Phoenix– There’s no doubt the Hawks caught a break on Wednesday when the Clippers traded away half their team and Baron Davis decided his back was too sore to play. Props to the Hawks for handling their business, but they will get no such break tonight.
After what seemed like months of speculation, the Suns didn’t trade Amar’e Stoudemire before the deadline. He talked with Suns brass over dinner last night and says he has no hard feelings.
So the Suns are at full strength except for Leandro Barbosa (wrist). They are also trying to hang onto a playoff spot in the Western Conference. No doubt they also remember this (dang that was my first game as beat guy and it seems like a year ago.)
The Hawks have to know what’s coming.
“We can’t come in here thinking it’s going to be like it was the other night,” Woody said.
– The Hawks want Zydrunas Ilgauskas. A lot still has to fall in place for that to happen. First, Ilgauskas has to be bought out. He’s not playing for the Wizards tonight, a sign that he will get his wish.
Once that happens, Z (don’t make me spell it anymore) somehow has to decide he doesn’t want to return to the Cavaliers, who drafted him 14 years ago and are tops in the Eastern Conference. If Z surprises everyone and passes on the Cavs, he then has to decide he wants to play for the Hawks.
And if that happens, it will mean less playing time for the Hawks’ current Z, Zaza. He said he wants burn like all guys do but he’s a pro and so he’d be cool with the another Z around.
“I know ‘Z’ personally,” Zaza said. “He’s a great guy, a good person. Everyone knows what he can do. He’s been in the league a long time. If the (Hawks) organization thinks that’s the right thing and it will help us, that’s fine with me.”
– More ASG drama this week. The AJC’s Kristi E. Schwartz reports that Bruce Levenson thinks Steve Belkin is evil. And Belkin must pay $2 million by Thursday to keep his stake in ASG, which he plans to do.
The most interesting part to me, because I’m not into drama, is that Schwartz reports “court documents say the Hawks and Thrashers have lost more than $174 million since the 2002-03 season, including $50 million in the past two years alone.”
That’s something to remember if the Hawks must decide whether to pay J.J. max money this summer.
– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.