Archive for July, 2010

Atlanta Hawks: Getaway day

There will be a blog hiatus for a couple weeks while I get away for some me time. There’s a chance I might drop in with a post if anything interesting happens with the Hawks but don’t count on that (either something interesting happening or me dropping in). Meanwhile the beat will be in the capable hands of Ken S., who will chronicle the Hawks’ attempts to pluck a center from the bargain bin.

I suspect not much will have changed with my blog people when I return. Truth-Serum will still be using his multiple identities to agree with himself that Al is a terrible defensive center. JeJe will continue to rip ASG for not letting J.J. walk and using all that cap space to SIGN FREAKIN’ LEBRON. And all of you will wonder how in the heck this squad is supposed to make a move in the East with basically the same guys suiting up.

Be easy until I get back, blog people. Remember, it’s all love and and it’s just basketball . . .


(Note: Commenting is closed until Michael returns Aug. …

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Atlanta Hawks: Summer skid stopped

Hawks 83, Bucks 60

Box Score

Las Vegas– The Hawks ended their two-game summer skid with an 83-60 W against the Bucks. It wasn’t a thing of beauty offensively but it definitely was an impressive defensive effort. “We told them no layups,” said Lester Conner. “We told them if somebody goes by you, you are coming out of the game.”

Richard Hendrix replaced RandMo in the starting lineup. “No reflection on Randolph,” Conner said. “It’s just that starting unit was getting us in bad holes. They were chasing us tonight.”

– Tough offensive night for JC2 but he really worked on defense. He fought through screens and challenged everything. The Hawks can use as many guys as they can get who will do that. “If your shot is not falling, you have to do something else to impact the game,” Crawford said.

– Crawford was just 3 of 12 from the field, including 0 for 2 on 3-pointers. He just didn’t have it from the start. Said Conne: “He came out and shot a bad 3, and we told him, ‘Hey, we are …

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Atlanta Hawks: Summer spotlight singes Teague

Not time to panic about 'Rook. (AP Photo)

Not time to panic about ‘Rook. (AP Photo)

Las Vegas–One bad Summer League game, one quote about deferring to J.J. and Co., and suddenly it seems like Teague has gone from savior to suspect in the eyes of some Hawks fans.

He apparently took so much guff from fans on Twitter it prompted him to tweet: dont you hate people who cant play at all but have so much 2 say smh.” That came a couple hours after he had tweeted after he tweeted: “my bad yesterday didnt have a good one”

I guess his fans agreed with him in terms that were a little too strong for his taste. Note to Teague: If you don’t like to hear mess from fans, probably best to leave Twitter alone.

It’s only two games into summer league. No doubt Teague had a bad game Wednesday but it’s tough to judge him when he’s playing with this group, just like it was tough to judge him when he was playing sporadic minutes under Woody. Shouldn’t we hold off on making strong declarations either way?

Earlier in the week Teague said: “I …

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Atlanta Hawks: Shaq and their summer struggles

Las Vegas–First the Shaq scuttlebutt, then the game. . .

The Marvin for Shaq sign-and-trade appears to be a non-starter. The Hawks have consistently said they like their core, and that includes Marvin. So they are not looking to move Marvin for Shaq when he’s playing under what they consider to be a reasonable contract for a starting 3 whom they still believe can blossom under L.D.

Shaq is pushing for the sign-and-trade because he wants to be paid above the mid-level exception–a person familiar with his thinking said Shaq wants something like $16 million for two years after seeing other free agent centers sign lucrative deals. Shaq also wants to start but it doesn’t look like he will get that or the money from Atlanta. In fact, after post-J.J. indications that the Hawks were willing to push their payroll above the luxury-tax threshold of $70.3 million, it’s becoming increasingly clear ASG wants to avoid paying the tax.

With their payroll at roughly $65 million, the Hawks …

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Atlanta Hawks: Are you starvin’ to send away Marvin?

Las Vegas–I know my blog people have been trying to trade Marvin (and Bibby) with every conceivable and inconceivable permutation of fantasy deals. My favorite thing is when the proposals go like this: “Marvin and Bibby are terrible and their contracts are burdens. The Hawks should trade them for (fill in the blank with better players with more reasonable contracts).”

So do you want Marvin gone so badly that you’d swap him for 38-year old Shaq as a two-year-rental-at-most off the bench? David Aldridge reports that the Cavs are dangling Shaq in a sign-and-trade proposal for Marvin. Since the Hawks could just sign Shaq using the mid-level exception if they want him (which still isn’t certain) the Cavs presumably are counting on Atlanta’s desire to shed Marvin’s contract as the primary motivation for a trade.

