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Hawks - Cavaliers

Posted by lethalweapon3 in lethalweapon3's Pre-Game Preview Blog, 06 March 2015 - - - - - - · 10 views

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So, if Kid ‘n Play had a love child…



Hello there, Cleveland Cavaliers. Welcome to Believeland!

It’s quite abstruse ((cough)) to glance at current Vegas lines and pundit prognostications suggesting the Cavaliers, from a town that hasn’t enjoyed a pro sports title since the first LBJ administration, is the odds-on favorite to win the NBA championship.

Particularly galling are the notions they’ll accomplish that feat against any of the entire field in the West. Never mind the host Atlanta Hawks, who lead the Cavs by 10.5 games in the East, ahead of tonight’s contest at The Highlight Factory (7:30 PM Eastern, SportSouth, Fox Sports Ohio). Those calling Cleveland “Believeland,” rather than “The Land of Make Believe,” strain the bounds of credulity.

But that’s what having a so-called Big Three grants you when you’re up against a Fun-Sized Five, especially when one of your Big Ones is home-metro savior LeBron James. All that was needed was a big turnaround in fortunes to get Euclid Avenue’s armchair parade-planners from around the world back in business.

From January 15 on, only Cleveland (20-4) has enjoyed a better run of success than Atlanta (17-4). For those viewing through wine-and-gold-tinted glasses, tonight’s outcome will either affirm the Cavaliers as the odds-on team to beat in the East, or serve as just another regular season game to dismiss along the yellow brick road to the conference finals.

Yet Atlanta (48-12), bearers once again of the league’s longest winning streak (five games), continues to be at its best when others, especially opponents, have prematurely counted them out. The Hawks don’t need millions of people around the globe to believe in what they can achieve. They need buy-in from just five guys on the floor at any given time, propelled by the league’s likely Coach of the Year.

The last six Eastern Conference Players of the Month share the floor tonight, and one of those gentlemen is LeBron. His February 2015 award was his 28th such monthly honor, the most since the NBA began bestowing such hardware, but the first for James (24.4 PPG, 7.3 APG, 6.6 RPG in February) in a calendar year.

James (27.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG in 11.5 NBA seasons) has been a Human Highlight Film for the current NBA generation, and he’ll be on-hand as the retired NBA player who had the term invented for him gets honored with a statue before a capacity crowd of appreciative fans.

For unfortunate reasons, Dominique Wilkins (26.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG during 11.5 seasons in Atlanta) wasn’t around the last time the Hawks clinched a division title. Thus, it’s fitting that his likeness has been bronzed (not just cemented), and his legacy immortalized, during the season Atlanta zeroes in on its first-ever Southeast Division crown.

The Cavaliers (39-24) have reconfigured themselves since getting outpaced by the Hawks during their last visit to Philips, a 109-101 victory on December 30 that was on the front end of a 1-9 losing stretch. James coached that game from the sideline with a sore knee, but the Hawks were missing All-Star center Al Horford as well, a last-minute scratch due to illness.

Because somebody had to score for Cleveland, Kyrie Irving (37.2 minutes/game, 2nd in NBA; 21.7 PPG, 10th in NBA) poured in 35 points on 34 total shots against the Hawks, nearing the unwanted triple-double by adding nine assists and eight turnovers. Tristan Thompson’s 18-and-13 offset a tainted Love (1-for-8 FGs), who sat out the fourth quarter with back tightness.

Still, all The King’s horses could do nothing with Jeff Teague, who put up 23 points and 11 assists for the Hawks and had little problem getting into the lane (5-for-6 FGs in the paint) and to the line (6-for-10 FTs). And all The King’s men had no answer for Kyle Korver (5-for-8 3FGs) or Paul Millsap, who poured on ten of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to fend off Irving’s late charge and put the victory on ice. The Cavs were still suffering from Fear of a Mack Planet after what Shelvin did to them just two weeks prior. But he wasn’t needed on this night, as Teague, Korver, and Dennis Schröder shot a combined 20-for-31 from the field.

Cavs General Manager David Griffin is in his first full season running the show, and all indications suggest he would like to have a second one. So to stem Cleveland’s slide, he pulled off interconnected deals with OKC/New York and Denver to pry loose swingmen Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, along with center Timofey Mozgov. With those additions, the Cavs turned frowns upside down by winning 14 of their next 15 games.

