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Hawks - Raptors

Posted by lethalweapon3 in lethalweapon3's Pre-Game Preview Blog, 29 October 2014 - - - - - - · 20 views

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“Is... that… the Player of the Month trophy?”


So… yeah, Basketball!

You remember Basketball, dontcha? Round, dimpled leather, rubber interior shell, bounces nicely off the maple hardwood, slides nicely through an iron ring and into a cotton net when you pass it around and aim it just right. Basketball!

Our Atlanta Hawks hit the floor today trying to get themselves, and their fans, refocused on the whole Basketball thingy, and not the telenovela that publicly unearthed last month and plunged the franchise’s ownership, management, and fan base into multiple tiers of discomfiture. They’ll start by setting their sights on the Toronto Raptors (7:30 PM Eastern, SportSouth), and Hawks fans might as well get reacquainted with everybody who’s here for all that basketball stuff.

Howdy, Mike Budenholzer! Sure hope your hands aren’t too full! The coach that came here to reform Atlanta basketball into a championship-quality image has, for the foreseeable future, the added lead responsibility of roster management and personnel decisions. Bud’s pal, would-be-GM Danny Ferry, toils away in probationary obscurity, seeking out ways to wash the taste of his own foot out from his mouth after a faux-pas of epic, and hopefully transformative, proportions. In the interim, Bud, a man who prefaces almost every other comment with how much “We Like Our Group,” gets to put the depths of his adoration for his players to the test.

Welcome back, Al Horford! As the Hawks were starting to gel around Budball last December, Horford (21.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.0 APG that month) was on quite a tear, right up until his as-yet-untorn pectoral muscle went on quite a tear of its own. The lost chemistry, plus a spate of additional injuries, had the Hawks in a tailspin for months. Atlanta was 16-13 with Horford on the floor (on pace for at least a 45-win season) in 2013; 22-31 without him. The recovery period did grant Horford ample time to study on-floor strategy with the Hawks coaching staff, and they and his teammates will be eager for him to lead the way into 2015.

Even with the Eastern Conference in flux due to major personnel shifts, in order to compete and contend, the Hawks must have Horford not just healthy, not merely functional, not only competent, but dominant, vocal, focused and assertive on a regular basis. For at least the next couple months, the top lottery pick from the 2007 NBA Draft must be a guy wearing an ATLANTA uniform. For the Hawks to win back, and win over, the hearts and minds of an understandably skeptical Atlanta sports fanbase, this town must become Al-lanta.

Sup, Jeff Teague? No longer peering over his shoulder for a coach’s hook in favor of a more seasoned player, Teague helped the Hawks right the ship at the close of the regular season, and after some Billupsian big-shot baskets, he compelled the NBA world to sit up and take notice as he helped push the Pacers to the brink of elimination. Demonstrating what a bellwether he has become under Budenholzer, Atlanta was 29-3 last season when Teague registered a plus-minus of +6 or higher (7.5 APG, 2.5 TO/game, 37.1 3FG%), and 0-23 when Jeff finished games with a plus-minus of -6 or worse (5.5 APG, 3.3 TO/game, 21.7 3FG%).

Teague’s scoring efficiency rebounded nicely after the All-Star Break, up to 17.9 PPG and 48.2 FG% compared to 15.6 PPG and 41.2 FG% pre-Break. But Teague and the Hawks’ offense lost its way without Horford around for lobs and pick-and-pops. Jeff was among the NBA leaders at 8.2 APG through December, but managed just 5.7 per game the rest of the way. He’ll get a chance to reestablish his budding chemistry with Horford, now that Al’s back in tow. Teague comes into 2014-15 as stable in his career as ever before. It’s hoped that a persistent and consistent lead guard won’t need any introduction to Atlanta fans by the time next season rolls around.

