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Found 9 results

  1. "Retirement? I don't need your reasons. Don't tell me 'cause it hurts!" ~lw3
  2. I wuz wrong, y'all! He's not On The Move like I figured he'd be. Not yet, anyway! ~lw3
  3. This tweet was King of the World last night. ~lw3
  4. “I’m just saying! Why don’t y'all just call Home Runs, ‘Quadruples’? I mean...” Here’s something we’ve never had to deal with. How do our Atlanta Hawks follow up our baseball brethren’s world championship, and all the trappings of attention it deserves, with a road-home back-to-back, particularly versus NBA title contenders? BBall-Ref is my friend, and back when Messrs. Justice and Glavine sewed up World Champs Banner Numero Uno, I’m told that Andrew Lang and Smitty’s Hawks were still in preseason warmups, a full week before their formal season debut. These are athletic professionals, paid a lot of hard-earned money to yada-yada-yada. Please. I know the fellas were up well past bedtime on Tuesday night, although not out on those mean Gotham streets like Pero and Thabo, ahead of yesterday’s Nets game. No sleep in Brooklyn! What’s more, hey, beginning down the street from State Farm Arena tomorrow afternoon, there’s a parade or two that might span across the Chattahoochee! Barring, say, Real Salt Lake claiming another MLS Cup, tonight’s opponent, the Utah Jazz (7:30 PM Eastern, Bally Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, AT&T SportsNet in SLC) are, almost by design, never going to find themselves in a predicament like this. After stiff-arming Harrison Barnes and the Kangz on Tuesday evening to raise their record to a West-best 6-1 (3-1 on the road), coach Quin Snyder’s crew was able to fly from home to the ATL, hanging out yesterday evening before tucking themselves in for some comfy hotel shuteye. Meanwhile, the Hawks were doing all they could to fend off a second-half tag-team onslaught from Kevin Durant and James Harden, in vain, then alighting a red-eye charter from LaGuardia or wherever in advance of today’s contest. I’m not gonna hold you, Yours Truly can barely focus on what might transpire in tonight’s game, not without visions of Blooper and pearls and confetti dancing in my head. Where is the room in the Hawks’ cloud of headspace for Donovan Mitchell (36 points on 14-for-30 FG, 8 rebounds, 6 assists vs. SAC) and Rudy Gobert (20 rebounds, 12 points vs SAC)? I already know local yokel Lou Williams’ cellie won’t quit blowing up. There’s got to be more than a few hometown heroes seeking out a Champion’s Discount on some lemon pepper wings. LouWill’s shot hasn’t been savory of late (4-for-17 FGs in last 3 appearances). Still, he was instrumental in pushing the rock last night (5 assists in 11 minutes @ BRK), and he couldn’t fare any worse, tonight, than his fellow Sixth Man trophy-holder Jordan Clarkson (0-for-11 3FGs vs. SAC) did on Tuesday. Hawks coach Nate McMillan won’t want to overuse Williams. But he’s also aware watching Trae Young (6-for-22 FGs @ BRK) trying to go shot-for-shot with his frenemy Mitchell (questionable, sprained ankle) and Mike Conley, with Gobert waiting in the wings, hours after Trae got his close-range shots tenderized by various and sundry Nets, would be less than ideal. If the game gets squirrelly, as I have suspicions it shall, and if contributions from Delon Wright (available, DNP’d last night) and Williams prove futile in relief of Young, McMillan may desire to offer two-way rookie guard Sharife Cooper (DNP’d last six games) some useful floor time in the second half. The Hawks’ pending road trip, beginning tomorrow with a flight to Western Conference champ Phoenix, coincides with a near-month-long homestand for the long-awaited Skyhawks in Collipark. Accordingly, tonight may be an ideal pre-G-League assignment for Cooper and/or Skylar Mays to cut their teeth. One can only hope Cooper, the Cobb-area high school product, will be prepared to go head-to-head with the likes of Jared Butler (probable, non-COVID illness), and is not in any way preoccupied with scoping out prime viewing spots at The Battery. Much was made of Atlanta defenders leaving many a Net (22-for-48 3FGs… is that Joe Harris wide open???) freed up frequently around the perimeter last night. Utah also lofted 48 attempts at triples in their prior game, and I have my doubts their poor yield (14-for-48 3FGs vs. SAC) was a product of Luke Walton’s grand defensive schemes. Clarkson and Royce O’Neale’s wayward evenings skewed what was otherwise solid shooting from Jazz starters Conley and Mitchell (combined 11-for-21 3FGs). With Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles hovering from outside to aid Utah (48.2% of FGAs from 3-point land, highest in NBA; 82.9 team FT%, 4th in NBA, on NBA-high 20.1 FTAs/game), Hawk guards and wings must be in better position to closeout on