Cleveland’s defense has noticeably improved since Shumpert joined Mozgov on the Cavs’ roster. Before Shump’s Cavs debut, opponents registered an NBA-high 26.2 assists per 100 possessions. With Shump on board after missing time with a dislocated shoulder, that opponent assist value dropped to 23.2, still above the league average, but down to 11th-most in the NBA. They’re not inducing more turnovers, but clamping down with better man defense (46.2 opponent eFG% with Shumpert, 2nd-lowest in NBA).

It’s not all Shumpert, although Cleveland’s defensive efficiency went from 106.4 opponent points per 100 possessions (5th worst in NBA) to 99.1 (7th best in NBA) after Iman joined the group. It’s taken awhile for Blatt’s defensive schemes and James’ accompanying tutelage to begin sinking in with the rest of the Cleveland roster, particularly Matthew Dellavedova and Irving in the backcourt and Kevin Love up front. Smith is still a gambler, but leads the Cavs with 1.8 steals per game while starting alongside Irving.

Mozgov (career-highs 10.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 58.9 FG% in Cleveland) has adequately replaced the season-sidelined Anderson Varejao. While Mozgov starts, the Cavs now turn to Thompson (8.2 RPG, career-high 54.2 FG%), who Blatt considers a Sixth-Man Award candidate, as a spark off the bench to help the Cavs close games out.

James Jones (last 4 games: 22.0 minutes/game, 9.8 PPG, 50.0 3FG%) has transitioned from a pure long-range gunner to a stretch-four that can give Love and LeBron a breather. Recently-acquired Kendrick Perkins is an upgrade over Brendan Haywood and steels the Cavalier frontcourt a bit while Shawn Marion recovers from a strained hip.

All those front-line moves allow James, now the league’s all-time leader in assists among forwards, to place less emphasis on defensive rebounding and more on picking opposing defenses apart, one full-bore drive to the hoop at a time. James is on a mission to re-stake his claim as the league’s Most Valuable Player, a tall order given the otherworldly performances being turned in by Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook. Having an MVP Whisperer in Perkins in his ear motivates him all the more. Although his True Shooting (57.9 TS%) is at a seven-year low, his per-36 scoring (26.1) and assists (7.3) are marginally higher than any of the seasons during his title runs in Miami.

Opponents are doing all they can do (or, all they can get away with) to stop The Return of The King to the MVP throne. Cleveland’s past two games have turned James into an expert witness as to what qualifies, and what doesn’t, as a “basketball play”. In the past week, he was the victim of flagrant fouls by Harden and Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas, the latter corralling James for a two-point takedown before he could spring loose in the paint for an easy score on Wednesday night.

Aside from a career-high 4.2 turnovers per game, one major chink in James’ MVP armor has been free throw shooting, as highlighted by his 37-point (off a season-high 35 FGAs and 12 3FGAs) but 3-for-11 FT performance in Sunday’s two-point loss in Houston. We’re not in Hack-a-Bron territory yet, but LeBron’s 71.5 FT% is the lowest since he was a 23-year-old back in 2008. As his free throw accuracy diminishes, the will to stop his paths to the basket by any means necessary rises.

Atlanta does all it can to avoid excessive fouling (16.6 personals per game, lowest in NBA), so it’s unlikely the Hawks’ defenders will get too chippy trying to keep LeBron in front of them. But he and his teammates are already playing with frayed nerves and are primed to take umbrage with any perceived hard foul. If Perkins plays at all, it won’t be because of his mid-range jumper.

Both the Raptors and Hawks stormed back from double-digit second-half deficits before rabid home crowds in their most recent games. While Harden-less Houston could only resort to the likes of Josh Smith to try plugging the dam in Atlanta on Tuesday, the Cavs turned to LeBron in Toronto on Wednesday, and he delivered. By either scoring (15 points) or assisting in the fourth quarter, James was responsible for 21 of Cleveland’s last 26 points as the Cavs pulled away.

Just one Maurice Podoloff Trophy separates LeBron (33.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 7.0 APG, 2.3 SPG, 1.3 BPG last four games) from Bill Russell and Michael Jordan, just two away from Kareem Adbul-Jabbar. He wants to ensure the MVP voters, and the smattering of NBA legends in the stands tonight, that his campaign this season, lugging a playoff-inexperienced roster toward the top of the East, should not be overlooked.

