Hawks Weekly Flight: Week 20

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Taurean Price studies game film with an Assistant Coach Pregame

A 2-2 week was too much for some tank happy Hawks fans to handle. 

The Hawks struggled in the first two games after the All-Star break, both thrashing defeats to the hands of the Pacers and Lakers. But since then, Atlanta has won 2 of their last 3 causing many fans to panic about our Draft positioning and flat out pissed at the win. I have one word for those people. RELAX. No seriously, everyone relax. These players have been out here every game fighting their tails off. Openly rooting for us to lose when these guys have been giving us their all is a bad look. Yes, we want that number one pick but look at the staff we have in place compared to the other tanking teams. I trust Bud and Schlenk to draft and develop the right guys and in addition, Koonin, Grant Hill and Tony Ressler will do anything in their power to make this team succeed. Top to bottom, none of the other tanking teams have the staff we have in place and flexibility we have going forward. Not to mention, heres our schedule for the remainder of the season:

  • @ Toronto
  • @ Indiana
  • Vs Chicago
  • vs OKC
  • Vs Charlotte
  • @ Milwaukee
  • @ Utah
  • @ Sacramento
  • @ Golden State (B2B)
  • @ Houston
  • @ Minnesota
  • Vs Philly
  • Vs Orlando
  • @ Miami
  • Vs Miami (B2B)
  • @ Washington
  • @ Boston
  • Vs Philly

Let’s be real, I don’t see more than 3 or 4 wins. When compared to the other tanking teams, we have one of the hardest remaining schedules. Also, I’m not saying “we need to win as many games as possible” but the blatant disappointment and anger from a segment of our fanbase after the past few victories is ridiculous.

JC
John Collins in the Rising Stars game (peachtreehoops.com)

2/23 @ Indiana L 116-93

Hawks come out of the All-Star Break flat in 116-93 romp. The Hawks were out played in nearly every aspect of the game in this one. After a tight first quarter, the Pacers turned this one into a laugher, leading by 17 at the half. Isaiah Taylor was our leading scorer and lone bright spot with a Career High 17 points off the bench. Dorsey finished with 11 points as well off the bench. Sabonis paced the Pacers with 21 off the Indy bench. The Hawks dished out only 14 assists while racking up 22 turnovers.

2/26 VS LAL L 123-104

Lakers thrash Hawks “in” Atlanta. The Hawks once again came out flat in what felt more like a Lakers home game in Atlanta. By halftime Atlanta was already down 18 and Laker Nation was letting themselves be heard. Prince and Schroder combined for 44 points but it was not nearly enough to combat Brandon Ingram’s 21 and Lonzo Ball’s 3-3 from 3 point performance. While the Hawks had 21 assists and only 11 turnovers, they couldn’t throw the ball through a 10 foot wide basket, shooting only 37% for the night. Attendance: 16,328 (Sellout)

2/28 Vs Indiana W 107-102

Hawks show fight and get revenge for previous loss in the Midwest. In what may have been the best effort and intensity we have seen from this Hawks squad all year the Hawks were able to hold on to a 107-102 victory over the Pacers. Atlanta built a 23 point lead in the 3rd quarter but saw that dwindle all the way down to 2 points late in the fourth. Some clutch baskets from Dennis Schroder sealed the victory for Atlanta. Dewayne Dedmon’s energy appeared to be contagious in the first quarter as it seemed to spread to his other teammates. The Hawks were swarming which led to 13 steals and 11 blocks. John Collins scored 16 while the aforementioned Dewayne Dedmon added 15 points, 9 rebounds, an assist, 2 steals and 4 blocks. 6 players ended up contributing 12 points or more in what was a true team victory. Attendance: 13,316

3/2 Vs Golden State L 114-109

Warriors lose Curry and survive late scare in Atlanta. I don’t think any Hawks fans would have been upset if the Hawks lost this game by 25-30 points or more. But as shown all season, this team fights. After spending most of the night down anywhere between 7-15 points the Hawks charged back in the final minutes. Kent Bazemore’s career high 29 points were a big reason why. The Hawks had a chance to tie in the final seconds before Andre Iguodala forced the steal. Dennis Schroder also played a strong game adding 27. Taurean Prince hit 5 threes as well. Curry was on fire but had to leave the game in the 3rd after twisting his ankle. Attendance: 16,728 (Sellout and Season High)

3/4 Vs Phoenix W 113-112

Taurean Prince fights the Hawks to narrow victory. No Bazemore, no Dennis, no Dedmon, no Collins, no problem! With Taurean Prince being the only regular to see 4th quarter minutes, the Hawks were still able to knock off the Suns (to the disappointment of some). Look, you can’t say the coaching staff isn’t trying to tank. All the regulars other than Prince were benched down the stretch because “putting the young guys in late game situations like these is invaluable” according to Coach Bud. So I’m not sure what more you guys want them to do. Adam Silver already released a memo sternly warning teams about intentionally tanking. Taurean Prince was no doubt the player of the game with his 22 points, 5 three pointers and 1 jab to a Suns player.

Dennis Schroder also was dominating the game before being taken out for the young players with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. TJ Warren went off for 35 and Devin Booker added 20 and missed the game winning shot. Attendance: 15,166

What’s Up Next

3/6 @ Toronto 

Hawks have had a hard time with Toronto even back to the 60 win season. Their size and depth is just too much for us. Raptors 122 Hawks 88.

3/9 @ Indiana 

This one will be more the matchup after the all star break rather than the one last week. Pacers 106 Hawks 90.

3/11 Vs Chicago

Another battle of the basement. Expect Dennis, Baze, Dedmon and perhaps Prince to get the afternoon off and still probably get the win. Hawks 91 Bulls 86

 

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Travis Schlenk (AJC.com)

News and Notes

  • Malcolm Delaney suffered an ankle injury in Sunday’s game. No return date set yet.
  • DeAndre’ Bembry is still out as he nurses yet another injury.
  • Look for more healthy scratches from various Hawks players down the stretch.
  • More information on the “Tankathon” can be found here and daily on atlsportshq.com.
  • Antoninus Cleveland will be signed for the remainder of the season as the Hawks want to develop him.
  • Hawks released even more renderings of the new Philips Arena debuting in October.

Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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