lethalweapon3

Official Game Thread: Hawks at Magic

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I missed the last few days of posting so maybe this was covered but man is Hunter driving me crazy.  Despite scoring decently and hitting a couple big threes he looks lost a lot offensively.   But man defensively the guys is a stud.   We could really use him being a better on the offensive end though to take some pressure off trae and heurter. 

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LOL.  just looked at the standings and the only East teams with more wins in their last 10 than the Hawks (5 wins) are Celtics, Raptors, Bucks who all have 9 or 10 wins.   Everyone else, 12 teams, are 5-5 or worse.  

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Great write up lw3! Wow, so outside of a couple of wins against the Hornets 🐝, the Magic have otherwise lost 10 straight games? Alrighty then. Yes we are in the playoff hunt just as much as the lottery top 3 odds. Which way will the pendulum turn? 

The Magic puzzle 🧩 me as to what they are trying to accomplish and what kind of team they are putting together. Vucevic has basically been on the trade table for about three years now, Gordon was their high pick that hasn’t panned out because they have no point guard to get him the rock. Isaac is hurt. Ross and Evan don’t fit their timeline yet they are the main contributors on offense? 🤷‍♀️ 

 

Its a good time to be a Hawks fan. 😊 Let’s make it ✌️ straight 👶 dolls!

 

The Magic are favored by 8.5 o/u 220.

 

GO HAWKS!!!

 

 

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19 minutes ago, AHF said:

James Ennis

Was this the same dude that came roasted us in his debut a few years ago playing for the Heat in Miami? Also, wasn’t he with us in camp?

Edited by Spud2nique

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2OT during a back-to-back doesn't bode well... and we had to travel? We'll shall see where the energy level is tonight. Luckily Orlandud is spiraling downward and is just asking for someone to take #8.

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Am sure Trae is gonna be really, really tired but still envision him abusing Fultz rather handily most of the game. Not sure about whats left in the fourth quarter though. Hopefully no overtimes tonight.

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11 minutes ago, Thomas said:

Am sure Trae is gonna be really, really tired but still envision him abusing Fultz rather handily most of the game. Not sure about whats left in the fourth quarter though. Hopefully no overtimes tonight.

They have non athletic skilled shooters in Evan and Ross. If they are on we are in trouble but if they are going the way they are and continue, our athleticism should be enough to bully them around. 
 

Having said that you know they are itching to play well at their house. 
 

Usually a spread of 8.5 for the home team guarantees a win, but let’s be line busters and just go take the W tonight and take another step up as a team. Why not?

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13 minutes ago, Spud2nique said:

They have non athletic skilled shooters in Evan and Ross. If they are on we are in trouble but if they are going the way they are and continue, our athleticism should be enough to bully them around. 
 

Having said that you know they are itching to play well at their house. 
 

Usually a spread of 8.5 for the home team guarantees a win, but let’s be line busters and just go take the W tonight and take another step up as a team. Why not?

The Magic really are just so weird. Most every year they look like a playoff team after the first couple of weeks and then the ADD kicks in and....

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40 minutes ago, bleachkit said:

If we get blown out, Rathbun will mention coming off a back to back, overtime. You can book it.

I imagine he'll mention it regardless of how we perform. It is a big factor.

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14 minutes ago, Thomas said:

The Magic really are just so weird. Most every year they look like a playoff team after the first couple of weeks and then the ADD kicks in and....

Agreed. It’s a marathon. They are great sprinters. I’d also like to add that I referred to Ross as not being athletic. That’s not the case he’s very athletic he just chooses to play the old man pull up game.

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    • By lethalweapon3
      “Yo, Jimmy, how long you stuck down there in Miami?”
       
