Are you ready for opening night?

Al Horford and the Hawks insist they are ready to get things cracking in the Eastern Conference this season. We'll all find out soon enough. Horford and the Hawks face the Pacers Wednesday night at Philips Arena.

Al Horford and the Hawks insist they are ready to get things cracking in the Eastern Conference this season. We'll all find out soon enough. Horford and the Hawks face the Pacers Wednesday night at Philips Arena.

HAWKSVILLE – Answer the question.

Are you ready?

Are you ready for more of the craziness that is the NBA season and the Hawks’ role in it?

Are you ready for the season you love to hate, the team you love to hate and the game you just love to love?

Of course, you are.

You’ve been waiting what seems like forever, just like me and everyone else around here.

You couldn’t wait until the Hawks’ opener against the Pacers tonight at Philips Arena, could you? 

We understand. Cleveland and Boston was a fine way to open the season, what with Rasheed Wallace posing a most frightening sight out there stroking shots from deep with the for flowing and sporting that classic Celtics uniform (and yes, that was Shelden Williams logging quality minutes for the Celtics early on, so maybe we were all wrong about the man some of you affectionately refer to as Mr. Parker?).

Not much else has changed for the last two teams to dispatch the Hawks in the playoffs. Kevin Garnett is still a monster. Same goes for Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, when the Celtics knock the dust off those old legs and get up and down the floor. The supporting cast looks rejuvenated and hungry.

LeBron James is already in MVP form. But the Cavaliers remain the flawed team we witnessed in that conference finals series against Orlando last year. They can bust out of the gate and build a double digit lead faster than any other team in the league. But they’re almost guaranteed to lose it just as fast when they’re dealing with another one of the league’s elite (and this is my formal challenge to Shaq and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to a foot race. Give me a month and I’m doing my Usain Bolt on those cats).

Seriously, the stuff we saw from Orlando in that preseason game last Friday reminds me of the same things we’ll see from the Magic and Celtics all season. They have the kind of talent across the frontline that will give everyone else in the East, the Hawks included, fits on most every night. They’re just too good, too deep and too versatile for most teams to handle when all things are equal.

Before the Hawks can worry about any of those teams they have to deal with the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center Sunday (at least they weren’t invited for Tuesday’s ring and banner raising ceremony). And that’s after they tussle with the Pacers and Washington Wizards (Friday at Philips) first.

Are the Hawks ready?

Are they ready for the season that seems like it never ends; the roller coaster that always seems to be their season?

Jamal Crawford (back), Kasim Reed (in the tie) and Ludacris (right) get it in during a recent fundraiser for Reed, the Atlanta mayoral candidate.

Jamal Crawford (back), Kasim Reed (middle) and Ludacris (right) get it in during a recent fundraiser for Reed, the Atlanta mayoral candidate.


We’ll get our first real glimpse soon enough.


Jamal Crawford political activist has a different ring to it.

It may be a bit of a stretch for the Hawks’ guard with the rapid-fire handle and endless bag of offensive tricks.

But Crawford showed off a different side earlier this week when he helped host celebrity fundraiser for Atlanta mayoral candidate Kasim Reed. Crawford joined Grammy award winning artist, actor and philanthropist Ludacris, music mogul and philanthropist Chaka Zulu and several others in throwing their public support behind Reed.

“Hey man, I’m all over, man,” a smiling Crawford joked when asked about his political activity. “A lot of people in his position talk the talk and promise a lot of stuff. I just like that he’s doing it. He cares about people. And I know how important some of the stuff he’s talking about doing is for the kids in this city, especially the recreational activities for young people. That’s where I lived when I was growing up. Things like late night [basketball] programs, that’s what kept me out of trouble when I was growing up. I was always in the gym. He wants to take it a step further with technology and education along with the sports programs and I think that could literally save a lot of kids’ lives.”

We’ve always stayed away from politics in this space and I’d suggest we continue that practice (Blog-Z does not endorse any of the candidates since he can’t vote in that election anyway and plans on running in the next Smyrna mayoral election). But I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised that a player is plugged into the local political scene, particularly one that has only been in town for a few months.

