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Archive for January, 2009

Hawks vs Nets Preview | Joe Makes All Star Team

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Game: Hawks (26-19 – Lost Last 3) vs Nets (20-26 – Lost Last 2)
Date: January 30, 2009, 7:30 PM
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
TV: SportsSouth (Channel 53 on Comcast)
Odds: Hawks -1, O/U 196.5

Last Game: Knicks 112 Hawks 104 on 1/28 in New York
Raptors 107 Nets 106 on 1/28 in East Rutherford

Key Nets:

Scoring Devin Harris (Wisconsin)
Rebounds Brook Lopez (Stanford)
Assists Devin Harris 6.5
FG% Brook Lopez 48.9
FT% Devin Harris 83.0
3PT% Keyon Dooling (Missouri)
Blocks Brook Lopez 1.9
Steals Devin Harris 1.7

Nets Update: One of those “Key Nets” you don’t see up there is Vince Carter (UNC) who seems to always kill the Hawks. He made a looooong three pointer at the buzzard in overtime to beat us last time in New Jersey. In that game, the Nets came out real hungover from New Years Eve (even though the game was on the 2nd) and spotted the Hawks a 20 point halftime lead. It seems the Hawks thought that was a reason to celebrate and came out extremely flat in the second half and allowed the Nets to send it into overtime. Still, the Hawks could have won it until Vince did this.  Vince actually has 21.5 ppg, .1 less than Harris, but is dropping over 25 a game against the Hawks in his career.  So maybe we should try to get a hand in his face better than we did against Nate Robinson.

Tonight, the Nets will be without Yi (China), which at least is something that may give the Hawks a slight edge over their recent struggles with the Nets. The Nets last started Carter, Harris, Lopez, Bobby Simmons (DePaul), and Ryan Anderson (Cal), although Dooling takes most of Anderson’s minutes. Should be a good game and with the Hawks struggles the past week or so, coupled with their struggles all year against the Nets, you gotta like the Nets getting 7 points here.

Hawks Update: We got spanked by the Knicks the other night, although it didn’t really seem that way. J Sandpaper went 2 of 10 from the line, which I can assuredly say that I can do better than. The Hawks were 17 of 32 from the line as a team (10 of 20 against the Nets on the 2nd.) That is going to have to improve, especially in the playoffs, where close games usually happen (unless they are played in Boston.) Just so you know, Hawks are 2nd to last (Magic) in free throw percentage. Who would have thought that Hawks would one day actually be significant, and free throws would be holding us down?

Injuries: As mentioned earlier, Yi is out. Eight year man Stromile Swift (LSU) has been out since mid December with ankle/family problems. If Al Horford was playing, it would be a preview of the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge game, as he would be going against Brook Lopez. But it’s expected that Horford is still out til next week. Also, don’t think Speedy Claxton is gonna be wearing shorts tonight.

On to Joe Johnson making the All-Star team for the third straight year…great job by Joe, going three straight years. His stats don’t seem as good as year’s past but they are about the same as last season. He has been having a bad January though, under 17 ppg this month, while averaging at least 22 each previous month. I think this quote can sum up how the Hawks have been playing lately:

“We’re going to keep getting our [expletives] kicked if we play like this,” Joe Johnson said. “We’re playing like [expletive] right now. Plain and simple.”

Let’s guess the expletives. Notice in the first sentence he uses expletives (plural). So multiple expletives back to back. Either way he is pissed off. Looking at the Hawks, we are extremely inconstant, including Joe at some points. But if they can get their heads on straight and just play .500 ball the rest of the year, they should be in good shape. Hopefully Joe’s comments spark the team. The Nets are extremely beatable and the Hawks have to be pissed off enough to win tonight and it will be interesting to see how they play.

Back to Joe, he should definitely be an All Star, as the 4th best team in the conference should have a representative on the team. He has this season and next season left on his contract and the Hawks would be wise to lock him up. I didn’t do any research on why we should lock him up, but just looking at our recent history, just having an all star on our team for three straight years is very unusual and we should try to continue that by re signing Joe when the time comes. Obviously there is money issues involved, but Joe is a guy that has been our best player who has lead us from 13 wins to the playoffs. There is a Newsday article talking about how Johnson would be a good fit to re-unite with Coach D’Antoni. That actually makes a lot of sense and we can all hope it does not happen. Anyways, go Joe.