Assuming Shaq gets the two-year deal he wants, Atlanta’s savings would total the difference between their salaries over the next two seasons plus the final two seasons of

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Atlanta Hawks: Brad Miller still in play as center options dwindle

Hawks think Brad Miller is good fit for L.D.'s offense.

Hawks think Brad Miller is good fit for L.D.’s offense.

Las Vegas–It looks like the free-agent center situation finally is starting to shake out, with Atlanta’s (and Shaq’s) options dwindling:

– The Hawks are still in the running for Brad Miller.

“There is definitely mutual interest,” agent Mark Bartelstein said today. “Where that’s going to lead, it’s tough to say. There are a lot of things he’s looking at. Nothing has been decided.”

Boston and Miami also reportedly have been talking to Miller, but a return to Chicago is still a possibility. Bartelstein said Miller could make a decision by the end of the week.

The Hawks apparently think Miller would be a good fit in L.D.’s offense. He had been a good outside shooter for years but slipped in that area last season. So too did his defense and rebounding for that matter.

But Miller’s Synergy numbers in the post were pretty good at .87 points per possession on 204 possessions, suggesting he’s still tough around the basket. …

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Atlanta Hawks: What happened in Vegas

Las Vegas–Made it to Sin City for Atlanta’s Summer League opener vs. Memphis. I hear there’s a severe heat warning for Wednesday and Thursday so I guess that means I will be forced to chill in the casino’s A/C for long periods of time. It’s all about sacrifice.

Before I get to the game, let me address the Chills trade, which is still pending as he gets clearance from FIBA. I know my blog people are not happy with the deal–neither is the AJC’s Mark Bradley–but it requires some context.

The first thing to remember about a sign-and-trade is it takes a lot to make it happen. The teams have to agree to the trade, the player has to be willing to join his new team and the new team has to reach contract terms with the player. It turned out Phoenix was the only team where all of these factors aligned with Chills.

From what I’ve heard, the other teams interested in Chills weren’t willing to meet his price, so that narrowed the potential trade partners for the Hawks. Then Phoenix …

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Atlanta Hawks: Childress sign-and-trade in works (UPDATE: Hawks, Suns agree to trade)

The Hawks have agreed to a sign-and-trade that would send forward Josh Childress to Phoenix for a second-round pick and a trade exception, people with knowledge of the situation confirmed.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reported Sunday night that the deal was “on the verge” of completion. Childress would sign with Phoenix for six years and at least $30 million, according to the report.

If Childress signs a deal for those terms, Atlanta’s trade exception would be worth half the amount of his first-year salary since he would become a base-year compensation player. The exception works as a sort of credit that would allow the Hawks to make a trade while over the salary cap without meeting the usual salary-matching requirement.

Atlanta drafted Childress with the No. 6 overall pick of the 2004 draft. He played four seasons with the Hawks before opting to sign a free-agent contract with Greek team Olympiakos in 2008. He has until Thursday to opt out of the final season of that …

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Atlanta Hawks: Camp chatter

Emptying the notebook . . . .

Some observations and chatter after two open practice sessions at Philips Arena:

– The Hawks haven’t offered Shaq a contract yet. There’s still the open question of what kind of role he’s willing to accept on his new team. The Hawks also are said to be looking at Brad Miller, Ilgauskas, Kurt Thomas, Kwame Brown and Anthony Tolliver.

Johan Petro was a possibility before he agreed with New Jersey on a three-year, $10 million deal. That should give you an ideal that it’s still a seller’s market for centers.

L.D.’s summer plan for Teague:

“What I told him is basically I am going to turn him loose. I want him to be himself. I don’t want him to be concerned about making mistakes and missing shots because I have all the confidence in the world in his ability. He can break the defense down, he can get into the interior of the defense. He knows how to make plays. He is just one of the guys on our team with that breakdown ability. I want to allow him …

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Atlanta Hawks: Catching up (again) with Al Horford

Caught up with Al Horford again, this time at Oglethorpe University during his summer camp for kids. The scene was about as loud and hectic as you might think. It’s always good for me to be reminded of why I don’t have (or want) any kids.

“The parents love it,” Horford said. “The kids do all this running around, and they are worn out when the parents come pick them up. They go right to sleep.”

The reports are that Al didn’t just lend his name to the camp like some athletes are known to do, but was hands-on with the kids. His father, Tito, helped out, too, running the kids through some drills. Bibby was there on Thursday.

Al held a camp in Michigan last summer and has two scheduled in the Dominican Republic next month, but this was his first local camp.

“This is my third year here so I figured I should do something here in Atlanta, [especially] since I live here, too,” Al said.

Before succumbing to the apparently A/C-less gym and those rambunctious rugrats, I managed to talk …

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