Thank You Kent Bazemore

Picture Credit: @x_TH3_Truth_x on twitter

Thank you Kent Bazemore for your hard work, dedication and smile that kept the Hawks soaring thru the ups and downs . Five years ago you came to us as a 24 year old underrated forward with a lot to prove. You were an undrafted free agent and showed some promise on your last team before going down with a tendon injury. But that didn’t stop the Hawks from taking a chance on you and it damn sure paid off.

Your first year with the Hawks was more like your early career playing little minutes trying to fit in the new system, but the upcoming years you blossomed into a solid role player, helping the Hawks to their best seasons yet with some playoff success, eventually earning the 4 year 70 million contract you received in 2016. We watched you score your career highs, become a lock down defender, develop a 3 point shot and have some of the flashiest dunks in the NBA.

We will miss your growth and leadership with this young team and also the patented Baze Gaze that had everybody laughing. We wish you the best and hope you excel on your new team.

Thank You Kent

By: Evan Nix

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2018-19 Atlanta Hawks Player Recaps: Kent Bazemore

Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Image NBA.com

Let me just start off by saying that Kent Bazemore is one of the more important guys on this Hawks team. He has sacrificed a lot to stay in Atlanta and truly wants to be here and be a part of the bright future ahead. His veteran presence in the locker room speaks volume to stellar rookie seasons of Kevin Huerter and Trae Young, and the steady rise of Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry. This season for Bazemore was a tough one. He battled injuries but, being the team player he is, took on a new role off the bench following the ankle injury suffered in December..

Bazemore did not have his best shooting season by any means. He shot 32% from 3 which was his lowest mark since joining the Hawks. I mean it really wasn’t a bad scoring season for Baze as he put in 11.6 points a game in just over 24 minutes a game, but it was just the inconsistency throughout the season that made the shooting % numbers to be down from years past. I again go back to the ankle injury that plagued him throughout the season.

However, Bazemore on defense was still what he usually is, our go to defender. He was the key to ending Jame Harden’s 30 point game streak. The biggest thing about Bazemore is even when he has a bad offensive game, he will still be on the floor because he doesn’t let it affect him on defense.

Bazemore opted into his $19.0 million player option for next season. This is a huge for this young team. I don’t care about the salary. He needs to be an Atlanta Hawk beyond next season. He isn’t a star player, but you need guys like Bazemore in the locker room. He is a leader, and if the Hawks do make that surprise run to the playoffs next season, Bazemore’s leadership and experience will be key.

By: Bret Anderson

We Repeat, Atlanta, Stop.

(Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

By Andrew Carter


Just a few weeks ago, many Hawks fans were upset after the team won a game, and we put out an article for fans to stop complaining about it. How absurd is it fans of a sports team are upset when the team wins? Apparently not as absurd as it should be.

Following back-to-back wins against two playoff teams, the Wizards and then the Celtics, many fans have expressed frustration of the team’s “inability” to lose.

What?? Obviously a draft pick is important, but how important is it really?

The top three picks of the draft are going to be, in no particular order, DeAndre Ayton, Luke Doncic, and Marvin Bagley. All are going to be centerpieces wherever they end up, and none of the three make for a bad pick. Odds are the Hawks will get one of those three, but even if they don’t, there is still ample talent in the next few picks that we will be more than okay. Especially with the fact that we have potentially 3 first-rounders, along with a very early second-rounder.

The biggest problem with tanking is much more difficult to rebound from than just a losing season–players and coaching intentionally tanking leads to a losing culture, which is nearly impossible to rebuild in a short period of time.

We understand, we want the best odds at a good pick, but getting upset over a win is, put simply, pathetic. These guys are not favored in any game, yet they play harder than almost any team. They have stuck in games against every team in the league, including defending NBA champs, the Warriors. They have beaten the Cavs. And we just beat the Wizards and Celtics, two more playoff teams.

The fact of the matter is that these guys want to win. Nobody likes losing, and they don’t care whether we draft at #2 or #4. Obviously they want a better pick, but winning is never a bad thing. The biggest issue I have is that Hawks fans are simply not stopping at wishing we lost. Hawks fans are embarrassing themselves, tweeting at the team and players, and making a fool of themselves to all of Twitter and Facebook.

No fan in their right mind would ever be upset the team they cheer for won a game, and I’ve never seen it to this extent in any sport (besides the Browns celebrating going 0-16… I’m still trying to figure out why that is celebration-worthy). Players have gotten so upset over it, they have publicly expressed their frustration to the “fans:”

The most important thing right now is the level of growth these guys have experienced this year. Taurean has greatly improved his jumpshot. The emergence of the young guys on this squad (namely Damion Lee, Isaiah Taylor, John Collins, among others) has been tremendous, especially since most of those guys have been fighting just to see playing time in the NBA, let alone become quality starters within this season. It’s impossible to say that these guys have not been coached well and put in countless hours on and off the court to improve their game. They give 110% every night, and have come close to winning a lot of games, despite a lineup not many would expect to even be competetive.