“It’s a huge accomplishment and honor,” Johnson said. “And not only for me, but for the entire organization. It’s a tribute to my teammates and the coaching staff, because without them it’s not even possible.”

Etc, Etc: Marvin Williams maybe on the trading block, reported by Chad Forde in his “Trade Watch.” It reads that is a “15 percent” chance of trade. I think Marvin has a lot of talent. We see bits and pieces of the incredible talent from night to night. But the Hawks do need something to shake things up and I would not be opposed to a trade if the right deal came along. Thanks to Hoopinion for pointing out the article.

Also, I just trade Sandpaper away in fantasy, along with Tyson Chandler, for Jamal Crawford, Stotts Era HOFer Stephen Jackson, and Mike Miller, so we’ll see how that works out.

Horford Return Slated for February 4th

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

It looks like the Atlanta Hawks will be getting Al Horford back for next week.  The Hawks have desperately missed Al Horford the past three weeks.  Soloman Jones and ZaZa Pachulia have filled in and given a valiant effort, but Al has been sorely missed.  Horford will start to practice later this week and a return against the T-Wolves looks to be realistic.  Horford has averaged 10.8 ppg, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks ppg.  Look for Al Horford to be eased back into action at first.  Horford will help the Hawks with its interior defense and most importantly team attitude.  I feel like the Hawks have missed his fire the past three weeks. 

Also, the NBA trade deadline is February 19th at 3pm eastern time.  I would like to see the Hawks make a move for a Veteran post player and possibly an outside shooter. 

Another issue I would like the Franchise to address is locking up Marvin Williams.  We made the mistake of not drafting Chris Paul or Deron Williams, but I think that Marvin has a lot of upside and could eventually be an All-Star.  If you watched the game last night he probably played better than anyone on the floor in my opinion.  The Hawks have made a lot of questionable decisions the past few years, but please do not make the mistake of not re-signing Marvin.  Also, the Hawks need to resign Mike Bibby.   You have been waiting for a Point- Guard since 1999, please do not make the mistake of letting this guy go.  The last Point-Guard we had that was an asset was Mookie Blaylock.    Bibby wants to be a Hawk and he is only 30 years old.  Lock him up for a 4-5 year deal.  Obviously we need to lock up Joe Johnson, but that goes without saying.   Build on your starting 5 and bring in veteran role players who can help on a night by night basis.  I am sorry, but Randolph Morris, Mario West,  and Thomas Gardner are not going to cut it.   Come on Atlanta lets bring a Title to your city and especially to fans like Chris, MA, and I.

Hawks vs Knicks Recap

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Well, I did not watch the game, I did get a text from hicks, “this is embarrassing.”  Apparently Nate Robinson went off and no one on our team can score.  Obviously Joe is having trouble scoring lately and not playing team defense does not help.  My only idea would be to rotate Marvin and Josh with Flip Murray, because Flip is the only one on this team can score right now, but I do not want to take Bibby/Joe off the floor for that long.  They will both eventually find their shots, and hopefully will have their shot for the duration of February, which is about 75% on the road.  Anyways I didn’t watch the game, think hicks did, maybe he will post later on the atrocity.

Horford Named to Sophomore Team

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Good news. From Sekou:

Al Horford was selected to play in the Rookie-Sophomore game during the NBA’s All-Star weekend next month.
The second-year Hawks forward played in the game last season as a rookie. He had 19 points and seven rebounds in loss to the sophomores.
Horford has missed the last nine games with a bone bruise in his right knee. He is scheduled to return to the Hawks lineup next week.
The Rookie-Sophomore game will be played during All-Star weekend Feb. 13-15.

The Sophomore Roster: Horford (Florida), Kevin Durant (Thunder/Texas), Jeff Green (Thunder/Georgetown), Al Thornton (Clippers/Florida State), Thaddeus Young (76ers/ Georgia Tech), Wilson Chandler (Knicks/DePaul), Rodney Stuckey (Pistons/Eastern Washington), Aaron Brooks (Rockets/Oregon) and Luis Sciola (Rockets/Argentina).

