Archive for November, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: Cavs 113, Hawks 111 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.

The Hawks were duly warned not to take the Cavaliers lightly.

The message didn’t sink in.

The Hawks (9-5) lost a nine-point fourth-quarter lead and dropped a 113-111 decision, snapping a six-game win streak, at Philips Arena Friday night. Alonzo Gee’s rebound and put back of a Dion Waiters airballed 3-pointer with .4 seconds remaining gave the Cavaliers (4-12) the win, snapping their four-game losing streak.

“Ball watching,” Josh Smith said of his failure to box out Gee. “I didn’t make a conscious effort. I knew that Gee is aggressive going for the offensive rebound. That was a stop that we really needed. It was just messed up that it had to be my man to get the rebound and the put back. I’ll definitely make a conscious effort on the next team to box my man out every time.”

Hawks coach Larry Drew said he heard Smith tell his teammates following the game that the loss was on him. He disagreed. The Hawks were beaten badly …

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Atlanta Hawks game thread: Rebound and run against Cavs

Vivlamore reporting.

Rebound and then run. That will be the Hawks game plan against the Cavaliers Friday night at Philips Arena.

The Cavs featured Anderson Varejao, who leads the NBA in rebounding. The Hawks must contain the center, especially from keeping possessions alive on the Cavs’ offensive end.

“We just have to make sure we put on body on him as much as we can,” coach Larry Drew said. “He is the best rebounder in the league right now. The numbers speak for themselves. We just have to make a conscious effort to make sure we get a body on him every single time. He has a knack for getting to the glass and keeping balls alive. He’s just a guy you have to be concerned with and know where he is at all times. It’s going to be important the our big guys are conscious about putting a body on him.

Varejao leads the NBA with 14.9 rebounds a game.

According to Hawks center Al Horford, his team will also need help from the guards, including starters Jeff Teague and Devin …

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Atlanta Hawks: Korver out, Harris to start vs. Cavs

Vivlamore reporting.

Kyle Korver, who is suffering from back spasms, will not play tonight against the Cavaliers. The guard did not participate in the team shootaround Friday morning but was at Philips Arena. Coach Larry Drew confirmed he will be the  inactive player following the workout. Korver missed Tuesday’s practice and left Wednesday’s game against the Bobcats in the third quarter with the injury. The Hawks don’t play again until Wednesday affording Korver plenty of rest.

In Korver’s place, Devin Harris will start at the  shooting guard position. Look for the Hawks to play even more up-tempo with essentially two point guards on the court to start the game.

The rest of the starting lineup will be DeShawn Stevenson at small forward, Josh Smith at power forward and Al Horford at center.

Guard Anthony Morrow, who suffered a quad contusion in Thursday’s practice, participated in the shootaround.  Drew said a decision on Morrow’s status will be made before the game however …

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Atlanta Hawks: Defensive switch key to win over Bobcats; Korver likely out

Vivlamore reporting from Hawks practice.

It was time.

With the Hawks’ 11-point fourth-quarter lead against the Bobcats nearly gone Wednesday night, coach Larry Drew made a defensive switch. He put forward Josh Smith on Bobcats guard Ben Gordon in the final two minutes. Gordon was almost single-handedly bringing the Bobcats back with 20 fourth-quarter points.

Enough was enough.

Despite Gordon’s improbable 3-pointer, with Smith one of two defenders, that pulled the Bobcats to within a point with 29 seconds remaining the Hawks held on for a 94-91 victory. It was the Hawks’ sixth straight win, their longest since the start of the 2010-11 season.

“A guy like Josh who has the ability to defend all five positions, I knew that he we would take the challenge.” Drew said. “I knew that he would try to fight through screens. One-on-one with him guarding Gordon, I certainly take my chances with that because Josh has length that could affect a shot. If Gordon tries to drive past …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 94, Bobcats 91 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks’ winning streak continues – now at six straight – but the Bobcats made them work for it.

Right down to the final five seconds.

Josh Smith scored 13 of his 17 points in the third quarter as the Hawks regained a lead they would barely hold in a 94-91 victory over the Bobcats Wednesday night at Philips Arena.

The winning streak, the best current run in the NBA, is the Hawks’ longest since they opened the 2010-11 season with six straight wins (Oct. 27-Nov. 5, 2010).

