Sunday, April 16, 2017

My take on all the experts on Washington and nobody being on Atlanta.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Yes, Thabo!

A statement from Thabo Sefolosha, as released through the Hawks PR department:

“I would like to thank my family and friends, Coach Bud and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization, the NBA and the NBA Players Association, my agents Guy Zucker and Herman Manakyan, and my attorney throughout this process, Alex Spiro. The support that I received over the past two years from each was invaluable and something that I will never forget.

It is an extremely gratifying feeling to know that justice has been served and that now, finally, I can truly put this behind me. To fight for what is right and be fully exonerated and vindicated is both satisfying and very humbling.

We are all aware that there are still too many cases of police brutality today. So many of these cases go unnoticed or unreported; so many victims do not have the means to fight for justice as I could. It’s unfair.

While I alone can’t bring the type of change needed to eliminate these issues, I want to help make a difference. A substantial portion of my settlement will be donated to Gideon’s Promise, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps support and train public defenders across the country.

On their website, it reads ‘We are the voice for the voiceless’. I hope my donation can help give many more people a voice to fight for justice as I did.

Thank you, Thabo!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why the Atlanta Hawks need to use Ersan Ilyasova more


Nice guy -- maybe the Hawks should use him more.
When the Atlanta Hawks traded for Ersan Ilyasova before the trade deadline, I understood it. Since the Kyle Korver trade, it seemed as if teams stopped caring about the Hawks perimeter game and sagged back into the lane, limiting the top five drive rate of Dennis Schröder, the artistry of the offensive game of Paul Millsap and the room to roam inside for Dwight Howard.

Mike Budenholzer has been slow to use Ersan, likely due to his notorious defense. However, Bud has also moved Tim Hardaway, Jr. to the second unit with Ersan, doubling down on defense with the starting unit.

Results?


That's over the last five games (thanks, nba stats!) and the ten game look is more or less the same. The Hawks are shooting a lot better with THJ and Ersan in the game, draws more fouls and turns the ball over less. Hey, they are even playing better defense.

Yes, yes, yes, but what about the offensive and defensive ratings?



Man, that lineup even plays faster!

When watching the Orlando Magic sink into the lane and thus suffocate (at times) the Hawks offense, it was clear nobody is scared of Schröder jump shots nor Thabo's or Bazemore's.

As Bud continues to run that first lineup out to start the games, the Hawks will continue to struggle out of the gate. He should consider opening things up with some shooting to spread the floor.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Dennis Situation

Dennis has alarming instances of immaturity and needs to understand his role as emotional, and not just usage, leader on the floor. He lost sight of that after a tremendously lucky shooting stretch in the first quarter, and Bud had to use playing time to get the dude's attention.

He got into it with Dwight Howard and showed his immaturity to a degree that he needed what he received. Looks like the remedy worked as he wanted to private conversation to understand why. Perfect. Mission accomplished. Hopefully, Dennis listens.

I am no fan of petulant coaches, but this is not that kind of situation and this issue with Dennis is an ongoing growth opportunity and another chapter in the book.

It's why I said the Hawks foolishly went into the season without a veteran PG behind Dennis to push him and mentor him. Malcolm Delaney is no threat, nor is he the best example that Dennis can learn to. I don't think Jose Calderon is the best remedy for that, and hopefully the team sees this as a need heading into next season.

Dennis is great, with still much more to develop, but his own approach will be necessary to realizing this ceiling. His role is bigger than he understands.

Otherwise, no comment.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chicago Bulls should probably change their expectations when playing the Atlanta Hawks





In the Atlanta Hawks' 119-114 come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bulls, the home team blew a 110-100 lead in the final four minutes of the game. Ouch. That has to hurt. To be outscored 19-4 in the most important minutes of the game, especially after stellar efforts from Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, hurts, sure, and the Bulls stars blew up after the Hawks comeback was in the books.

Afterwards, Wade and Butler took turns questioning the efforts of their teammates, but not themselves, which while looking selfish from the outside, seems appropriate anyway. Wade and Butler have been great this season, while the rest of the team either suffers from lack of talent or the Rubik's Cube treatment that Fred Hoiberg has used for all the other positions.

Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott, Jerian Grant, Rajon Rondo, Michael Carter-Williams, et al have all, at one matchup or another, rotated through the starting lineup, leaving the team rudderless, with the exception of Butler and Wade. That they don't execute well late in game may not be such a surprise as a result.

But I am burying the lead here -- this isn't the first time the Bulls have apologized/questioned themselves after a loss to the Hawks. Why, it just happened a few days ago!

This was after the Hawks win on January 20th where the Hawks blew out the visitors, though Budenholzer did have to go back to the starters after a strong fourth quarter start by the Bulls forced the Hawks to close the deal with the regulars.

So, two games, two looks inside by Wade, who was no doubt used to beating the Hawks when a member of the Heat, especially in the LeBron James era.

Just for fun, let's remember another highlight of the Wade era in Miami in regards to the Hawks, shall we?


Ah, Mr. Holman. Never change, sir.

Anyway, Wade may be used to beating the Hawks, but should the Bulls really expect to beat the Hawks so much that it needs to self-inspect after each loss?

Let's look at recent history of Bulls v. Hawks (thanks, basketball reference!):

Hmmm, I am starting to see a pattern here. Is it such a disgrace to lose to the Hawks? Seems like a win should result in an old fashioned rushing of the court in Chicago. Heck, the Hawks even won in the preseason this year, too!

The Hawks play one more time this season, in Chicago, April 1st. Maybe things will have changed in Chicago by then. Maybe Fred Hoiberg will still be coach or finally have figured out the PG position on the team, just a tiny important piece to the puzzle.

Any which way, maybe they should brace themselves for a Hawks win and save the apologies for games against the Nets.