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Found 16 results

  1. Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot, and Never Brought to Mind? ((Blame it on the champagne! Cutting this draft game thread short to get rested up for the games today. Catch y’all later!)) The block is hot, the block is hot! It’s a busy Sunday sports afternoon in downtown Atlanta. Hopefully, the NFC South champion Falcons will make quick work of the New Orleans Saints and sew up a #2 playoff seed. If so, at halftime, fans in the Georgia Dome may consider sauntering down Dominique Wilkins Way to see if the Hawks can keep the San Antonio Spurs (6:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, Fox Sports Southwest in SA, NBATV elsewhere Sorry, ESPN lied to me) from extending their win streak to five. For Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, there’s been no letting up on his mastery over his former heir apparent. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer is still angling for a first regular-season win over his ex-boss. The last time the Hawks defeated San Antonio in Atlanta, in March 2010, Coach Bud was on the Spurs’ bench, and then-Hawks coach Mike Woodson was almost on his way out of town, despite what would be a 53-win season. To counter Manu Ginobili’s 38 points and Tim Duncan’s 29 points plus 13 rebounds, to prevail 119-114 in overtime, Atlanta needed 22 points and 18 boards (!) from Al Horford, and 26 & 9 from Marvin Williams. San Antonio (27-6, 1.5 games behind Golden State) has since won 11 straight games over the Hawks, piling onto a head-to-head win streak in San Antonio that extends back to the mid-1990s. In addition, here are the resulting scores when Popovich’s Spurs visited what’s purported to be Atlanta’s “home” floor, ever since Budenholzer flew the coop and took the reins here: 105-79 in January 2014, 114-95 in March 2015, 103-78 in December 2015. A victory today is paramount, for Atlanta (17-16) to complete a 3-game homestand successfully. But short of that, the Hawks have to keep teams, whether it’s the Spurs or the Timberwolves, from leaving them in the dust. Tim Duncan has hung up his jersey for the final time, but Atlanta may catch an additional break if San Antonio’s leading scorer is unable to go. Hey, Kawhi Leonard? To kick off 2017, how about a greasy pork sandwich, served in a dirty ashtray? Leonard has struggled with a stomach bug and digestion over the past few days, missing his first pair of games this season. Having the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year (2.0 SPG), 2016 MVP runner-up, and San Antonio’s top offensive threat (40.1 3FG%; career-highs of 9.9 FTs/game & 92.2 FT%) taking another couple of days off would theoretically (these are the Hawks we’re talking about here) be beneficial to Atlanta today. Despite The Claw’s defensive prowess, Leonard is needed on the floor more than ever to keep the Spurs balanced offensively. Staying clear of foul trouble (1.5 personals per game, lowest since his rookie year) is perhaps the reason his shot blocking activity has declined (0.5 BPG, down from 1.0 last season). If he starts today, Atlanta will rely on Thabo Sefolosha and Kent Bazemore to shoo him off the 3-point line and settle for interior shots (career-low 49.9 2FG%). Dennis Schröder needs to get his wings post touches that force Leonard to defend the ball up high. Jonathan Simmons stepped up in Aldridge’s absence, the swingman putting up 19 points (most since his season-opener) to help the Spurs come back from a first-half deficit to beat the visiting Trail Blazers on Friday. A former ABL standout and D-League tryout, Simmons is highlight-reel-caliber, but has struggled enough with consistency and focus to keep Coach Pop suppressing his playing time. Kyle Anderson stepped into the starting lineup in Kawhi’s place, leading all starters with 8 boards against Portland. Leonard’s illness has also forced the issue on power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, the five-time All-Star who has been hesitant to take over games. Facing his former team for the second time in 8 days last Friday, despite Kawhi being inactive, LMA took just 3 field goal attempts, finishing with 8 points (the Spurs still beat Portland by 18). Despite the 2015 free agent prize’s deferential nature, Aldridge did step things up in the prior three games (26.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 64.0 FG%). Aldridge’s team is eager to get him more mid-range looks. Given that they’re shooting fewer and fewer three-pointers each season (26.7 percent of FG attempts from 3-point range, 28th in NBA; NBA-high 41.0 3FG%), the Spurs are using Aldridge and newcomer vets Pau Gasol and David Lee to diversify the offense. Despite Duncan’s departure, the Spurs also keeping the tempo low (26th in pace) to accommodate their big men. To speed things up, the Hawks have to keep the pressure on Tony Parker (5 assists, no TOs vs. POR on Dec. 30) at both ends, and force someone else on the floor to make quick decisions with the ball. Dwight Howard (13.4 RPG, 2nd in NBA; 78.3 FG% last 8 games) and Paul Millsap have to outrun the Spurs’ bigs and be in position to score when Schröder and the Hawks’ ballhandlers are setting up plays. Kyle Korver (22 points, 3-for-8 3FGs vs. DET on Friday; 6-for-13 3FGs past two games) will be blanketed by Danny Green, but the more that Schröder and the Hawks’ wings can produce while Korver is away from the ball, the more likely Spurs’ defenders will draw help from Green and grant Kyle the cracks of daylight he’ll need to produce from the perimeter. Matching San Antonio’s diverse attack will keep the Hawks competitive for 48 minutes, something we haven’t seen against the Spurs in awhile. Happy New Year! Let’s Go Hawks! ~lw3 View full record
  2. Happy trails, Timmay! ~lw3
  3. http://en.yibada.com/articles/123587/20160514/nba-trade-rumors-san-antonio-spurs-jeff-teague-atlanta-hawks.htm
  4. http://www.inquisitr.com/3104024/nba-rumors-al-horford-leaving-atlanta-hawks-for-san-antonio-spurs/