“The thing about it is, you can’t please everybody,” Crawford said. “You just have to do what you think is right. And I think he’s the best candidate.” 


Count Hawks coach Mike Woodson among the growing legion of fans of veteran power forward Joe Smith’s lyrical alter ego, Joe Beast.

Woodson got his first listen to Smith’s Hawks’ anthem (”Victory”) after Tuesday’s practice and offered to sign Smith to his record label, which we all know doesn’t exist.

“Did you really make this?” Woodson, doing the worst impersonation of a hip-hop impresario ever witnessed, asked Smith. “That’s unbelievable that you could come up with that stuff. Unbelievable.”

Smith said he planned on doing something along the lines of the playoff anthem he did for Cleveland last season anyway, but he sped up his process at the behest of an unlikely source.

“That intro music would come on at the start of our preseason games and Jeff Teague would look at me every time we played and say, ‘come on Joe, what you gonna do?’”  Smith said. “So you know I had to go into my lab and come up with something.”

Smith has been dabbling in music for more than a decade, since the early days of his career. It’s only recently, he said, that the finished product has caught up with his ambitions.

“When I first started I really wasn’t that confident in what I was doing,” he said. “But lately, I’ve been getting better and better and more and more confident in what I’m doing. I’m getting close to being ready to putting something out there. I’ve got my own equipment. And the technology is so good now that I’m able to tote some of it on the road with me and I write [lyrics] on the plane on road trips and other times when I have a little solitude and time to myself.”

Woodson was genuinely impressed.

“He’s got a talent that not everybody has,” Woodson said. “He’s worked at it, too. That’s not amateurish stuff right there. That’s impressive stuff.”

If you’re at Philips 90 minutes before the tip of the Pacers game, you might want to listen for the song. It’s full of interesting stuff about Smith and his teammates, including a shout out to Teague.

“I’ll take that,” Teague said before breaking into a dance move in front of his locker as Smith recited lyrics. “I’ll take that”

306 comments Add your comment


October 28th, 2009
12:40 am


October 28th, 2009
12:49 am

This is the same average team from last year.

We let average players have monster games. Tomorrow (today) you will see TJ Ford drop 28+ points on us. This is the first to come of many outbursts. Except the usual players like Thadd Young, Thornton, Vince Carter, etc. to make us their bytches when we play them.

See my post from the previous blog for the true fire though

4 Seed, lose in 2nd round in 5 games as stands


October 28th, 2009
1:03 am

The same average team from last year, JeJe? We were a fourth seed, weren’t we?

I don’t understand the lack of love for the Hawks. Do people want them to go back to the glory days of Glenn Robinson and Antoine Walker? We’ve finally got an exciting team to watch, and people expect the Lakers or something.

Atlanta will compete for the Southeast Division crown this year because we’ve got one of the best starting fives in basketball and some depth behind that on the bench. We’re a good coach — which, in my opinion, Woodson isn’t — and a breakout year from Horford, Smith, and/or Teague away from real serious contention, but regardless, this team is going to be fun to watch. Plus, much as I don’t like the prospect of him leaving, we’ve got Joe Johnson playing for money this year. That alone could be worth the price of admission.

I think Atlanta wins 47-50 games and finishes in the 3-5 seed range again. Though they’ve looked really impressive so far in the preseason, I don’t think Orlando’s going to be as good as they were a year ago. Losing Turk is going to have an effect on them, and VC, for all his talent, has always had something missing even when healthy, which hasn’t been a guarantee in and of itself.

Time will tell.


October 28th, 2009
1:10 am

I saw a totally different team than any I’ve seen since the playoff teams in the seventies. OBERTO, MILLER, FOYE, HAYWOOD, ARENAS, and SAUNDERS have transformed the WIZARDS. These guys might actually win 45 this year. They shut down DALLAS going away. Nowitz shot 27% in the fourth, and only pulled in three offensive rebounds for the game – if I counted correctly. Heads up guys. Be ready to play on the 30th.


October 28th, 2009
1:16 am

The Wiz have improved, I believe, but I still think they’re a little way away from being relevant, even in the East. Time will tell.