James, though, understands that any chance of running through the tape in the MVP race hinges on how close his Cavs can get to the runaway Hawks. This will be Cleveland’s final chance to narrow the gap in the regular season standings and, while it probably won’t matter, avoid handing the Hawks a tiebreaker. The Cavaliers want one of the top-two seeds. Truth be told, while there’s plenty of time for the Cavs to secure it, Atlanta wants Cleveland in that 2-or-3-slot as well.

Despite a rough shooting night against the Rockets on Tuesday, Millsap has shaken off a downturn in production from mid-February to help carry the Hawks during the past five games (19.2 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 3.2 APG, 48.1 FG%, 42.1 3FG%), particularly coming through for Atlanta in the fourth quarter. Following a tough shooting stretch recently, Horford has had similar success with clutch buckets in his last two games (17.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 69.6 FG%).

The Hawks' backcourt starters will want to avoid yet another sluggish first half at home, so their All-Star frontcourt teammates won’t have to play Herculean hoops at the close of this game. Teague and Schröder should be able to get wherever they want on the way into the paint, and drawing help from James and Shumpert can open things up for Carroll (39.7 3FG%, 18th in NBA; 46.2 3FG% in last three games) and Korver. This weekend’s back-to-back games could be just the opportunities Korver (49.2 FG%, NBA-high 49.6 3FG%) needs to float back above the 50-percent menisci.

Cleveland will want to do whatever they can to get one of Millsap or DeMarre Carroll in foul trouble. That could open the door for Mike Scott (14.3 3FG% last six games), who hasn’t blocked a shot since Thanksgiving and exceeded three defensive boards just once in the past month, to try and hold things down.

Instead, Mike Budenholzer may pair Al Horford with Pero Antić to keep up the defensive intensity when Millsap or DMC need to sit. Bud may also deploy Mike Muscala, who swatted four shots in Miami last Saturday and had a season-high 13 points and four blocks during garbage minutes in Cleveland back in November.

Danny Ferry has had an awfully hard time satisfying people. As the Cavs’ GM, jumping through one hoop after another, making player moves on behalf of LeBron and his meddling associates, was insufficient to keep Northeast Ohio’s favorite son from setting sail for greener pastures. Ferry wisely jumped before he could be pushed into Lake Erie.

As the Hawks’ GM, Danny’s table-setting for the team’s unparalleled future success was not enough for at least one current owner to cut him some slack. The squabbling among ownership factions over a statue finally being unveiled tonight set the stage for the power-playing tempest Ferry unwittingly walked into, while some intel he read aloud before these owners, likely from a former Cavs manager, set wheels in motion for his double-secret probation.

While the statue has been erected, and as Atlanta sits happily atop the NBA standings, Ferry’s job status remains in flux. However, Atlanta’s next victory would ensure the Hawks an opportunity to get more out of Ferry’s iconic 2012 Joe Johnson trade than a 2017 second-rounder and gobs of cap space. The mirth emanating from the Ferry compound would be much greater if that victory comes at the expense of his former bosses, namely LeBron James and Cleveland’s Dan Gilbert.

Let’s Go Hawks!

~lw3

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Test blog entry with image

Posted by Dolfan23 in Dolfan23's Blog, 08 March 2014 - - - - - - · 162 views

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The beatings will continue. But, does morale need to improve?
 
After just five double-digit losses on the season going into February, our Atlanta Hawks have dropped seven of their last ten deficits by ten or more points, including last night’s collapse at Golden State.
 
Even with the playing field leveled somewhat by opponents’ misfortunes, the Hawks’ defensive ineptitude has the team failing to capitalize. LaMarcus Aldridge had a rare night struggling from the field on Wednesday. But Blazers were freed up like Lil Boosie all along the perimeter, and offset Aldridge’s lost production with a barrage of open three-point shots. Klay Thompson exits last night with a back injury, and the remaining Warriors shot just 6-for-19 from 3-point range, but the Hawks got gashed in the paint by Jermaine O’Neal and David Lee while shooting just 8-for-34 on threes themselves.
 
Atlanta is on pace to drop 10 straight away games for the first time since losing their last 13 road games under Mike Woodson back in 2007. Yet there are no signs of finger-pointing, no dissension within the ranks among Budenholzer’s Bunch. It may be that the team is reading its static position in the standings and the “nice try” platitudes in the press clippings, and no one cares enough to find a panic button to push.
 
