Archive for August, 2010

Atlanta Hawks: Inside ‘Camp Drew’

L.D. as Spike Lee

L.D. (seated on right) as Spike Lee

Dropped in to Philips yesterday for the last day of Larry Drew’s “clinic” for his assistants. He took five days to school them on the finer points of his offense so they’ll have it down by the start of training camp. The Hawks also will run some “traditional stuff,” L.D. said, but the goal during this camp was to work on Atlanta’s motion stuff.

The lineup: Bob Bender as Bibby, Lester Conner as J.J., Duane Ferrell as Marvin, Kenny Gattison as Smoove and Tyrone Hill as Al. L.D. filled in for Conner late in the session.

(Not exactly the Hawks but, shoot, I wouldn’t mind taking that squad down to the rec league.)

L.D. recorded the session on video so he could show it to his players when camp opens Sept. 28– he said he felt like he was directing a movie, and Conner called him “Spike Lee. There were lots of cracks from the coaches about getting clowned by players once they see their old bodies working this hard. L.D. had to tell his assistants to …

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Atlanta Hawks: Schedule stuff (UPDATE: 2010-11 schedule released)

The Hawks are set to release their schedule at 2 p.m. today. I will break it down here soon after. You will break it down below soon after that. Together we will formulate predictions, opinion and analysis that likely will mean little once the Hawks open the season.

Now doesn’t that sound fun? Hey, it’s August.

UPDATE

The schedule is out. Here are some highlights:

– The Hawks open the season with two road games and three in four nights. They play at Memphis Oct. 27, at Philadelphia Oct. 29 and at home vs. Washington on Oct. 30.

– Atlanta’s longest road trip of the season is broken up by All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. Games at Detroit Feb. 14 and at New York Feb. 16 are followed by All-Star weekend Feb. 18-20. Atlanta the continues the trip out West with games at the Lakers, Suns, Warriors, Blazers and Nuggets.

– The Hawks follow that trip with nine of their next 10 games at Philips Arena with just one back-to-back set. Atlanta plays 14 of its last 21 games at home.

– Atlanta …

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Atlanta Hawks: “Slight” chance you’ll see Pape Sy

Pape Sy might join the Hawks.

Pape Sy might join the Hawks.

Back when the Hawks drafted Pape Sy and brought him to Summer League, assistant GM Dave Pendergraft said there was “no chance” the team would buy out Sy’s contract with Le Havre of the top French League. Over the weekend Pendergraft upgraded that to a “slight chance” Sy will join the Hawks this fall.

Pendergraft didn’t elaborate on Atlanta’s reasoning for the change of heart. But considering how the Hawks praised Sy’s competitiveness and physical tools in camp, I’m assuming they see him as a guy who could eventually help as a wing defender. Plus Sy, who has one year left on his French deal, would come cheaply as a second-round pick.

Heck, if the Hawks bring in Sy and then add a center prospect it could be the beginnings of a bona fide player development program. I think the Utah Flash would be flabbergasted if a Hawks guy showed up.

– It seems Al’s comments about playing power forward caused a frenzy among my blog people. Actually, it seems any …

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Atlanta Hawks: No Shaq . . . now what?

With Shaq off to Boston here’s a quick epilogue as it relates to the Hawks:

I’ve been told that Atlanta wouldn’t budge on giving Shaq a starting nod over Al, who is after all still only 24-years old and an All-Star. Shaq believes he will get the starting nod over Jermaine O’Neal in Boston as Kendrick Perkins rehabs from his knee injury.

Atlanta also wasn’t willing to pay Shaq more than the minimum and that was a sticking point for him. He didn’t want to sign for the minimum when the Hawks had their bi-annual and mid-level exceptions available because of the perception that would create–as in the Hawks could have paid him more but didn’t. That’s not the case with Boston, which had neither of those exceptions and so could only give him the minimum.

The big guy still has his pride.

The Hawks thought Shaq could help them and would be a good risk at the minimum salary despite his history of negatively effecting locker rooms and tending not to respect coaches who aren’t Phil …

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Atlanta Hawks: Shaq said to choose Celtics over Hawks (UPDATE: Celtics announce Shaq signing)

It looks like Shaq is taking his power game to Boston.

It looks like Shaq is taking his power game to Boston.

Shaquille O’Neal won’t be suiting up for the Hawks.

Multiple media outlets reported last night that he was “close” to joining the Celtics, and the team announced today that it has signed O’Neal.

“It is not every day that you can add a player of Shaquille’s caliber to your team,” Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, said in a statement released by the team. “His past experience speaks for itself and we believe that he is a great fit for our roster.”

O’Neal, 38, will play for his sixth NBA team in his 19th NBA season. He won three NBA championships with Los Angeles and another with Miami and now will seek another title with Boston, the defending Eastern Conference champion.

“I am honored to be joining the Celtics,” O’Neal said in the statement. “I have played against Paul [Pierce], Ray [Allen], Kevin [Garnett], Rajon [Rondo], and Jermaine [O'Neal] for many years and it will be great to be able to call …

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Atlanta Hawks: Front-office guys Pendergraft (Suns) and Rosenberry (Blazers) in demand

Assorted notes for the slow part of summer . . .

Pendergraft, Sund's right-hand man, is in play for Suns' GM gig.

Pendergraft, Sund’s right-hand man, is in play for Suns’ GM gig.

– Word is Dave Pendergraft, Atlanta’s assistant general manager, is a candidate for Phoenix’s GM job under Lon Babby. And Steve Rosenberry, Atlanta’s director of pro personnel/college scouting, is expected to join Portland’s staff, where GM Rich Cho is looking for assistants.

Rick Sund confirmed the interest in both guys today.

“I see that as a positive,” he said. “As our team is getting good, other teams are after our executives. Steve and Dave have done a great job in their roles here.”

– It’s possible the Hawks will take 12 players to training camp. The Hawks are being patient, which is their M.O. under Sund, so I could see them letting guys fight for that final spot in camp instead of signing a guy now and being locked into that roster. A trade for a center also isn’t out of the question, but considering their reluctance to break up the “core” it means a major …

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Atlanta Hawks: Catching up

I’m back in the saddle after a two-week hiatus from the beat. Yes, it was only two weeks away from work. The frantic emails, messages and comments from my blog people made it seem like I abandoned my child for two months. But I will take it as a good sign that some of you suffered separation anxiety without the blog. I can tell you I had no problem coping.

Anyway, I predicted not much interesting would happen while I was gone and it looks like I was pretty much on point. That doesn’t mean nothing happened, though, so let me give a rundown in no particular order. . .

What happened: The Hawks re-signed free agent center Jason Collins to a one-year contract.

What it means: Atlanta thinks Collins will be more effective in 2010-11 because he will be in better shape. Word is he’s already lost a significant amount of weight. Also, ASG’s Michael Gearon Jr. is on record as saying (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) he didn’t think Collins was properly utilized by Woody. So maybe …

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