Archive for February, 2012

Atlanta Hawks at Lakers: Game thread

Los Angeles–It’s the usual starters for the Hawks. Steve Blake (ribs) is active for the Lakers.

  • Jason Collins (elbow) has joined the team here but Larry Drew said it’s doubtful he will play on the trip. That means there’s a pretty good chance Erick Dampier will stick around for a second 10-day contract.
  • Collins said the elbow is feeling a lot better and has a checkup with his doctor tomorrow. He’s eager to play. “Especially a game like tonight,” he said.
  • Kirk Hinrich said he “feels great” physically and sounds as if he’s ready for more minutes: “I’m just staying patient.”
  • Hawks players gathered around Josh Smith’s IPad to watch Knicks underdog sensation Jeremy Lin hit a game-winning 3 at Toronto.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Atlanta Hawks: They should shoot more 3s

Somewhere over New Mexico–The Hawks have slipped to 10th in offensive efficiency. I think the most realistic way for them to improve the offense is to attempt more 3-pointers.

The Hawks rank second in 3-point percentage (39.1). They rank 18th in 3-point rate (3-pointers attempted/field goals attempted) and are tied for fourth in the percentage of those 3s that are assisted (91.4).

The Hawks rank 19th in field-goal percentage on attempts from 16 to 23 feet (36.3), 3rd in attempts per game from that distance and 16th in the percentage of long 2s that are assisted. The Hawks rank 22nd in field-goal percentage at the rim (61.5), 13th in attempts per game from that distance, 10th in the percentage of baskets at the rim that are assisted and 13th in free-throw rate.

The Hawks have five players who are shooting better than the league average (34.6 percent) on 3s: Jeff Teague (45.3 percent), Marvin Williams (44.8), Willie Green (42.9), Vladimir Radmanovic (39.7), and Joe Johnson

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Heat at Atlanta Hawks Game Thread

Vivlamore filling in for tonight’s game against the Heat.

Here is your report from the morning shoot-around.

Josh Smith insists he is not playing with a chip on his shoulder.

However, in the past two games the forward has put up impressive numbers – despite again being snubbed from the NBA All-Star team

In wins over the Pacers and Magic, Smith is averaging 25.5 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and 2.5 steals. They are all above his season averages, especially his 15.9 points per game.

“I’ve just been playing,” Smith said Sunday morning before taking on the Heat in a nationally televised game. “I’ve been playing like this since the season started. It’s really not a chip on my shoulder. I’ve been blessed to be able to step in in Al [Horford’s] absence and just been playing some good basketball.”

Smith is averaging 15.9 points and 9.8 rebounds in the 16 games since Horford was lost to a torn left pectoral muscle. The Hawks are 11-5 without …

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Hawks 89, Magic 87 (OT)

Orlando–Before getting to everything the Hawks did wrong while blowing a lead before pulling out the W, let me take a minute to point out something that’s pretty remarkable.

  • After a period in which it seemed as if the Hawks would never beat the Magic as long as Dwight Howard was around, it’s now to the point where the Magic can’t want anything to do with the Hawks. “I don’t think anyone in this locker room will ever forget what Orlando did to us in the playoffs a couple of years ago,” Marvin Williams said.
  • The Hawks seem to have solved the Magic riddle and it’s really something to see. This time the Hawks beat Orlando without All-Star Al Horford, Magic slayer Jamal Crawford and Dwight stopper Jason Collins. They have two centers who have proven to frustrate Dwight. They give Orlando problems with their size all over the court, which Stan Van Gundy noted pregame is what tends to happen to his team. They outplayed Orlando when it was small vs. small, too.
  • And now the Hawks …

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Atlanta Hawks at Magic: Game thread

OrlandoLarry Drew says Erick Dampier will be dressed tonight so look for Dampier to get a shot at checking Dwight Howard. “We need a big body,” Drew said. Hawks coaches went over plays with Dampier last night.

  • Josh Smith on being left off the All-Star team: “I felt I deserved it for two years in a row. You’ve got to factor in there is a lot of politics involved in the All-Star selection. Once you get that it’s really about politics, then nothing really surprises you. I call it ‘Nothing But Associates,’ NBA. It’s all who you know. I guess I don’t know the right people or kiss enough ass. All I can do is play my game. The whole world knows I deserve to be in an All-Star. I can’t be salty about not making it I’ve just got to keep doling the things I’ve been doing on the court and that’s playing at a high level.”
  • Josh on media and fellow players saying he got snubbed: “I watched TNT. I thank those guys for having me as an All-Star. I think that Louis Williams deserves to be …

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Atlanta Hawks: Erick Dampier signed; Josh Smith snubbed?