With no need to secure an All-Star trip or sustain any NBA records, the “sense of urgency” once preached by Larry Drew no longer reverberates in the locker room. Competitiveness has given way to complacency with the Hawks, but it appears they understand composure will be the key to assessing how victorious this team can be once their treacherous road tour concludes.
 
Things will get no easier tonight (10:30 PM Eastern, SportSouth, PRIME) against a rested Los Angeles Clippers team that’s won six straight, including an epic serving of comeuppance on their longtime tenant mate Lakers on Thursday night.
 
Jamal Crawford (19.0 PPG, second in team scoring) has been starting in place of the injured J.J. Redick, but he had to miss the past three games and remains questionable for tonight with a calf strain. Yet Darren Collison stepped up and delivered 24 of the Clips’ NBA-season-high 142 points on the Lakers. Former Hawk Willie Green has struggled mightily with his shot but may get a call to start if Crawford’s a late scratch.
 
The Clips (43-20) are 8-2 and have averaged 117.3 PPG in ten games since Chris Paul (11.0 APG, 1st in NBA; 10.5 APG since February 1) returned from a month-long shoulder injury. They now average a league-leading 107.7 PPG, a value that doesn’t bode well for a oil-leaking Hawk defense (110.3 opponent PPG in Atlanta’s last ten games).
 
L.A. shored up their backup forward positions, dispatching Antawn Jamison (to the Hawks) and sending Byron Mullens out to pasture while making room for buyout targets Danny Granger and Glen Davis. Each player is being acclimated slowly but may get significant minutes tonight if Blake Griffin (24.1 PPG, 6th in NBA) and DeAndre Jordan (66.1 FG% and 14.0 RPG, 1st in NBA) need a spell. Atlanta will need another footloose performance from Mike Scott and more elbow shots from Elton Brand to outperform Granger and Davis.
 
To keep themselves off of the wrong side of SportsCenter highlights and Twitter hashtags, the Hawks will need to shield Griffin 24-7 (DeMarre Carroll in the fullcourt, Paul Millsap in the halfcourt) and keep him moving laterally rather than rolling full-steam ahead toward the basket. Both players must commit fouls judiciously.
 
Ex-Hawk point guards Rivers and Tyronn Lue have had ample time to gameplan for Jeff Teague. He will need effective screens to free himself up from his Demon Deacon alum Paul (2.4 SPG, 1st in NBA), who is seeking an All-Defensive 1st Team selection for the third-straight season, and make quick and decisive maneuvers with the basketball.
 
Matt Barnes was unavailable when the Hawks beat the Clippers in December. Today, he'll be latched onto Kyle Korver (23 points vs. LAC on December 4, 6-of-9 on threes, tying the NBA consecutive-game record). With Korver heavily occupied, a big offensive night from Carroll and Pero Antić could stretch the defense and benefit both Millsap (25 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks on December 4; who needs to keep Griffin busy defensively) and Teague finding points in the paint against Jordan (2.4 BPG, 6th in NBA). Re-establishing accuracy on deep shots will be a tall order against the league's best team defensively against the three-pointer (32.6 opponent 3FG%).
 
Go Hawks!
 
~lw3 

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Trade Talk

Posted by MikeMorgan in MikeMorgan's Blog, 10 December 2013 - - - - - - · 154 views
Omer Asik

I'm very impressed with the Hawks thus far. However a trade for Omer Asik would put us as one of the top teams in the East. Al Holford has never had a chance to be a power forward. His shot is better and so is his low post game. With those simple moves we will be on our way. Let's go Hawks

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The Horford Question

Posted by Diesel in Diesel's Blog, 30 July 2013 - - - - - - · 200 views
Al Horford, Leadership

The Horford Question

 

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Is he ready?  Is HE Ready?  IS HE READY?  That's the question that Atlanta Hawks fans are quietly asking themselves about the last remaining piece of the Billy Knight Era, Al Horford or Horf (if you will).  Thus far, Danny Ferry has done a job of ridding himself of everything that said Billy Knight.  It's almost as if he believed that anything Knight brought in was plague ridden and not fit for this team.    When you look at it, what Knight used as his core:  Johnson, Smith, Williams, Horf, Larry Drew, and sometimes Zaza was sent away with nothing in return.  Ferry traded and ignored them all so that he can have his precious capspace.  Like I have said in previous posts, Ferry is going to do what Elitest do.  Trust only himself and upkeep his own standard.  However, it brings us back to Horf.  Horf is the last of the Mohicans.   Just call him Uncas. 
The question of his readiness is at hand.   He has been surrounded by efficient, physical players to match his efficiency and physicality.  For all the years that he has been called Bawse, now is the proving time.   He has to be the first option scorer on offense and leader in the lockerroom.   For what it's worth, he has already shown great leadership by welcoming every incoming player personally.  The good news is that there will be a few familiar faces in the person of Teague, Korver, and Lou; however, this time, there is no JSmoove to back him up on defense or to kill him softly on offense.   There is no Larry who will draw up ball movement plays instead of focusing on position specific plays.  So people want to know what should Horf do to get ready?  Here are the Dieselputers answers.
 