October 28th, 2009
1:51 am

The Hawks have a tough 2 game stretch for opening week after they open the season against the Pacers. The Wizards got off to a flying start, and the Hawks have to be thinking about Sunday’s matchup against the Lakers, which makes the Wizard’s contest a trap game. If they stumble out the gate against Indiana then we will really be up against it.

Last year the Hawks started out playing every game like it was the seventh game in a playoff till the loss to Boston. This was a carry over from the 7-game series in the playoffs against the Celtics the year before. Don’t look for Atlanta to come out the same way this year. Hopefully they take a more workmanlike approach and come to play every night.


October 28th, 2009
2:04 am

Lets not look past the Pacers and Wizards…..But beating L.A. @ home would make up for our dismal preseason outing against Orlando. I mean we have beaten them at home before but it was dismissed and overlooked but if we do well and do well on the road we can get the respect. But yes, I am ready for the season to start. I wont be able to make ot to the game but I will be in front of the tv, no doubt!


October 28th, 2009
2:38 am

It 2 AM so I get to dream for a moment. If the Blazers would take Bibby, Williams, and Horford for Outlaw and Oden, how many of you guys would be for that deal?


October 28th, 2009
3:01 am

Ramon I think Oden is too injury prone…….Also I don’t think the salaries match


October 28th, 2009
4:47 am

Ramon, no way!


October 28th, 2009
6:25 am

You Hawk optimist are a joke. It’s always the “if and but” with you guys. Then you crucify the national media because they won’t “give” the Hawks no respect. They must really be hurting for ticket sales.

I tell you what, if Oden don’t make better progress by the trade deadline, I think the Blazers would be willing to make a trade. But I’m still not sold on this guy, for all the hoopla surrounding him in my opinion he’s been a major disappointment.


October 28th, 2009
7:13 am

4th Seed….Who Cares? Most of the 4-last teams in the East are OK / Average / Bad

We let players have career games, we have no shotblocking, no interior defense, our half court offense looked just as bad last Friday as it did 2 years ago (no improvement). I don’t care what anyone says about our record — we have no shot of competing with the big 3 and you will see me in April saying this


October 28th, 2009
7:27 am


Salaries aside, that deal wouldn’t help either team. The Blazers already have too many 2s and 3s and are actually playing Outlaw at PF most of the time now. And No. Way. they give up Oden. He looks iffy now, but you don’t give up #1s just 2 years after you draft them. And why would they want a 3rd point guard who’s making $6M a year? The Hawks’ defense would crumble to dust after that trade because Outlaw is a terrible defender at any position and Oden is still a walking foul machine. That also leaves the Hawks without a proven PG. So neither side would be interested in that trade.


Wiz didn’t look good last night so much as the Mavs looked really bad. Terry was missing everything even when he was getting open looks. I still say they’ll struggle to make the playoffs in the East.


October 28th, 2009
8:23 am

Sekou –

Any idea where an out-of-towner can download or listen to a copy of Victory? I checked out Joe Beast’s myspace but that cut is no where to be found…


October 28th, 2009
8:44 am

Isn’t Sheed one of those “malcontents”? The Celtics are doomed. LOL!!


Willie Coyote

October 28th, 2009
8:51 am

Alright fine, call me an optimist but the Hawks take the Southeast. No “ifs” or “buts” there.

You people who come on the Hawks blog when you don’t like the team are the ones who trip me out. Even more funny are the ones that do it at between 1am & 7am. Why are you up so early/late thinking about a team you don’t care for?

Sekou Smith

October 28th, 2009
8:58 am

Joe hasn’t hooked it up on YouTube yet. He said that’s on the way. I’m working on getting a copy of it uploaded here.

Sheed played his role to perfection last night. It was something to see. I wonder what he’d have looked like in a Hawks uni (again), had their pursuit of him produced anything.

The Truth

October 28th, 2009
9:04 am

Willie Coyote

Good Point


October 28th, 2009
9:09 am

be careful Sekou some might thing you have a “man crush” on him b/c you think he could(ve) help the the Hawks.

me and you both though…

Mike N.