      Alright, Atlanta Hawks fans. The Recalibration STARTS NOW!
      Well, not NOW now, but soon. Real, real soon!
      First off, congratulations to Messrs. Tony Ressler and Steve Koonin. You guys did it! Y’all did the dang thing!
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      Everybody knows we’ve long had the best ushers on the face of the planet, the best announcers, the best mascot, and the best DJ. Throw in all the whiz-bang technology, the improved viewing angles, the upgraded grub ‘n booze, kid-friendly accommodations, the way-better retail options at the Hawks Shop, the Top Golf, the Barber Shop. Then, at every tier of the building, we’ve got whole sections of smart Hawks fans who know how to get raucous without getting flat-out rambunctious.
      From choking through stale popcorn while bellowing to stop J-Smoove from heaving threes in the general vicinity of the rim, Hawks fans, we have already come a long way. State Farm Arena is not just certified-LEED anymore, it’s a certified SHOW. And we’ve got ourselves a certified showman at center court. If you’re not paying rapt attention, you just might miss him swishing a jumper from that very spot.
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      We’ve got the show-stopping mega-stars repping The ATL, whenever or wherever it’s time for stars to shine. Having endured years of incessant ownership tumult, we’ve now got happy fans begging the Hawks to shut up and take their money. We’ve got a young All-Star who other All-Stars, current and future, are taking great pleasure right now in beating. That is, if they cannot join him.
      Behold, the unbridled joy by players smothering Team Giannis’ Trae Young after he canned the buzzer-beater, paying homage if not paying back his Rising Star draft-buddy Luka, who wouldn’t even pretend to D Trae up after missing his own 3-point attempt right before halftime. Young’s bomb closed the second-quarter proceedings at 51-30 in Team Giannis’ favor, a defensive clampdown that turned the tide and granted his East-heavy squad a cozy 92-83 lead.
      Young only got a shade under 16 minutes of action in the midseason showcase, benched by Nick Nurse ostensibly for defensive reasons (heh heh) so he could entrust his real-life point god Kyle Lowry to take charge(s) and seal the deal. Still, Trae snuck in ten very strategic assists to teammates during those brief stints. With his team needing just 24 points to win the contest, I’m sure Trae was chilling on the bench, poking teammate Jimmy Butler and bragging, “Hey, guess what? This game is OVER!”
      “this man @thetraeyoung was a teller of the future,” trolled Jimmy Buckets after his heat saved themselves from near-certain defeat against the Hawks back in December, coming back from 117-111 down with a minute to spare to force overtime and prevail, 135-121. “game WAS over!” Young was doing some trolling of his own after his tasty dish to Alex Len (remember him?) for a not-blown dunk put Atlanta up six, giving Miami’s bench his best Vince Carter Dunk Contest impression. It’s OVER!
      Imagine, a team that was 6-17, waltzing out of Miami while flexing. A sad 1-for-10 from the field in the fourth up until that point, the miffed Butler was left with no choice but to get these Young whippersnappers off his lawn. Although, Jimmy needed a little help from a kid named Duncan Robinson, inexplicably born before the Spurs even got their act together, dishing and crushing threes (five 3FGs plus 4 assists, for 24 of the heat’s final 34 points from the mid-4th quarter on) to help him save the heat’s bacon.
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      Speaking of parties… foolish me, but back in the spring of 2009, I thought D-Wade was just about D-one. Not just down in Miami, where the heat had just lost an unsightly seven-game, first-round series to Josh Smith’s Hawks. But in general, as an NBA headliner. There he was, about to turn 28, still unable to stretch the floor, dependent on the likes of a withering Jermaine O’Neal, Udonis Haslem and Michael Beasley to get the once-proud heat back into championship contention.
      Despite a league-best 30.2 scoring average to end 2009’s regular season, Wade was looking more and more like a Flash in the pan, playing through injuries, logging ridiculous minutes. A 4-1 pasting of his team the following season at the hands of the mighty Celtics made Wade’s farewell from Florida all the more likely. Erik Spoelstra’s, too. Then, in Wade’s critical 2010 season of free agency, Pat Riley rolled up his sleeves.
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      Wade could have casually name-dropped L.A., or his hometown of Chicago, along the way. But he trusted Riley, stayed True to Wade County, and has three NBA titles and five Finals appearances to show for his troubles. It’s a lesson in persistence, and wherewithal, and making one’s NBA city a veritable star destination, that I’m sure a kid drafted 5th overall fifteen years after Wade is sure to take heed.
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      The 137-point bonanza against Philly being the exception, Miami hasn’t exceeded 115 points in the past nine games, nor 120 points in their past 15 contests. The gritty-grindy pace that Spoelstra prefers has much to do with it, but so does his team failing to exceed 45 percent from the floor while failing to create second-chances. In Salt Lake back on the 12th, the heat chilled to just 43.2 percent, sinking just a third of their three-point shots, while getting thoroughly out-boarded 53-37 along the way to a 116-101 loss to the Jazz.
      Playing without Butler in Portland a few days before, Miami was worse inside the 3-point arc (19-for-49 2FGs, season-high 20-for-49 3FGs) than outside, while Adebayo found himself overwhelmed by Whiteside as the heat fell short, 115-109. A few days before that, no one aside Robinson could even hit threes, mustering just 21 fourth-quarter points in a 105-97 loss at Sacramento, the Kings’ benched guard Hield matching Adebayo with a game-high seven rebounds.
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      Next year’s All-Star festivities are in Indiana, and several Hawks ought to have some goals to be right in the thick of it all. Three-point threat Kevin Huerter (probable, allergic reaction probably to Angel’s Food cake) on Saturday, Collins with Young on Sunday. Collins has lots of work cut out for him, competing with the likes of Adebayo and Siakam for frontcourt reserve attention once KD returns to form. But becoming a better passer and plus-defender, and a more consistent double-double machine (12 combined rebounds in losses at ORL and CLE) while helping Atlanta become a winning collective will help turn enough heads his way.
      On Friday of that weekend, beside whoever Atlanta takes with their 2020 lottery pick, we’d better see De’Andre Hunter (questionable, ankle sprain) and Cam Reddish earning unassailable selections to the Rising Stars’ USA Team. Offensive enhancements are important for the rooks going forward. Perhaps most importantly, becoming active and productive passers such that Trae, Brandon Goodwin, Jeff Teague or whoever’s running point can become omnipresent quick-strike threats off the ball.
      For a team that ranks last in the league with a 33.6 catch-and-shoot 3FG% (only team in NBA with a sub-50 percent eFG% on these plays), having Hunter, Collins and Reddish capable of drawing in overeager defenders and setting up the guards to score off the catch is an element of the offense that is yet to be unlocked. The Hawks are more reliant upon pull-up threes (6th most pull-up 3FGAs in NBA) than most teams in the league, but their 31.7 3FG% on those shots are less than desirable. Teams that catch-and-shoot proficiently, like Miami (57.8 C&S eFG%, 2nd in NBA; 39.1 C&S 3FG%, 3rd in NBA), tend to make things easier on themselves.
      Going forward, neither the postseason-hopeful heat, nor the hopefully upwardly mobile Hawks can afford long stretches of anemic offense without strategic game-plan shifts. The team that plays quarters as if there’s some 24-point Elam Ending to aim for will come away disappointed with the final score this evening.
      After just a few years of rebuilding in this town, the lights, the cameras, and the camera-ready star are already among the NBA’s best and brightest. All that Atlanta’s fans patiently await is some darn good action, the kind that puts Ws in the column. With six of the next seven games at home, starting today would be great! But if not, no worries! Just make it soon, very soon.
       
