Archive for February, 2010

Hawks at Grizzlies, AKA Don’t Worry J.J. To Play

Up and at 'em.

Up and at ‘em.

J.J. is in the lineup. In retrospect, was there any chance he was going to miss the closest thing he has to an NBA homecoming? Then again, from what I hear J.J.’s trips back to Memphis can be a bit nerve-wracking for him with the caravan of folks coming in from Arkansas. You know, in that man-I-love-my-family-but-dang kind of way.

– Maybe J.J. won’t be needed for big minutes. The Grizz’s bench is weak. Darrell Arthur is back from injury tonight and should help eventually. From the Commercial Appeal in Memphis:

Griz coach Lionel Hollins is looking forward to adding Arthur’s length, athleticism and scoring ability to his reserves. Arthur originally figured big in the Grizzlies’ plans — so much that owner Michael Heisley passed on bringing back established power forward Hakim Warrick.

However, Arthur’s emergence stalled when he was injured lifting weights in October and required a surgical procedure uncommon to basketball players. His absence left a huge void on …

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Another unkind cut for Wizards: They get back-to-back-to-back instead of Hawks

The league announced that the Hawks’ game at the Wizards that was postponed due to weather on Saturday has been rescheduled for March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center.

That means the Wizards will play on three consecutive nights: vs. the Hawks, at Detroit, and vs. Orlando. Worse for the Wizards, two nights after that they head out for a four-game West trip. When it’s all said and done, the Wizards will have played five games in six days and seven in 11.

Of course getting screwed by the schedule barely even rates as adversity for the Wizards this season.

MC

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Sund doesn’t anticipate trade deadline deals for Hawks

Sund not looking to deal

Sund not looking to deal

Hawks GM Rick Sund said the core group of Hawks that has the team aiming for a Southeast Division title is the same group you can expect to see after the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

“People are talking about us as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, and that’s what we strive for,” Sund said today. “If there is something out there that will make us better, we’ll look at it. Do I anticipate (a deal)? No, I don’t.”

Sund wouldn’t get into specifics about trade chatter, but his indication that the Hawks’ core would stay together seems to rule out a trade involving Joe Johnson, who can become a free agent after the season. The other core players include Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford, Marvin Williams, Mike Bibby and Al Horford.

The Hawks are 32-17, tied with Boston for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference and one game behind Orlando for the Southeast lead.

“This is the time of year when everybody looks at deals,” Woody said. “But I like our …

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J.J. (flu) makes trip to Memphis, Zaza (hip) likely out until after All-Star

Joe Johnson missed practice again today with flu-like symptoms but was to travel with the team today for tomorrow’s game at Memphis.

“That makes me feel better,” Woody said.

No word yet on the results of Zaza’s MRI on his troublesome left hip. He won’t make the trip to Memphis and is doubtful for Wednesday’s game against the Heat at Philips Arena.

The Hawks won’t play again until Feb. 17 at the Clippers, and holding out Zaza until then would give him 12 days off since he last played.

“I think we are going to go ahead and rest him until after the All-Star game unless he tells me on Wednesday he feels good enough to play,” Woody said, adding that he doesn’t anticipate that will happen.

Zaza is the primary backup to center Al Horford. His absence likely means more playing time for Joe Smith and Jason Collins.

MC

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Postponement “blessing in disguise” with J.J. (flu), Zaza (hip) out

The postponement of the Hawks’ game at Washington on Saturday might eventually force them to play on three straight nights but they might have caught a break in the short term.

As it turns out, Joe Johnson likely wouldn’t have made the trip to D.C. Saturday due to flu-like symptoms. Also, Zaza Pachulia’s nagging left hip injury is flaring up.

“It could be a blessing in disguise,” Woody said of the postponement due to snowstorms in the D.C. region.

Pachulia sat out practice today and Johnson stayed home. Both players are questionable to play Tuesday at Memphis.

Woody said J.J. would be reevaluated on Monday. He said if Johnson doesn’t travel with the team to Memphis on Monday he could join the Hawks on Tuesday.

“We’ll have to gauge it when he comes in (Monday),” he said. “It’s going to be up to him what he wants to do.”

Zaza is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.

