Archive for April, 2012

Updated: Pachulia out versus Celtics

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.

FOR A GAME THREAD TONIGHT, JEFF SCHULTZ WILL BE BLOGGING LIVE.

The Hawks will definitely be without center Zaza Pachulia for tonight’s key Eastern Conference matchup against the Celtics. Pachulia, who will miss his fourth straight game with a sprained left foot, did not take part in the morning shoot-around and coach Larry Drew ruled him out.

Drew said he had no further update on just how long Pachulia will be out. He did not practice Thursday but worked with trainers on the side.

Drew said he did not know whether  Erick Dampier, who was unavailable Wednesday against the Pistons with a calf injury, would play. He called the back-up center a game-time decision. Dampier did take part in today’s shoot-around.

The Celtics, who held their shoot-around at Georgia Tech, did not travel with Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus. Coach Doc Rivers confirmed that he will rest Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, meaning the Celtics will be without …

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Horford ‘frustrated’ by progess following surgery

Vivlamore reporting from Hawks practice.

Al Horford said Thursday he is “frustrated” by his progress as he works to return from surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle.

The Hawks All-Star center went through a full-contract practice with the team.

“Today was the first chance I actually got to play 3-on-3 half-court with the guys and I’m not where I need to be,” Horford said following the workout. “I had a deadline in my mind that I wanted to be back by the last game of the regular season … but I’m not where I need to be. That is a little frustrating for me.

“I’m going to keep trying to work, but I’m not there yet.”

The Hawks have four games remaining in the regular season with the finale a week from today. Horford didn’t put a timetable on his return nor did he offer the chances he could return in time for the start of the playoffs. The postseason would begin for the Hawks either April 28 or 29. However, he made it clear he would continue to …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 116, Pistons 84

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena. Here is my updated game story, with quotes, for those who would like to comment.

No letdown, only a smackdown.

The Hawks erased any concern they would fall to an inferior opponent minutes into a 116-84 utter dismantling of the Pistons at Philips Arena Wednesday night. They set season-highs for points in a quarter (39) and points in a half (72) in building an early lead the Pistons had no hope of overcoming.

Consider:

  • The Hawks led 39-20 after the first quarter as nine different players scored.
  • They led 72-42 at the half as all 12 available players entered the scoring column. The .622 shooting percentage was the best of the first half all season. The Hawks led by as many as 37 points in the second quarter. The lead eventually reached 41 in the fourth quarter.
  • Joe Johnson logged the most first-half minutes of any starter with just 12. Many starters jumped to their feet and waved towels as the reserves …

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Pistons: Game thread

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena before Hawks-Pistons game.

Five games to go in the regular season and Hawks fans still aren’t sure which team they will see on a given night. There is the Hawks team that got drubbed by the last-place Raptors on Sunday – at home – by 16 points on Sunday. There is the Hawks team that defeated the18-games-under-.500 Raptors the following night – on the road – by 22 points.

Dr. Jekyll, meet Mr. Hyde.

With such dramatic differences in effort and result from one night to the next, it’s worth asking if these Hawks are ready for the playoffs.

“For us, we have to approach each game in a smart fashion,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said Wednesday morning before his team hosted the Pistons. “We have not shown the consistency throughout the board across the season. … For that [home Toronto] game to happen at this time of the season was a little surprising.”

Unlike last season, when the Hawks had the fifth seed in the Eastern …

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Green family welcomes new addition

Vivlamore reporting from Hawks shoot-around Wednesday morning.

Just a couple of odds and ends to report before tonight’s game against the Pistons.

Willie Green’s wife gave birth to a son just after 8 a.m. Tuesday in Atlanta. Mason Green weighed in at six pounds. Green reports that mother and child, the couple’s third, are healthy and doing well.

Green left before Friday’s game in Orlando to be with his expectant wife.

“It’s a blessing that you can’t take for granted, that mother and baby are healthy,” Green said following the team’s shoot-around Wednesday. “You get to enjoy them.”

There were several false alarm trips to the hospital before Baby Mason was finally delivered.