      Let’s Go Hawks!
      ~lw3
    • By lethalweapon3
      “Workin’ on a Cleveland weekend vacation guide. You mind helpin’ me out?”
       
      Our Atlanta Hawks helped the Orlando Magic slow their descent, if only for a moment, before the All-Star Break. Tonight’s host, the Cleveland Cavaliers (7:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, Fox Sports Ohio), hope the Hawks will do them a similar favor.
       
      Sorry, Cavs. But my Hawks are on a very important, single-minded mission this evening. It’s time to firm up those sipping words!
       
      “Trae Young is here in Chicago this weekend, despite the Hawks having ONE OF the worst records in the Eastern Conference.” Sip, everybody, sip!
       
      “Ernie, ah’m tellin ya, there shouldn’t be anybody here on All-Star Weekend representin their conference when their team has the worst record!”
       
      “Chuck, the Hawks (15-40) only have ONE OF the worst records. The Cavs (13-40) are worst.” Sip!
       
      “All ah’m sayin, is we can’t have players on bad teams getting into All-Star Weekend.”
       
      “Chuck, your Sixers were next-to-last in the Atlantic Division with a losing record when you went to the ’88 All-Stars.”
       
      “Shaddup, Kenny. That’s ONE OF the worst ties you’ve got on that ah’ve ever seen.” Sip!
       