Long story short, Hawks fans, stop being upset over a team’s loss. Support them. Players will play where they feel wanted. We love our city, and we want them to love playing for our city. Show up at games, cheer, show support on social media and encourage the players when they have a bad game. Or a tough loss. Or a great win. We are their support.

Now to any of the Atlanta Hawks players/personnel if this reaches you, just know that there are many out here who love y’all and will fight for y’all ’til the end, from Travis Schlenk, to Coach Bud, to the janitors, thank you for all y’all do and the effort y’all give for this team and this city. We love you!


Andrew Carter
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewC_Braves

Atlanta Hawks sign Damion Lee to a 10-day contract

The Atlanta Hawks have announced that they have signed shooting guard Damion Lee from the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors.

With injuries sidelining Kent Bazemore for the rest of the season and recent 10-day recipient Jaylen Morris for two-to-three weeks the Hawks needed to sign someone fast. The Hawks had 9 players available after injuries shortened the rotation for Sundays battle against the Chicago Bulls and the Hawks desperately need depth to finish out the season. Lee played in college at Drexel and Louisville respectively before going undrafted in 2016. After going undrafted, Damion Lee spent time with the G League’s Maine Red Claws shooting 47 percent from beyond the arc.

The Hawks have made it apparent that if they sign someone that person has to know how to shoot the basketball at a high clip. Their last three signings have been shooting above 40% this season in the G-League for their respective teams. Damion Lee will look to curve out a role in hopes to sign a a deal for the remainder of the regular season. With only 11 men available to play it will be interesting to see how the rotation pans out.

Grading the Atlanta Hawks Starters up to December

Sitting at 7-23 the Atlanta Hawks are having an up and down season just as we thought they would. During some games it appears that the Hawks just cannot score especially in the 3rd quarter which leads to lost leads and eventually lost games. The question is it entirely a lack of talent? This team on paper looks really bad but when you take time to watch the games you see flashes of brilliance. The following are grades for the Atlanta Hawks up to this point:

Point Guard

Dennis Schröder – Grade B- 

Defensively this season, Dennis Schröder is among the worst in the league. We can make excuses such as “He has to shoulder most of the offense so he is gassed most of the game.” If you watch the tape this year he looks like he just can’t stay in front of anyone. When the likes Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack blow past you there is something wrong. Offensively, he has shown that he can be that “guy” and score 20 points on any given night. The problem is that he hasn’t shown that he can be a complete player yet. Scoring 20+ is nice but giving up 20+ in the same game is lackluster.

Shooting Guard

Kent Bazemore- Grade C+

Can the real Kent Bazemore please stand up? Sometimes you get the Bazemore that can’t seem to find the basket. And the other times you get superstar Kent Bazemore who can do no wrong. The problem is you get the former way too much from someone making 17.5 million per year. Defensively, he is top 5 in the league in steals which is a definite plus for a rebuilding hawks team. Kent Bazemore’s energy is contagious which is exciting to see each game. If he ever becomes consistent the whole league should watch out for him.

Small Forward 

Taurean Prince- Grade A

This guy is not the same guy that was drafted with the number 12th overall pick in last years draft. Prince was just seen as a 3&D player and not much else when he was selected. This season Taurean Prince has looked like the Hawks new go-to player. Prince is shooting 50% from the field in the month of December which is astronomical for his growth as a player. Travis Schlenk is on record saying that the Hawks don’t have a franchise player on the roster right now but Prince is showing him that he is wrong.

Power Forward

Ersan Ilyasova – Grade C+

If I wrote this a month ago I would have given him a D but Ilyasova has been lighting it up as of late. Ilyasova is slowly reverting back to his Milwaukee Bucks form when he used to kill it from deep. If he keeps shooting like this the hawks can easily snatch up a few more wins then they are projected to finish with. Defensively, I have never seen anyone better at drawing charges than Ersan Ilyasova. Keep charging that charge card and your grade will slowly rise.

Center 

Dewayne Dedmon – Grade B

Dewayne Dedmon started off this season fantastically showing that he can expand his range to the three point line. He has shown that he can man the middle and hold his own on the defensive end. Even though he is more of a pick-and-roll big man he has shown that he can score at an efficient rate when passed the ball as the rolling player. Dedmon is a great player and fits this scheme like a glove.

