Archive for the ‘Focal’ Category

Atlanta Hawks: Korver second on Hawks’ best in plus-minus rating

Vivlamore reporting.

Kyle Korver knows he’s never going to be considered a good defender by followers of the NBA.

The Hawks guard can live with that — even as one basketball statistic and a team-defense system suggest he’s better than given credit.

An analysis of the NBA’s plus-minus rating shows that Korver is second on the Hawks with at a plus-88. That means the team has scored 88 more points than it allowed with him on the court. Only Jeff Teague (plus-110) has better numbers in the statistical category through the team’s 34 games. Teague’s plus/minus rating ranks him 49th among all NBA players.

“I’ve always followed that stat,” Korver said. “My second year, (then 76ers coach) Jim O’Brien was my coach and he was real big into plus-minus. He got me onto it.

“Sometimes, it’s a little deceiving. It’s hard to use it on a game-by-game basis because it shows stuff but there are always (other circumstances). I think over the course of season, or over the course of certain …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Korver second on Hawks’ best in plus-minus rating »

Atlanta Hawks: Drew searching for way out of four-game slump

Vivlamore reporting.

Perhaps another meeting is in order.

The Hawks have lost two games – part of their current four-game skid – since holding a team meeting Sunday to air issues affecting their recent play. While coach Larry Drew described that session as “very productive” the on-court results have been quite the opposite.

Consider the losing streak:

* They trailed by 19 points before a fourth-quarter comeback fell short against the Pistons Friday.

* They couldn’t hold a 19-point second-quarter lead in a loss to the Celtics Saturday, prompting the team meeting.

* They fell behind by 17 points in a loss to the Kevin Love-less Timberwolves Tuesday. Drew said his team was “soft” in the first half.

* They fell behind by 19 points in a loss to the injury-riddled Cavaliers Wednesday. It was just the ninth win of the season for Cleveland, who also won in Atlanta, which played without four regulars.

Not a good week at all.

The Hawks, who have also lost five of their past six …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Drew searching for way out of four-game slump »

Atlanta Hawks: Cavaliers 99, Hawks 83 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

CLEVELAND — Once again the Hawks dug themselves too deep a hole.

This is becoming a bad trend – a very bad trend.

After falling behind by 19 points, the Hawks staggered home on a four-game losing streak following Wednesday’s 99-83 loss to the injury-riddled Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Hawks (20-14) have lost five of their past six. Their latest defeat came one day after the fell behind by 17 points at the Timberwolves before a furious comeback fell short. Their third-place standing in the Eastern Conference is gone. They have lost two games since having a team meeting aimed at resolving their issues of late.

Coach Larry Drew adjusted his lineup, starting Zaza Pachulia at center, but perhaps more changes are in store for the struggling Hawks.

“I’m a little concerned,” Drew said. “Anytime you go through a little bump in the road you have to look at your team, look at what you are doing and try to find some answers. We go home now and (Thursday) is …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Cavaliers 99, Hawks 83 (updated) »

Game thread: Hawks shake it up with bigger lineup (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Cleveland.

The Hawks will start a bigger lineup tonight versus the Cavaliers – in part because of matchups and in part to shake up a struggling team that has lost three straight and four of five games.

The Hawks will start Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith, Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia.

“We want to shake it up a little bit and see if it will jump start us,” coach Larry Drew said.

Drew said the biggest reason was the matchup at shooting guard. The Cavaliers are starting 6-foot-6, 222-pound C.J. Miles at the 2-guard and he is too big for one of the smaller Hawks guards like Lou Williams or Devin Harris.

(UPDATE: C.J. Miles (back strain) and Daniel Gibson (concussion) are out.)

* Harris has been medically cleared to play and you can expect to see him get limited minutes after he has missed the past 11 game with a sore left foot.

* Anthony Morrow will miss his seventh straight game. He missed five games with a right hip strain and now two games with a …

Continue reading Game thread: Hawks shake it up with bigger lineup (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks: Timberwolves 108, Hawks 103 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Hawks picked up right where they left off – and that’s not a good thing.

After a dreadful second half of a loss to the Celtics Saturday prompted a team meeting, the Hawks started slow in a 108-103 defeat to the Timberwolves Tuesday at the Target Center. In their first game after the meeting, the Hawks never led.

Hawks coach Larry Drew labeled his team’s start “soft.”

“We waited way too late to start playing,” Drew said. “The first half we were soft. Soft. We did not guard very well. I thought physically they did just about anything that they wanted to. We played with no urgency in that first half. I told the guys at halftime, it’s not a sometimes thing. You can’t come out and play sometimes. You’ve got to come out and start the game highly energized. We can’t play normal. We can’t be a team that just sits back and allows other teams to do what they want to do. We have to be the aggressor.”