      “Weren’t y’all near last place before 1992’s All-Stars, when you were barking your way out of Philly, too?”
       
      “Aren’t you in need of a pedicure, Shaq? Listen, lemme say this. We were ONE OF the worst teams,” Sip!, “but ah had to put up with Kenny Payne and Charles Shackleford. And, one other thing… Collin Sexton is a Rising Star in this league, he’s a great rookie.”
       
      “He’s… he’s not a…”
       
      “ONE OF the best rookies in his class.” Sip! “Oh, Andre Drummond is ONE OF the best big men in basketball,” Sip!, “and he deserves to be here.”
       
      “We’re going to go to a commercial break before Chuck starts advocating for Kevin Love, too.”
       
      “That’s ONE OF the best ideas I’ve heard in this segment, Ernie.” Sip!
       
      Forgive Chuckles and the stream of unconsciousness we and his TV partners must endure this weekend. Yes, the Cavs would remain percentage points behind Atlanta with the first win at Quicken Loans Arena in their last 13 tries. But we know Auburn Mathematics in the 80’s didn’t get much beyond the first decimal. Seeing both clubs tied in the “games behind” column of the standings would only further embolden Charles’ point, which is technically a line but for 80’s-era Auburn Geometry.
      All-Star Break ’88 spelled doom for Barkley’s coach, Matty Guokas, and this season’s intermission could similarly be the end of the ‘lein. Cavaliers first-year coach John Beilein signed a five-year deal back in May of 2019. But we know by now that owner Dan Gilbert doesn’t mind paying coaches to get lost.
      Beilein’s departure would make the next clipboard clutcher the seventh in Cleveland’s last seven-and-a-half seasons. Coming off the worst home loss in 50 years of franchise history (which IS saying something for those of us who recall the Richfield years), a 133-92 thumping at the hands of a Clippers team on a SEGABABA that sat Kawhi Leonard and Pat Beverley, the Cavs and Beilein need a momentum-shifting victory tonight in the worst way.
      Andre Drummond (19 points, 2-fo-3 3FGs, 14 rebounds incl. 7 O-Rebs vs. LAC in his Cavs debut) won’t address the Cavs’ interior defensive woes the way Clint Capela is expected to eventually do for Atlanta. But the man can rebound, and as Kevin Love (questionable, sore Achilles) and Tristan Thompson zone out for the remainder of the season, Cleveland hopes Drummond (NBA-high 15.8 RPG, only player besides Love to lead league with 15+ RPG since 2003) should be able to hone in on his strongest attribute.
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      The lack of any significant defensive presence on the floor has harmed Cleveland’s chances of staying competitive (NBA-worst minus-9.4 Net Rating), perpetually at the mercy of opponents that aren’t having poor shooting nights, finish close and/or open shots, and hustle back defensively in transition. Atlanta hasn’t often been that kind of team, especially late (42-30 4th-quarter deficit in the 135-126 loss to the Magic, whose 4th-quarter offense was their season-best). But recent losses in Boston and Orlando suggest they’re beginning to sort things out.
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      It’s fairly safe for bettors to take the Over no matter the line, as Young’s Hawks and Sexton’s Cavs (125+ regulation points at home vs. GSW, NYK, and LAC this month) give up buckets quite easily. But if the Hawks push the tempo and limit their own turnovers on offense, they should find themselves spending much of the evening playing with the higher of the two scores.
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      Speaking of Love, I don’t even need three special words to make my weekend ONE OF the best ever. Two will do just fine. Sip!
       
      Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy the All-Star Break. Let’s Go Hawks!
      ~lw3
    • By lethalweapon3
      “Him! Section 120, Row G! He called me something that rhymes with Rich!”
       