 

Comment below what you would grade the Atlanta Hawks starters up to this point. Don’t forget to follow all the social media pages associated with ATLSPORTSHQ.

Assessing the Atlanta Hawks Part 1

Hawks Season Preview
Kent Bazemore (Hawks.com).

Is it foolish to count out the Atlanta Hawks before the season begins? The following is my assessment for the projected starters for the 2017/18 NBA season.

 

The Atlanta Hawks on paper admittedly don’t look as good as previous seasons but are we judging them too early? With the 2016 and 2017 NBA drafts respectively, Hawks fans received three players that they can see as being the future in Taurean Prince, Deandre Bembry, and John Collins. Prince was given his opportunity late in season but he has shown he is a key player for the Hawks with a lot of potential. Deandre Bembry when given opportunities shined like no other such as when he shut down league MVP candidate James Harden in the 2nd half in their meeting. At the 2017 NBA draft John Collins was thought of as an old school power forward who doesn’t meet the standards of today’s spacing era. In the summer league Collins quickly flourished and was unleashed in a way that was never seen during his tenure at Wake Forest.

 

The Starters

 

Dennis Schroder reached a new level last season and looks to continue developing into a star for the Atlanta Hawks. Schroder averaged 17.9 pts and 6.3 asts during his 2016-17 campaign. Dennis Schroder excels when he is on a team where he can drive and kick out to knockdown shooters. The difference between this year’s team and last year’s team is this team has more than one capable shooter. Between the additions of Marco Belinelli and Luke Babbitt coupled with the returning Ersan Ilyasova and Mike Muscala, Dennis Schroder will be a force to reckon with this season with capable knockdown shooters. The best part about the Hawks current situation is Dennis Schroder is only 24 years old and is under contract for years to come. Look for Schroder to improve astronomically this season.

 

Kent Bazemore was paid a whopping 70 million dollars to remain in an Atlanta Hawks uniform this past season. During the season, it was clear that he had regressed as it seemed like he was playing hero ball for much of the season. When Bazemore was signed here, he was just an energy guy who would provide solid defense in transition. The thing is that’s just what he is an energy guy. Bazemore does nothing special besides 3 and D but he is being paid like he is a star player. This article isn’t for bashing players so I won’t digress any further. With a full offseason of work, Kent Bazemore can really improve his game. If Bazemore can get anywhere near his shooting form from the 14-15 season the Hawks will certainly look better. Coach Budenhozler will start him at his true position (shooting guard) and as chemistry develops throughout the team, Bazemore will start to soar to his true potential.

 

Taurean Prince worked hard last season and it paid off when he was told that he was the starter at small forward. He was also the first rookie since Pete Maravich to score in double figures in first playoff starts as a rookie. Prince showed that he has worked on his game a lot with a strong summer league showing alongside his co-draftee Deandre’ Bembry. Prince averaged 13.3 points, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in an impressive summer league outing. In the playoffs Prince showed that he was here to stay keeping up with the Otto Porter and on some occasions matching him point for point. At the draft, he was merely seen as a 3 and D player but prince showed the NBA that he can become much more.

 

Ersan Ilyasova was the leading charge drawer in the league last season finishing with 36 charges drawn. Ilyasova is a solid floor spacer who is returning to the hawks on a 1-year deal. With the selection of John Collins in this year’s NBA Draft Ilyasova is merely a holdover until John Collins is ready to step into the role of a starter. Last season, Ilyasova shot from beyond the arc at a 35 percent clip. For the hawks offense to run at maximum capacity Ersan Ilyasova is going to have to let it fly and spread the floor. A significant difference from last year’s squad is that Ersan will not be the only guy capable of shooting, the hawks added the likes of Marco Belinelli and Luke Babbitt both guys known for the knockdown shooting. This year’s hawks team will look more like a Coach Bud hawks team reminiscent of peak Atlanta Hawks basketball in the 2014-15 season.

 

Dewayne Dedmon came off the bench for the San Antonio Spurs and excelled whenever he was called upon. Now that he has new scenery he should be able to really show what he is capable of in the starting lineup. Dedmon was the 2nd best defensive center in the league last season according to some reports. Dedmon gets most of his bread and butter as a pick and roll guy but he shines in it. He might be compared to Dwight Howard early on I the season sans the need for post touches. Dedmon’s defensive impact will be felt this season as he allows less than 1 point per possession. Look for Dedmon to be in the running for most improved player under coach Mike Budenholzer.

 

STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO

Part two will assess the bench also known as the bench mob for the Atlanta Hawks! Meanwhile take your time and read more articles on atlantahawkstalk.com

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