  5. Hey Spursfan, in a close game Duncan didn't play hardly at all. Are you surprised?
  6. My legs haven't uncrossed in about an hour. Get well soon, Manu! ~lw3
  7. “You’re telling me, all I have to do is stand around and smirk for your product line? Where do I sign?” ((Too busy today for a full game preview, so have at it!)) In Springfield, Massachusetts, on a late summer evening in 2025, Gregg Popovich spans the crowd amid his induction speech. There they are, his NBA coaching tree: Ime Udoka, Quin Snyder, Becky Hammon, Mike Brown, Monty Williams, Brett Brown, Boris Diaw. All successful to varying degrees, thanks to his tutelage, and all grinning as they’re seated side-by-side. Coach Pop, however, reserves his best shade for his most trusty sidekick. “I could always count on my colleagues to give it the best they’ve got. As an example, Mike Budenholzer never could beat me in a regular-season game. But, you know what? At least you could tell he gave it his best!” The Atlanta Hawks could do something to thwart this event from happening (not the induction, you know what I mean) by putting a screeching halt to the San Antonio Spurs’ ten-game head-to-head win streak this evening at Philips Arena (8:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest). The last couple of meetings, the Hawks didn’t really seem all that up to the task. The Spurs mastery continued back on November 28, as the Hawks were held to just 12 second-quarter points, and just 88 for the game, as San Antonio easily pulled away. The crotchety Popovich expresses his begrudging disdain for the long ball: “I still hate it. I’ll never embrace it. I don’t think it’s basketball. I think it’s kind of like a circus sort of thing.” But his Spurs tied their own season-high with nine triples against the Hawks while holding Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford to one three-point attempt apiece (all misses), and limiting Jeff Teague (2-for-10 FGs) to 6-for-23 on threes. Millsap and Horford were rendered futile again on Thursday, as the Hawks (14-10) were hammered on the boards, 52-38, in Oklahoma City. Atlanta sat out Tiago Splitter, who also missed the first meeting versus his old team due to a hip injury, and his presence must be felt tonight to help minimize the rebounding disadvantage. Still, Budball almost pulled it out on the second night of a back-to-back, pulling within a point in the fourth quarter. But blown opportunities around the rim and at the free throw line proved too costly when Kevin Durant and the Thunder made their final successful run. Half-hearted execution and leaving points on the board won’t fly against a disciplined San Antonio team, looking to make amends after faltering to a DeMarre Carroll-less Raptors team in Toronto on Wednesday. It’s the Hawks with a bit of a rest advantage this time, and the Spurs (19-5) fly in from San Antonio after trouncing the Lakers last night. Let’s Go Hawks! ~lw3 View full record
  8. “I don’t always drink. But when I do, you can be darn sure it’s something better than Dos Equis!” The Professional Basketball Championship Selection Committee, chaired by Charles Barkley and consisting all manner of naysayers, have just two questions when it’s time to judge your worthiness for the postseason. Who did you play? And, who did you beat? To impress, you need to show you’re capable of beating those that impress the committee. The Atlanta Hawks’ 11-7 record doesn’t include gaudy victories, as only the Hornets (9-7), heat (10-5), Celtics (9-7), and the Grizzlies (9-8) have records above .500 on the young season. But vanquish the 13-3 San Antonio Spurs (8:30 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest), on their home floor (8-0) on the back end of a back-to-back, and you’ll get some Committee members to contemplate whether you’re worthy of more than mere NIT status. