sund) knows we need a backup big man, but unless joe smith or someone else out there can get us past the 2nd round, maybe sund is wise to fill out the roster with scrubs and 1-year contracts, let them fight for the 4th seed for one more season, and save the money for next summer.

i would like to have joe smith but not if it means we wouldn’t be able to make JJ a competitive offer next summer or we would have to trade away a key player to make it happen. this hawks team is probably not better than a 4 seed whether your backup big guy is a solid vet like joe smith or a cheap bum like randmo.

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
4:42 pm

Chaz, you are right. Add in Teague and we’re the Atlanta 9 + Scrubs. And not just for ‘09-10 but also for ‘10-11, since all of the guys you mentioned are signed beyond this season. So without trading one of our core for an expiring contract before the end of February, this same problem will exist next summer (with regard to adding a viable big for the bench). And with the salary cap forecasted to shrink (and payroll increasing from annual raises), we may have to consider moving our 1st round pick to ensure that we have room to reseign Joe Johnson. That would be another $2M (approximately) to add to the payroll.

doc

August 4th, 2009
4:48 pm

aj i think it would be a HUGE move if the basg opened it to do just that. that is all that is necessary and they got 2 mil for anderson to boot. open the door one time as the numbers have dwindled as you have pointed out.

newk sorry, heh heh

doc

August 4th, 2009
4:51 pm

win now, worry about the signings later. how can you assume jj will be back and save money for him now.

oh, i meant that is how the big boys do it, forgot it was the basg we are dealing with.

GeeMack

August 4th, 2009
4:57 pm

Still won’t win a championship, or get past the 2nd rd.

Hip Hop Is Dead

August 4th, 2009
5:03 pm

I sure hope the Hawks can go after Primo Brezec. Not like he wants Shaq money

Deep

August 4th, 2009
5:05 pm

I’m going to go get my tickets to see the Hawks Nov. 3rd in Portland as soon as they go on sale. I will talk enough smack to the Trailblazer fans for all of us! I’m pumped!

Deep

August 4th, 2009
5:07 pm

Hey SEKOU….. Any chance we’ll see Flip here again. He was such a big part of what we did last year.

wink

August 4th, 2009
5:12 pm

This being on in prime time is not a big deal. Coach Woodson you still have to play all the game regardless of who is watching & whether it’s PRIME TIME or not.

You got one thing right, it is a testament to the players, because you bring nothing to the table.

We usually get blasted in prime time games, not just the Hawks, all the Atlanta sports team. Was’nt that 4 game sweep by Cleveland considered prime time?? What were the results….that’s what I thought!!

On another note, Yahoo sports & Chuck Doodle reported Marvin signed a 5 year contract…why has it not been confirmed here???

newkid

August 4th, 2009
5:16 pm

Now that we’re going national, doc’s BASG should conduct a one-week early September ‘press camp’ for Woody wherein he’s re-introduced to the full Howard Cosell ‘Speaking of Sports’ audio library. And for good measure invite Dominique in for a few days as well.

Big Ray

August 4th, 2009
5:42 pm

Doc,

Well, it would be nice if that door was opened. Oh wait, that’s not the problem. The problem is that Sund absolutely refuses to sign a FA veteran big man of any repute. Yep, it’s been his MO for years. Doesn’t like big men. Doesn’t want Woody to have one. Only likes guards, and wants to overpay for all of them.

By the way, I wonder if Bibby’s $15 million dollar contract last year was as crippling to the big man cause as Crawford’s $10 million dollar contract is this year? Nah. Not possible…

Big Ray

August 4th, 2009
5:46 pm

Newkid,

There’s no help for ol’ “Heat Check”….

Hoops

August 4th, 2009
6:23 pm

Trade Possibility!

It is being reported on HoopsHype that the Bucks are very interested in making a trade for one of their players to free up salary space to be able to re-sign Sessions. They don’t want to take a player back in the trade.

So, since the Hawks need a PF-C, why don’t we offer a 2nd round draft pick (we have two next year-Houston) to the Bucks for Francisco Elson? He has an expiring contract for 1.7M. He is 7′0″, 240lbs, & 33 yrs. old. He avg. 3.4PPG, 3.9RPG, and shot 49%.

This makes too much since. The Bucks want to get rid of a player and take on no returning contract. The Hawks need a BIG with an expiring contract at a reasonable price and they have an extra 2nd round pick next year.

Rick Sund, here is what you are looking for!!!

realsquawk

August 4th, 2009
6:24 pm

clippers have 8 and that is a problem with me

Volman

August 4th, 2009
6:26 pm

I can’t STAND the thought of Mike Woodson Mic’d up for seven games…SEVEN GAMES.

“Ummm..Okay, now Bibby..you bring the ball up… Joe you post, pass it to Smoove for the three at the end of the shot clock. DEFEND…REBOUND…AND RUN!!!”

He is so terrible on those end-of-quarter interviews. It’s painfully embarrassing. You can tell the man can’t think on his feet quickly (I wonder if that’s why he can’t make adjustments in-game.)

O'Brien

August 4th, 2009
6:27 pm

The Hawks lost both prime time games last year (as mentioned above). Let’s hope they do better this year. To me, at least 4-3, but no more than one double digit loss.

Woody has openly campaigned for another big, so at least we know he is not the hold up. It comes down to Sund/ASG. Is Sund playing hard ball (like he allegedly did with Chills), or is the ASG not signing off on the deal? I dont know.

What I do know, is the Hawks need another quality big, because size wise, we dont match up well with the top 3 in the East. And with Woody’s refusal to utilize our athleticsm/running game, we will get outmuscled consistently.

And if one player in our front court gets hurt for an extended period of time, we could be in trouble (Solo played well last year when Josh was hurt. I guess this time we would play RandMo a lot…yikes).

Hoops,

that is an interesting trade that I would look into (if Joe says no).

UGA

August 4th, 2009
6:29 pm

I’ve been suggesting trading with the Bucks for awhile. Kurt Thomas is another name also.

If they sign Sessions, they may try to find a taker for Ridnour.

richbrave

August 4th, 2009
6:36 pm

Just wanted to let you know the WIZARDS fans give the HAWKS no respect. A poll on the WASHINGTON POST lists the games a WIZ fan should point most to. ATLANTA’s nowhere to be found except in the “some other team” catagory. Only eight people out of 100 including myself chose this option, and who knows what team the others meant. The HAWKS get no respect in D.C. The WIZARDS are going to claim the eastern division championship. HAWKS may as well not show up. Didn’t you know we have FABRICIO OBERTO AND GILBERT ARENAS now? Mail it in guys. The season’s over. LOL. The day I see AGENT ZERO playing like his old self is the day I eat my sombrero. LOL.

richbrave

August 4th, 2009
6:38 pm

Hey, doc. Haven’t seen you over on the BRAVES blogs lately? Vacation? ‘Zup man.

doc

August 4th, 2009
6:48 pm

hey richie, couldnt buy into them this year so i have fallen by the wayside.

and yes i have been out of touch and out of the loop in north ga, totally away from the computer and phone for the first time in years. it was good.

you okay my friend?

darrell starks

August 4th, 2009
6:49 pm

Did you guys see that schedula woody will be gone by nov. unless rick sund step his game up.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Anakin Joe

August 4th, 2009
7:06 pm

doc called the Braves before the season even began.

Bored again, Ray? Upset that the team’s overall budget is insufficient, huh? Hey, maybe we’ll fire the scouting department like the Grizzlies did recently.

Hip Hop Is Dead

August 4th, 2009
7:32 pm

The Clippers have 3 national TV games this year.

interesting