Drew added that he would hold his players …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Timberwolves 108, Hawks 103 (updated) »

Game thread: Morrow out vs. T’Wolves with back stiffness

Vivlamore reporting from Minneapolis.

The Hawks will definitely be without Anthony Morrow and likely without Devin Harris tonight against the Timberwolves although the injured guards accompanied the team on the two-game road trip.

Morrow, who has missed the past five games with a right hip strain, is now experiencing lower back stiffness. He did not practice Tuesday’s morning and coach Larry Drew ruled him out against the T’Wolves.

Harris, who has missed the past 10 games with a sore left foot, took part in Tuesday’s shootaround. However, Drew said he is inclined to hold Harris out in favor of Wednesday’s game at the Cavaliers.

“We don’t want it to flare up a little bit so we are being cautious,” said Drew, who added that the game in Cleveland was the original target date for Harris’ return.

* Drew will stay with the same starting lineup of Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford. Much of the reason for staying with the unit is the absence of Kevin …

Continue reading Game thread: Morrow out vs. T’Wolves with back stiffness »

Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry fined $15,000 by NBA

Vivlamore reporting.

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was fined $15,000 by the NBA Monday for ‘inappropriate interaction’ with the game officials following Saturday’s loss to the Celtics.

The league did not reveal the reason for the penalty.

According to a person familiar with the situation, Ferry handed game officials a DVD following the 89-81 loss at Philips Arena.

As reported on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s web site following the game, Celtics guard Rajon Rondo made contact with game official Rodney Mott after being called for a charge with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter. Video of the incident was also detailed on NBA TV. Rondo lowered his shoulder while driving to the basket and collided with Hawks forward Josh Smith.

Rondo was not ejected for making contact with Mott. However, the league suspended Rondo for one game Monday for the incident and for a failure to cooperate with the league investigation. He will not play in Monday’s game against the Knicks.

It’s …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry fined $15,000 by NBA »

Atlanta Hawks: Stevenson weighs in on back-to-back situation (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

I thought I would post a quick blog before Hawks practices opens. I will update with injury news, etc. following practice.

As promised, I did catch up with DeShawn Stevenson to get his side of playing in back-to-backs. I will give you his full quote, but the short answer is he wants to play but understands he needs to listen to the medical staff.

Q. How are your knees?

A. The knees are holding up. It’s a sensitive subject because sometimes I feel like I can play. Your body feels good and you end up hurting it more. I think the staff has been doing a great job with me conditioning wise, eating wise and the back-to-back thing.

Q. Are you OK with not playing in back-to-back games?

A. I’m not OK because I love to play. I’m a warrior. Everybody knows that about me. I love basketball. Just to sit on the bench and see situations, like in Detroit, where I can feel like I can go out there and have an effect and it doesn’t happen. At the same, I think they (team …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Stevenson weighs in on back-to-back situation (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks: Team holds meeting to air issues after loss to Celtics

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks, who were supposed to have an off day Sunday, held a workout (for younger players) and video session following last night’s loss to the Celtics. The Hawks held a 19-point second-quarter lead but it was gone after the Celtics outscored them 33-9 in the third quarter.

Following the video session, players and coaches held a meeting to discuss the loss, which is not the first time this season the Hawks have failed to hold a big lead. I spoke to coach Larry Drew following the meeting. Here are a series of quotes from him. I will just let you read what he said in most of it’s entirety.

* “We just watched film today. As painful as it was to watch, it was very, very productive. After we watched, we had some very good dialog amongst the group. I mean really good. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason. I wish we could have won the game last night because we played well the first half and then we didn’t play well the second half and came away …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Team holds meeting to air issues after loss to Celtics »

Atlanta Hawks: Celtics 89, Hawks 81 (updated)

The Hawks got off to a fast start, but fell apart and lost to the Celtics on Saturday night, 89-81. Josh Smith finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The AJC’s Chris Vivlamore reports.

Vivlamore reporting.

The Hawks had a chance.

They could have served notice to the nemesis Celtics that they are that team anymore. The team the Celtics have owned in recent years.

However, the Hawks let a 19-point second-quarter lead evaporate – in less than 12 minutes – in a 89-81 loss to the Celtics Saturday night at Philips Arena.

The Celtics got physical with the Hawks and they did not respond – a fact that had coach Larry Drew ‘concerned’ following the game.

“This is a very, very disappointing loss,” Drew said. “Probably, for me, the most disappointing loss of the season for the mere fact of playing against a team we have battled in the past and we’ve seen this type of scenario before where we have played well and then when it starts to get a little bit physical, when they start …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Celtics 89, Hawks 81 (updated) »