It’s good to have you back for a little while longer, Paul Millsap! The 2014 season concluded on a sour note for the All-Star forward, after rough Game 6 and Game 7 shooting performances against a desperate Pacer squad. But if you’ll notice, Paul has a pep in his step of late, not the least of which because the league’s offseason infusion of media-contract cash is likely to result in next summer’s free agents crooning like Johnny Kemp.

Even a modest regression in scoring, while deferring more to Teague and Horford, won’t stop Sap from joining Horford as a nightly double-double double-threat. The NBA’s second-leading power forward in steals last season also showed he’s no slouch defensively. For a brief spell this summer, he and Kyle Korver had a chance to compete alongside some of the NBA’s best in Team USA’s preparation for the FIBA world championship. While Paul’s stay with Team USA was short, the good news is he’ll come into the regular season healthy and chomping at the bit to keep Atlanta’s offensive engine humming.

Hey, Kyle, we were just talking about you! No one player buys into what Budenholzer and Ferry have been trying to build as robustly as Korver. His ability to peel off multiple screens and slip free for deadeye perimeter shots can be downright maddening to opposing defenders who know what’s coming yet struggle to stop it. While he spreads the floor for his teammates, Kyle also understands that a modest defensive effort on his part keeps him from having to go 6-for-8 from deep every night just to give the Hawks a chance at victory.

So nice to see you again, DeMarre Carroll! While we may not be seeing as much of the Junkyard Dawg this go-round (32.1 minutes per game last season, almost double his career-high from 2012-13 in Utah), that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Atlanta’s two defensive-minded free agent additions, Thabo Sefolosha and Kent Bazemore, will keep DMC from having to wear himself out against every opposing threat on the wing, especially shooting guards. Sefolosha, considered a washout in OKC, surprised in the preseason with his shooting and rebounding. The upbeat Baze will not only be a whirling dervish on the floor, but the league’s preeminent towel-waving celebrator on the bench.

Yo, it’s the return of the Mack! Considering the poise with which Shelvin handled the rock last season (3.0 assist-to-turnover ratio, 10th among NBA point guards), it’s easy to forget he’s merely 24 years of age. Re-upping Mack for three years is emblematic of the faith the Hawks’ brass have in developing players suitable for their so-called system.

Mike Scott, Pero Antić, Elton Brand, Mike Muscala, fancy seeing you all here! The odds weren’t high that this quartet of backup bigs would all be brought back, but yet here they are. Following wretched offensive playoff performances, Antić and Brand (each 16.7 FG% in the 7-game series) are eager to show their age and/or health won’t render them liabilities on the floor.

As for our young second-round draftees, the emoji-spotted Scott and the freestyle-rapping Muscala hope they’ve added enough wrinkles to their game to earn upticks in floor time. Scott will particularly be a spark whenever the Hawks’ offense seems to bog down, perhaps fully supplanting a role Lou Williams once handled admirably. All of these players’ minutes, though, will be suppressed by first-rounder Adreian Payne as the season wears on and the rookie gains traction.

Did somebody mention rookies? Oh, wait, we can’t call Dennis Schröder that anymore! The second-year point guard was aggressive but inefficient last season, and he intends to cut down on the rookie mistakes in Year 2. He has few issues using his handle for forays into the paint, but he struggled to execute Plan B once opponents took Plan A away. He’s shown enough spark in the summer league and preseason, though, to nibble away at Mack’s second-string minutes, at least in the near term.

Whoa, John Jenkins, what are you still doing here? Atlanta customarily (at least, under Ferry) sticks with a 14-man roster, but Jenkins’ solid preseason shooting, and his apparent recovery after health issues plagued him last season, make him a pleasant keeper for depth on the Hawks’ roster. It’s unlikely that his and Schro’s pending contract extensions hang in the balance based on how they perform in limited minutes of this season opener. But it’ll be fun to pretend as if they do.