would-be shooters without fouling. There's no need, tonight, to be Harden-headed when guarding people. On the interior, the hack-a-Gobert strategy, so far, isn’t proving to be as tried-and-true as it once was. The league’s leading rebounder (an absurd 17.6 RPG), Gobert has been going to the line for a record-high 8.4 FTAs per game, while sinking a solid, for him, 71.2 percent of them. That’s almost catching up with his 72.3 FG%, momentarily eclipsing his NBA-best 67.5% from last season. But Rudy rarely passes out, and not with much success (1.0 APG. 2.3 TOs/game). With limited defensive help coming, Clint Capela and Gorgui Dieng must maintain post position and box out, entrusting their defensive mates to deny Gobert easy outlets and make him settle for hook shots. Atlanta can use defensive boards and live-ball turnovers to get Donovan on his heels, and Rudy, the reigning DPOY, out of position. Enlivening the Hawks’ dormant transition offense (NBA-low 13.3 points per-48 off TOs) can take advantage of one rare element where Utah (13.7 per-48 off TOs and 0.96 points per transition possession, second-lowest in NBA; net minus-5.5 points per-48 on fastbreaks) isn’t faring much better. No longer the easy draw they were during the Philips Arena era, in recent years, the Jazz tend to catch the Hawks (4-4, 3-0 at home), here at The Farm, at inopportune times for the home team. Two seasons ago, in the midst of a 10-game skid, Atlanta hosted Utah in a game couched between trips to NYC to face the Knicks and Nets. Last February, the Jazz were in a similar situation to today, arriving in town in time for a good night’s rest after dispatching Detroit at home, tuning in occasionally to watch Trae and the Hawks wrangle with Luka and the Mavs downtown. Rajon Rondo filled in for Young, who had a bruised calf, the next evening, as Clarkson (5-for-8 3FGs), helped the Jazz cruise to their third-straight head-to-head win. This is only the Hawks’ second back-to-back on the young season. But Utah, the reigning Western Conference leaders (52-20 last year), has benefitted from having just one thus far. The Jazz had already played a game in Sactown, their second game this season, then enjoyed three days’ rest before division-rival Denver paid them a visit. Three days off for the Hawks, for rest and practice purposes, sounds really nice right now. Further, while Atlanta’s game pairs have all involved semi-continental voyages (the next one, in a few days, is a flight from San Francisco to Salt Lake), neither the Jazz’s last back-to-back (at Chicago, at Milwaukee) nor its next two (this weekend at Miami, at Orlando; consecutive home games versus Zion’s Pelicans after Thanksgiving) require much more than a hop, skip, and a jump for intervening travel. This doesn’t have to be a schedule loss, not if Empire Stater Kevin Huerter and De’Andre Hunter (combined 8-for-8 3FGs @ BRK) bring a little more of what they brought to Brooklyn’s floor last night. Atlanta ought to find some advantages in frontcourt play, especially if John Collins (questionable, strained foot) can once again give it a go. Utah free agent pickup Rudy Gay continues to recover from surgery for his inflamed heel, while O’Neale (questionable) and the pesty Hassan Whiteside (probable) are working through their own ankle maladies. Hunter won’t find the middle of the lane as palatable as he did on Wednesday, having flashed Blake Griffin with glimpses of his old self. But if De’Andre and Danilo Gallinari can keep the Jazz forwards occupied, and occasionally draw help from Gobert, it will grant their outside gunner teammates better quality looks. As was the case for Buddy Hield’s Kings on Tuesday (38.7 3FG%, highest thus far by any Jazz opponent; five of the other six foes shot below 30%), an efficient perimeter shooting performance can keep the Hawks, unlike fastballs down the middle of the plate to Jorge Soler, in the ballpark for victory. This early schedule drawn up for the Hawks isn’t great, not with the cross-country travel and daunting opposition to continue over the next week-plus. But it does ease up at some point and, much like the lessons gained from last spring’s West Coast swing, Atlanta can benefit from showing some resolve in games like tonight’s, in front of a Chipper home-friendly crowd. With everything else going on around town, a calm, cool and collected victory over the relatively rested Jazz would be mighty impressive. As the late, great Whitney Houston once crooned, it’s not right. But it’s okay! Way to Go Bravos! And Let’s Go Hawks! ~lw3
  5. What is going on with 7-footers in Utah on bicycles? No vehicles involved on this one. But, ugh. https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/31532507/former-utah-jazz-center-mark-eaton-dies-bicycle-crash-age-64 also, presented without further comment. ~lw3
  6. Can Utah catch a break? Geez! ~lw3