Welcome
to the Hawks BasketBlog! This is where you can come to read analysis and
commentary on the Hawks as well as topics around the league. Check us out
throughout the season as we will be posting new material on the Hawks, the NBA,
and maybe a few other subjects as well. Want to participate? Submit questions
and comments to us at
hawks.mailbag@atlantaspirit.com

and we will try to answer as many as we can!

Note: the opinions expressed here are not those of the Atlanta Hawks
organization or of the NBA.



Five Reasons To Go To The Sonics Game

5. Start The Second Half. Ok, technically it's not the start of the
second half of the season since this will be game #51, but the All-Star break
still serves as the perceived dividing line of the season. Tonight starts the
second-half home slate for the Hawks, who are 5-5 in their last ten games
overall and at home.

4. Damien Comes To Town. It's always nice to see a Wilkins on the
court at an Atlanta Hawks game, even if this one isn't Dominique or in a Hawks
uniform. Damien Wilkins, Nique's nephew and Gerald's son, plays for Seattle and
had perhaps his best game as a pro two weeks ago in a 99-91 win over Atlanta in
Seattle. Wilkins took over down the stretch, scoring a career-high 26 in leading
the team to a win. Let's all give him a good round of applause tonight...and
then shut him down.

3. Josh Smith. He may not have won the dunk contest, but given his
play of late, perhaps he should enter some sort of rebounding contest. Smith has
pulled down a career-high tying 15 boards in each of his last two games, putting
up a double-double in each. In fact, Smoove finished three blocks shy of a
triple-double last night at Detroit, putting up 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 7
assists (and five assists!). Pretty good start to the second half, if I do say
so myself.

2. Trade Deadline. The NBA trade deadline is tomorrow at 3 p.m., and both
the Hawks and the Sonics have been mentioned in the rumor mill at length. The
Sonics already pulled the trigger on one deal, sending Vladimir Radmanovic to
the Clippers in exchange for Chris Wilcox. Other rumors have had Ray Allen on
the move as well as Danny Fortson and Reggie Evans. As for the Hawks, the two
biggest names in play are Al Harrington and Tony Delk. Anything is possible at
the deadline, so come out tonight just in case its the last game for your
favorite player - on either team.

1. Four Or More? Atlanta has won three straight home games coming into
tonight, and have a chance to match their best streak of the season with a W
against the Sonics (the team won four straight at home back in December). With a
winnable game coming up at home against Milwaukee on Saturday, the Hawks have a
chance to put together their best home winning streak since April 2003. But
first things first, they have to stop the Sonics tonight. Seattle is a streaky
team, and though their record is nothing to write home about, when their shots
are falling they are capable of playing with any team in the league. Look for
the Hawks to ramp up their defensive effort tonight if they want to get a
victory.

See you there!

-- The Web Guy | 12:15 p.m. 02/22/06 |
Have a comment?


Rashan Ali
Heads To Houston

Rashan Ali, the Hawks sideline reporter extraordinaire and
radio personality for
Hot 107.9,
will be participating in NBA All-Star weekend in Houston. Much
like she does at Hawks games, she will be roaming the sidelines, interviewing
players and celebrities amongst other things, joining other Hawks Josh Smith
(Sprite Rising Stars Dunk Contest), Royal Ivey (on hand to help Smith), and
Esteban Batista (there to serve as a correspondent for NBA International) for
the festivities.

While she is there, she will be keeping a diary for Hawks.com - check back
periodically to read her thoughts on All-Star Weekend.



Rashan has fun during the Rookie-Sophomore festivities with Orlando's Dwight
Howard

Post#5: All-Star Weekend, Day Four

The All-Star game was the greatest! I interviewed Detroit's Richard Hamilton,
Los Angeles' Elton Brand, New Jersey's Vince Carter, and Toronto's Chris Bosh.
The evening was quite eventful especially to see all the celebrities having a
great time amongst their peers. It seems to be some sort of fraternity and
sorority in 'Star America.' Once you're in, everybody knows and respects the
next person. It seemed quite evident as I watched Eva Longoria stare at her
boyfriend Tony Parker all night. She sat next to Jamie Foxx, who sat closely to
Mary J. Blige and her husband. Ludacris conversed with Queen Latifah and Donald
Faison. Star Jones-Reynolds, Jay Z, Julianne Moore, P Diddy, Nelly, Destiny's
Child, Former President George Bush all made their appearances on Hollywood's
Stage in Houston (just to name a few).

