Archive for February, 2012

Williams ‘never’ demanded trade

Vivlamore reporting from New York.

Marvin Williams could not have been any clearer. The Hawks forward did not demand a trade nor has he complained about his offensive role on the team. Never.

On Wednesday, Williams disputed an ESPN report Tuesday that said as much.

Here it is in his words:

“For starters, I haven’t even been here,” said Williams who rejoined the team after missing Monday’s game in Chicago. “I buried my cousin on Monday and woke up Tuesday to three text messages and six phone calls saying that I requested a trade. This is news to me. I’m at home. I don’t know what is going on.

“I saw a lot about what was written but you can ask anybody, LD [Larry Drew] or anybody, I’ve never complained about anything since I’ve been here. You know that. Any reporter that has followed me since I’ve been in Atlanta since ’05 has never heard me complain about anything. I’ve never complained about starting, not starting, shots, no shots, minutes played. …

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Updated: Johnson on Hawks’ woes: ‘We are too self conscious about [who is] scoring’

Vivlamore reporting from New York City where the Hawks play the Knicks on Wednesday – their first-hand look at the Linsanity that has caused such a stir in this city.

See update on Joe Johnson injury below.

Twice in a span of eight days, the Hawks fell flat on a national television stage. They lost to the Heat 107-87 at home with ESPN in the house. Monday they fell to the Bulls 90-79 on a Presidents Day telecast by the network. Before both games, coach Larry Drew said, in effect, if his team couldn’t get motivated for such a contest there is something wrong.

Judging by the results, something is wrong.

Following Monday’s game, I spoke with Joe Johnson about why the team has a motivation problem and plays with a lack of energy at times. Here are his comments:

“When I look at our team, we are a very talented team, but I [don’t know] whether guys know their roles or not,” Johnson said. “We know the right thing to do. A lot of times we don’t come out and do it. I …

Continue reading Updated: Johnson on Hawks’ woes: ‘We are too self conscious about [who is] scoring’ »

Atlanta Hawks at Bulls: Game Thread

Vivlamore reporting from Chicago.

Tracy McGrady met with Hawks coach Larry Drew and general manager Rick Sund about the forward’s publicly expressed displeasure over a lack of playing time.

Both sides say they are ready to move on.

“We talked,” McGrady said before Monday’s game against the Bulls. “Players get frustrated. I was frustrated. We talked and ironed things out. Now, we move on.”

Drew would not disclose the details of the meeting but said “we addressed the problem.”

After playing just 4:39 during a 97-77 loss to the Blazers Saturday, McGrady told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “I’m tired of this [bleep]. You can put that in the paper, I don’t give a [bleep].”

Drew has been mindful of McGrady’s minutes this season. The two-time NBA scoring champion has suffered through injuries, which includes a herniated disk in his back. He suffered back spasms on Jan. 11 and sat out three games.

“I’m sure everybody wants to play,” Drew said. “I …

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Atlanta Hawks: Blazers 97, Hawks 77

Portland–The Blazers were desperate for a W and played like it. The Hawks were just sort of out there once their shots stopped falling. “I thought we were a step slow on pretty much everything tonight,” Larry Drew said.

  • The Blazers are not a particularly good offensive rebounding team. Nicolas Batum is not an especially good rebounder. Neither of these things were apparent tonight, when Portland collected 15 offensive rebounds and scored 18 second-chance points.
  • It seemed as if the Blazers corralled every loose ball or got enough of them that they bounced off Hawks players out of bounds. Portland got a pretty good percentage of their offensive boards that way. “The bounces weren’t going our way but that’s when we have to be a little bit more desperate,” Josh Smith said. “They were making shots early on. Then we played some good defense and we have up long rebounds. That’s when we have to gang rebound.”
  • Josh and Zaza Pachulia each had 10 rebounds. The rest of the Hawks had …
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    Atlanta Hawks: Tracy McGrady fumes over playing time

    Portland–Hawks forward Tracy McGrady’s private frustrations over his playing time finally boiled over after he played just 4:39 during the 97-77 loss to the Blazers late Saturday.

    “I’m tired of this [bleep],” McGrady said. “You can put that in the paper, I don’t give a [bleep].”

    McGrady didn’t play after halftime against the Blazers. He didn’t dress for Atlanta’s 101-99 victory at Phoenix Wednesday but said it was his decision to rest for the second game of a back-to-back. Against the Blazers, McGrady never returned after Marvin Williams replaced him with 7:21 left in the first half.

    McGrady has played in 26 of 32 games this season for an average of 18 minutes before Saturday’s game. Last season with Detroit McGrady averaged 23 minutes in 72 games.

    McGrady said Hawks coach Larry Drew hasn’t offered him an explanation when he doesn’t play him many minutes.