The Hawks (9-4) nearly lost an 11-point fourth-quarter lead. The Bobcats pulled to within one point, 92-91, on a deep 3-pointer by Ben Gordon with 29.1 seconds remaining. The basket, with two Hawk defenders on him, was part of Gordon’s 20-point fourth quarter.

On the ensuing possession, the Hawks then ran the shot clock down but Lou Williams missed his 3-point attempt and left the Bobcats with 5.2 seconds.

However on the sideline inbounds play, Ramon Sessions’ pass to …

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Atlanta Hawks game thread: Sixth straight win on line

Vivlamore reporting with your game thread blog for tonight’s contest against the Bobcats.

Al Horford, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, appreciates the honor but quickly turned the focus to his team Wednesday.

“I think it’s pretty cool but it just shows that when you win you put yourself in a position for things like this,” Horford said following shoot-around prior to tonight’s game against the Bobcats. “It was a good thing, but it was obviously because of our winning streak.”

Horford averaged 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.0 blocks in the four games of the week of Nov. 19-25.

Horford is also one of three Hawks on the NBA All-Star ballot. After being an All-Star for two straight years, Horford missed last year’s game with a torn pectoral muscle. The center quickly turned a question about his desire to return to the All-Star game to focus on the team goal.

“I think it’s nice when you get recognition like that but, I think most …

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Atlanta Hawks: New bench rotation during five-game win streak

Vivlamore reporting.

Coach Larry Drew has changed the way he has used his bench during the Hawks’ current five-game win streak. No need to change what has worked he said Tuesday, a day before the Hawks host the Bobcats.

The notable changes have been an increased playing time for the starting unit, more minutes for Ivan Johnson and Anthony Morrow and a decrease in time for Anthony Tolliver.

Drew said the moves are a combination of a changing philosophy and the specific defensive matchups against each opponent.

Johnson is averaging 12.6 minutes and Morrow 12.0 minutes over the win streak, an increase from their early-season time. Tolliver has played under four minutes in the one game in the last five played.

“I used (Tolliver) a lot early and I wasn’t using Ivan at all or limited,” Drew said. “But Ivan has really been playing well. He’s been doing a good job for us coming off the bench bringing toughness, bringing energy. I’m going to stay with what’s working. …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks-Nuggets moved to ESPN

Vivlamore reporting prior to Hawks practice.

A couple of scheduling changes for the Hawks.

The Hawks game against the Nuggets on Wednesday, Dec. 5 will now be televised by ESPN and the game time changed to 8 p.m. The game was originally a 7:30 p.m. start. The network dropped the Bulls at Cavs game.

Also, ESPN will not broadcast the Feb. 20 game against the Heat. The network will instead broadcast the Hornets at Cavs game.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Atlanta Hawks: Plenty has gone right during 5-game win streak

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks are rolling with five straight victories, the longest current streak in the NBA, and plenty has gone right during the streak.

Al Horford, named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week (Nov. 19-25) Monday, has averaged nearly a double-double in the five wins. Zaza Pachulia and Josh Smith are helping the Hawks dominate in the paint. Jeff Teague has the transition game running at a high speed.

It hasn’t all been perfect. They needed a 3-pointer by Kyle Korver in the final seconds to defeat a winless Wizards team at home. He also hit another from long range late against the Clippers who were making a serious run from a 27-point deficit.

“I think we’ve just played well,” Horford said Monday. “We still have some work to do as a team. We can get better.”

Here is a closer look at what has worked during the current win streak, where the Hawks have outscored the Kings, Magic, Wizards, Bobcats and Clippers by a combined score of …

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Atlanta Hawks: Horford named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

Vivlamore reporting.

Hawks center Al Horford was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Nov. 19-25.

The Hawks have gotten four of their five straight wins during Horford’s impressive week. He is averaging 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists over the span. He had a career-high 10 assists in the victory over the Wizards.

The Spurs’ Tim Duncan was named the Western Conference Player of the Week.

Here is a closer look at Horford’s week:
Nov. 19 vs. Orlando: 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 81-72 win over Magic
Nov. 21 vs. Washington: 15 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in a 101-100 overtime victory over Wizards
Nov. 23 at Charlotte: 26 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks in a 101-91 win against Bobcats.
Nov. 24 vs. L.A. Clippers: 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists in a 104-93 win over Clippers.

- Chris Vivlamore

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