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#DwightHoward trade signals beginning of #Hawks2020

21 Jun

 

Atlanta has traded C Dwight Howard to the Charlotte Hornets just 2 days before the 2017 NBA Draft. Click HERE for the ESPN story.  This means the Hawks are going to launch #Hawks2020 The goal – build a team that can realistically compete for an NBA title by 2020. The Hawks are looking to create a sustainable winner that creates real fan allegiance. They want to develop this a way like ATLUTD soccer and the Falcons.

Have a style of play that is both easy to watch and players easy to root for. The Hawks plan to control their brand from top to bottom.

They are using cutting edge fan engagement to keep fans connected and excited about the team. Great social media, in-game promotions and personalized VIP experience via the Hardwood Club draws upscale millennials and a diverse group of fans to buy in as they move into the future.    Atlanta also looks maximize control of all aspects of player training, development, and health. There is a  90,000 sq ft combined practice and sports science facility in partnership with Emory Healthcare. Soon there will be a brand new D league facility built in College Park less than 20 miles south of Atlanta.

Eventually there will be development of The Gulch area near Philips Arena into a work, live, play development similar to the area around the Battery adjacent to the Braves SunTrust Park.

The Hawks even offer special ticket packages to new Moms with Grady hospital. Pretty soon it might be engineering Hawks fans from birth, and players from High School to the NBA in the Hawks mold.

A kind of Sports genetic engineering. Hmm Atlanta Hawks the first GMO NBA franchise..

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#Hawks must choose style to define team, and win consistently

8 Mar

IHawks Cavs THJ MG_5105

The 2016-17 season started out with great promise  for the #Hawks as they jumped out to a 9-2 start. This opening stretch included back to wins vs the Rockets at home, and the Cavs on the road. Coach Bud seemed to have the perfect  setup. The first team liked to get the ball inside with alley oops to Dwight Howard or sometimes pick and rolls with Paul Millsap. The 2nd unit led by the explosive scoring of Tim Hardaway Jr. and efficiency of Mike Muscala, or Ersan Ilasova  would give Atlanta to change the tempo of the game when needed, and keep the starters fresh.

Since then Atlanta lineups have at time seemed to be tossed together at random. Players seem at times to be ill at ease with one another on the court. The good ball movement which had been a Hawks trademark under Coach Bud, now constantly deteriorates in dribble fests ending in bad passes and missed shots.

They must choose whether they are a primarily a half court team using more pick an drolls  with Millsap and inside out game with Howard. Or play more small ball with Millsap, Ilyasova, and Hardaway running more of an up tempo game.  You can include Dwight Howard in this style too by having him operate as a ‘trigger man’ with outlet passes to ignite fast breaks like Bill Russell did with Celtics, Kareem with the Lakers, and even Tim Duncan late in his career at San Antonio

This team needs an identity if they want to be consistent winners. The question is do they have the will and patience to do it.

#AtlHawks blow last minute lead, lose to #Pacers at home

6 Mar

The #AtlHawks looked like they were on their way to a hard fought victory over the Indiana Pacers. They had a 96-90 lead with less the 2 minutes to go, a 96-94 lead AND the ball with about 30 seconds. But it was all for nought as the Pacers Glenn Robinson III hit a 3 pointer with 0.6 seconds left to give them a stunning 97-96 victory over the Hawks.

This game marked the return of former Hawks PG Jeff Teaugue  for the first time since he had been traded to the Pacers for a second round pick after the 2016 season.

Atlanta took an early 30-19 lead, then Indiana’s All Star G Paul George took over. George scored 24 of his game high 34 in the 1st half to help the Pacers take the lead before Atlanta came back to tie the game at 50 to end the 1st half.

The Hawks continued to have problems with George until they placed Paul Millsap on him in 3rd quarter. He did not score after that. By that time however they had forged a 7 point lead going to the 4th quarter.

The Hawks defense, and the offensive punch by Tim Hardaway, Jr (THJ) finally allowed Atlanta to overtake the Pacers and take a 6 point lead in the clising minutes. That’s when things went horribly wrong.

Paul Millsap has been the Hawks best offensive player all year and over the last 2 months Tim Hardaway Jr has been right behind him. Last night was no different. Millsap had 24 to lead all Hawks, and THJ scored 10 of his 23 in the final period. But when the Hawks looked to seal the win late, both men came up short. AMillsap missed shot, then turnover on consecutive possesion allowed the Pacers to cut the lead to 96-94. Then an ill advised 3 pt attempt by Hardaway set the stage for Robinson’s game winner. (Click here to see video)

This has been a recurring theme for this team. An inability to get consistent clutch baskets/plays from their best players. Until this changes the Atlanta Hawks and their fans will continue to deal with more frustrating losses.

 

Do #Hawks get #Horford replacement with 76ers #Ilyasova ?

24 Feb

The trade for 76ers big man Ersan Ilyasova for injured Tiago Splitter and two 2nd round draft picks got ho hums from most of Atlanta sports talk radio. Looking a little closer though it seems like Atlanta may have made a decent deal.

