Archive for December, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: 3-pointers may be key vs. Heat

Vivlamore reporting from Miami – where I have taken my talents to South Beach (OK, that was bad and I’m sure done 100 times before but I couldn’t resist).

A quick post before I head to Hawks shoot-around prior to tonight’s game against the Heat. I spent too much time going over some statistics on my travels yesterday and the key to beating the Heat could be efficiency from 3-point range. The Heat have lost five of the seven games in which they allowed their opponent the highest 3-point field goal percentages.

Here is the list:

1.  58.3 percent (14-for-24) vs. Grizzlies – Loss

2.  52.8 percent (19-for-36) vs. Knicks – Loss

3.  47.6 percent (10-for-21) vs. Clippers – Loss

4.  46.2 percent (6-for-13) vs. Celtics – Win

5.  45.2 percent (14-for-31) vs. Cavaliers – Win

6.  40.9 percent (18-for-44) vs. Knicks – Loss

7.  36.8 percent (7-for-19) vs. Wizards – Loss

The Hawks shot 36.0 percent (9-for-25) in their November loss to the Heat.

Without Kyle Kover (back spasms), the …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 93, Grizzlies 83

Vivlamore reporting.

MEMPHIS – The Hawks gave a dose of the third-quarter medicine they’ve had to swallow of late.

The Hawks erased an eight-point first-half deficit with one of their most impressive quarters of the season en route to a 93-83 victory over the Grizzles Saturday night at FedExForum. They outscored the Grizzlies, owners of the NBA’s top record, 32-13 coming out of intermission which included a 20-0 run. Lou Williams scored the final 11 points of the stretch, including three straight 3-pointers.

In their previous three games the Hawks blew late leads, holding on for two wins.

“At home we’ve been having trouble holding leads and giving them back,” said center Al Horford, who led the Hawks with his fifth straight double-double effort. “Tonight our focus was great.”

The Hawks (12-5) now have victories over all three Western Conference division leaders in the Grizzlies, Thunder and Clippers. They’ve won three straight and nine of their past 10 …

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Atlanta Hawks game thread: Harris not settling for jumpers

Vivlamore reporting from Memphis.

Devin Harris is no longer settling for his jump shot. That’s the difference in his play of late, according the Hawks guard.

While Harris has been slowed by knee and toe injuries early this season, he insists that has not been an issue. He just needed a little time to learn his role and get comfortable with his new teammates.

“Now, I’m making a conscious effort of getting into the paint, finishing and doing what I’ve done before to be successful,” Harris said. “I just needed to re-start.”

Harris has started the past four games, including Saturday’s game against the Grizzlies, at shooting guard in place of Kyle Korver.

Larry Drew is seeing the play from Harris that made him an All-Star and had the coach eager to install his up-tempo offense.

“You are starting to see some of the old Devin,” Drew said. “He is getting in the lane. In transition he’s going coast to coast. He is starting to really get in real good basketball …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 104, Wizards 95 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks didn’t need a last-second 3-pointer to beat the lowly Wizards this time.

Atlanta built an 18 point lead in the third quarter but still had to hold off a late rally en route to a 104-95 victory over Washington Friday night. The win comes two weeks after the Hawks needed a last shot to defeat the then-winless Wizards at home.

The Hawks (11-5), third in the Eastern Conference, won for the eighth time in the past nine games. They have beaten the Wizards five straight games and 10 straight at Philips Arena.

The Wizards (2-14) are winless on the road, dropping all eight contests.

After watching two fourth-quarter leads slip away in their last two games, one a win and one a loss, the Hawks wanted to show a killer instinct against an inferior opponent.

They did – but barely.

The Hawks built the 18-point lead as DeShawn Stevenson hit a pair of 3-pointers early in third period. The Wizards didn’t go away without a fight. They chipped away and cut the …

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Atlanta Hawks game thread: Waiting on starting lineup (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

Larry Drew was still undecided about his starting lineup against the Wizards an hour before tip off. The coach was still deciding whether to go with a smaller lineup or make an adjustment based on some of the success the Wizards had in their meeting two weeks ago.

Despite their height disadvantage, particularly in the backcourt, most games this season Drew has gone with a smaller lineup. It something he came to terms with during the offseason when the roster went through an overhaul.