1.  Perfect the Pick and Roll.
 
Horford is a face up, high post player.   He is perfect for the screen and roll and pick and pop.  He has to master that part of his game.  Some say he should work on his low post, we will address that in point two.  However,  the Pick and Roll and Pick and Pop is the offensive scheme that will happen when we fall out of transition.   Horford has to be really fluid with this because this will be how our hard points will be generated.  
 
2.  Make a case for bringing in a 7 footer to play Center.
 
Horford is naturally a PF.   He should petition to play PF.  The league is getting big again.  Horf should be banging with the likes of Bynum, Lopez, Hibbert, and Oden.  Since he is the leader of the Hawks, we need to realize that all of that banging is too much on him.  We can't have him physically distressed.  Instead, we should bring in a big who can run the floor and fight down low and allow Horf to play the PF.   My suggestion is trading for Gortat.  He's a 7 footer with Speed.  We've missed out on everybody else.  Horf has to be at the 4.  IF we can't get Gortat, wait a while and pitch for Asik.  While Asik is not as fast as Gortat, he brings the defense we need.
 
3.  Defense, Defense, Defense.
 
Smoove's one great attribute is that he understood defensive spacing.   Horf needs to be the guy who directs our defense.  He needs to be able to bark at players and tell them where they need to be. 
 
4.  Your twin Millsap is not a twin at all.
 
I see a lot of people saying that Millsap and Horf are the same.   Not really.  Millsap actually shoots better from distance and Horf shoots better in the midrange.  I think Millsap may be our Sf parttime and PF parttime.  IF so, we will be a very tough team.  Horf has to learn and build chemistry with Millsap.  Especially if we get a true 5.
 
5.  Teague and DNice are your friends.  Take them out and feed them.
 
Horf has to learn how to lead these two young points.  Not just on the court, but certainly off it.
 
If we do those things, we will surprise many.  But it's up to Horf.

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An Open Letter To Josh Smith

Posted by HawkRock1123 in ATL Hoops, 21 February 2012 - - - - - - · 390 views
all star, josh smith, dunk

Dear Mr. Smith,

…and I certainly do mean Mr. Smith, because you have come into your own. Nobody knows that better than longtime Hawks fans.

If a man came across the Grand Canyon for the first time, knowing nothing about the way that such a marvel could come into existence, he may just assume that it had been that way since the beginning of time. But we know better. We know that creating the Grand Canyon took an enormous amount of time and energy, little by little carving out what is now a wonder to embrace. Only the Good Lord knows what this piece of land looked like at the beginning of time. Only He watched it grow.

But with you, basketball fans in Atlanta were more privileged.

Those of us who have been with the team since before we were relevant remember what we thought the first time you put on your hometown team’s uniform. They told us you were an 18 year old kid, and we had to take them at their word. But to my college buddies and myself, you looked more like a super-charged cyborg sent from the future with a single objective: dunk.

And you did. You dunked on everybody. You went to the rim every time. You were fearless, a warrior bringing inspiration to an otherwise lifeless team. The only thing you seemed to care about as much as dunking was thwarting the feeble attempts of those less worthy. Dunk belonged only to you. It was your birthright, a blessing which you graciously shared with those who wore the same jersey. All others were denied for their blasphemies.

And we loved you for it. You gave us something to cheer for back when the postseason was a pipe dream, a time of the year when we had to find another team to root for because our beloved Hawks were on early vacation. We left a lot of empty space in the win column that season, but you gave us a reason to check Sportscenter every morning. “I wonder what Josh did last night….”

