Archive for March, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: Sixers 95, Hawks 90

Vivlamore reporting from Philadelphia. Here is my updated game story with quotes.

PHILADELPHIA — If the Hawks meet the 76ers in the playoffs they will have a body of work to study — and it’s not good.

Despite a game- and season-high 34-point effort from Josh Smith, the Hawks lost all three regular-season games to the Sixers. The latest was a 95-90 Sixers victory Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Hawks (31-23) lost for the third time in four games as they concluded a stretch of seven games in nine days. They have three days without a game before hosting the Bobcats at Philips Arena Wednesday.

Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala made back-to-back 3-pointers as the Sixers built six-point lead, at 83-77, with 5:05 remaining. Led by Elton Brand’s season-high 25 points, the Sixers (29-23) won an important game in the Eastern Conference playoff race a night after losing to the lowly Wizards.

“Coming down the stretch we didn’t make the plays,” Hawks coach Larry …

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Updated: Atlanta Hawks at Sixers: Game thread

Vivlamore reporting from Philadelphia.

In what has become a recurring theme, the Hawks will be short-handed against the Sixers.

Tracy McGrady (illness) and Jerry Stackhouse (personal) did not make the trip to Philly. Vladimir Radmanovic (back) will also not play. Jannero Pargo (appendectomy) remains out.

To the game: The Sixers lead the NBA in both scoring defense (allowing 87.7 points per game) and field goal defense (allowing opponents just 42 percent shooting).

“We have to be solid on both ends of the floor,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “They lead the league in field goal defense because they do such a good job of rotating. When you play against a team that does that well, you have to be committed to moving the basketball and making the extra pass. You can’t get stagnant and play a lot of one-on-one because you play right into what they want to do. We are going to have to be totally, totally committed to moving the ball tonight, more so than we have the whole season. …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 100, Knicks 90

  • Willie Green provided what’s been missing lately: Some real scoring punch off the bench. With the Knicks swarming Josh Smith and Joe Johnson someone else had to convert chances. Marvin Williams did it in the first half and Green (15 points, 6/7 FG in fourth quarter) did it late.
  • “Me and Joe have been doing so much, fatigue sets in a little bit,” Josh said. “Whenever you can get the energy off the bench, especially the offensive power like Willie did tonight, it’s definitely needed for this ball club. For us to have the momentum and confidence flowing into the postseason we need our bench to keep consistent like all year long.”
  • Green stretches the floor and his pace and purpose complement Josh and (especially) Joe’s more deliberate styles. Maybe that’s not so great Green is not making shots but it’s just what the Hawks need when he’s hot. “I was trying to stay aggressive,” he said. By me staying aggressive, they started to go down. Then another one goes down and another one …

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Knicks at Atlanta Hawks: Game thread

  • Vladimir Radmanovic (back) and Jannero Pargo (appendectomy) are out for the Hawks. Jeremy Lin (knee) is out for the Knicks.
  • Al Horford said he lifted weights today for the first time since his pectoral surgery but still expects to miss the balance of the regular season: “Realistically, for me, it would be the playoffs. Two weeks from now I might feel a lot better but, realistically, I’m going to say the playoffs. That’s when I want to come back. I don’t know if I will be there but I hope I will be.”
  • Larry Drew said he’s operating as if Horford won’t return so there won’t be a letdown. Horford understands that approach: “That’s good. I don’t want to keep the guys [wondering], ‘Oh, he’s going to come back?’ Right now I’m not feeling where I need to be so I don’t want to hold anybody back. I think if I’m back it would be a great addition. I’m not going to be full strength but at least I would be able to help the team.”
  • As for the weightlifting session, Horford said: “I felt …

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Atlanta Hawks: Mike Woodson, Larry Drew not on speaking terms

Mike Woodson obviously wasn’t happy when the Hawks didn’t bring him back as head coach in 2010. But it sounds as if time and perspective, including his new job as head coach of the Knicks, have softened the hard feelings Woodson once had for the organization.

“I’ve grown in the 22 months,” Woodson said. “There’s not a day I don’t think about ownership here giving me an opportunity to coach a team for six years, because that doesn’t happen very often. I’d like to think the guys I did coach got better and our team got better. That’s what coaching is all about to me.”