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich knows his protégé, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, has now gone two seasons without a regular season victory over his former employer as a feather in his cap. He also knows that, despite close calls for the Hawks in their last two visits to the AT&T Center, Atlanta hasn’t prevailed in San Antonio since Dikembe Mutombo bested Dominique Wilkins’ Spurs at the Alamodome in Coach Pop’s first season at the helm, in 1997. If Popovich had designs on simply letting Coach Bud and the Hawks off the hook, he would not have left Tim Duncan (career-low 27.6 minutes/game, 10.0 PPG, and 8.3 RPG; 2nd in NBA for Defensive Box Plus/Minus) and Manu Ginobili (+20.5 Points per 100 possesions, 3rd in NBA) back home purely for rest, while the Spurs traveled to high-altitude Denver to pan the Nuggets. The team’s two elder statesmen will be refreshed for tonight, as the Spurs face their seventh-straight visitor on the second night of a back-to-back set. It wouldn’t be surprising if Pop limits the minutes for some other Spurs tonight. Tony Parker (57.4 FG%, 1st among in NBA guards) could be capably spelled by speedy point guard Patty Mills (3.1 steals per 100 possessions, 9th in NBA). With Duncan back to rejoin free agent prize LaMarcus Aldridge (9.3 RPG, 15th in NBA), backups Boris Diaw (21.8 assists per 100 possessions, 1st among NBA bigs) and David West could each use a breather as well. Bud has learned the importance of strategic rest, granting Thabo Sefolosha the night off before the Hawks’ most impressive road victory to date, a 116-101 in Memphis. Sefolosha will need all his batteries recharged tonight as he comes off the bench to wrangle The Claw. Amazingly the second-youngest player on the Spurs’ roster, Kawhi Leonard (25 points, 4 steals and 5 blocks @ DEN) is as efficient a two-way player as you’ll find in the league (22.0 PPG; 46.8 3FG%, 6th in NBA; 6.8 TOs per 100 possessions, 7th-lowest in NBA; 4th in Win Shares per-48, 5th in Box Plus-Minus). It will be interesting to see if the defensive effort on Kawhi can be a sufficient balance for the offensive advantage Paul Millsap (23 points and 14 rebounds @ MEM) can have going head-to-head with LMA, who is still learning his role on the defensive end of the floor. Do-It-All Paul joins Leonard as one of four NBA players (Steph Curry and Paul George the others) in the top-ten for both Offensive and Defensive Win Shares. If Leonard roves off of the Hawks’ small forwards, Kent Bazemore and Sefolosha, to help defend Millsap, it’s up to Al Horford (16.3 assist percentage, 3rd among NBA starting centers) and Atlanta’s point guards to find the wings for open shots. The last time Bazemore, who returned for Friday’s victory after missing five games with an injured ankle, participated on the second night of a back-to-back, he exploded for a career-high 25 points against the woeful Wizards. It’s safe to assume tonight’s opponent will pose a greater offensive challenge. How good has San Antonio been defensively? Without Duncan around, they held the Faried-less Nuggets to 80 points, the tenth time a Spurs foe was held below 90 points already. Their defensive rating leads the league, and their relative defensive rating (relative to the rest of the league) momentarily ranks as the best in franchise history. As noted by the Jeff McDonald of the Express-News, the Spurs have won four consecutive games without needing to eclipse 100 points for the first time in five years. The Spurs don't plan on a Wild West shootout with Atlanta. Despite sinking three of his six 3-pointers in Denver yesterday, shooting guard Danny Green has been a bit of a mess on offense (33.8 FG%, 32.5 3FG%). But he still has enough defensive chops to put the clamps on Kyle Korver (63.8 eFG%, 3rd in NBA). The Grizzlies have the highest opponent ratio of free throw attempts to field goal attempts (35.1 opponent FTA rate), a factor that Millsap exploted successfully yesterday (11-for-13 FTs). The Spurs (20.5 opponent FTA rate) are right there with the Hawks (22.0) at the opposite end of the spectrum. Atlanta ranks 4th in eFG%, and needs to be meticulous in finding the best available shots, not waiting until the end of the shot clock when the Spurs can best sink their teeth into ballhandlers. San Antonio has much to be thankful for when it comes to Atlantans past and present. Besides helping the Spurs acquire just enough lottery balls to acquire Tim Duncan, giving up early on Diaw’s development, former GM and Dookie Danny Ferry committing to the development of Tar Heel Green, and then-Spurs coach Bud needling Spurs management to go after Leonard, Aldridge likely doesn’t return to the Lone Star State without the Hawks prying Tiago Splitter free. Splitter surely regrets not being able to play his former championship mates as he continues to give his hip a rest. In his absence, the Hawks will need continued yeoman’s work out of Mike Muscala (season-high 11 points and 6 rebounds, plus 2 blocks @ MEM). It will be tough for Budenholzer to resist the temptation of countering with Edy Tavares if Popovich tries to deploy fellow 7-foot-3 giant Boban Marjanovic, who started in a teasing six minutes in place of Duncan yesterday. In terms of games played, the Hawks do NOT hold the longest stretch of futility for an NBA team in the Alamo City. That mark actually belongs to one of the Spurs’ Western Conference opponents: the Golden State Warriors, losers of 32-straight. The Dubs don’t visit until March 19; if they’re still undefeated by then, we could have quite a titanic March Madness battle on our hands. Hopefully, The Committee will have Atlanta as a 2-seed by then. But the Hawks must impress people first. Let’s Go Hawks! ~lw3 View full record