Last week, you were once again overlooked by the invisible powers-that-be for the NBA All-Star game. I thought NBA coaches did the voting, but given the results, I have to think that the voters are a collection of angry individuals who sit in an undisclosed dark room not watching basketball. Given your performance in this grueling shortened season, I can only assume that their methods for choosing All-Stars consists solely of staring ignorantly at each other and saying “Let’s just pick the same guys from last year.

But we see you.

We the fans have watched you grow from a young dunk-Jedi with a world of potential into a complete (and remarkably unique) NBA star. Season after season, you have done the dirty work on a team that needed your energy to weather the storms of roster changes, injuries, and indifference from the rest of the league.

Let’s be honest, Mr. Smith. You don’t fit into their mold. They haven’t watched you like we have. They don’t understand. And here’s what is perhaps most important about your game – you know it.

And I know you know it, because I have watched you play, Mr. Smith. I have watched you play since you were Josh the 18 year-old kid. They overlooked you then too, and you used it as a motivation. You had something to prove, knowing that your unique skill set made you an invaluable piece of a winning team. Like any good warrior, you used their negligence of the obvious to fuel your fire. Why sugar coat this? You play with a chip on your shoulder. It makes you who you are, a volatile player who has learned to focus their negative energy where it belongs – at the rim.

We’re with you. They overlook us too. In that way, you embody the spirit of this franchise. The Hawks are a team that nobody takes seriously, even when we beat the best. We eliminate the Magic in the first round like it’s strictly business, and the media cites their failure rather than our success. We take the Bulls to the limit, and still we’re regarded as “lucky to have it made it that far.”

But we know better, and we know better about you, Mr. Smith. We know the player that was the turning point for this franchise. We know the difference-maker, the secret weapon, the gladiator. We know because we have spent time in your arena. We have seen the victims who lay in your wake.

So I hope that you will understand that “NBA All-Star” is an arbitrary distinction, a popularity contest decided by the people you spent the last 8 years dunking on.

Let’s be honest. You didn’t want to play for them anyway.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Hall
The (Local) Rockstar Devotional

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Sund gets an A+

Posted by Buzzard in Buzzard's Blog, 08 October 2009 - - - - - - · 486 views

With the advent of our 3rd season of having our core starting five together, Sund's direction seems to be creating a better overall team through depth. Its a wait and see attitude; in which our ability to step up as a team to the next level depends solely on the improvement of these core three players: Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, and Al Horford.

Some may disagree with this strategy; but if you look at the free agents that were available this past off season it is a sound strategy. 1st off, all three of our core are still young veterans by anyones standards. 2nd, all three have shown the ability to improve some part of their game throughout their short NBA careers. And 3rd, Sund was able to improve our bench depth and leadership via free agency and one draft pick two consecutive seasons.

We as fans always want to see the home run season; problems are many with that strategy and here are the two that standout for me. 1st, you may miss as his the case in my opinion with Kenyon Martin and for more than one full season both Baron Davis and Carlos Boozer. 2nd, there are not that many home run hitters available in the NBA. Guys who can put you over the top just with their signing. We only need to look at next seasons bumper crop. With all the expectations and excitement concerning 2010 free agency, only three to five players are considered franchise type players. 3 to 5 to be divided by 30 teams and this is a great year.

Putting all your bets into free agency is as much a crap shoot as the draft. More so when you take into account the player has the choice and not the team. If the Knicks strike out next season there could be riots at the Garden. Even if they don't, the Knicks may very well have to over pay dearly to convince one of these high profile players to come there. Same for all the teams in the free agent running next season.

Sund's direction is much more sound than betting we can sign a player to put us over the top. All we need is for our core group to continue to improve, while players like JJ and Bibby continue to show the leadership that is needed for such a young group of veterans. If they do this and Sund maintains the quality depth he has shown us the last two seasons, it could very well be Josh, Marvin, or Al who are being sought out as franchise changers five to six years from now.

I am holding off including Teague in this as far as a core player goes. But he does have some serious skills and hops. Now that would be something to behold as a Hawk fan next season, when as many as ten teams or more are scrambling for one of five core players, we are talking about our core four improving for another season!

Sund is doing as good a job at GM as anyone in the league; especially considering the budget and players he began his stint here with. Lets just see what lays ahead for our young core and vet leaders before declaring the winner of the Lebron etc sweepstakes the real winner.

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What I want to do in the free agency...