Woody has never been one for PC so you can assume he’s being sincere. And that’s why it’s telling that he went out of his way to express gratitude for Hawks owners while staying silent on the topic of Larry Drew, his former-assistant-turned-successor as Hawks coach.

“We haven’t talked,” Woodson said. “I just want to talk about basketball. Let’s keep it that way.”

Drew confirmed that the two haven’t talked since …

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Atlanta Hawks: Video: Bulls dominate Hawks

I talked about the Hawks’ 98-77 loss to the Bulls at Philips Arena last night.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Atlanta Hawks: Bulls 98, Hawks 77

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena. Here is my updated game story, with quotes, from the Hawks’ loss to the Bulls Wednesday.

It’s a dangerous game the Hawks are playing of late.

After falling behind by large first-half margins the past two games, the Hawks rallied only to fall short. The latest came Wednesday night in a 98-77 loss to the Bulls at Philips Arena.

The Hawks trailed the Bulls by 18 points in the first half. They used a 16-2 run to cut the lead to four points, 56-52, but could get no closer. The Bulls answered with an 18-4 run of their own in the third quarter to push the lead back to 18 points. Luol Deng provided the final nail in the coffin with a 3-pointer to cap the run. It came on a pass from Taj Gibson, who gathered the rebound of his own miss when Ivan Johnson failed to box him out.

From there the Bulls’ lead only increased.

“It’s very frustrating because we show signs of being a pretty good team but then when we play against some of the elites, …

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Bulls: Game thread

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.

The Bulls will be without Derrick Rose tonight against the Hawks, the eighth straight game he has missed with a groin injury.

For the Hawks, Vladimir Radmanovic is a game-time decision with a back injury. The forward has missed five of the past six games with “tightness” in his back. UPDATE: Radmanovic will not play.

Without Rose, Hawks coach Larry Drew said his team will not change the way they approach playing the Eastern Conference leader. Rebounding and controlling the paint will be the key.

“Still a very, very capable ball club of winning without Rose,” Drew said. “We will attack them the way we have in the past. We have to control the boards. We have to control the paint. They really play an aggressive style in the paint area. We are going to have to bring a playoff intensity against this team because they are not going to hand it to us. They are not going to roll over because Rose is not in the lineup.”

Turnovers will …

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Atlanta Hawks: Bucks 108, Hawks 101

Vivlamore reporting from Milwaukee. Here is my updated game story, with quotes, from the Hawks’ 108-101 loss to the Bucks Tuesday night.

MILWAUKEE — The Hawks were wary of Monta Ellis — and for good reason.

Ellis scored a game-high 33 points, including 17 in the decisive fourth quarter, to do in the Hawks Tuesday night. The guard, acquired at the trade deadline from the Warriors, was too much for the Hawks down the stretch en route to a 108-101 victory at the Bradley Center.

Hawks coach Larry Drew was worried about Ellis before the game. He might have nightmares about him after the showing.

“He is pretty good,” Drew said. “He got into a roll. He got into a rhythm. He was making shots. He is a good player. We tried a couple different things but he just got into a zone there.”

Ellis hit 7 of 9 shots in the fourth quarter, including the Bucks’ first six points, as they erased a three-point deficit and broke open a close game.

“We let him get into a rhythm and he …

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Atlanta Hawks at Bucks: Game thread

Vivlamore reporting from Milwaukee.

Here is a quick look at tonight’s game against the Bucks with the Hawks coming off Sunday’s four overtime victory over the Jazz – their third game in three nights. Add tonight’s game at the Bucks and tomorrow’s home game against the Bulls and that’s five games in six nights. The Bucks are playing their fifth game in six nights.

The Hawks will be without forward Vladimir Radmanovic due to his back. Radmanovic missed four straight games with the back injury before playing 17 minutes against the Wizards on Saturday. He did not play (coach’s decision) in Sunday’s epic against the Jazz.

While Radmanovic is the only player out (besides Jannero Pargo recovery from an appendectomy) coach Larry Drew said several other players are hurting and weary.

“We will see how it goes,” Drew said of going deep into his bench. “I think the one thing I’ve been pretty adamant about, I’ve got to be very mindful of the minutes my starters …

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