  9. Spurs Hire Becky Hammon As Assistant Coach. Six-time WNBA All-Star thus becomes first female assistant coach in the NBA. Becky Hammon to meet local press in San Antonio this afternoon
  10. Off to Texas you go... ~lw3
  11. Marco with the Mack-o! He's got a future in New York politricks if he's ever interested! :-) He ain't tryna hear that! http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvYIpa1Ulvw http://www.balloverall.com/content/marco-belinelli-offers-girl-d-twitter-gets-put-blast ~lw3
  12. 1997-2012 Better Late Than Never, indeed! ~lw3
  13. Stephen A. Freeagent all of a sudden. http://www.poundingtherock.com/2013/4/12/4218372/spurs-waive-stephen-jackson I think the Spurs are deep enough to do without him, but they sure didn't need the aggravation. And another former Hawk, Boris Diaw, will be having surgery and will be out 3-4 weeks. ~lw3
  14. (Warning: Pure speculation ahead) I've got this itch that suggests Ivan Johnson will get flipped into DeJuan Blair in a S&T somehow. I need help scratching it. This of course assumes nobody is chomping at the bit to offer Ivan much more than the QO for multiple years right now. Blair's getting pushed out of Ivan's hometown of San Antonio after starting 60+ games before falling out of favor with Coach Pop late last season, much like Ivan a fixture on the bench during the postseason. He's rumored to be comfortably behind Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner on their depth chart now. Blair's got a low salary ($1.05 mill) that is not guaranteed until November 1. Danny Ferry tried and fell seconds short of acquiring Blair in the 2009 draft when he was the Cavs' GM. Attempts by the Spurs on 2012 draft night to ship him for a first-rounder were apparently met with LOL's. And with good reason. He's been pretty subpar with his shot selection and defense, especially for a guy that was getting starter's minutes. And subpar is being nice -- 369th last season in defensive points-per-possession. (And on the Spurs... is that even possible? Are there even 369 NBA Players?) But his greatest asset is offensive rebounding (top 5 in ORR among NBA forwards getting 20+ minutes), something that would come in handy with all the perimeter shots we expect to arrive at the net. He's also good as a roll man on P&Rs (somewhere around top 20 in the league on points-per-possession), which could help if we have penetrating guards. He is a moderately better passer, although still nothing to write home about. Ultimately, I suspect LD is not as thrilled about the prospect of 80+ games alongside a smoldering Ivan Johnson as he tries to let on publicly. He'd provide a nice change of pace as a PF option behind Diaw and Bonner. Coach Pop usually does fine with headcases, Captain Jack being their latest reclamation project to turn out just fine. While I'd sure miss the Ivan Johnson Experience here, I suspect one could do a lot worse than DeJuan Blair playing behind Josh Smith, especially if we're transitioning to an offense-focused team for 2013. I can't figure out a deal among players that would make an S&T work (thus, not a "Trade Idea" per se, just "Trade Speculation"). Maybe just a second-rounder coming our way will do the trick. But, IF this is where Ferry's going, I don't think he'll wait out to see whether the Spurs waive him or just eat his cheap contract and cut his minutes down on the bench. Instead of having Ivan here with a guaranteed contract, I think Ferry will want Blair here fighting to earn his roster spot in training camp, with the option of releasing him if someone deservedly beats him out. ~lw3
  15. went on hoopshype this morning and saw this tweet: the link in the quote goes to a spanish website but I found another site talking a little more about him. and yes, I know its talking about the Mavs interest but since the other site did mention the Hawks in it as well I figured it was relevant. http://bleacherrepor...el-hettsheimeir thoughts?