Archive for October, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: Spurs win preseason game on buzzer beater

Vivlamore with a quick report on the Hawks preseason game against the Spurs Wednesday night. Although I wasn’t there, I thought I would post a few details to you can have a new blog to discuss the developments.

Here is the Associated Press’ report on the game:

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Nando De Colo hit a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds remaining to give the San Antonio Spurs a 101-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in a preseason game Wednesday night.

Josh Powell scored 14 points and Gary Neal added 12 to lead the Spurs, who played a lineup of mostly reserves and training camp hopefuls.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich decided to rest a number of players, including Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

Center Eddy Curry got his first start of the preseason and finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, while De Colo added nine points and nine assists.

Damion James and Mike Scott led the Hawks with 11 points apiece. Scott scored seven straight points down the stretch for the Hawks, …

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Atlanta Hawks: Ivan Johnson back after offseason of reflection

Vivlamore reporting. Here is my story on Ivan Johnson for Thursday’s print edition of the AJC. The Hawks play at the Spurs tonight.

Ivan Johnson is not much for conversation. In fact, the Hawks’ hulking power forward will often use one word when three will do.

Johnson enters his second NBA season in was has been a tumultuous basketball career not without incident even as a 27-year-old rookie last year.

So, Johnson spent an offseason of reflection.

“It was a good time to think some things through about what I did last year, what I could do to make things better,” Johnson said. “It was a thinking offseason on how I could make my second year a better year.”

What was his conclusion?

“Keep my hands to my side and just play,” he said with a diamond-encrusted smile.

Johnson and the Hawks played at San Antonio Wednesday in the second exhibition game of the season.

Johnson was a surprise addition to the Hawks’ roster last season after a strong training camp. The …

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Atlanta Hawks: Players will serve at The Varsity on Friday

Vivlamore reporting.

Hawks players will be at The Varsity on Friday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. asking customers the age-old question “What’ll Ya Have?” They will also be helping deliver orders at the iconic Atlanta eatery.

Players Josh Smith, Zaza Pachulia, Anthony Morrow, Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson, Anthony Tolliver, Mike Scott, James Anderson and Damion James will  serve customers at the downtown Varsity location.

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with appearances by the Hawks cheerleaders and mascot.

“We are excited to be celebrating the start of the Atlanta Hawks 2012-13 season with our city at one of the most famous landmarks in Atlanta,” Bob Williams, President, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, said in a statement.  “This is a fun, unique way for our players to engage with our fans in the market and show our appreciation for all that is Atlanta.”

Customers who purchase a combo meal throughout the dayFriday, at the downtown Varsity location only, will receive …

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Atlanta Hawks: Up-tempo offense can’t forget the low post

Vivlamore reporting. Here is my story for Wednesday’s print edition of the AJC.

There is so much talk around Hawks training camp about the new up-tempo offense that promises a faster brand of basketball. Coach Larry Drew has gone as far as to set an ideal of a mere four seconds for his team to cross midcourt to start an offensive possession.

However, there is an element of the Hawks offense that cannot be forgotten with this fast-paced, perimeter-shooting group. There must continue to be a low-post presence. If not, much of the new look will be ineffective.

“I don’t want to stray away from that,” Drew said. “Our game, obviously, is going to be in the open floor and in transition. But still we have to establish ourselves in the low post and force teams to have to defend us down there, force teams to double team us down there.”

The Hawks are going to run with Jeff Teague, Devin Harris and Lou Williams running the offense. The speedy guards are reason No. 1 the Hawks …

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Atlanta Hawks practice report: Harris cleared for contact practice

Vivlamore reporting from Hawks practice.

Devin Harris (knee) was cleared for full-contact practice Tuesday, the first time the guard has been able to participate in such drills since the start of training camp.

“He is moving really, really well,” coach Larry Drew said. “The speed is there. The quickness is there.”

Zaza Pachulia (groin) also participated in full-contact drills. Drew said he is moving well without pain.

“Still down the road,” Drew said of a timetable for the two players to see exhibition action. “Today was certainly a step in getting them closer to getting back on the floor [in a preseason game]. We’ll meet with our trainers as far as a target date but right now we have not set one.”

Guard DeShawn Stevenson (soreness) was a limited practice participant. Forward Anthony Tolliver (eye) participated in practice after suffering a scratch to his cornea in the preseason game against the Heat Sunday. He did wear protective glasses.

* The Hawks went …

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Atlanta Hawks: Q and A with Anthony Tolliver

Vivlamore reporting before Hawks practice Tuesday.