We ended the evening at a party just for the production crew. It was so nice to
have a good time with the people you've been working with for four long days. It
was the most fun I had all weekend.

All in all, I met some really cool people that I am sure I will have life-long
relationships with. It was such a wonderful and filling experience! I grew in
these few days believe it or not. I think this entire experience has made me
better in so many ways. I'm thankful to the Atlanta Hawks and the NBA for the
opportunity! It changed my life!


-
- Rashan Ali, "All-Star Chick" | 10:00 a.m. 02/21/06 |
Have a comment?

Post#4: All-Star Weekend, Day Three

This
day had to be the most hectic so far. With all the events that took place, the
production crew was very intense.

We kicked off the evening with the Shooting Stars competition. I interviewed
Houston hometown legend Clyde "The Glide" Drexler and the Rockets' Tracy McGrady
which was very humbling to say the least. Mr. Drexler is one of greatest to ever
play the game and here I am in his company. The word 'WOW' explains it.

I was at Center Court with LeBron James when the producer scratched the
interview because of time constraints. So I felt okay since I was set to
interview former Hawk and current Maverick Jason Terry before the 3-point
competition. He was very excited to do the interview being that we had a great
relationship when he was in Atlanta. Needless to say, the interview got scrapped
because of the time again.

It's cool though! I have a few interviews set for this evening at the All-Star
game. It was good to see Dominique Wilkins and Arthur Triche. That felt like
home! I have to give a big ups to the Philips Arena crowd because this Houston
crowd has very little energy. There's nothing like the A!!!

I ended the evening at the Players Association party. I saw everyone from the
Raiders' Warren Sapp to the great Michael Jordan. I was re-introduced to Jamie
Foxx who performed. He states his name when he is introduced to people like
nobody has ever heard of him. It's the purest form of humility. The world could
learn from him.

I will check in before my flight back tomorrow. Until then, take care.


-
- Rashan Ali, "All-Star Chick" | 3:00 p.m. 02/19/06 |
Have a comment?

Post#3: All-Star Weekend, Day Two

The T-mobile Rookie challenge was awesome! I interviewed Dwight Howard from the
Orlando Magic and Southwest Atlanta Christian for the Sophomores and Channing
Frye from the New York Knicks for the Rookies. Its amazing how big these men are
with these baby faces. They are all still very young even though we lose sight
of that at times.

I had several highlights from the evening. The one that everyone was talking
about was the Cha Cha Slide! Yep, you heard it right! I had to pump up the crowd
before the second half. I was joined by the 'Knicks City Kids.'. They are such
great dancers and they are so cute on top of that! Well the objective was to get
some of the players to join me. Needless to say, it wasn't an easy sell at
first! But thank God I knew Dwight from Atlanta and he was the first to join me!
Then Nate Robinson from the Knicks joined in! Before we finished, we were having
a party at Center Court!! Everybody was talking about that for the rest of the
night!!! It was great!

Another highlight was meeting Shelly Smith from ESPN! I respect her work so
much! She seemed equally excited for being recognized and honored by another
female pursuing the same dreams! I topped the night off by attending the Boost
Mobile party hosted by Ludacris and Young Jeezy. We tried to make it to Kenny
Smith's party but by the time we got there, there was no need to try to fight
the lines! I rested well for tonigt's events! I can't wait to see Josh Smith as
he defends his title! It'll feel like home!!

Chat with you later!


-
- Rashan Ali, "All-Star Chick" | 3:45 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

Post#2: All-Star Weekend, Day One

The flight from Atlanta to Houston was pretty smooth. Since the weather has
been so up and down in Atlanta, it seems as if the plane was a bit mixed up. (If
I'm allowed to give the plane feelings.) I say all that to say, the air
conditioning simply wasn't functioning well on the flight over. It was a bit
warm. No, actually it was hot!!! Nonetheless, I'm glad I made it safely and I've
been running ever since.

