Archive for the ‘Atlanta Hawks’ Category

real-tmac-thanks-posters

Tracy McGrady tweeted those posters you see up there, thanking the most notable stops of his NBA career. It was a very nice thing to do. But he also forgot the other four teams he played for, which is too bad for those cities since they were a part of the Tracy McGrady experience too.

So to make things fair, I whipped up a few Tracy McGrady posters in Photoshop, thanking each of the cities where T-Mac showed up for a season before moving somewhere else for a season. I think you’ll agree that these cover all the non-Chinese Basketball Association bases.

tmac-thank-you-new-york

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dennis-schroeder-celebrate

With the dust mostly settled on this offseason’s player movement — and there was a whole lot of it this year — it’s time to take stock of all the fascinating new faces in new places, as well as the more compelling stories of players who will face new challenges while sticking around. Over the course of the next few weeks, Andrew Unterberger will do a team-by-team look at the most interesting players going into next season — one new to the team, and one returning — as we all try to pass the dog days of NBA-less summer, dreaming of hoops-filled months to come. The series continues today with the teams in the Southeast Division: the Hawks, Bobcats, Heat, Magic and Wizards.

ATLANTA HAWKS

Most Interesting New Player: Dennis Schroeder

Yeah, I know this guy is kind of a trendy pick after his Summer League success and all, but man, did you see this guy? That video of assists-that-weren’t Trey posted a few weeks ago should be all you need to see to get excited about Schroeder, and every game I watched of his left me more convinced that he was eventually going to be Rajon Rondo with better shooting range. “Eventually” might not be next year, but I don’t think the court vision and basic floor general confidence on the level Schroeder seemed to display in Vegas could end up being a mirage — if there was one showcase rookie this year whose skills were legit, I’d bet it’s Schroeder. It was a little disappointing that Atlanta balked and re-signed Jeff Teague. It’s a fair deal, sure, but if they’d seen Schroeder’s Summer League game first, I think they’d leave pretty convinced this was their Point Guard of the Future.

Also disappointing that Schroeder probably won’t be joined by fellow rookie Bebe Noguiera on the court this year, as it looks like the Hawks are keeping him stashed overseas for a season. Nogueira was extremely impressive himself in Vegas, and the two showed surprisingly good on-court chemistry and such awesome rookie duos are pretty rare these days. Between them and John Jenkins/Mike Scott in ’12, Atlanta has had a couple sneaky awesome drafts now since Danny Ferry came over.

Most Interesting Returning Player: Al Horford

I guess? I didn’t find any of the players on their roster last year all that interesting, which is why I hoped they’d blow it up in the offseason, which they sorta did but not really. I actually kinda feel bad for Horford, since after a half-decade of playing out of position at center to accommodate the undersized Josh Smith at power forward, Smith finally flew the coop, and they just replaced him with another undersized power forward, one who should also take plenty of post touches away from Horford. At least this is the East, where there are only like two centers you really have to worry about killing you down low on offense, but man, it might be nearly a decade into his career before Al gets to maybe play his actual position on the court with any regularity. Seems like a raw deal.

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This is the exact kind of highlight tape the internet was made for — a foreign rookie point guard throwing a bunch of great passes in summer league that no one can convert, all soundtracked by the Violent Femmes’ best song (it’s not “Blister in the Sun,” we’re not 14). I mean, when’s the last time you’ve seen five minutes of misses and still been entertained? Probably during those “Worst Free Throws Ever” compilations, which again, internet.

(via SB Nation)

What? This guy?

kyle-korver-defending-and-smiling

Doesn’t make sense. Just going to ignore this. Must be a glitch in the Matrix.

Exhibit A — LeBron James Hitting Several Behind-the-Backboard Threes
This clip reminds me of two things, one of which only one other person on Earth will understand but whatever. The two things are as follows: 1) that movie “Wanted” where Angelina Jolie taught the last king of Scotland how to bend bullets with his mind; 2) my dad’s go-to H-O-R-S-E shot where he would stand as far in the corner as possible, aligning his feet in a right angle with the baseline and sideline while shooting over the glass. He didn’t make very many of these, so that leads me to believe LeBron has been selected to join The Fraternity.

Exhibit B — Ivan Johnson Throws a Bullet Pass While Doing the Splits (Kind Of)
The most impressive part of this play is how much zip Ivan Johnson gets on this pass, despite having virtually no leverage or angle to throw it. I mean, if Latrell Sprewell put this much mustard on his passes, he wouldn’t have had to choke P.J. Carlesimo.

It’s a close call for me on this, but I think I’m going with LeBron because of the stunning number of shots he makes from a place you’re not supposed to make shots. Ivan Johnson’s play was in a game, so that’s in his favor, but that was a fluke play whereas LeBron obviously practices shooting from the deep, deep corner, just in case he ever needs to Nick Young a shot at the rim.

No matter what, you’re choosing between two incredible feats of basketball skill, so it’s a no-lose situation. Let’s hear what you think in the comments.

Any time something as unlikely as this happens, I always think about Fernando Tatis and how the only thing anyone ever knows about him is that he once hit two grand slams in the same inning. And I think that’s nice, because it’s always nice to be remembered.

So from now on, let’s always remember Kyle Korver and Orlando Johnson scoring eight points in two possessions. You probably won’t ever thing about those two guys in the same sentence any other time, so might as well commit this to memory.

Look, I’m not trying to act like this is nearly as cool as Babe Ruth pointing to the outfield and then jacking a homer (cool baseball terms) or Larry Bird spelling out his moves before successfully scoring with them, but any time a human can accurately predict the future, I’m intrigued. So Anthony Tolliver, you’ve got the floor.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Anthony Tolliver called it.

Not a game-winning shot but a game-winning rebound.

Tolliver’s rebound of a missed free throw by teammate Dahntay Jones with 22.4 seconds remaining preserved the Hawks’ 104-99 come-from-behind victory over the Bucks Sunday afternoon.

With a one-point lead, 100-99 after Jones’ first free throw, Tolliver looked at Jeff Teague and told his teammate a missed shot would be all his.

“Yeah, I told him right before it happened, ‘I am going to get this rebound,’” Tolliver said. “I just tried to analyze the situation. I knew he has missed a few free throws earlier so I just wanted to be aggressive toward the rebound. I saw an opportunity. They didn’t box me out and I jumped and it came to me.”

Here’s a guy who averages 0.5 offensive rebounds per game, who has already collected one offensive board, who is standing outside the three-point line while a 75 percent career free throw shooter is at the line — all that and he still has the confidence to predict he’ll grab the offensive rebound when his teammate inevitably lets his team down in the clutch. Then he does it. Pretty tremendous if you really think about it, and a really tough rebound too.

Of course, since Anthony Tolliver was standing directly behind Dahntay Jones when he predicted that Jones would miss a clutch free throw, this prediction might not be what it’s made out to be. I mean, if you’re at the line with a one-point lead in the final 30 seconds of a game, then you overhear your teammate telling another teammate that he’s going to grab the rebound when you miss, maybe you’re not at your most confident and maybe you brick a free throw and maybe that makes your teammate look like a psychic rather than a big ol’ meanie who doesn’t trust his friends.

Nah, probably a psychic. More fun that way.