Archive for January, 2012

Atlanta Hawks at Hornets: Game thread

Jeff Teague will start at point guard for the Hawks tonight against the Hornets. Teague said he felt “fine” despite the sprained ankle that limited him during Friday’s win against Pistons.

“Jeff is a go,” coach Larry Drew said before the game. “He was moving around on it pretty good yesterday. He hasn’t mentioned that it is bothering him to the point that we have to limit him. We’ll keep an eye on him. Right now, he is a full go.”

Drew said he would split reserve minutes between Kirk Hinrich and Jannero Pargo.

“He has been playing really well for us,” Drew said of Pargo. “That’s why we got him.”

Hinrich, who played 31 minutes against the Pistons after Teague left late in the third quarter, said he is working to regain form as quickly as possible.

“I want to get my game back,” Hinrich said. “I feel rusty and I just want to help any way I can right now and get my rhythm back.”

* Austin Barker, a 17-year-old high school student from Mississippi scheduled for a bone marrow …

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Drew: Teague a ‘day-to-day decision’

NEW ORLEANS – C-Viv in the Big Easy filling in for MC.

Here are a couple of notes from today’s practice in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Hornets:

* Coach Larry Drew said starting point guard Jeff Teague is day-to-day with an ankle sprain suffered in Friday’s OT win in Detroit. Teague participated in practice Saturday. “He was out here getting some shots up,” Drew said. “He’s moving around on it pretty good. They are still treating it. It will be a day-to-day decision.”

*Drew played Kirk Hinrich, in his second game since returning from shoulder surgery, with 3:48 left in the third until the end of the game. Hinrich told MC that he was “gassed” following the effort. Drew said he was ready to play Jannero Pargo but that he decided to utilize his timeouts to rest Hinrich.  “I was prepared to play Pargo after Jeff gave me the nod that he couldn’t go again,” Drew said. “He came back after they taped him and said that it started to stiffen up a little bit. I threw Kirk in …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 107, Pistons 101 (OT)

Auburn Hills, Mich. –This was similar to the Milwaukee game: Awful start, great finish. “I wish it could be a little earlier,” Josh Smith said. “I would rather have the lead than try to claw back into it and do it the way we did it. But a win is a win. I’ll take it.”

  • The Hawks did it behind Joe Johnson’s 28 points after halftime. There are times when Johnson doesn’t have it and focuses on drawing doubles and swinging the ball. This time, he just kept doing his thing until he found his rhythm.
  • “The second half I just wanted to be aggressive,” he said. “It was do or die. We had to put up or shut up. Guys came out and made big plays and gave ourselves a chance in overtime. I just wanted to validate that and be aggressive and make plays not only for myself but my teammates.”
  • For the second time in three games Larry Drew didn’t take Joe out after halftime (Josh didn’t get a break, either). “You have got to understand where he’s coming from when you’ve got a guy who is getting …
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    Atlanta Hawks at Pistons: Game thread

    Auburn Hills, Mich.–Hawks will use same lineup as last game with Zaza Pachulia at center. “It’s not set in stone,” Larry Drew said. “We will stay with it for right now.”

    • Drew said Kirk Hinrich had no issues after his first game back from shoulder surgery. “We are going to ease him back into it,” Drew said. “He still has to get into that playing shape where he can play on a nightly basis. I don’t want to pile too many minutes on him.”
    • Drew said “for right now we will keep [Hinrich] at the one. He could play off the ball some. There are a couple of things I possibly want to experiment with as we move forward: him at some two, Joe [Johnson] at some three, that type of thing.”
    •’s Marc Stein runs down a list of teams who will compete with the Hawks for Kenyon Martin’s services and says K-Mart is looking for a major role on a contender.
    • Drew on the Pistons: “They play a very physical style. That has always been a problem or us in the past. They really bang the boards. I …

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    Atlanta Hawks: The ‘big’ issue

    My blog people have spoken, and the vast majority of you say the Hawks need another center now and should sign a free agent or trade for one.

    Rick Sund also has spoken, and he says: “It all depends on who you match up with [in the playoffs] and how you do it.”

    “Some teams you’ve got to be able to match up big and some you’ve got to be able to match up small,” Sund said.

    He’s right about that. Miami goes small a lot. Philadelphia does so when Spencer Hawes is on the bench. Chicago is smallish when it’s Joakim Noah instead of Omer Asik (though that’s happening less and less).

