Archive for January, 2011

Atlanta Hawks: Marvin Williams: ‘Full responsibilty’ for role in Knicks fight, ‘no hard feelings’ for Shawne Williams

The way it looked was Hawks forward Marvin Williams mugged Knicks counterpart Shawne Williams in the back of the head, Shawne Williams bucked up, and then Marvin started swinging.

But Marvin said his outburst instead was in reaction to a culmination of unspecified actions by the Knicks.

“There was just things going on throughout the game,” Marvin said today in his first public comments since the incident. “I finally reacted, I guess. What happened has happened. I’ve obviously gotten my punishment. I accept full responsibility for what I did. Just move on from here.”

Officials ejected Marvin from the game and the NBA suspended him for two games. He sat out Saturday’s loss at Dallas and also will miss Wednesday’s game against the Raptors at Philips Arena. The league suspended Shawne Williams for a game.

The Hawks play at New York on Feb. 16. As far as Marvin is concerned, there will be no carry-over from Friday’s fight.

“It’s all good,” Marvin said. “I have no hard feelings …

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Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith fined $25,000 for ‘obscene gesture’

The NBA today fined Hawks forward Josh Smith $25,000 for an obscene gesture he made during Atlanta’s 111-102 victory against the Knicks on Friday.

The incident happened after Smith made a 3-pointer to give the Hawks a 105-97 lead with 3:44 to play. Smith made a motion near his groin area as he ran back up the court. Television cameras captured the incident.

It’s the third act of discipline handed out by the league in relation to the game. The league suspended Hawks forward Marvin Williams for two games and Knicks forward Shawne Williams for a game after the players were involved in a fight in the final minute.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Mavs 102, Hawks 91

Greetings, all-

Wow. Sensing some hostility here. (Kidding) This one must have been a frustrating one to watch for you all, particularly since you’ve been seeing the same thing happening.

- Bad shot selection killed the Hawks’ chances in the fourth. It’s hard to understand. Once Dallas got some momentum going, just like in the Milwaukee game (and others), the Hawks started pressing. Among the most galling numbers is Al Horford taking two shots in the fourth.

- Hawks scoring by quarter – 24, 25, 29, 13.

- Shooting percentage by quarter – 57.1, 52.6, 42.9, 26.7.

- Hawks had 46 points in the paint on 30 shots through three quarters, then four and five, respectively, in the fourth.

- I asked Larry Drew what he took from the game: “Something very similar we took from the Milwaukee game. We played, I thought, three good quarters and then in the fourth quarter we had a collapse. Shot selection was not very good. It just comes down to getting tougher in the fourth quarter. You’ve …

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Mavs-Hawks game thread

Greetings, all-

Hope you’re well. This is going to be brief, as I gotta crank out some notes before game time. Some notes…

1) Hawks going with regular lineup, with Mo Evans in for Marvin Williams, serving a two-game suspension.

2) Larry Drew said the key defensively is slowing down Dallas’ transition game, saying the team has to “build a wall” to prevent the Mavericks, specifically Jason Kidd, from attacking the rim on the break. Al Horford mentioned defending the pick-and-roll.

3) Drew said that Williams was in a great state of mind this morning. He’s watching the game at the team hotel.

4) Horford had some words in response to Amare Stoudemire’s post-game caution to Horford to calm down after he got the crowd going as Stoudemire shot free throws, that “he’s not that type of player.” Basically, he said that he’ll do whatever it takes to win, so, yes, he is that type of player.

5) I asked Drew about Marvin pushing him during the fracas. Drew: “I’ve been in the weight room. I …

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Hawks’ Williams suspended two games for punch

Hawks forward Marvin Williams has been suspended for two games without pay, starting with Saturday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. Williams was suspended for his involvement in a fight in the Hawks’ Friday night game against the New York Knicks. With less than a minute to play in the 111-102 win, Williams pushed and threw a punch at the Knicks’ Shawne Williams, earning him an immediate ejection. The Knicks’ Shawne Williams was also ejected and suspended for one game.