When the Hawks were reshaping the team for 2016-17 the thought was to pair free agent C Dwight Howard with Horford to give them a potent inside/outside duo of big men that could help them be a factor in the playoffs. When Horford decided to sign with the Boston Celtics it left them without a big man with the versatile scoring punch Horford had.

With Ilyasova they get a player who is similar in size 6’10/235 lbs vs Horford 6’10/245 lbs and style. His stats with Philadelphia are similar to Horford’s with Boston this year. The former 2nd round pick averaged 14.8 pts, 5.9 rebs in 53 games for the 76ers. Horford averages 14.6 pts, 6.6 rebs this year for the Celtics.

Hawks have very little chance to get by the Cavs in the East until Lebron slows down in the next 3-4 years. This move allows to them to remain a playoff contender as they renovate Philips Arena for the 207-18 season. They will continue to strike the balance of having a decent product, while they continue to craft a team that can challenge for a title in 2 or 3 years.  New hashtag #Hawks2020

By Jonathan Simmons

 

#Celtics Al Horford returns to #Atlanta and leaves with win over #Hawks

14 Jan

#Celtics Al Horford returns to #Atlanta and leaves with win over #Hawks 103-101. Horford did not have his best night stat wise. He had 10 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. But teammates Kely Olynyk and Isaiah Thomas had 26 and 28 points respectively. Thomas getting his last with 2.4 seconds left to get the win.

The Hawks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Paul Milsap each with 23 points. Malcolm Delaney came off the bench with 17 points. Newest Hawk Mike Dunleavy, Jr had 2 big 2nd half 3 pointers in his debut.

Click above to watch Al Horford interview. For more Atlanta Sporrts coverage go to ur website www.realtalksports.net. Follow us on all Social Media platforms @realtalksports7

#Hawks continue up and down season with 92-84 loss to Timberwolves

22 Dec

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The Hawks season overall was seen in the way this game played out tonight. They scored a total of 51 points in the 1st and 3rd quarters. In the those quarters the ball movement, good decision making and shooting were there.

In the 2nd, and the critical 4th quarter. Atlanta scored 16 and 15 respectively.  Their 3 pt shooting woes also continued this game. once again less than 30 % (7-26 = 26.9%)

Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 points/18 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins led the T-Wolves with 19. For the Hawks Dennis Schroder had 21 points to lead all scorers. He also dished out 7 assists. Paul Millsap had another double double with 18 points and 10 rebounds

Dwight Howard missed his 2nd game with a back sprain. He is schedule to return shortly, but it is a worrisome sign for a player whose skill sets have been diminished due to back problems.

Even when Dwight returns, this team has to look itself in the eye and determine what type of team it is. Are they willing to play hard and fast the entire game? Consistently make the extra pass? Dive for the loose balls on the floor?

This season is only about 1/3 in so the Hawks have time to right the ship But not much time. They currently are 14-15 in 10th place but just 3 games out 4th place in the Eastern Division. Stay tuned!

Click HERE for our post game video  Check out more Sports coverage at www.realtalksports.net

#Cavs vs #Warriors Game 6-A spirited conversation with #Cleveland Fans

17 Jun

Check out our podcast from Tues night live broadcast on WIGO 1570 Atlanta. The folks from ‘The Land’ hit our phone lines, and the conversation humming. Also hear our min tribute to Kyrie Irving, from the music of Irving Berlin. To be a part of our live show, check us on Tuesday nights 830-930 PM EST. Online http://www.wigoam.com or via mobile with Tunein app. Call with your comments at 404-361-1571.

 

kyrie dribble

Picture from USA Today

#Irving, Earvin, or Erving – Sound of success in #NBA Finals

14 Jun
Kyrie Irving Klay Thompson

Is Kyrie the best player in the series?  Photo – cavaliers.247sports.com

Although the names are spelled differently they sound the same. So the performance of Kyrie Irving in game looked like the type game Earvin Johnson and Julius Erving had when they were in the finals in the 70’s and 80’s.  A stretch? Not really when you look at the numbers and situation.

In the 1980 Finals Julius Erving avg 27 pts per game and made one the greatest shots in history in game 4. In the 1987 NBA finals Earvin Johnson scored 29 pts and hit the game winning shot in game 4 on the way to winning the series.

Kyrie Irving in the 2016 Finals is avg 28.6 points per game, (35.5 in the last 3) and his 41 points, 6 assists in last night game 5 was sensational. The narrative was about Lebron who also had his own epic 41 pt, 16 reb, 7 a game. But it was Irving who really kept the engine running for the Cavs with a dazzling array of drives, and jumpers from every distance. He was able to score at will with stunning efficiency. His killer crossover helped him shoot an amazing 70% from the floor.

After watching  Kyrie Irving in these 2016 NBA Finals it looks he might be singing to Curry and Lebron. “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better,” A song written by another great Irving (Berlin) one of America’s greatest songwriters

by Minister Jonathan Simmons

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