Archive for November, 2012

C-Viv back in the house

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena prior to Hawks practice.

So, before I leave for a week off the Hawks are 3-4 and have lost two straight on an unhealthy West coast trip. I come back to a team that is 8-4 and are winners of five straight. Coincidence? (Just a joke). A special thanks to MC, Doug Roberson and Carroll Rogers for filling in for me.

The plan today is to catch up with LD and the team and write something about what has gone right during the five-game win streak.

Before practice and then interviews get underway, let me know what you think. What has been the difference the past week? Defense? Jeff Teague? Al Horford?

I will update the blog later this afternoon with what coach and players are saying.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Hawks top Clippers for fifth consecutive win

Jeff Teague scored 19 points and dished out 11 assists and an inspired but short-handed bench sparked the Hawks to their fifth consecutive win, a 104-93 victory over the Clippers on Saturday night at Philips Arena.

The Hawks (8-4) outscored the Clippers 34-19 in the third quarter, and their bench, missing two key players, outscored the Clippers’ 20-0 in the first half. It was the Clippers’ (8-5) third consecutive loss and ended their four-game trip.

“It was a really gutsy win for our ball club,” coach Larry Drew said. “I thought the bench did a phenomenal job, not a good job, a phenomenal job in getting us going.”

Lou Williams, one of those bench players, sparked the team in the second with nine points. He finished with 18 of the reserves’ 31 points.

“I was just playing aggressive,” he said. “That’s what I bring to the table, just to be aggressive and try to create as many plays as I can.”

Zaza Pachulia, who started, had his first double-double this season, with 19 points and …

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Hawks go for five consecutive wins tonight against Clippers without Harris

The Hawks (7-4) will go for their fifth consecutive win in tonight’s game against the Clippers (8-4) at Philips Arena. Los Angeles will be trying to avoid its third consecutive loss.

The Hawks will be without Devin Harris, who is dealing with an injured left big toe. Harris’ status is day to day. In addition, coach Larry Drew said they are monitoring DeShawn Stevenson, as they normally do when playing the second of back-to-back games.

Coach Larry Drew said the keys for the Hawks will be to:

  • Match their physicality;
  • Defend the pick and roll, particularly the “hard rolls” of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, which lead to momentum-changing dunks;
  • Don’t “be seduced” by jump shots. He wants them to push the ball, as they have done during the winning streak.

The starting line up for the Hawks:

Zaza Pachulia 6.3 ppg

Al Horford 16.2 ppg

Kyle Korver 11.3 ppg

Josh Smith 15.0 ppg

Jeff Teague 13.3 ppg

Clippers (probable):

Caron Butler 9.2 ppg

Willie Green 6.0 ppg

Blake Griffin 17.4 …

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Atlanta Hawks: More to Stevenson than SpongeBob socks

DeShawn Stevenson reacts to hitting a 3-pointer during a game against the Pacers at Philips Arena in November.

DeShawn Stevenson reacts to hitting a 3-pointer during a game against the Pacers at Philips Arena in November.

Vivlamore reporting from vacation. Here is the feature story on DeShawn Stevenson that will run in the Thanksgiving Day print edition of the AJC.

DeShawn Stevenson was a sight to behold as he left a recent Hawks workout. The veteran guard walked down a near empty corridor in the bowels of Philips Arena wearing a dark hoodie and sweat pants pulled up to his knees.

How else was he going to show off his bright yellow SpongeBob socks?

A vast collection of outlandish hosiery is just a part of what makes Stevenson the most unique character on the Hawks roster. A tattoo of Abraham Lincoln on the center of his throat is part of his vast collection of body art and piercings. His on-court persona comes to life with his signature ‘goggles’ gesture following a made 3-pointer.

Stevenson knows how to enjoy the business of professional basketball.

“I like to …

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Korver’s 3-pointer lifts Hawks to win in OT

Kyle Korver hit a 3-pointer from 25-feet away with 1.9 seconds left in overtime to lift the Hawks to a 101-100 win over Washington on Wednesday at Philips Arena.

But it was close, as in a fingertip close.

On its last possession, Washington’s Kevin Seraphin airballed a hook shot as the Wizards tried to pull out their first victory of the year. Martell Webster alertly came under the basket and tipped the ball up and in as the game clock expired. The Wizards ran back to their bench, sure the shot would be counted. The Hawks weren’t sure. The officials weren’t sure. After a review, they ruled “no basket,” sending the crowd into a frenzy.

It was the Hawks’ (6-4) third consecutive win and ensured that the Wizards (0-10) remained the NBA’s only winless team. Atlanta will play at Charlotte on Friday.