October 28th, 2009
9:25 am

And Sekou…we also got to see what an extremely thin bench Cleveland has. Moon, Hickson and Boobie Gibson is not scaring anyone. Thats why it was so good to see us add Jamal, Teague and Joe Smith to go along with Z and Mo Evans. I am sure Cleveland won’t admit it and it is only the first game but this has to be a concern for them.

This work day cant go fast enough…I am ready for the game tonite. Ready to see if Marvin can step up and be that 17-18 point scorer we need…Ready to see if Josh gets 10 boards and 4 blocks and no shot attempts outside the paint…ready for Al’s improved offensive game…and ready to see if Woody will play Teague and not pull him after his first turnover.


October 28th, 2009
9:27 am

Tim Legler talked about the Cavs offense down the stretch (against the Celtics), and it reminds me of the Hawks. The Cavs stand around on offense a lot, and just wait for LeBron to do something. And when LeBron is out of the game, the Cavs struggled.

The Hawks tend to do the same thing. Stand around and wait for JJ to do something. While teams like the Celtics, Magic and Lakers, have good ball movement. I hope thats something the Hawks will improve on this year.


October 28th, 2009
9:28 am

After last night’s exhibition of professional basketball being played as it should be in the Celts -Cavs contest, I had a dream. I dreamed about how the Hawks could compete/beat either team : 5) Jason Collins was my center. He banged with both Kendrick Perkins and Shaq with equal outcomes and he set great picks as well as played the pick and roll to perfection. Plus he got 7 boards in 20 plus minutes.4) Calypso Al didn’t fare as well against KG as he did against Varejoe. KG kinda dogged him but Al wore Varejoe out on both ends of the floor. When he took a blow, Joe Smith handled his business against both KG and Rasheed but had some problems keeping up with JJ Hixson.3) Josh stayed on the block and wore Paul Pierce out and prevented him from grabbing some key rebounds.Against LaBron he had to have help from Marvin because of foul trouble but had major boards and blocks to excite and ignite the team.2) Joe played Ray Ray to a draw and poste the Cavs guys at will.1)Jamal was the difference maker in both contests. he handled Rondo on the offensive end and stuffed his penetration on the defense side. Mo Williams got schooled and didn’t get the open shots that LBJ normally sets him up for because we didn’t have to switch as much on defense because Bibby wasn’t on the court a much. Speaking of Bibby, when he did play he really lit up Eddie House and was able to keep him from going off; JTO put the breaks on Booby Gibson and had his time breaking down the Cavs D ala Rondo.

Zaza and Mo played key roles as well.

But then I woke up and realized that it was all a dream.

Mz. Hawkdafied

October 28th, 2009
11:04 am

Hellz yeah I’m ready for opening night! Can’t wait to hear Joe Smith put the flow to a beat for the Hawks.

LOL @ ILL-logical! Agree with O’Brien the Cavs were kinda looking like the Hawks offensively. The part that tripped me out was when Mo Williams tried to dunk on Sheldon Williams. Had that ball went in it would have been fly. That would have made the highlights I’m sure. Oh and I’ve always thought the Cavs and Hawks were similar on offense, which is why I felt the Hawks could have beaten them more last season. I saw the Lakers get their rings, loved the way Derek Fisher presented the banner, 1, 2, 3 tah dah. Missed the Wizards in action but from Inside the NBA I gather Arenas is back. So our Hawks need to be on it dog gone it.


October 28th, 2009
11:15 am

Niremetal, I totally agree. Its funny that if the Hawks would’ve had the number 1 pick, that they would be the one with Oden now instead of Horford. I will say if there was anyway the Hawks could trade for Oden without giving up a starter, I would be all for that. Since the beginning of the preseason, Oden has already been showing more mobility than I’ve seen from him since Ohio State.


October 28th, 2009
11:41 am

Sekou: Good stuff…except…Shelden Williams?? I agree with Foxsports analysis that he was “horrible at both ends…an unmitigated stiff” He is playing only because of Baby’s idiocy and he is still brutally bad

Dos Hawkquis

October 28th, 2009
11:55 am

Is anyone else out there paying attention to how Lebron is being “catered too?”