Posted by mattlanta in Libid21's Blog, 05 July 2009 - - - - - - · 438 views

Time is ticking, and Rick Sund has to make a move for a big right now! Re-sign Zaza at least, and worry about the rest of the free agents later. There's no point in thinking of the playoffs if you don't bring back Zaza because he will be much harder to replace than any other free agents we have.

I would like our lineup to look like this...

PG: Bibby / Teague
SG: Johnson / Crawford / West
SF: Williams / Evans
PF: Smith
C: Horford / Pachulia / Andersen

This list was made by...
Resigning Zaza
Resigning Marvin
Resigning Bibby
Resigning Andersen
Resigning West

This is possible, Rick!

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Hawks X's And O's

Posted by BeeSwatter in Nothin' But Net, 28 January 2009 - - - - - - · 515 views

Another hot topic on the board for sometime. In the first of a two part post I want to look at the Hawks switching man to man defense. I have been recording nearly all of the Hawks games from this season and I have re-watched pieces of the Hawks December trek through the Texas Triangle, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

I noticed as early as the Hornets game that the Hawks were switching nearly every ball screen no matter what players were involved. This was fairly effective in the second half of that New Orleans game as the switching really kept Chris Paul out of the lane after he had had a huge first half. There are many options for tactics when defending screens. The Hawks are one of the few teams I have seen that switch on every screen. I believe to be able to switch all screens then you have to go back to BK's plan of having 5 guys on the court that are athletic with long arms that can defend. As you can see on many nights when the Hawks have brought a defensive intensity to the game this plan has been able to work. Many times however this has not been the case. In this Texas series we ran up on coaches that were able to manipulate the match ups. The Spurs in particular ended up with ZaZa trying to guard Ginobli on the perimeter simply by setting a high screen.

Over the next few days I am going to watch some other NBA games and I want to see their tactics on ball screens and see the differences.

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Who are the top 5 players in Hawks Franchise History?

Posted by Deeman in Deeman's Blog, 23 August 2008 - - - - - - · 354 views

I started following the Hawks around 1997, so I don't know alot about this franchise. I want to know who you think are the 5 best players in Atlanta Hawks history. Don't worry about the team's sucess just the 5 best individual players.

Here is my list
1.Dominique
2.Pistol Pete
3.Joe Johnson
4.Steve Smith
5.Shareef Abdur Rahim
help wanted.gif

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Swish's Hawksquawk Member Power Rankings

Posted by Swish in Swish's Blog, 05 August 2008 - - - - - - · 334 views

OK, the inaguaural SHSMPR....here goes...

15. Traceman

A "charter" member, so to speak, Traceman has season tickets and contributes objectively, regularly, and kindly to the Squawk. Its posters like Trace who are the glue.

14. Hotlanta1981

Earns the spot for quantity alone. Also for managing to smash anything Hawks related.

13. DrReality

The name says it all. A strong dose of reality for Diesel and other hallucinators.

12. HawksFanatic

Contributing invaluable financial, mathematical and cap information keeps HawksFanatic one of my favorite posters. If you have a cap question, go here. He may have a better hold on things than Rick Sund and ASG.

11. Libid21

For stepping in and helping out with technical advice when the forum switch was made and keeping us all technically in check, Libid21's stock is rising. Is there an apprentice moderator title dolfan?

10. sturt

Founder and part of the faction that balances out Diesel, the only problem with sturt is his lack of quantity.

9. NorthCyde

ASG's resident apologist, 'cyde provides a different side to things occasionally.

8. chillzatl

Though I've never read a chillz post and he apparently makes himself very scarce, he rates high because of status.

7. Brotha2thanite

His apparently valid communication with Chillz sends him skyrocketing up the relevance list for now.

6. exodus

Always present and an excellent arguer, exodus provides many insightful posts and manages to usually back up his arguments with valid statistics and facts.

5. DJLaysitup

For combining dry wit and post quantity, DJ can't be topped.

4. kudzu23

Don't know too much about him, but have to give admin's their props.

3. ifthenwouldi (MrHOnline)

Always a substanceful (new word!) poster and not one to argue, and racking up the favorite poster votes lands the late MrH the third spot.

2. Diesel

What can you say? When the Dieselputer is on, its really on. When its off, well, yeah. Diesel is the engine of the forum, always starting a good new topic for discussion and constantly thinking of new trades for Marvin Williams.

1. Dolfan23

Admin, programmer, moderator and good guy (apparently?) dolfan is always ready to help with your technical questions and throw in his basketball knowledge.





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