Anthony Tolliver enters his fifth season in the NBA after spending the past two years in Minnesota after stints in San Antonio, Portland and Golden State. He is competing for one of perhaps a couple roster spots on the Hawks this training camp.

Here is a Q&A I did with Tolliver this week.

Q. What was your offseason like in the process of choosing to come to Atlanta?

A. It was interesting. It was a very long offseason, something I didn’t want to do. The whole offseason, for the most part, I was planning on going back to Minnesota. We had mutual interest. I definitely had interest from other teams, including Atlanta. Things were lining up but toward the end of free agency, and approaching October, things closed off over there. I just made sure we kept in contact with the Hawks and a couple of other teams. This situation opened up and it ended up looking pretty good for me.

Q. What makes this situation attractive for you?

A. I …

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Atlanta Hawks: Teague needed to be vocal leader this season

Jeff Teague averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game last season for the Hawks.

Jeff Teague averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game last season for the Hawks.

Vivlamore reporting. Here is my story on Jeff Teague that will appear in Tuesday’s edition of the AJC.

Jeff Teague will never be the loudest voice on the basketball court. It’s not his disposition. However, you are going to be hearing a lot more from the Hawks point guard this season.

The Hawks coaching staff, including head coach Larry Drew and player development instructor Nick Van Exel, have told Teague he needs to be a more vocal leader. There is so much information that needs to be disseminated with a new up-tempo offense and a slew of new players.

“When I’m on the court, it’s a different mindset for me,” Teague said. “I’m going to talk. I’m going to play. Off the court, I’m a laid-back type of guy. It’s not really my personality, but I’m a different person when I get between the lines. I want to win so I’ll do whatever it takes. …

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Atlanta Hawks practice report: Tolliver out with scratched cornea

Vivlamore reporting from Hawks practice.

Sorry for the latest of the blog. Traffic accident on 75 and I just completed a video interview.

We’ll start with the injury report. Anthony Tolliver did not practice after he suffered a  scratched cornea in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Heat. I spoke with Tolliver and he only expects to miss a few days.

DeShawn Stevenson also did not practice in the non-contact workout, although he took part in free-throw shooting drills. Coach Larry Drew said Stevenson was sore after Sunday’s game. Zaza Pachulia (groin) and Devin Harris participated in the non-contact drills.

* Drew called Monday’s workout a “mental” day with a lot of film study of the win over the Heat.

“We haven’t a day off from the very beginning,” Drew said. “We’ve been going at it every day, and had some two-a-days. After last night game, we really wanted to make this a mental day.”

* In the film study, Drew and his staff kept on eye toward how …

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Atlanta Hawks: Exhibition opens with 92-79 win over Heat

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena. Here is my game story from exhibition opener against Heat.

The Hawks defeated the defending NBA champion Heat Sunday.

Yes, it’s just a preseason game. But it’s a good start for these new-look Hawks who are implementing a new style, with different offensive and defensive schemes, on a roster that currently has 14 new players.

Josh Smith scored 21 points and newcomers Lou Williams (18) and DeShawn Stevenson (11) were in double-figures in the Hawks’ 92-79 victory over the Heat at Philips Arena. The Heat did play with three of the Big Four with LeBron James (24 minutes), Chris Bosh (23 minutes) and Ray Allen (27 minutes). Dwyane Wade did not play.

The Heat led 26-19 after the first quarter. However, the Hawks outscored the Heat in all three remaining quarters, including by nine points in both the second and fourth stanzas.

“We were a little rusty early on,” Smith said. “After the first quarter, we tightened it up on the …

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Atlanta Hawks: Exhibition season gets started

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.

While I will no doubt be wrong about many things, I was right about at least one thing. The Hawks starting lineup today against the Heat will be Jeff Teague, DeShawn Stevenson, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford (see yesterday’s blog).

Two players, nursing injuries, will not play today. Center Zaza Pachulia (groin) and guard Devin Harris (knee) are being held out. Both have been limited practice participants during training camp. Coach Larry Drew said he was “almost certain” each would be able to play during the exhibition season.

“Both guys are feeling really good,” Drew said. “I personally want to keep it like that.”

Drew said he plans to use several different starting lineups during the preseason. On starting the preseason with Stevenson and Korver, Drew said “I really want to see those guys work together. We have two new guys in the starting lineup. … I really want to see how guys work with different combinations.”

For the Heat, …

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