Here me out:

Breylon Edwards is involved in a fracas with one of Lebron’s buddies, in Cleveland, and he is shipped out within a week, off of a Cleveland Brown’s team that could use him. A 1st rounder was traded for a scrap pile.

The league officially acknowledges that 2-steps will be allowed after receiving the ball. I felt that it was in response to Lebron’s “crab-dribble.”

These 2 incidences, in particular, has me scratching my head, not to mention that Stern DID NOT fine Lebron after he showed poor sportsmanship after losing to the Magic. Would Stern have done that same thing for Artest or Rasheed?

The league is working overtime to keep Lebron in Cleveland. Please pay attention to how he is treated throughout the season.

“I don’t always watch basketball, but when I do, I prefer the Hawks. Stay thirsty my friends.”

Ken Strickland

October 28th, 2009
11:57 am

I’M DEFINITELY BOTH READY AND EXCITED ABOUT TONIGHTS OPENING GM!!! Starting tonight, all of the things that’s been said about the Hawks and MWoodson, both good and bad, will playout. I JUST WANT TO SAY GOOD LUCK TO BOTH HC MIKE WOODSON AND ALL OF THE HAWKS THIS SEASON. I hope you and the Hawks make liers out of all that have voiced doubts about you and the team, including me. GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[...] 95-89 PBN    Wallace’s contributions off bench help Celtics send Cavs a message AJC   Are you ready for another ride on the Hawks’ roller coaster? Epoch Times   Celtics Beat Cavs in Season Opener Big Green Machine   C’s Clip Cavs On Opening [...]


October 28th, 2009
12:06 pm

Teague needs to observe Ford very carefully tonight. Much to learn.


October 28th, 2009
12:51 pm

GO HAWKS!!! YOU BE THE BEST IN 2009-2010!!!

Dos Hawkquis

October 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

Yes, the Celts looked good last night, but I wonder how Rasheed and Rondo are going to play out during the course of an 82-game season. Both are malcontents.

Yes, Orlando looks helluva, too. But I wonder what their chemistry issues will look like over 82-games.

“I don’t always watch basketball, but when I do, I prefer the Hawks. Stay thirsty my friends.”


October 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

I’m pumped …… Would love to see attitude, agressiveness, energy, & swagger.
JJ is quiet we know, but give me some kinda emotion. remember when KG brought all that stuff to BOSTON, even Ray Allen, & Paul Pierce perked up & played w/ purpose. Speaking of Boston, what happened to that round bald spot Rasheed had on his head. Nice ‘Fro Sheed !! Let’s do it HAWKS !!!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 28th, 2009
1:55 pm

Am I ready for tonight’s game? – HECK YEAH!
Am I ready for the rollercoaster ride called NBA action (via Atlanta?) – SHOW YOU RIGHT!
Hopefully there will be longer peaks and fewer valleys for The Hawks this season.
Its impressive to see Jamal Crawford (or any athlete for that matter) express there concerns for the community and political views unabashedly – JC attaching himself to the pulse of the city so soon is equally impressive – Warrick Dunnesque.
I too look forward to hearing Joe Beast’s jam although I must say that Coach Woodson signing him to Woody Records would ruin Joe’s budding music career due to the fact that Woody would shelve his album just because he is a rookie artist! jk
Go Hawks!!!


October 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

Ditto Obrien……. Stand around and wait,wait for a pass from a guy thats double and trippled teamed.I really would like to see more movement tonight and less standing.

Joe Smith,Chris Webber,Ron Artest are all expirements gone wrong, Stick to hoops and leave the rap for Soulja Boy and the other 19/20 year olds. I dont understand the love fest between the Blog author and Joe Smith….Who the hell cares about his raps he’s rich….HELLO

If we gonna talk about Hoopers that do music. Wayman Tisdale had real talen and his albums were pretty good,RIP big fella


October 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

The Lakers and Celtics looked impressive last night. Time for the Hawks to do their thing tonight. Go Hawks!


October 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

7:00 can’t get here fast enough. I’m ready to see the Hawks lay the smack down on Indy tonight. I’m predicting a 50-55 win season. Hopefully I’m wrong and they win more than 55 games…. Go Hawks..