“I was thankful that I was here and the team was supportive,” Green said. “It’s a happy moment for our family.”

In other items:

* Zaza Pachulia is definitely out for tonight’s game with a foot injury. Jason Collins will start with no other lineup changes.

Hawks coach Larry Drew had no further update on …

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Atlanta Hawks: Video: Life without Zaza

I talked Hawks with CineSport’s Tara Petrolino after Atlanta’s 109-87 victory over the Raptors.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 109, Raptors 87

Toronto–The Hawks are in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. If my blog people don’t do anything else, I hope you at least pause for a moment to enjoy this fact and think back to when it was not a given. Also remember how you felt when you heard Al Horford was out and the long series of injuries that followed.

  • The Hawks put away Toronto once their help defense got in sync, they turned turnovers into scores or free throws and attacked the basket when all those Js they made early stopped falling. “I’m glad we were able to turn right back around and play this team where we could go ahead and get that sour taste out of our mouth,” Joe Johnson said. “We understand we are a better team that what we showed last night.”
  • Not to burst that bubble, but add one more ailment to the mix: Zaza Pachulia’s foot injury is worse than initially thought and could keep him out at least for the balance of the regular season. “We will wait and see how it goes,” Zaza wrote in a text …

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Atlanta Hawks at Raptors: Game thead

Toronto-–Same starting lineup for the Hawks: Jason Collins at center in place of Zaza Pachulia. Linas Kleiza (knee) will not dress for the Raptors.

  • Larry Drew said Hawks players were miffed about last night’s debacle: “It wasn’t a good mood at all. I am sure they were very disappointed in themselves. I certainly was not a happy camper last night. After a game like that, it’s emotional. I had a chance to watch a bit of the game flying in last night, got a good night’s rest, got up this morning and I felt like a new person. I felt like that game and that day was so far behind us right now. As I told the guys, it’s a matter of looking at that game and saying, ‘Hey, we let that one get away from us.’ Now it’s a matter of lacing them back up and going out there and playing the way we know we are capable.”
  • The Hawks get an immediate chance at redemption and clinching a playoff berth all in one shot. “It’s just one loss but looking back at it we could have played a lot more …

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Atlanta Hawks: Raptors 102, Hawks 86

  • This was a throwback game for the Hawks, harkening to their bygone days of ugliness. Just like old times–by which of course I mean last season–you had a lifeless loss, aggravated fans and Joe Johnson calling out teammates without naming names.
  • “I think some of us was ready, and some of us wasn’t,” he said. “It just kind of gave a bad effect on the whole team. But give Toronto credit. They were better than us tonight. If we come out and start like that tomorrow, they’ll be better than us [again].”
  • Not sure who Joe was talking about or if he included himself (seven points on 12 shots) among those not ready. Really, it could be anyone outside of Ivan Johnson and Josh Smith. No one else on Atlanta’s roster provided much evidence that they expected to actually have to play to beat the Raptors, who really do deserve credit for taking it to the Hawks.
  • “Our season has been up and down but we’re not going to lay down,” James Johnson said. “We still have pride, we’re still …

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Raptors at Atlanta Hawks: Game thread

  • Jason Collins will replace Zaza Pachulia (foot) in the starting lineup. Tracy McGrady (rest) will not play. For Toronto, Amir Johnson (ill) is questionable and Andrea Bargnani (calf), Jerryd Bayless (oblique) and Jose Calderon (eye) are not with the team.
  • Zaza won’t travel to Toronto for tomorrow’s game. He said he’s still not sure if he will be able to play Wednesday: “It’s better. I can walk without a limp. I’m getting treatment. It’s still a little bit swollen. It could be worse. I was really worried because most of the time I’ve seen a lot of other guys have torn knee, ligaments. Thank God it’s just strained foot. The bad thing is once you are getting close to the playoffs you want to be rolling. Hopefully it doesn’t take me too long.”
  • Joe Johnson on setting out practice yesterday and getting treatment: “I was just trying to do the necessary things to keep my body feeling good and just staying on top of this knee. That’s about it. I feel good. This season has worn a lot …

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