      How bad have things gotten for you as an NBA owner when your team’s fans can hardly celebrate a five-game win streak? If the New York Knicks return home from today’s game with the Atlanta Hawks victorious (6 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, MSG in NYC), we may soon see just how bad.
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      Knicks owner James Dolan lopped off one half of the two-headed managerial monster in Steve Mills, leaving Scott Perry as the lone Smithers to pull the strings. One Perry pull at the Trade Deadline mailed mega-male Marcus Morris and his XY chromosomes out to LA, bringing Queens native Moe Harkless home along with future picks and a Euro-prospect in Issuf Sannon. Just as he thinks sitting in the stands or running a dive-bar band makes him look like a man of the people, Dolan probably believes these moves plus the winning turn will win him over some fans. (Newsflash: it will not.)
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      If things turn the way they did for other teams under ex-agents Bob Myers and Rob Pelinka, the decision will be applauded. If events pan out the way they did for Lon Babby, who selected Alex Len in the Giannis draft overall among many missteps, even a sweeter-smelling Rose as the team’s face won’t mask the stench. Dolan was widely panned this week for couching his intransigence about selling the team in an unnecessary press release about his search for a new team head honcho.
      The Hawks are the ones feeling upbeat, even despite another late-game, close-shave loss in Boston on Friday. Fans have a better sense as to how Travis Schlenk is rebuilding the roster in Atlanta, and winning ways can wait until the core of the team can get healthy and gel together. The post-Deadline roster is coming together just in time for a close to the season where the Hawks’ schedule-strength is by far the league’s weakest (NBA-low 44.5 opponent winning percentage for remaining games), which is saying something considering Atlanta cannot play themselves.
      The rest of the 29-game docket includes the Pistons, the Kings, the Warriors (please rest, Steph), the Cavaliers and Hornets thrice, the Wizards, these Knicks and the stumbling Magic twice. Surpassing last season’s record with a 16-13 finish is not unreasonable at this stage for coach Lloyd Pierce and his Hawks, if they can get Trae Young (questionable, ankle), Clint Capela (out, something called a calcaneous contusion and plantar fasciitis), Cam Reddish (doubtful, concussion), and Skal Labissiere (out, something called a knee chondral injury) up to speed coming out of the All-Star Break.
      The Knicks shoot 33.6 3FG% on the season (27th in NBA), and just moved Morris (43.9 3FG%), the sole Knick who shot above 36 percent (Damyean Dotson, right at 36.0%, the only Knick shooting above 35 percent). At the other end, the perimeter defense has been less than desirable (NBA-worst 38.7 opp. 3FG%).
      John Collins has been on a tear both inside and outside this month (last 4 games: 26.3 PPG, 46.2 3FG%; season-best 9-for-10 FTs @ BOS). He and Kevin Huerter (42.9 February 3FG% despite 4-for-14 in past two games; 19.8 PPG, 3.5 APG, 0.8 TOs/game so far this month) can light up New York today if they are set-up well by the point guards. Even if Trae sits another day, a more assertive effort by Jeff Teague to mimic the hungry Brandon Goodwin could be enough to do the trick.
      A listless team-wide defensive effort spoiled Young’s 42-point outing in Manhattan, a 143-120 washout back on December 17. It was one of the last games without the then-suspended Collins available for the Hawks, but Atlanta will have Collins, Bruno Fernando (probable, calf strain) and the newly reacquired Dewayne Dedmon back to help seal off the interior from the Knicks.
      From there, it will be up to De’Andre Hunter (questionable, sprained ankle), DeAndre’ Bembry (questionable, hand neuritis) and Huerter to keep RJ Barrett (1-for-8 @ DET in just 21 minutes last night, 27 points on 10-for-13 FGs vs. ATL on Dec. 17), Damyean Doston and Harkless (Knicks debut) cool from beyond the 3-point arc, and to run on Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson (9 of NYK’s 13 O-Rebs vs. ATL in December) and New York’s board-crashing bigs in transition off defensive rebounds.
      The Knicks have been stingy inside when games are halfcourt affairs (42.8 opponent paint points per-48, 3rd-best in NBA), so strong boxouts and wise outlet passes are the way to go for the Hawks. New York allows 1.16 points per transition possession (4th-most in NBA), a value that Miller can only hope replacing Morris with Harkless can fix.
      It has to suck to own not just the team, but the TV network that airs the team, and find yourself subject to jeers and “Sell The Team!” chants by locals whenever you appear on the screens and the Jumbotron. Us lowly 98 percenters can’t tell folks like Dolan what to do. But instead of tossing ham-and-eggers out of the not-so-cheap seats at MSG, having his camera operators steer away from him would be a wise order.
       
      Let’s Go Hawks!
      ~lw3