Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

Atlanta Hawks: Lakers 86, Hawks 78

Los Angeles–The Hawks held the Lakers to 86 points on 84 shots, had 11 turnovers to L.A’s 13, shot 14 free throws (.16 rate) to the Lakers’ nine (.11 rate) and collected 17 of the Lakers’ 47 misses. They lost because they shot 34.4 percent while missing 12 of 20 shots at the rim and botching at least six transition chances; couldn’t stop Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the paint early, and saw the Lakers scored 15 points off those 11 turnovers.

  • “I don’t know how many layups we missed,” Larry Drew said. “We missed a ton of point-blank shots. We turned the ball over at crucial times, too. Defensively I thought we were pretty much right there on the money but we just couldn’t buy a shot.”
  • The Hawks scored just 10 points in the second quarter but it wasn’t just because they were settling for Js. Yes, they missed all seven 3-point attempts in the period but they also missed seven consecutive layup attempts. “We got to the rim,” Jeff Teague said. “That’s what we wanted to do. But we …

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Atlanta Hawks: Grizzlies 96, Hawks 77

Here is the new game story on the Hawks’ loss to the Grizzlies Thursday night with post-game quotes:

Larry Drew was afraid it would happen.

The Hawks coach issued a warning to his team. It didn’t help

Drew feared a letdown against the Grizzlies after his team’s recently completed 4-1 road trip had them tied for first in the Southeast Division and second in the Eastern Conference.

The letdown came in a big way Thursday night in a 96-77 loss to the Grizzlies at Philips Arena.

“When you come off a road trip like that the tendency is to have a letdown,” Drew said. “I was afraid today would happen. We weren’t sharp tonight. I’m not going to blame it on the road trip. Everybody else has to do it. They go off on long road trips and come back and play. We can’t use that as an excuse. The start of the first quarter that team just manhandled us. They played with physicality and we were a step slow in everything we did.”

The Hawks held a seven-point lead early in the …

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Wilkins to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

The Atlanta Sports Council will recognize Hawks great Dominique Wilkins with its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award. Wilkins will be honored as part of the award ceremony on Feb. 27 at the Fox Theatre.

According to the Sports Council, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made a positive impact on the sports world and their community throughout their career.  Wilkins joins past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Hank Aaron (2006), Vince Dooley (2007), Billy Payne (2008), Ted Turner (2009), Tom Cousins (2010) and Bobby Cox (2011).

Wilkins currently serves in the Hawks front office and as an analyst for Fox Sports South telecasts.

Other awards will be given in the following categories: Coach of the Year, Collegiate Athlete of the Year, Female and Male High School Scholar Athlete of the Year, High School Athlete of the Year, Professional Athlete of the Year and Sports Person of the Year.

Tickets for the event, $195 apiece or $1,750 for a table of 10, can …

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Atlanta Hawks: On the offense

Indianapolis–The Hawks rank seventh in the league in offensive efficiency. They have, for the most part, feasted on some below-average-to-bad defensive teams: New Jersey, Charlotte, and Washington. (And they didn’t feast on one bad defensive team, Houston.)

There are two important exceptions: the W at Miami and the W vs. Chicago. In those games, the Hawks feasted on elite defensive units, and a look at the Hoopdata advanced box scores from the Miami and Chicago of those games shows some common offensive threads for the Hawks:

  • Their combined attempts from 9 feet and closer and 3-point range were more than twice their attempts from 16 to 23 feet.
  • They made a high percentage of those 3-point attempts.
  • Their turnover rates were low.

Shooting well is the most important ingredient for good offense (obviously). But a look at the Synergy Sports Technology numbers in the Miami and Chicago victories shows the Hawks were able to play to their strengths while generating good shots …

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Atlanta Hawks: Video: Hawks-Heat recap

Video recap of Heat 116, Hawks 109 in triple OT.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague seeking balance

Miami–After watching Jeff Teague’s strangely passive play against the Rockets and hearing coach Larry Drew’s pointed critique of his performance afterwards, I thought back to what Teague, Drew and Josh Smith said before the game.

If you recall, after Teague’s strong game against New Jersey on Friday he mentioned that teammates were telling him they were open on drives to the basket but that his game is scoring. But after watching the video of that game, Teague said he saw their point.

“You can be aggressive, but be aggressive and make plays for others,” Teague said before the Rockets game. “Me being a point guard, I’ve got the ball and I can get guys involved so they can play defense. It’s hard to play defense if you don’t touch the ball. Josh made a great point. One time I went to the hole [against New Jersey] and I tried to make a tough, left-handed layup. I looked at the film, and he was open on the baseline. He talked to me. We talk all the time. I’m glad he did …

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Atlanta Hawks: Video: Solid victory in home opener

My CineSport recap of Atlanta’s victory over the Wizards in the home opener. (Cut me a little slack, blog people. I was sleepy.)

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Atlanta Hawks: More on NBA superstars looking past Atlanta

Some stuff that didn’t make it into my story about NBA superstars bypassing Atlanta:

Courtney Brunious, the assistant director of the University of Southern California’s Sports Business Institute, said Atlanta is a good market for players in terms of business opportunities. Plus, he said location is not as important as it once was for building a brand: “You see across the country if you have a major superstar, the companies will come find them. Players also have a wider base through new media opportunities. You can be the proverbial big fish in a small pond if you have a good strategy to reach out to companies.”

More from Chris Webber on Atlanta fans: “I feel sorry for Joe Johnson when D-Rose or New York come to town. Usually you see a player dunk and say, ‘This is my house!’ With the Hawks you have the other team coming down and dunking and saying, ‘This is my house!’”

Webber said he takes heat from Atlanta fans for criticizing them but that he’s not along in his …

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Atlanta Hawks: Michael Gearon Jr. Q-and-A

Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. sat down Friday for a long interview with myself and fellow AJC scribe Tim Tucker. Here are some excerpts from the wide-ranging discussion, edited for clarity and flow. It includes my interrogatives and/or explanations of what Gearon was talking about:

Gearon started out by explaining his reasoning on bringing back most of the same players for what he says is a “make or break” year for the Hawks.

I look at us, and you measure a team on its results: How are we doing vs. the league? There are three teams the last three years that have advanced past the first round. The Lakers—who everybody loves the Lakers—the Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. It’s not the Dallas Mavericks, it’s not the Miami Heat, it’s not the New York Knicks, it’s not the Oklahoma City Thunder, it’s not the Orlando Magic. It’s just those three. Have we been able to win a championship? No. But our goal is to be as competitive and entertaining as possible and it’s unrealistic …

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Atlanta Hawks: Capped out, left out

It’s the kind of questions I get often on Twitter: “Why don’t the Hawks pursue [insert big-name free agent]?” After I explain that they don’t have the cap space, I sometimes get the follow-up: Why don’t they trade [Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, some other player I don't like] and use that cap space?” And then I have to tell them that doesn’t work, either, because the Hawks are over the cap and have to take salary back in a trade.

The point here is, until the Hawks gain significant cap space, which they aren’t scheduled to do until 2013-14 unless the use the amnesty card, then they aren’t going to be involved with free agents who command more than the MLE. Shoot, they still may not be involved with MLE free agents until they retreat further from the luxury-tax line.

Sure, the Hawks can swing sign-and-trades (which usually is the next question I get after the two above) but those transactions are not easy. The player has to want to sign with the Hawks and then an acceptable …

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