The production assistant met me at baggage claim and took me straight to the
Toyota Arena here in Houston, Texas. The arena is nice, but Philips Arena sets a
pretty high precedent. There are hundreds of production staff and crew preparing
for a weekend that is sure to be nothing less the fabulous!!! I received the
rundown of the entire weekend and I have to say that I will definitely be
working very hard. I will be able to interact with players, fans and
celebrities. From the way the script reads, I have a very integral role. "Big
Mike" from the Sacramento Kings is awesome. He's done several All-star events so
he is a veteran. I am happy I will be able to learn from someone who is already
seasoned, plus he can lead the way. I'm a natural born leader, but I am a leader
who likes to be led as well.

The night was very demanding. We rehearsed for hours. Everything should run like
clock work when the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge tips off on Friday night. It's the
big stage! This is like opening night for the Hawks times 20! Surprisingly, I'm
relaxed. My hopes are that I continue to stay in this state!

-- Rashan Ali, "All-Star Chick" | 9:05 a.m. 02/17/06 |
Have a comment?


Post #1: "On My Way to Houston"

It's Thursday morning and I wish I had the words to express how I am really
feeling. If I had to choose a few, I would say anticipation, eagerness, anxiety
and excitement all at the same time. I have packed everything from "Hawks"
Tee-Shirts to black dresses and everything in between. I am a woman, so I have
two full suitcases. I just never know what kind of mood I will be in, so I have
to accommodate for all of them.

I always saw myself as a credible sideline reporter. I wanted to bring my own
perspective and personality and it's amazing how the very thing you dream of
your whole life becomes reality. At the same time, it is very surreal. I look
forward to the unknown. It's such a mystery. I take off at 2:30 and land in
Houston, Texas at 3:45. I will be on the go as soon as I land. We have a
wardrobe meeting at 5:30. Thanks to Peter Sorckoff and Matt Payne in Game
Operations for the sweet "Hawks" gear. The `approval session' will be followed
by dinner and a two-hour rehearsal. By Friday, I will know everything that will
be expected of me. I will put on my smile and represent the Atlanta Hawks
organization well. Keep me in your thoughts as I see my destiny unfold right
before my eyes.

-- Rashan Ali, "All-Star Chick" | 2:30 p.m. 02/16/06 |
Have a comment?


All Star Saturday Night

Finals: Nate Robinson, meet Chris Andersen. Andre Iguodala, meet Chris
Andersen. This is why the dunk contest has had problems, too many guys missing
dunks and trying them again and again (and again).

Having said that, Nate Robinson's dunk over Spud was pretty amazing (though
sad to see a former Hawk helping a non-Hawk - I mean, I understand why, but
still sad).

Now they are going to a dunk off after both finished their first two dunks
with a 94 total...

Ummmm, ok. I don't want to lose my job here...let's just congratulate Nate
Robinson on his victory and go home.

But not to end on a bad note, let's show you what

Bill Walton had to say about Dominique Wilkins
in a column for the
Sacramento Bee. Now there is a guy who could dunk.

Ok, that's it for me - thanks for stopping by ATL!

See you Wednesday night against the Sonics.

-- The Web Guy | 10:50 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

First round, second dunk: Hakim Warrick, thanks for stopping by. Andre
Iguodala just set the bar pretty high, doing an absurd behind-the-backboard dunk
off a pass from Allen Iverson. That was perhaps an all-timer. Nate Robinson
again did a nice dunk, but nothing unheard of. Unfortunately, he got a 43, which
combined with his first dunk 49, is already too much for Josh Smith to beat.
And, after missing a couple attempts at what would have been a pretty amazing
360 alley-oop (jumping over teammate Royal Ivey in the process), Smoove is done.
I have to say, I'm disappointed. I don't even feel like Josh got started before
he was finished.

He didn't have his best stuff tonight, but I still think it's a little
puzzling he got only a 41 for his first dunk. Can we get a grass-roots movement
going to add another dunk to the first round? Two doesn't seem enough to
determine who are the best dunkers.

Maybe it's just sour grapes...anyway, it's onto the finals with Nate Robinson
and Andre Iguodala.

-- The Web Guy | 10:30 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

First round: Hakim Warrick was first, and did a nice dunk, but nothing
special. That's the hardest part of the contest - doing something, anything,
that hasn't been done before. Josh was able to do that last year. I don't think
Andre Iguodala's first effort was anything new either. But here goes Nate
Robinson...wow, pretty impressive. Now, was it impressive as a dunk, or was it
impressive because Robinson is short? This is why Josh Smith will need to bring
it tonight - he, Warrick, and Iguodala are all facing a stacked deck.