Tonight’s tipoff brings together two Eastern Conference rivals not only with on-floor upside, but perhaps the most continuity among their returning starters. Nine of Atlanta’s 11 leading scorers from 2013-14 check back in with the Hawks this season. Meanwhile, ten of the 11 top contributors on the Raptors’ playoff squad remain, along with Dwane Casey’s entire coaching staff. In fact, the biggest player movement transactions Toronto made during the offseason were with Atlanta.

Well, speak of the devil! Hello there, Lou Williams! You all remember Lou, right? South Gwinnett’s Finest was playing streetball in Atlanta’s local parks over the summer when he was shipped to the Great White North for the talent equivalent of a bowl of lukewarm poutine. Probably suspecting that he wasn’t a Ferry Guy in more ways than one, Lou will be out to show everyone back home that he’s still capable of huge offensive performances. And he’ll get every opportunity to do that, coming off of Casey’s backcourt bench alongside an equally determined Greivis Vasquez.

Bebe, is that you? Que pasa! You folks remember Bebe, back when he was just about yay high? He’s been drinking milk and getting himself stronger. Now the 2013 Hawks first-rounder is in a Raptors jersey, and the seven-footer would love to make his NBA debut against the very team that drafted him. The propensity for Toronto’s bigs to get into foul trouble (22.1 personal fouls per game, most in the East last season) could mean Bebe will get some time to shine tonight.

Before Ferrygate dropped, the award for Best Verbal Slip-Up by a GM of 2014 was all set to be engraved for Masai Ujiri. Perhaps after having too much of whatever the Ford Brothers were having, Toronto’s general manager grabbed the mic on stage before Game 1 of the Raptors-Nets series and delivered a colorfully dismissive diss of the Brooklyn team/borough.

Although the Nets, and the league, eventually made him pay for his choice words, Ujiri’s gaffe endeared him to a rabid Canadian hoops fanbase. They’ve entrusted him and Casey to get the Raptors to 50+ wins, amazingly, the sole NBA franchise that has yet to do so. Ujiri’s and Casey’s diligence paid off with a franchise high 48 wins last season, along with Toronto’s first division title and playoff appearance in six years.

Ujiri’s main offseason goals were to extend their defensive-minded coach for three more seasons and to do all he could to ensure the point guard who came alive in 2014 didn’t get wooed away. Extending Kyle Lowry for four more seasons, and satisfying Casey’s thirst for defensive play by bringing James Johnson back following a career-year in Memphis, allowed Ujiri to sit back and enjoy the balance of the summer while his team bonds.

Back in May, one Paul Pierce deflection was all that stood between Lowry and stratospheric stardom. Now, Toronto’s wiry yet fiery ballhandler can’t wait to prove he’s an All-Star talent who’s worth every penny of his new four-year, $48 million deal. The point guard battles between Lowry and Teague should continue to be highly entertaining.

Lowry would love to join the East’s third-leading scorer from last season on the All-Star squad. DeMar DeRozan paired with Lowry (40.6 combined PPG) to wind up just a shade behind The Splash Brothers (42.4 PPG) as the league’s highest-scoring backcourt. The Hawks could stymie the Raptors’ offense by forcing Lowry and DeRozan to settle for tough shots without fouling. Both are decent free throw shooters who accounted for nearly half of Toronto’s free throw attempts last season (DeRozan 7th in NBA in FT attempts per game).

Jonas Valanciunas’ prospects for this season brightened after strong offensive performances at the FIBA World Cup buoyed Lithuania to a 4th-place finish, and after the obligatory offseason workout with Hakeem Olajuwon. His newfound fake-and-shakes in the post could help Toronto shoot more than 27.6% of their shots around the rim, the league’s lowest proportion last season.

How far Big Valley advances this season, though, depends a lot on what he does on the defensive end. Despite Toronto’s overall defensive efficiency, the Raps were next-to-last in defending opponent shots around-the-rim. They gave up 3.2 more points per 100 possessions with the Jonas brother on the floor. Bebe and Greg Steimsma were brought in to make sure someone other than Amir Johnson (1.1 BPG) averages more than a blocked shot per game.