NBA rules dictate that any player who throws a punch will be ejected, suspended for at least one game and fined. The amount of Williams’ fine was not available. Williams will also miss Thursday’s home game against Toronto and be eligible to return for the Saturday home game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Williams made the trip with the team to Dallas, but will not be allowed in the arena for the game. It will be the 16th game that Williams has missed out of the Hawks’ 47 games thus far this …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 111, Knicks 102

Marvin went out swinging. (AP Photo)

Marvin went out swinging. (AP Photo)

  • The fisticuffs and flexing at the end shouldn’t overshadow the fact that the Hawks nearly blew this game with their usual twin sins of poor shot selection and sieve-like defense on the ball.
  • “That was almost a similar situation like we collapsed fourth quarter against Milwaukee,” L.D. said. “Losing focus of what got us the lead. I threw the challenge down at halftime. We played well, let’s see what we are made of the third quarter because we knew that team was not going to quit. But we got into a situation of trading baskets and against a team like New York you can’t do that because they have a lot of firepower.”
  • But the shaky play also shouldn’t obscure how the Hawks earned an emotionally-charged game in large part because they got plays at both ends from Smoove and an unexpected emotional lift from Al.
  • “I’m proud of the way our guys responded,” Drew said. “They did not lose their composure. They got back into a rhythm. Josh Smith did a …

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Knicks at Atlanta Hawks: Can they stop Felton-Amar’e pick-and-roll?

When the Hawks played at New York on Nov. 27, the Knicks had 88 offensive possessions. According to L.D., New York ran 60 pick-and-rolls.

I don’t have to tell my blog people the Hawks, among the worst teams in the league at defending the play, can expect more of the same tonight from New York’s Raymond Felton-Amar’e two-man game.

“When we stick with our principles and our proper techniques in defending it and we are all on the same page, we seem to do a pretty good job,” Drew said. “But the minute there is a breakdown with just one guy it is like a chain reaction.”

As you might expect for one of the league’s best offensive teams, the Knicks rate highly on the metrics you expect to be associated with pick-and-rolls.

“The key with defending their pick-and-roll is going to be our ability to get up on the ball,” L.D. said. “In all of our coverages involving the pick-and-roll, the guard has to be able to get up on the ball knowing that he’s going to get hit, he’s going to be late …

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Atlanta Hawks: Larry Drew uncut: Josh Smith’s jumpers, Jeff Teague’s minutes

L.D. can be pretty verbose (which is a good thing for my purposes), so sometimes I don’t get a chance to use everything he says. I thought my blog people would be interested if I finished off the week by emptying some L.D. insights from my notebook . . .

ESPN’s Chad Ford includes Smoove in an article about midcareer players improving their shots (Insider). Ford notes Josh’s work last summer with the Hoops Whisperer, Idan Ravin.

This ground has been covered before but this line in Ford’s story caught my eye:

“[Ravin] patched the hole in Smith’s psyche with texts containing affirmations such as ‘You don’t need their approval, so stop looking in their direction.’”

Not sure who “they” are, but it just so happens L.D. was talking about this very thing on Tuesday (before Smoove’s misfires in the fourth quarter at Milwaukee). I asked him if he’s concerned that with both Josh and Al moving their games away from the basket the Hawks might become too reliant on jump shots:

I am not …

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Atlanta Hawks: Damien Wilkins signed for rest of season

The Hawks announced they’ve signed swingman Damien Wilkins for the remainder of the season.

Wilkins has appeared in 20 games as a reserve, with coach Larry Drew casting him as a wing defender. Wilkins is averaging 2.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in 12.3 minutes while shooting 45 percent from the field.

The Hawks originally signed Wilkins on Dec. 3 after guard Joe Johnson had elbow surgery. The Hawks waived Wilkins on Jan. 5, after Johnson had returned to the lineup and before the date contracts became guaranteed. Wilkins signed 10-day contracts with Atlanta on Jan. 8 and 18, and NBA rules required the team to sign him for the rest of the season if it wished to retain him.

Wilkins is the nephew of Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins and son of former NBA player Gerald Wilkins.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Atlanta’s Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier still ‘Rockin’ Steady’

Friday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution features my Q and A with Atlanta native and NBA legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier. The story is exclusive for subscribers of the newspaper and the iPad app:

As a player, Walt Frazier was known as a tough defender and floor leader for the New York Knicks teams that won championships in 1970 and ‘73. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

Off the court, Frazier was noted for his unique sense of style. He tooled around Manhattan in a Rolls Royce that he christened the ‘Clyde-mobile,’ and his wardrobe included mink coats, snakeskin boots and wide-brimmed hats. The latter accessories led Frazier to be nicknamed ‘Clyde’ for Warren Beatty’s character Clyde Barrow in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde.”

But there’s one thing Frazier said he isn’t so well-known for: his hometown of Atlanta. “Even now, most people think I am a New Yorker,” Frazier said. “I don’t forget my roots. People ask …

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