Archive for the ‘Focal’ Category

Atlanta Hawks: Is Josh Smith an All-Star?

Hawks forward Josh Smith has never been named to an NBA All-Star team despite impressive career numbers. CURTIS COMPTON/

Hawks forward Josh Smith has never been named to an NBA All-Star team despite impressive career numbers. CURTIS COMPTON/

Vivlamore reporting.

Is Josh Smith an All-Star?

Despite all-around career statistics few in NBA history have reached, the Hawks forward has never been chosen for the All-Star Game. He has not been voted in by fans, selected by coaches nor named a replacement by the league.

Through his eight-plus year career, Smith is on the verge of becoming just the 24th player in NBA history to reach the milestones of 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocks. The 23 players who reached those marks, including nine Hall of Famers, combined to appear in 184 All-Star Games. Only one, Mychal Thompson, never made an all-star appearance.

In Smith’s 624 career games, he has averaged 15.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.3 steals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only player in league history with …

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Atlanta Hawks: Smith hosts children for holiday

Vivlamore reporting.

Josh Smith hosted 20 children from City of Refuge, a non-profit organization, Sunday for an afternoon of fun, food and gifts at Dave and Buster’s. The event was a surprise to the children who were picked up and taken to the restaurant to spend time with the Hawks forward.

According to the organization, City of Refuge is an organization “dedicated to community development efforts that lead to the stability and sustainability of the local community. Our community zip code is 30314. It is a community in crisis but also a community with hope and resilience. Despite overwhelming social challenges, numbers and need, City of Refuge finds hope everyday in this neighborhood. That is not only because we remain committed to our neighbors, but they are committed to us, offering themselves as both models of transformation and returning here to help others in need once their lives are restored to paths of health and independence.”

In other orders of business:

* I’m …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 92, Bulls 75 (updated)

Video: Every Atlanta starter scored in double figures in the Hawks 92-75 win vs. the Bulls on Saturday night. Atlanta ended a two-game losing streak with the win. The AJC’s Chris Vivlamore reports.

Vivlamore reporting.

Lou Williams provided the energy the Hawks needed desperately.

Big time.

Williams was in the starting lineup and scored 14 first-half points as the Hawks dominated the Bulls 92-75 Saturday night at Philips Arena.

The Hawks led by as many as 26 points, a cushion built in early in the fourth quarter, en route to a win remarkably different than their previous four games. The Hawks had lost three of those four games, trailing by at least 17 points in each, including an 18-point Friday at the 76ers. The win came in overtime for the lowly Wizards.

It was a different story Saturday.

The Hawks (16-9) put on impressive effort, particularly in the second quarter, en route to the victory that snapped a two-game losing streak. The victory was the 100th of Larry Drew’s …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 92, Bulls 75 (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks: Sixers 99, Hawks 80 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

PHILADELPHIA — The Hawks are limping toward Christmas. And it’s a pronounced limp.

The Hawks lost for the third time in four games by dropping a 99-80 decision to the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center Friday. In all three losses the Hawks have trailed by at least 17 points. The lone win in the stretch was an overtime victory over the three-win Wizards.

This loss has coach Larry Drew considering a change to his starting lineup.

“I’m very concerned,” Drew said. “I’m so concerned that I’ve got to think about the lineup now. That’s three out of four (losses) but I’m more concerned about our energy. That is what concerns me the most. I can take losing but if we don’t bring the energy, if we don’t bring the juice, that’s when I really have to look at things and I’m certainly going to do that. I may have to take a look at our lineup.”

It doesn’t get easier for the Hawks before some off time. The Hawks complete a stretch of four games …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Sixers 99, Hawks 80 (updated) »

Game thread: Harris not with Hawks in Philadelphia

Vivlamore reporting.

PHILADELPHIA — The Hawks will be without guard Devin Harris for tonight’s game against the 76ers and likely tomorrow’s home game against the Bulls with a sore left foot. Harris did not travel with the team to Philadelphia.

The injury is unrelated to the turf toe that caused Harris to miss a game earlier this season.

An MRI showed no structural damage. Harris is wearing a walking boot as a precaution. Following Saturday’s game, the Hawks are off three days before hosting the Pistons which will allow Harris extended rest for his foot.

Officially, Harris is listed as day-to-day.

Guard Anthony Morrow said the sore back that caused him to miss two games is fine and he expects to play.

In other items:

* The Sixers are dealing with injury issues of their own. Leading scorer Jrue Holiday has missed the past four games with a sprained left foot. Second-leading scorer Evan Turner is suffering from a sprained left ankle. Both players told the Philadelphia media …

Continue reading Game thread: Harris not with Hawks in Philadelphia »

Atlanta Hawks: Hawks have lost two of three (with video)

If the Hawks could make a holiday wish, what would it be? CineSport’s Noah Coslov gets the answer from The AJC’s Chris Vivlamore as they discuss the new-look Hawks.

