Archive for November, 2009

We’ve got (a few) answers

Good afternoon, all-

Thanks for your patience. I kind of ended up taking the long way back from the arena because I had to run an errand, and then lunch, then transcribing and now the blog.

Some Mike Woodson material:
He thinks the Celtics are the best team in the league, better than they were two years ago when they won the title.

The psyche question – “The Lakers, they’re the champs until somebody takes it from them. But I think this team has got a legitimate chance to win. To come in here and try to win a game would be huge for our team. It would give us some huge confidence in terms of the season and going from there. It’s not going to be easy. … We’ve got to play a perfect game to come out of here with a win.”

My thoughts. I wouldn’t go crazy parsing “to come in here and try to win a game would be huge,” as opposed to saying, “to come in here and win a game would be huge.” That was just the way he said it. What I found interesting was that he thinks his team has to play …

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Coming to you from Boston

What’s up?

Just landed in Boston, quite literally. I’m sitting in baggage claim at Logan. (It’s not that cold here, actually.)

Anyway, nothing to throw at you, other than that I’m pretty fired up for Friday night’s tilt. I don’t know exactly what importance it carries for the Hawks themselves – I gather some of you are framing it as a “stand up to the bullies” sort of game – but hopefully I’ll get a better sense of that tomorrow before the game.

Anyway, I am going to shootaround Friday morning at the Fleet Center and wanted to bring you along, so to speak. If you want to give me some questions that you’d like me to ask, I’ll try to get to the best ones and give you answers hopefully before game time in another post.

It’s something I tried while covering and blogging about Tech last year. I don’t really remember how it worked out. I’ll give you some parameters or advice. A question like “Player X, which would you so your game resembles more – a vacuum cleaner or a black hole?” …

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Big shoes to fill

What’s up, Sekou readers?

Hope you are all doing well. Thanks for your patience in waiting for this blog to get churning again. My name is Ken Sugiura, and I have the unenviable task of following up the master. Sekou, if you weren’t aware, took a job down the street at nba.com after five years of excellent Hawks coverage for the AJC. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but Sekou is a great guy, a great reporter and we will miss him plenty.

I’m going to be filling in on the Hawks until a full-time replacement is hired. I’ve got a good bit to learn, but I’m looking forward to it. As Sekou shared with me, it’s a good group to cover and the team, obviously, is on the way up. Hopefully it’ll be a fun ride, however long it lasts.

Anyway, I’m here for you guys, so fire any questions at me you’ve got, either on the blog or e-mail. I don’t have the wealth of NBA knowledge that Sekou does, but I’ll do my best to get you answers.

Enough blathering – on to the two-game trip to …

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A fresh start

I know you didn't see enough of rookie point guard Jeff Teague against Portland. Who wants to be their lunch money that he plays big minutes against Sacramento tonight?

I know you didn't see enough of rookie point guard Jeff Teague against Portland. Who wants to be their lunch money that he plays big minutes against Sacramento tonight?

SACRAMENTO – Before you finish your sentence complaining about Jeff Teague not playing against Portland and Joe Johnson playing too much, chew on one thing.

What if you are not alone? What if you’re not the only fan base whose general manager, coach, star player, sixth-man and last man on the roster drive you crazy?

What, you thought you cornered the market on being ticked off?

You are not.

Our good friend Nire passed along this message earlier today (or last night or whenever, being out west throws off my equilibrium, even after all these years of covering the league):

It’s always funny to me reading Blazers fan blogs and seeing how not alone Hawks fans are in our neuroses. Blazers fans have their own Mike Bibby (Andre Miller), JJ (Brandon Roy), Josh Smith (Travis Outlaw), Marvin Williams (Martell Webster), …

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Pump your brakes

 

LaMarcus Aldridge might not get a chance to get after Josh Smith (hand reaching for the ball) and the Hawks tonight at the Rose Garden. A knee injury could keep him on the sideline.

LaMarcus Aldridge will get a chance to get after Josh Smith (hand reaching for the ball) and the Hawks tonight at the Rose Garden. A knee injury won't keep him on the sideline (and major props to my man Salim Stoudamire – corner right – who is one of Portland's All-Time finest).

PORTLAND – Pump your brakes.

I’ll do it if you do it.

Because it appears we’ve gone a bit overboard with the panic room act after the Hawks’ loss Sunday in Los Angeles to the Lakers.

More than a couple Hawks reminded me before, during and after practice Monday that we’re still in the first, five-game stint of the season. We’re just three games in, with Game 4 up tonight against a strong Trail Blazers team at the Rose Garden.

“People had us winning the championship last year when we got off to that 6-0 start,” Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson said and then laughed. “Everybody needs to calm down and just keep working. It’s a long season, man. Every coach I’ve ever had tells you that [the …

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The morning after

The Hawks' frustrations were fueled by their own mistakes against the Lakers Sunday night at Staples Center.

The Hawks' frustrations were fueled by their own mistakes against the Lakers Sunday night at Staples Center.

LOS ANGELES – It probably feels just as nasty this morning as it did last night, that taste in the Hawks’ beaks after the Lakers kicked dirt all over them.

How a two-point game mushrooms into a 24-point rout in a matter of minutes would normally require CSI-level examination.

But not where the Hawks are concerned. The anatomy of their latest road debacle is similar to so many of its predecessors.

By now you know the routine. The Hawks trade punches, they make a decent game of it until things go slightly awry and the sky starts falling. The fall began with their disastrous third quarter, when the Hawks started handing the ball over to the Lakers like they were ordered to by the LA County Sherriff’s office.

And they wouldn’t stop giving it up. Play after play, they just kept turning it over. Josh Smith got his hands dirty, Al Horford, Jamal Crawford and Zaza Pachulia

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Business (trip) as usual

Don't let the beautiful views fool you, this is a business trip for the Hawks.

Don't let the beautiful views fool you, this trip to the left coast is a business trip for the Hawks.

LOS ANGELES – Jeff Teague’s Halloween costume aside, the Hawks are here in my favorite city for one thing and one thing only; business.

This is a business trip that they’ve been looking forward to since the NBA schedules were released in the summer.

And believe me, I’m as guilty as anyone of falling in love with the sights and sounds of this weather paradise (that’s sunset at Venice Beach above, courtesy of Hawksville’s resident suit man Big Kuntry) and forgetting, even if it is just momentarily, that there’s work to be done first.

The business starts at Staples Center today against the defending champion Lakers and weaves through Portland (Tuesday), Sacramento (Wednesday) and concludes dangerously in Charlotte (Friday), a place the Hawks haven’t played well dating back to last season.

That’s why, in my estimation, this is such a crucial stretch of the early season for the …

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