    “If you don’t feel I can help, come tell me that,” McGrady said. “He ain’t told me nothing. I just want to help these …

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    Atlanta Hawks at Blazers: Game thread

    Portland–Hawks center Jason Collins (elbow) got bad news from his recent checkup: “Another two to four more weeks. They showed me the MRI on the screen and the severity of the tear and highly recommended I stay in this brace so I can get back to the court as quickly as possible.”

    • Collins will wear the brace around the clock and won’t be able to do any rehab until it comes off. “We started testing how the scar tissue is, the joint is still loose and cracking so there’s no scar tissue yet,” he said. “Got to give it more time to heal.”
    • Erick Dampier’s 10-day contract is up after tonight’s game. Larry Drew said the team hasn’t decided if it will sign Dampier to another 10-day, add him for the rest of the season or seek a different free agent. “Rick Sund is here and we’ll visit after the game,” Drew said.
    • Joe Johnson is wearing a soft brace on his problematic left knee. Johnson, as is his nature, shrugged it off: “It’s no big deal. Tendenitis flared up on it, but we’ve got to …

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    Atlanta Hawks: The next step for Jeff Teague?

    I’ve noticed that when Jeff Teague drives to the basket, opposing bigs sometimes focus more on blocking out their man than aggressively helping to challenge Teague. I think some numbers explain why that might be.

    Teague is tied for eighth among starting point guards in shot attempts per game at the rim (4.4) and is 14th in shooting percentage at the rim: 58.5, compared to an average of 60.5 for starting point guards. Teague ranks tied for 11th in the amount of shots he attempts per game from 3 to 9 feet (1.7) and is 12th in shooting percentage from that floater range: 35.4 percent, slightly above the league average of 35.1 for starting point guards. Teague’s free-throw rate of .25 is second-worst among his peers in the top 10 of shot attempts per game at the rim.

    Here’s a comparison of the 20 point guards who attempt the most shots per game at the rim (stats don’t include Thursday’s games):

    Player
    FGA/gm rim
    FG% rim
    FT rate

    Russell Westbrook
    7.0
    62.2
    .31

    Tyreke …

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    Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 101, Suns 99

    Phoenix–I’ll let Willie Green sum it up: “First half we allowed them to dictate the tempo of the game. They pretty much got anything they wanted. They just controlled the game. The second half we threw that zone at them, threw them off rhythm a little bit, got our hands up on their shots, got some fastbreak points. We got right back in the game.”

    • The Suns shredded the Hawks through three quarters. The Hawks hung around because Willie Green, Jeff Teague and Josh Smith made 3s, Smith controlled the boards and they collected 11 steals.
    • The Hawks started to pull away to win in the fourth quarter because the zone slowed Phoenix’s screen-roll game and the Suns couldn’t make enough shots or pry away misses from Smith. “I thought the turning point was we couldn’t seem to get anything going against their zone,” Alvin Gentry said.
    • In the fourth quarter Smith scored 10 points and rebounded six of Phoenix’s eight misses. Green and Vladimir Radmanovic each made a timely 3. It also …

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    Atlanta Hawks at Suns: Game thread

    Phoenix–Tracy McGrady did not dress. “We are just going to rest him up,” Larry Drew said. “This is one of the things we knew we were probably going to be doing given the [truncated] season. He will be resting on back-to-back, whether the first night or second.”

    • All 13 Suns are dressed and available.
    • Jason Collins (elbow) saw his doctor today. “From what I was told, it’s feeling better but it’s not completely healed,” Drew said. “It’s going to be a little bit longer.”
    • Drew didn’t commit to another 10-day contract for Erick Dampier. “It’s a possibility given that Jason won’t be back soon,” Drew said. “We are certainly going to need the body.”
    • Drew expects to use Dampier tonight against Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez after he played 16 minutes against Andrew Bynum. “Watching ‘Damp,’ it seems like every day he’s getting into some playing shape,” Drew said.
    • The Suns sliced the Hawks on pick-and-rolls in the last meeting. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Suns …

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    Atlanta Hawks: Lakers 86, Hawks 78

    Los Angeles–The Hawks held the Lakers to 86 points on 84 shots, had 11 turnovers to L.A’s 13, shot 14 free throws (.16 rate) to the Lakers’ nine (.11 rate) and collected 17 of the Lakers’ 47 misses. They lost because they shot 34.4 percent while missing 12 of 20 shots at the rim and botching at least six transition chances; couldn’t stop Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the paint early, and saw the Lakers scored 15 points off those 11 turnovers.

    • “I don’t know how many layups we missed,” Larry Drew said. “We missed a ton of point-blank shots. We turned the ball over at crucial times, too. Defensively I thought we were pretty much right there on the money but we just couldn’t buy a shot.”
    • The Hawks scored just 10 points in the second quarter but it wasn’t just because they were settling for Js. Yes, they missed all seven 3-point attempts in the period but they also missed seven consecutive layup attempts. “We got to the rim,” Jeff Teague said. “That’s what we wanted to do. But we …

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