October 28th, 2009
2:42 pm


Don’t take the ‘ZARDS for dog-meat. They look like a real NBA team not a D-league cellar dweller. One game does not make a season. I’m just sayin’ be ready with the heavy ammo. Concentrate on BLATCHE, and make OBERTO beat you at #4.


October 28th, 2009
2:50 pm

Aight Hawks, let’s do this thang!


October 28th, 2009
2:52 pm



October 28th, 2009
3:11 pm

Here’s a question ? How many double-figure scorers will the HAWKS have tonight & who will have the most dimes ?


October 28th, 2009
3:23 pm

Who dat say gonna beat them Hawks!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 28th, 2009
3:35 pm

PLEASE no Saint’s references on this blog. I live in Nawlins and get enough of the Who Dat noise down here – lol.

Mz. Hawkdafied

October 28th, 2009
3:37 pm

Hip Hop/Rap doesn’t have an age limit I MUS WRITE! Music period has no age limit. Pretty sure Joe Smith doesn’t let the music interfere with the b ball. It’s okay for the team to have a life other than basketball. It’s a surprising thing to learn about Joe Smith, he can play basketball and rhyme. Don’t get mad with him cause his skills got him paid. DON’T HATE, CONGRATULATE.

ATL Hawks squad in action on the real tip 2nite. Another season (offseason has passed, preseason is finished, regular season as commenced) for the Hawks time to turn the intensity up another notch. GO HAWKS, NO EXCUSES, JUST MAKE IT DO WHAT IT DO!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 28th, 2009
3:38 pm

why cannot the old heads indulge in Hip Hop? – Its the young guys like Soulja Boi, etc who are killing it. Its Ron Artest’s right to rap about QB just like it was Tisdale’s(R.I.P)right to play jazz.

[...] offers some more insight on his Hawks [...]

26 years of ATL Hawks

October 28th, 2009
4:14 pm

I’ve watched the Hawks for most of my life. This year has to be our best shot since 1987 to really shake things up. We have our flaws, but if folks play their roles we can be in the top 3. It all starts with interior defense, Josh’s rebounding & shot blocking, and motion on offense. We’ve got alot of tools on offense if we use our strengths. We can’t just randomly shoot the 3. We need ball movement and shots in the flow of the game. When it’s in the flow Bibby, Marvin, Joe and Crawford can be assassins, when it’s not they’re all masons. Use your size inside to control the paint, use Teagues speed like Spud in the old days. We’ve got potential. We just have to stay focussed and use it. I pray each player looks deep tonight as the season starts and plays with 10% of the heart Mario West showed them each and every night. That’ll be enough to lock up a 3 seed and compete for a chance at the Eastern Finals. If we played w/ all of Mario’s energy and heart we’d be visiting LA in June.

Nothing but love…win or lose. I just pray we use what we have to it’s maximum potential. Few teams rival us if we do. No one can argue that. It’s all about consistent, intelligent effort.


October 28th, 2009
4:17 pm

nice post 26. I agree totally


October 28th, 2009
4:29 pm

“who dat” was what we did in high school back in the 80s at Decatur(oops, gave my age away). I also think we should bring back the tradition of Boodiehead and “Go back to….Foot locker!”.

Big Ray

October 28th, 2009
4:35 pm


Woop! Woop! Pull it over.

Sir, do you know why I stopped you? I paced you for about 4 sentences, and noticed some serious deviation on the Joe Smith music issue. Have you been drinking hater-ade today sir?

You do know that hater-ade is a controlled substance, and that drinking and blogging is a serious offense, do you not? Normally, I would stroke you a quick citation for BUI (Blogging Under the Influence) and take you in for intox. However, on account of the fact that you exercised due dilligence in mentioning Wayman Tisdale and his soulful contributions to music, I’ll let you off with a warning this time. Try to keep it on the road, sir. Blog safely, and leave the hater-ade alone.

:) :) :) :)

A Thinking Fan

October 28th, 2009
4:36 pm

Put-up or SHUT-UP time for the HAWKS whole organization! No excuses from the COACH, OWNERSHIP, PLAYERS, MASCOT, CHEERLEADERS, ETC.