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 25 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 1:33 left in overtime. Al Horford just missed his first career triple-double with 15 points, 10 assists and …

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Hawks ready for dangerous game against the Wizards

The Hawks are rested for what a few players said could be a dangerous game against Washington at Philips Arena tonight.

The Wizards are the NBA’s only winless team (0-9), which would make them easy enough to overlook. On top of that, the Hawks are facing games at a resurgent Charlotte (5-4), vs. the Clippers (8-2) and vs. Charlotte.

But Al Horford said the Hawks won’t overlook Washington.

“They are hungry for a win,” he said. “They are going to be ready.”

Coach Larry Drew said the Hawks will start Horford, Josh Smith, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Devin Harris, the same starting five that defeated Orlando 81-72 on Monday in what was a ragged performance affected by some members of the team being struck by the flu and four games on the West Coast.

“I’m hoping we will be a lot better than we were on Monday night,” Drew said. “(I) didn’t see the sharpness or crispness with our execution.”

Drew gave the Hawks Tuesday off so that the players who have logged a lot of minutes could …

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Atlanta Hawks: NBA commish-in-waiting Adam Silver says Hawks ownership now stable

By Michael Cunningham

Adam Silver, who is set to replace David Stern as NBA commissioner next spring, said he’s pleased with the investments and commitments made by Hawks owner since a potential sale of the team last year fell through.

“I’m really encouraged by everything I’m hearing and seeing here in addition to the new investment I’m seeing in the [Philips Arena] building here,” Silver said before the Hawks played the Magic last night. “Bruce [Levenson] has become a much more active owner since that aborted sale. He’s now on several important ownership committees. He’s given a long-term agreement to [GM] Danny Ferry. He’s become much more involved in the community.

“I think the franchise has been more than stabilized. I think the prospects are terrific. I’ve personally spent increasing amounts of time with Bruce. He’s clearly passionate about this team and passionate about this team being successful in this market.”

Silver, currently the league’s deputy commissioner, was in …

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Hawks 81, Magic 72

By Michael Cunningham

There was a real sense of relief among the Hawks when they got off the road and away from the virus that swept through the team on the four-game trip.

After seven days away, most of them spent trying to fend off the bug, the Hawks figured they’d find a safe haven at Philips Arena tonight. The Hawks were healthier but the effects of that West Coast voyage still lingered.

The Hawks eventually shook off a sluggish start and overcame a lackluster finish to pull out an 81-72 victory against the Magic.

“That was a really tough game for us to play,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “I could tell guys were still weary from the West Coast. We didn’t have our legs early. I could see guys gasping for air in the first four minutes. This game was going to have to fight from beginning to end. This Orlando team plays hard and when they are down they just keep coming. I’m very happy that we gutted it out.”

The Magic (3-7) had lost four of five road games but the Hawks (5-4) …

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Magic at Atlanta Hawks: Home and healthy

By Michael Cunningham

The Hawks are back at Philips Arena to play the Magic tonight after a 2-2 West road trip during which a virus claimed several casualties among players and support personnel.

“It’s good to be home,” Jeff Teague said today after shootaround. “We were on the road for what felt like forever.”

“It’s good to be home, it really is,” coach Larry Drew said. “I think the guys are excited to be back home and I expect them to come out and play with a lot of energy.”

Atlanta should have all players available tonight except for maybe DeShawn Stevenson.

“I think everybody is OK,” Drew said. “DeShawn has been a little bit under the weather. He didn’t play Friday [at Sacramento] because of his back and yesterday he had a bit of the virus. He looks like he’s feeling a little but better but I don’t know his status until game time. Other than that, everyone is good.”

Stevenson is the latest Hawks player to catch the bug. It also affected Josh Smith, Al Horford, Devin Harris …

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Hawks handle Kings … again

The Hawks ended a four-game road swing out West with a 112-96 win over the Kings – Atlanta’s ninth consecutive win against the Kings.

From the AP report:

Kyle Korver scored 22 points, reserve Lou Williams had 21 and the Hawks beat Sacramento 112-96 on Friday night for their ninth consecutive win against the Kings.

Atlanta shot 55 percent, including an 8-for-15 performance from beyond the arc, while recording a season-high point total. The Hawks outrebounded the Kings 42-37 and had 24 assists.

“We can be a real up-and-down team, we know that,” Atlanta coach Larry Drew said. “We preach moving the basketball. We emphasize sharing the basketball and we did a really good job of that. Guys were finding each other all over the place and when we play like that we’re a fun team to watch.”

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