Their adversaries will be the youngster including Derrick Rose (Bulls/Memphis), OJ Mayo (Grizzlies/USC), Marc Gasol (Grizzlies/Spain), Greg Oden (Blazers/Ohio State), Rudy Fernandez (Blazers/Spain), Russell Westbrook (Thunder/UCLA), Eric Gordon (Clippers/Indiana), Michael Beasley (Heat/Kansas State), and Brook Lopez (Nets/Stanford).

Congrats Al.

Additional Comments from Hawks v Heat Game

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

I was not watching the Heat game during the first half, but my buddy (we’ll call him MA for now) did have the decency to call me and tell me how Stotts Era-esque the Hawks were playing. Here are some additional texts I got during the 2nd half:

hicks: Dude hawks look awful
MA: Let gardner or west come in and jack up some threes
hicks: When does al come back?
MA: (speaking of Josh) He learned his jumper from Niekro. Kunckeballs. Im changing his name to flypaper.
hicks: Al or zaza or solo come on!
MA: If they ever make another weekend at bernies Woody could win an oscar
hicks: Yeah how bout let’s get joe invloved we can come back I like moe evans on wade flip has been a spark though
hicks: We need to move for another bench player before trade deadline
hicks: Don’t u have to go with bibby at some point
hicks: J sandpaper!!

Records Set in Hawks vs. Heat game

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

The Atlanta Hawks went about 13 and a half  minutes without a field goal in the first half against the Miami Heat.  This was also with Heat guard Dwayne Wade on the bench with foul trouble.  Hawks looked very lazy on offense and players were standing around, playing a lot of one on one basketball.   During this stretch the Hawks committed 10 turnovers and missed 13 straight field goals.  The Hawks were also rejected more times than I can say Dikembe Mutumbo.  On a historical note the Hawks had a season and franchise record in this game of 27 points in the first half.  The Hawks shot 8 for 26 in the first half, and Miami set a franchise record for themselves of fewest allowed field goals made in a half.

Atlanta seems to have this problem every so often in my opinion.  I do not know whether we went out in South Beach the night before, but the entire team looked sluggish.   This is a game you must win, especially against a division rival.  Although the Hawks are missing Big Al Horford, the Heat were without Shawn “The Matrix” Marion and first round selection Michael Beasley in the second half.  Hopefully the Hawks will fair better in there upcoming matchup against the New York Knicks.  This reunites the Hawks again with former teamate Al Harrington who was traded this season from the Golden State Warriors to the New York Knicks in exchange for Jamal Crawford.  Mike Woodson has referred to Harrington when he was on the Hawks as our “ROCK”.

Next Game: 1/28/09 Hawks @ Knicks

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Game: Hawks (26-18) @ Knicks (19-25)
Date: January 28, 2009, 7:30 PM
TV: SportsSouth (Channel 53 on Comcast)
Odds: Knicks -2, O/U 207

Last Game: Heat 95 Hawks 79 on 1/26 in Miami
Knicks 104 Rockets 98 on 1/26 in New York

Key Knicks:

Scoring David Lee (Florida)
Rebounds David Lee 11.5
Assists Chris Duhon (Duke)
FG% David Lee 57.0
FT% Chris Duhon 86.9
3PT% Tim Thomas (Villanova)
Blocks Wilson Chandler (DePaul)
Steals Chris Duhon 1.2

Last starting 5 for Knicks was Lee, Duhon, Al Harrington (20.3 PPG as Knick), Jared Jeffries (Indiana), & Quentin Richardson (DePaul).  Harrington recently replaced Chandler in starting lineup.

Injuries:  I haven’t seen an update since Monday, but Horford should be out tonight, with a Friday (against New Jersey in Atlanta) return the earlist possibility.  Also, Speedy Claxton is not available.

Joe Johnson finally trying to get respect

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I promise this blog will soon be more than just random videos…

Josh Smith vs Steve Nash

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

‘Nique had it on the dunk-o-meter

First post of Stotts Era!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Stotts Era Blog!  Talk about the hawks!

Just want to let you know if you are reading this you must be bored and like the Hawks way too much.  Bear with me for a week or so why I work out the kinks and Let’s Go Hawks!!