Vivlamore reporting.

PHILADELPHIA — If there is a lesson to be learned from the Hawks’ recent games, including the loss to the Thunder Wednesday, it had better sink in fast.

While the big picture shows the Hawks having won 12 of the past 16 games, a closer look shows a different trend. The Hawks have lost two of the past three games. They were handed a 22-point home loss by the Warriors last week. They needed overtime to beat the lowly Wizards Tuesday. They trailed the Thunder by 17 points before a comeback fell short in a 100-92 loss Wednesday.

“Your pride kicks in,” Hawks guard Kyle Korver said of the Hawks rally against the Thunder. “There are a lot of competitors in this locker room. I thought our energy level picked up. We are not a team that is going to lie down. But we’ve had a couple tough …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Hawks have lost two of three (with video) »

Atlanta Hawks: Williams ready for return to Philadelphia

Vivlamore reporting.

Lou Williams expects to hear from Philadelphia fans Friday. The Hawks guard just doesn’t know if he will be serenaded with a chorus of boos or “Lous.”

Williams played his first seven seasons with the Sixers after being drafted by the organization directly out of South Gwinnett High. He will play in Philadelphia for the first time as a member of the visiting team.

“They have a habit of booing,” Williams said. “That is just the makeup of the city. I don’t really take that personal. I just know that if you are not in a Sixers jersey, there is not a love for you unless you are (Allen Iverson). They always ‘Lou-ed’ anyway so I don’t know if it will be a boo or a Lou.”

Williams, who signed with the Hawks as a free agent this summer, said he is looking forward to returning to the city where he became a professional. The Hawks are off today but Williams said he will probably being thinking about the game on the plane ride.

“It …

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Atlanta Hawks: Thunder 100, Hawks 92 (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

Kevin Durant would have nothing to do with a Hawks comeback.

The Thunder star scored a game-high 41 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter, as the Hawks failed to overcome a 17-point deficit in a 100-92 loss Wednesday at Philips Arena.

The Hawks nearly erased the big deficit and pulled to within four points, 73-69, early in the fourth quarter. Then Durant went to work. He scored 18 of the Thunders’ next 22 points, including a stretch of 13 straight.

The Hawks continued to fight but could never pull closer.

“He’s very, very talented,” Hawks swingman DeShawn Stevenson said of Durant. “Sometimes you can play good defense but even good defense is not good enough for a guy who is 7-foot tall with a jump shot like that, with a handle. Tonight he had a great night. It was his night.”

Russell Westbrook added 27 points for the Thunder (21-4), who improved on their NBA-best record with their 12th straight victory. Westbrook scored 21 first-half …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 100, Wizards 95 OT (updated)

Vivlamore reporting.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It wasn’t supposed to be this close. But was it ever.

DeShawn Stevenson, who the Hawks hoped not to play, hit a key 3-pointer with 2:07 remaining in overtime to help the Hawks to a 100-95 victory over the lowly Wizards Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.

The Hawks could have sealed the game at the free-throw line in the final two minutes. However, Stevenson and Al Horford each hit only one of two free throws. After a Jordan Crawford basket and a missed Hawks shot, the Wizards trailed 98-95 and had the ball with 24 seconds remaining. The Wizards’ Nene missed a shot in the paint and Kyle Korver sank two free throws with 7.7 remaining to clinch the victory.

The Hawks ordinarily don’t play the veteran Stevenson in back-to-back games and wanted to save him for Wednesday’s game against the Thunder. However, with Anthony Morrow out and Devin Harris injured during the game, coach Larry Drew had no option. When Harris couldn’t return …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 100, Wizards 95 OT (updated) »

Atlanta Hawks game thread: Morrow out, Stevenson questionable (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Washington, D.C.

UPDATE: Anthony Morrow will not play against the Wizards as he continues to experience soreness in his back. “We are going to rest him tonight due to the soreness in his back,” coach Larry Drew said. “We’ll take the extra precautionary measures.”

I asked Drew if the loss of Morrow would tempt him to play DeShawn Stevenson, whom he would like to rest for tomorrow’s game against the Thunder. Stevenson will dress. “In terms of the game plan of (Stevenson) playing or not playing, I was hoping (Morrow) would be able to play. So, we’ll just see how the game goes.”


The Hawks will go with a starting lineup of Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford against the Wizards tonight.

There are two reasons for the unit, according to coach Larry Drew.

With a game at home against Oklahoma City tomorrow, Drew may not play DeShawn Stevenson. The veteran swingman and defensive stalwart does not play in back-to-back games and …

Continue reading Atlanta Hawks game thread: Morrow out, Stevenson questionable (updated) »