Archive for December, 2011

Atlanta Hawks: Rockets 95, Hawks 84

Houston–The Hawks say they expected the Rockets to come out firing even though they were playing their third game in as many nights and despite the travel headaches upon their return to Houston. “That always happens, when a team is wall and you find out what they are about,” Al Horford said. “This team came out right off the bat they jumped quick on us and were never really able to recover from the fist quarter.”

  • So if the Hawks weren’t caught flat-footed, it means their first game against an opponent with a variety of talented offensive players and good execution showed their defense still has a ways to go. Or maybe it’s also that they don’t match up well with a team that can spread the floor, dribble penetrate, share the ball and make shots–and do all of that with speed.
  • “They pushed the tempo on us and we didn’t seem to have any defensive energy,” Tracy McGrady said. “We let Kyle Lowry push the ball up and find shooters. [Luis] Scola was playing well. You’ve got …

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Atlanta Hawks at Rockets: Game thread

  • The Hawks are using their normal starting lineup. All players except Kirk Hinrich (shoulder) are available.
  • There could be a Twin sighting tonight. “The first three games we didn’t play Jason Collins, who was a big part of what we did last season,” Larry Drew said. “I want to preserve him but at the same time I want to make sure I keep him in basketball shape. I take it game by game. It’s pretty much given who will be the first 10 players.”
  • The Rockets will see the Hawks’ fourth game in five nights and raise them the last leg of a back-to-back-to-back. The Rockets also had their flight diverted from Hobby airport to Bush International because of dense fog that was still lingering when my flight landed at Bush this morning. The Hawks’ charter was the last flight to make it into Hobby last night.
  • Both teams figure to be tired but Houston should be downright exhausted. Drew said the Hawks plan to attack: “That’s our whole objective. When you play against a team that has …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 105, Nets 98

  • The Hawks didn’t play very well. The Nets made a lot of shots. Jeff Teague kept the Hawks above water and then they made more good plays than bad to get the W and improve to 3-0.
  • That about sums it up. “It was hard, but a win is a win,” Zaza Pachulia said. “It fees good. We expected them to come out and be aggressive but obviously we didn’t have as much energy as last game.”
  • The Hawks struggled to beat the Nets after waylaying them in New Jersey.
  • “One of the toughest things to do, and I’ve been associated it for a while as a coach and a player, when you have a game like you had against them the first time you have a tendency to let your guard down,” Larry Drew said. “That’s kind of a human characteristic. I talked to the guys and told them the team we saw in New Jersey was going to be a totally different team tonight. We didn’t respond as well as I was hoping but I give my guys credit, too, because they hung in there and kept fighting.”
  • Teague (22 points, 9/11 FG, six …

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Nets at Atlanta Hawks: Game thread

  • Normal starting lineup for the Hawks: Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford. Brook Lopez (foot) is out for the Nets.
  • The Nets lost 94-78 at Orlando but showed some spirit while rallying to within three points in the third quarter after being down 20. Tucker High’s MarShon Brooks scored 10 of his 17 points in the second quarter.
  • Larry Drew says he expects a better effort from the Nets after the Hawks ran them out of their gym on Tuesday. He’s confident his players won’t overlook New Jersey: “This game will be a dangerous game because they are a team that was a little embarrassed the other night and they are going to come out and show they are a better ball club. It’s the old ‘wounded animal’ theory. When they are wounded, that’s when they are the most dangerous.”
  • Jannero Pargo says he’s still getting his bearings with the Hawks: “Defensively, very comfortable. Defese is pretty much playing with hard and with heart. I’m pretty good with that. …

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Atlanta Hawks: Fun with numbers

Hoopdata.com has updated its stats through last night’s games and they reveal that the Hawks are the best team in the league.

After two games. Against bad opponents.

OK, it doesn’t mean much. But what’s the harm in my blog people looking at these lovely numbers before reality rears its (potentially disappointing) head?

The Hawks are No. 1 in defensive efficiency and No. 3 in offensive efficiency. They are No. 1 in opponent effective-field goal percentage and No. 3 in defensive rebounding rate.