Here is my AJC story on the Hawks signing Erick Dampier to a 10-day contract. Here is my other AJC story on Joe Johnson making the All-Star team and Josh Smith being left off.

AJC wise guy weighed in on the Smoove Snub. Now I will take a stab at figuring out if ‘Damp’ can help the Hawks.

Dampier is a big dude. Maybe he’s too big. He was last listed at 265 but, based on what I saw today, I’d say he’s at least 20 pounds north of that. (Sorry for the lack of visual evidence. I hate my phone.) I know the pool of free-agent centers is dreadfully shallow but Dampier never was the fleetest guy so now I wonder how effective he can be with the added weight.

The biggest red flags for Dampier last season were drastic declines in his scoring and rebounding rates. The two are related because Dampier didn’t grab as many offensive boards and so didn’t have as many putbacks. But Dampier still was effective when he managed to collect misses: His 1.1 points scored per possession on offensive …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 97, Pacers 87

Here is the updated game story from the Hawks’ win over the Pacers, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

You can call it the Highlight Factory again.

The Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak – all at Philips Arena – with a 97-87 victory over the Pacers Wednesday night.

Josh Smith had 28 points and 12 rebounds to lead the much-needed effort for the Hawks (17-9). His one-handed dunk off a Marvin Williams’ missed 3-pointer punctuated his performance. Joe Johnson added 20 points as the team improved to 12-1 when he scores 20 or more points.

“We played like a desperate team,” Smith said. “That is how we have to play night in and night out, like we need to win.”

It wasn’t exactly easy.

The third quarter almost bit the Hawks again. The Pacers cut an 18-point halftime deficit to just eight points, 80-72. They would get as close as seven points in the fourth quarter before the Hawks pulled away.

“Energy, that was the difference,” coach Larry Drew said. …

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Updated: Pacers at Atlanta Hawks Game Thread

Coach Larry Drew said there will be lineup changes for tonight’s game against the Pacers. Drew said Tuesday he was considering ways, including lineup changes, to get his team to play with more energy. He wants the Hawks to get their ‘mojo’ and ’swagger’ back as they have lost the past three at home.

The Hawks have lost three straight, all at home. They haven’t lost four straight home games since 2007, part of a seven straight losses.

Wednesday morning, Drew was still concerned with the Hawks lack of response to offensive runs by the opposition. The Suns used a runs between the first and second quarters and to end the third to build a 22-point lead Monday.

“The way we have responded to runs,” Drew said of his biggest disappointment during the current three-game skid. “I’ve told the guys we have to get past the point of when teams do make runs at us feeling like the game is over, particularly when there is so much basketball to be played. I gave them the example of [Tuesday] …

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Lineup changes could be coming after three-game slide

Vivlamore at practice on Tuesday. Here is your report:

No real news on the Hawks continued search for a big man to help their depleted corp – but changes could be on the way in light of the current three-game losing streak.

In talking with Larry Drew following this morning’s practice, the coach said he is considering a number of changes to get the team’s energy back. It’s something he said has been lacking in the past three games.

“We are not going to panic,” Drew said. “This is not a time to panic. Is it a time for concern? Yes. My biggest concern is our energy. The energy I saw on that road trip, since we’ve been home I just don’t see that type of energy. That is my biggest concern.

“When you get in these types of situations, you’ve got to do something to generate some type of energy. You’ve got to find our mojo back. How we do it, we possibly have to look at some things a little differently and maybe shake some things up. As a staff, we are still …

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Atlanta Hawks: Suns 99, Hawks 90

Here is the updated game story of the Hawks’ loss to the Suns Monday, their third straight home defeat.

Apparently, there is no place like the road for the Hawks these days.

After a recently-completed 4-1 road trip, the Hawks dropped their third straight home game Monday night, this one a 99-90 defeat at the hands of the Suns.

The Hawks (16-7, 8-4 home) have now lost to the Grizzlies (by 19), 76ers (11) and Suns (nine). Their four-game homestand ends Wednesday against the Pacers. A road game at the Magic (Friday) and a home game against the Heat (Sunday) are next for the Hawks, who are 4-9 against teams that entered play Monday at .500 or better.

The Hawks entered the game concerned about Suns point guard Steve Nash – and for good reason. Nash scored a game-high 24 points with 11 assists, better than his league-leading 9.9 per game.

“He is still one of the better point guards in the league,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “He’s very crafty. He gets the ball to the open …

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