Stay tuned for his decision. UPDATE: Starters are Teague, Harris, Stevenson, Smith and Horford.

The Wizards have won two of their last three games – their only victories of the season. According to coach Randy Wittman, his team is looking to build on those efforts, including their win over the Heat this week.

“That’s the main thing that we take from these last couple of games that we continue to build on them,” Wittman said. “We don’t take steps backward and it stops and …

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Atlanta Hawks: Korver out vs. Wizards and Grizzlies

Vivlamore reporting.

Kyle Korver, who is still dealing with back spasms after missing time for the birth of his daughter, will not play tonight against the Wizards. The shooting guard also will not travel with the team for Saturday’s game at the Grizzlies. He will remain in Atlanta for further treatment and workouts. There is a possibility Korver could join the team in Miami for Monday’s game against the Heat.

It was Korver, you will remember, who hit the game-winning 3-pointer against the Wizards last month.

In other news:

* Coach Larry Drew said he is undecided on the team’s starting lineup against the Wizards. Trevor Ariza is out with a strained left calf for the Wizards and Drew is waiting to get an idea of their lineup before making his final decision. “I don’t know if they will go smaller at the 3 or if they will go with a bigger lineup.”

* Drew is still stressing rebounding energy for his team against the Wizards.

* “We have to carry the same mental aspect that we did …

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Atlanta Hawks: Wizards up next; Korvers welcome first child

Vivlamore reporting from Hawks practice.

The Hawks try for their eighth win in nine games Friday against the Wizards, a team they barely defeated during the recent stretch.

The Hawks won a 101-100 decision over the then-winless Wizards on Nov. 21 on a last second 3-pointer. The Wizards won their second game on Tuesday by defeating the defending NBA champion Heat. That game is a point of emphasis for Hawks coach Larry Drew.

“The team that we played weeks ago, they are not the same team,” Drew said. “They are much better basketball team right now. You can see the way they play. They feel much better about themselves. They come off of a big win against Miami. They took us down to the wire. Under no circumstances can we look at this team’s record and underestimate this team.”

A new addition

Kyle Korver and his wife, Juliet, became parents on Wednesday with the birth of their daughter. Baby Kyra Elyse and mother Juliet are healthy after a birthing process that took more …

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Video: Hawks go for eight wins in nine games vs. Wizards

Vivlamore reporting

The Atlanta Hawks have won seven of their last eight games. CineSport’s Brian Clark & The AJC’s Chris Vivlamore discuss the Hawks’ recent success & the Hawks’ undersized roster.

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 108, Nuggets 104

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.

The Hawks wobbled the Nuggets in the third quarter.

The knockout blow didn’t come until less than a minute remained in the game. It came nonetheless.

The Hawks (10-5) lost a seven-point fourth-quarter lead but rallied for a 108-104 victory over the Nuggets Wednesday night at Philips Arena in a nationally televised game. It was the Hawks’ eighth win in the past 10 games.

With the Hawks holding a two-point lead at 103-101 with 53.9 seconds remaining, Josh Smith picked up a loose ball after Lou Williams and Devin Harris forced Ty Lawson to dribble off his foot. Smith drove to the basket for an emphatic dunk and was fouled by Corey Brewer. After sinking the free throw the Hawks could celebrate Smith’s 27th birthday with the only present he wanted – a victory.

The Hawks lost a nine-point fourth-quarter lead in a home loss to the Cavaliers on Friday. This game didn’t get away.

“Just play through everything that happens,” said …

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Atlanta Hawks game thread: Smaller lineup vs. Nuggets

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks will go with a smaller starting unit against the Nuggets. Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, DeShawn Stevenson, Josh Smith and Al Horford will get the starting assignment against the bigger five from the Nuggets.

“Sometimes you’ve got to roll the dice,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said of his lineup decision. “I’m really going on feel with this. Instead of always adjusting to the other team, sometimes it’s good to go with your guy and see if they adjust to you or see if it works. With the lineup that we are going with I do like the fact that we are a lot faster. We do give up size. At some point in the game that lineup is going to change and we’ll get bigger. I really going with feel on this.

“Some things that I really like about the smaller lineup is the fact that again, particularly at home, we’ll be able to get up and down much better. I would anticipate more pick-and-roll basketball with both Devin and Jeff.”

Also, John Jenkins did make it back from his …

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