Atlanta is No. 5 in true-shooting percentage , No. 3 in 3-point shooting percentage and No. 4 in three-point attempts. The Hawks are No. 9 in free-throw rate and No. 3 in free-throw percentage.

Alas, there are some things that not even a miniscule sample size and lackluster opponents can cure. The Hawks rank No. 16 in block rate and 27 percent of their 161 field-goal attempts have been long 2s after 30 percent of their attempts last season came from the most inefficient distance. …

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Atlanta Hawks: Video: Solid victory in home opener

My CineSport recap of Atlanta’s victory over the Wizards in the home opener. (Cut me a little slack, blog people. I was sleepy.)

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 101, Wizards 83

  • The Hawks held another opponent to lousy offensive numbers but this time Larry Drew sounded so-so about the effort. “There were parts of the game where we lacked defensive intensity,” he said. “You’ve got to put teams away, especially a team like that. They never stop playing. I never felt we had a total grip of the game even when we were up 20. A team like Washington, you have to take away hope.”
  • The Wizards do a pretty good job of that on their own. At times you could see John Wall’s frustration as he tried to make plays for his teammates only to see fail to help. Even Nick Young’s 21 points on 6 of 12 shooting were pretty empty since he started 5 for 5.
  • Neither the Nets nor the Wizards are sharp offensive teams so it’s tough to judge Atlanta’s defense right now. The Hawks know that, too. But there’s no denying that the talking, helping and energy have all looked good so far. “It’s two games, but I do see some good things,” Al Horford said. “We are starting to trust each …

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Wizards at Atlanta Hawks: Game thread

  • Zaza Pachulia said he woke up today with soreness in his left shoulder. He tested it before the game and said he’s good to go. Pachulia doesn’t remember suffering an injury. He went to the doctor this afternoon and was told it’s tendinitis.
  • Jeff Teague (ankle) is in the lineup. “He didn’t complain about any problems,” Larry Drew said. Kirk Hinrich (shoulder) and Donald Sloan are inactive. Mo Evans (knee) is out and Jan Vesley (hip) is not on the trip for Washington.
  • Jordan Crawford is back at Philips Arena for the first time since the Hawks traded him to the Wizards. He said there’s no extra motivation against his old team: “I’m always extra.” He did allow that there could be some spirited conversations with good friend Teague. “If it calls for it, I will definitely trash talk.”
  • Drew said his main concern vs. the Wizards is controlling John Wall in transition. “He’s one of the fastest guys in the league,” Drew said. “We have to get him corralled. We’ve had problems with …

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Atlanta Hawks: Angling for Dwight Howard

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports the Hawks engaged the Magic in trade talks about center Dwight Howard earlier this month.

The Hawks did put together a deal for Howard back when the Magic had him on the market. My understanding is they did so without a commitment from Howard that he would either exercise his contract opt-in for next season or sign a long-term deal. The proposed deal eventually fell apart on Orlando’s end.

I’m not certain which players the Hawks offered but it’s unlikely Josh Smith was one of them. The Hawks would try to entice Howard to sign with the team long-term for the chance to play at home with his good friend.

That leaves either Al Horford or Joe Johnson as the centerpiece in a proposed trade for Howard. Horford has the most appeal for Orlando because of his talent, age and his popularity among the region’s fans from his days at the University of Florida.

The Magic have told teams that they are no longer actively trying to trade Howard while they try to …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 106, Nets 70

Newark, N.J.–The Nets without Brook Lopez are not very good and they likely were gassed after coming back from 21 down to win at Washington last night. On the other hand, it kind of felt like the Hawks could have won with their second unit, and when’s the last time you could say that about them against any opponent?

  • The reserves scored 55 of 106 points and collected 27 of 51 rebounds. More importantly, the Hawks extended their lead even as the reserves kept checking in. None of the starters played more than 26 minutes.
  • “Man, I tip my hat to those guys,” Josh Smith said. “This is probably the deepest bench we’ve had in a long time, where [starters] are coming off and the bench is keeping the same intensity and energy as the starters, if not more. If we have this on a consistent basis I think we are going to be a pretty good team.”
  • There’s no one on the bench you can expect will regularly have the kind of scoring impact as Jamal Crawford. But maybe there are enough pieces …

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