Toronto’s veteran bigs can be leaden at times getting back on defense, so the Hawks have to push the pace and force the Raptors to play on their heels, with Teague (3rd in the East with 3.8 fastbreak PPG in 2013-14, behind LeBron and John Wall) leading the charge.

The specter of 4th quarter collapses appeared throughout the preseason for the Hawks. They don’t want a facsimile of the final stanza against a Toronto team that put clamps on opponents with an NBA-high +2.4 plus-minus in fourth quarters last season. On Atlanta’s last trip to the Air Canada Centre in March, there was no Kyle Korver (50.0 3FG% vs. Toronto last season) around to save them from a 36-15 fourth-quarter drubbing (Lowry with 13 points), the Raptors swinging an 11-point deficit into a ten-point victory.

Despite not quite reaching the second round, Toronto did just enough in the space of five short months to become the darlings of basketball’s media pundits coming into this season. But pushing the pace, keeping Toronto’s offensive stars bottled up without copious trips to the line, and minimizing the Raptors’ second-chance points will go a long way toward the Hawks making a strong first impression on the league.

They the North, but We the South! And I don’t mean that in a bad way!

Let’s Go Hawks!

~lw3

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Companies to spend more on digital marketing than traditional in coming years

Posted by kurlinahuj in kurlinahuj's Blog, 29 April 2014 - - - - - - · 86 views
digital marketing and 4 more...

Recent surveys are finding more companies than ever are spending more on their digital marketing than “traditional” marketing formats. In fact, marketing mix optimization solution provider ThinkVine released results from a survey which indicate “more than half of marketing executives expect to spend more on digital media than traditional channels within the next two years.”

Traditional marketing includes such formats as radio, print, TV, etc., and these days those outlets simply don’t reach as large a market as online or digital marketing does. In 2014, “a quarter of senior-level marketers say that their spending in online display, social, mobile, and other digital channels currently exceeds spending on . . . traditional media.” With another 31 percent projecting similar budgets by 2016, digital marketing will soon officially be the most popular of all marketing outlets.

These survey results cake from a poll of 200 corporate marketing officers, marketing vice presidents, and CEOs. Their companies ranged in revenue from less than $100 million a year to over $10 billion per year. Just 3 percent of respondents thought the preponderance of spending on marketing would never shift from traditional to digital.

However, ThinkVine CEO Mark Battaglia cautioned companies against abandoning caution and throwing themselves into online marketing immediately. He said, “Marketers shouldn’t blindly follow the crowd. Consumers in general spend more time with digital media, but it’s important for each brand to know how their specific customers consume media and how different media types work together to achieve sales and brand objectives.”

ThinkVine’s survey also found that insurance, entertainment, finance, and technology companies tend to invest most heavily in digital marketing. Over 35 percent of marketers in these industries already spend more time online than in traditional formats. It also found that companies with higher revenue streams have a higher percentage of their marketing budget focused in online outlets. Just 9 percent of companies in the lowest revenue bracket had concentrated their efforts in their online presence, compared with 36% of companies with over $1 billion in profit.

Online spending still has room for improvement, though, Battaglia said, as “results show that most marketers are moving budgets to digital channels before they have all the information they’d like to have.” He counsels marketers to “gain a competitive advantage by using data and analytics in new ways across the marketing mix.”

Marketing News brought to you by PayPerCallMarket.com

Source: digitaljournal.com/pr/1865823
 

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Test blog entry with image

Posted by Dolfan23 in Dolfan23's Blog, 08 March 2014 - - - - - - · 99 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 - - - - - - · 108 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 - - - - - - · 148 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 - - - - - - · 333 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 - - - - - - · 418 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 - - - - - - · 363 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 - - - - - - · 447 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 - - - - - - · 310 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 - - - - - - · 283 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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