“My gut tells me he won’t make the trip,” Woody said.

Zaza said doctors haven’t been able to pin down the problem …

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Hawks at Wizards postponed due to D.C. storm

(Ricky Carioti/Washington Post)

(Ricky Carioti/Washington Post)

Just got word from Hawks PR man Arthur Triche that the league has postponed the team’s scheduled game tonight at Washington due to the snow storm affecting the D.C. region.

The Wizards are stranded in Orlando after playing the Magic last night, and the Hawks’ flight did not leave as scheduled following last night’s 91-81 victory over Chicago. Both major D.C. airports have since closed.

The NBA said a makeup date for Hawks-Wizards would be announced at a later time. Triche said the last time the Hawks had a postponement was a scheduled Jan. 7, 1996, game at at New Jersey. That game was rescheduled for April 5, forcing the Hawks to play on three consecutive nights: April 4 vs. Washington, April 5 at New Jersey and April 6 vs. Philly.

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Hawks-Bulls game thread

Hey, folks-

Ken Sugiura here, pinch hitting for MC. I’m glad you are enjoying his excellent coverage of your team. A couple quotes, and we’ll be at tipoff.

Mike Woodson:

I think we have 16 games left here at home, and it’s about trying to win every one of them. It starts tonight.

On the Bulls without Joakim Noah (who’s been shut down until the All-Star break with plantar fascitis): I’ve got to think they’ll play more small ball with Deng probably at the 4. That’s what they played at the end of the game when they beat us at their place in Chicago our last game with them. We’ve got to be prepared for that.

Vinny Del Negro:

We know what Atlanta does. They’re third in the league in fast-break points. They have explosive scoring ability. We’re going to have to be very efficient defensively, contest shots and they have Joe. He’s a guy that you can put not only one or two, maybe sometimes three guys on, he still has the ability to make plays. That’s a great asset to have.

Derrick …

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Bulls at Hawks, AKA Would J.J. Get More Calls From Refs If He Demanded Them?

Should J.J. show officials this face more often?

Should J.J. show officials this face more often?

Something unusual happened near the end of the game the other night at Oklahoma City. J.J. took some contact on a turnover but didn’t get a call and on the next play Kevin Durant got a call when J.J. went for a steal. The sequence wasn’t unusual–Durant gets to the line a lot and J.J. doesn’t. The rare part of it was Johnson’s reaction: he punched his fist in the air and complained to officials.

I’ve only been around a month, but I’m told that might be the most anger Johnson has expressed about a call all season. He was visibly miffed about a call the next night against the Clippers, too. J.J. took eight free throws against the Thunder and 10 against the Clippers, the most attempts he’s had in a two-game span this season. Some Hawks folks think that’s no coincidence.

They wish J.J. would express his displeasure to officials more. They think he doesn’t get the calls other star players get because he doesn’t demand respect from …

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Late Hawks Squawks: Hawks 103, Clippers 97

– Blog commenter TheZaZaGuy said it pretty well: “I was at the game. Kind of worried, but we pulled it out. Basically, we’re just better.”

– Better offensively, at least, on this night. The Hawks talked about how defense got them back in it, and that’s true when you look at the 11 points off seven turnovers in the second half.

– Still, after halftime the Clippers scored 51 points, shot 46 percent and had 16 rebounds (six offensive). The Hawks were just better with 62 points, 55 percent shooting and 17 rebounds (two offensive).

– The game was low energy from the start all around: Hawks, Clippers, Philips and press row. Both teams played the night before and maybe the fans did, too?

– No energy excuses for the Hawks. The Clippers were playing a back-to-back, too, and it came at the end of their eight-game, 15-day road trip. They also are one of the worst road teams in the NBA.

– Yet the Clippers outworked the Hawks for most of three quarters. “The back-to-back had a little to …

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No Hawks Squawks: Hawks 103, Clippers 97

Feeling sick tonight, Hawks fans–guess that means I’m missing those 70-degree winter days in Miami. Or maybe I’m just getting soft. Either way, my thoughts on the game tonight will have to wait until the morning. Go ahead and share yours below because, believe me, they are better than anything I can come up with right now anyway.

Here is the late game story.

I’m out.

MC

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