Archive for January, 2010

Who’s got the funk?

Hello, all-

Hope you’re staying warm. I just took a 20-minute walk from lunch with Hawks PR man Arthur Triche and sideline reporter James Verrett back to my hotel. This is my final road trip with the team, so Arthur and James were good enough to send me off with a lunch. James had a pretty big burger, I had a pizza and Arthur, who is on the same veggies and fruit diet that Mike Woodson is on, had a salad. (If you hadn’t heard, new staffer Michael Cunningham will be taking over at the end of the week.)

How I'm guessing Arthur's lunch looked to him

How I'm guessing Arthur's lunch looked to him

Anyway, got a big of news and a thought about the Hawks’ slump or whatever term you want to give it, and some links.

News: The Hawks are looking at three players to sign to a 10-day contract – Anthony Tolliver, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Mario West.

Tolliver is a 6-9 center/forward who has spent a lot of time in the D-League and has gotten a little bit of NBA time with San Antonio and Portland. The Hawks may have to move fast on …

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Hawks-Magic thread

Orlando - Hope all are doing well.

Been running all day to get here. Very interested to see what happens, obviously. A couple quotes and I’ll let you all at it.

Josh Smith on Dwight Howard:

“I’ve known Dwight since we were in preschool. We went to the same preschool together. I’ve known Dwight since we were in diapers.”

On playing against him now:

“We talk to each other, but it’s not hard because if you don’t have the same color jersey on as me when the ball is thrown in the air, [you're] just an opponent. Then afterward, we come back to our senses and we’re friends. If you see us out there, he’s trying to block my shot harder than probably anybody he’s ever tried to block and I’m trying to do the same thing. It’s real competitive.”

On playing back in the day:

“We’ve played against each other before we started playing with each other (for Atlanta Celtics), different AAU teams. Believe it not, Dwight was a point guard at first. When we were like 11 or 12, he was a point guard. …

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Counting down to the Celtics

What’s up, folks-

Not that it’s a long wait, but I am ready for the Boston game to get here, and I imagine the players are even more so. It was, obviously, all the talk in the locker room. I’ll give you some stuff from interviews and some links.

Al Horford comparing Boston with Cleveland and Orlando.

“That team, they’re just solid every night. I feel like Cleveland and Orlando can have their slippage like we’ve had, but for some reason, Boston, they have a good coach and veteran palyers and they’re just so consistent every night that you know what you’re going to get out of all of them.”

Joe Johnson on what it will take to beat the Celtics.

“I think we have to do what’s worked for us. We have to use our athletic ability. That’s got to be our strength, getting stops and getting out and getting easy fast-break points.”

Jamal Crawford on Boston:

“Their strength is their chemistry. They always cover for each other on defense. Always. It’s almost like playing against a college team …

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Othello Hunter, the losing streak

Hey, folks-

Hope you are well. I wanted to hopefully shed some light on the Hawks’ thinking in the release of Othello Hunter (some) and also the players-only meeting (probably not a lot more than what was in the story).

First, Hunter. This is Rick Sund’s answer to why the team made the move.

“Basically, it just gives us some options for the roster. Wev’e got a two-week grace period in which we can have a 12-man roster before we have to get to a 13-man roster. It allows us to be able to look at the waiver wires a little bit right now. We have the NBDL Showcase, which coincides with this time period, so all the D-League teams are in one place.”

My sense of things is that they’ll look hard at the Showcase, see if any other NBA teams’ cuts looks intriguing, and if not, they may well go ahead and sign Hunter back. Sund said there wasn’t anything in particular they were looking for.

Said Sund, “I think we’re pretty well-covered in all the positions. I’ve had some dialogue with …

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Pondering the fourth quarter and a three-game slide

Greetings, all-

Hope you are well. Four things for you to hopefully ruminate over.

1. After I finished the story I wrote for Sunday’s paper about the Hawks’ fourth-quarter woes, It occurred to me, perhaps some of you have already noted this, that the Hawks haven’t won a close game since beating Dallas, Dec. 5, 13 games ago. After that, they either won by blowout (seven games) or lost close (four games) or lost to Denver by 20 (a game that could have been close, but it wasn’t going to happen).

Perhaps the multiple blowouts cost the Hawks some of their late-game sharpness?

2. The Boston Globe checked in with the Hawks, which had one interesting nugget. Citing an NBA source, the story said Joe Johnson approached the Hawks about an extension last summer, “but was told that since his salary cap number is higher than his actual salary, he would be best served to wait until unrestricted free agency and re-sign.”

As best I understand it, if that were true, it’s kind of a different …

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Hawks-Knicks thread

Happy New Year, Hawks fans!

Hope everyone made it back safe and sound to their beds last night. A couple quick things about Cleveland. One, the protest has been sent. If I understand things correctly, Cleveland now has five days to submit what would essentially be their own paperwork.

Also, in some way, this may work to the Hawks’ advantage. Obviously, the best result would be for the Hawks to have won, but now they’ve got a pretty fair-sized chip on their shoulder because of all this, plus the knowledge that they know they can play with Cleveland.

And, to answer JeJe from the previous blog, with the shot clock at 12, I said that would constitute an 8-second violation because if the clock read 12, that would be a violation because that would have meant, normally, it had taken the Hawks 12 seconds to get over the halfcourt line.

On to game #32, against New York.

I’ll give you some stuff from Mike Woodson’s pre-game and Thursday, and we’ll let it roll.

On New York:

They’re …

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