    But the problem for the Hawks is they can’t always go big when they need to. Zaza Pachulia is it as far as effective two-way centers. At power forward, they’ve got slim Josh Smith, green (and limited) Ivan Johnson and perimeter-oriented Vladimir Radmanovic.

    Al Horford, Josh Smith and Joe Johnson all came into camp saying the Hawks needed another center. In Sund’s view, he covered the position with …

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    Atlanta Hawks: Hawks release rookie guard Donald Sloan

    Rookie Donald Sloan ended up being the odd man out with Kirk Hinrich’s return from shoulder surgery.

    The Hawks waived Sloan today, well in advance of the Feb. 10 deadline for all contracts to be come guaranteed. The Hawks now have 14 players on the roster and, by my accounting, releasing Sloan gets them comfortably below the luxury-tax line so they won’t need to waive anyone else for that reason. Signing a veteran free agent this season without releasing a player by Feb. 10 would push Atlanta’s payroll back above the tax line.

    The Hawks opted to keep Jerry Stackhouse and Jannero Pargo, who both also are on non-guaranteed contracts. Pargo provides veteran insurance at point guard behind Jeff Teague and Hinrich, while Stackhouse has played a total of 38 minutes in seven games.

    Clearly Sloan wasn’t going to earn a regular role for the Hawks this season. His salary for next season would have increased by about $280,000; under salary-cap rules, signing a veteran with three or …

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    Atlanta Hawks: Spurs 105, Hawks 83

    • The Hawks are deeper than last season but the bench didn’t look so good against a team like the Spurs. This time Larry Drew decided not to ride ride his starters once it became clear the reserves had little to offer.
    • Hawks starters other than Jeff Teague weren’t anything great offensively but at least they played some defense. The Spurs made 31 of their 50 twos and 11 of their 23 threes. It felt like 20 of those twos came off cuts to the basket or roll men.
    • Matt Bonner is a good 3-point shooter. The Hawks allowed him to get off seven attempts (only one was challenged that I remember) and he made five.
    • “We had some defensive breakdowns to allow them to get some good looks at the 3,” Larry Drew said in a postgame interview with SportSouth’s Jerome Jurenovich. “In most cases we do a pretty good job defending the 3. Time and time again we kept losing people. At the same time, you have to tip your hat to the Spurs for the things they ran and the things they exploited.”
    • This …

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    Atlanta Hawks at Spurs: Game thread

    I’m not in San Antonio and neither is Chris Vivlamore. Bob Rathbun is there and he says Kirk Hinrich will play.

    Here is a place for you to discuss the game. I will post my two cents when it’s over.

    Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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    Wilkins to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

    The Atlanta Sports Council will recognize Hawks great Dominique Wilkins with its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award. Wilkins will be honored as part of the award ceremony on Feb. 27 at the Fox Theatre.

    According to the Sports Council, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made a positive impact on the sports world and their community throughout their career.  Wilkins joins past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Hank Aaron (2006), Vince Dooley (2007), Billy Payne (2008), Ted Turner (2009), Tom Cousins (2010) and Bobby Cox (2011).

    Wilkins currently serves in the Hawks front office and as an analyst for Fox Sports South telecasts.

    Other awards will be given in the following categories: Coach of the Year, Collegiate Athlete of the Year, Female and Male High School Scholar Athlete of the Year, High School Athlete of the Year, Professional Athlete of the Year and Sports Person of the Year.

    Tickets for the event, $195 apiece or $1,750 for a table of 10, can …

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    Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 97, Bucks 92

    Milwaukee–The Hawks really didn’t solve their issues with holding second-half leads. They still had too many bad possessions, still gave up too many rebounds, and still had too many turnovers at key times.

    • But they also had Joe Johnson, who took over after a rough opening half. In this league, sometimes when a lot of things aren’t going right a team just needs its best player to make plays. Joe did it tonight in spite of Stephen Jackson and Co.’s best efforts to slow him.
    • “I just tried to alter my focus a little bit coming into tonight,” Joe said, “understanding that these five road games are very important and without Al [Horford] we all have to step up and do just a little more.”
    • Joe said he got it going on a play call in the third quarter that got him into the lane. From there, he showed off his ball-handling skills and all-court game. “That’s why I gave him the ball every time down,” Jeff Teague said. “He was just making plays like an All-Star should. He’s almost …

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