Here goes Josh...he put tape down about 4 feet behind the free throw line,
making us all think he was about to fly (perhaps literally), then eschewed the
line in favor of a two-handed dunk from just inside the free throw line. Man,
that was a pretty impressive dunk - and he gets a 41??? This is what Josh is up
against that the others aren't - the ghost of his performance last year. I stake
my web reputation to the fact that that dunk would have gotten pretty close to
50 any other year. Still one dunk left though, so Josh needs to do something
pretty spectacular.

-- The Web Guy | 10:20 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

Andrea Bocelli is out there now commemorating NBA Cares. I guess Michael
Bolton was booked.

-- The Web Guy | 10:05 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

Hey, Dirk proves The Web Guy right! Technically he shouldn't have made the
finals (he shot his last money ball in the first round after the buzzer, but
they didn't discount it), but I won't quibble since it makes me look smart.
Charles Barkley harped on this during the competition, that (former Hawk) Jason
Terry, Gilbert Arenas, and Chauncey Billups aren't really great shooters, just
great scorers. Maybe he is right, seeing as they didn't win. But Nowitzki is
certainly a great shooter, as is Ray Allen, who also made the finals. I could
watch Ray Allen shoot all day long - his shot is just perfect (do I have to make
a reference to He Got Game here? Can I skip that?). Sad not to see Peja
Stojakovic in the contest this year, as I rank him right up there with Dirk and
Ray as the best shooters in the game.

Ok, commercial break now, and then it's time for the main event! Let's go
Josh!!!

-- The Web Guy | 10:00 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

While the Three Point Contest is going on, it gives me a chance to give some
tips courtesy of Hawks radio analyst Dennis Scott, should anyone reading this
decide to enter a similar contest in the near future:

1. Develop a plan. According to Dennis, the hardest part of the
contest is deciding how you are going to attack the racks. Figure out how you
are going to take the balls out of the rack and set up to shoot, and go from
there.

2. Get your shot off quick. Scott, who finished second to Tim Legler
in the 1996 Three-Point Contest, says in order to get all the shots off in 60
seconds, you need to have the next shot ready to be released when the first ball
hits the rim. There is no time to admire your handiwork - unless you want to
admire the last shot you take. Otherwise, be prepared to admire the artistry of
your competitors as they continue on without you.

3. Gain an edge if you can. Scott says the biggest mistake he made in
losing the contest to Legler was allowing him to shoot his semifinal and final
rounds at the same basket. "Maybe he would have shot the same," said Scott. "But
allowing him to shoot at the same basket where he had just done well was dumb.
You want to try to find any kind of psychological edge you can, just to get them
off their game a little."

-- The Web Guy | 9:45 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

Chris Paul was up first in the PlayStation Skills Challenge, and being that
he is a rookie, we will let his first attempt slide. I don't know if he was told
you are allowed to run - could be the vets playing a prank on him. Dwyane Wade
was next, and he looked good, making all of his passes on his first attempt, but
took too long to hit a jump shot and missed a chance to blow the competition
away. LeBron followed and had a similar problem, so I figured defending champ
Steve Nash would take it down. But no! In the first drama of the night, Nash
blew several shots, ending up having to just give up and move on, causing him to
finish dead last. Surprising, only because he is clearly the best shooter of the
four players involved.

So, we go to the finals, with Wade and LeBron going at it. During the
commercials, I saw a new advertisement for Nike's newest Air Jordans, with rec
players recreating some of His Airness' career highlights. Just a great, great
commercial. Where was this during the Super Bowl? I had to watch "Brown and
Bubbly" from Diet Pepsi (featuring
Hawks
BasketBlog whipping boy Jay Mohr
) and I could have seen this one
instead? What a rip.

In the finals, LeBron and Dwyane both stepped it up, but Wade showed why he
is known as "Flash", beating James' time by several seconds. Coming up next? The
always popular Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout. I am going to go with Dirk
Nowitzki as my pick.

-- The Web Guy | 9:25 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

Ok, first up, the Radio Shack Shooting Stars. The Spurs went first and got it
done very quickly, finishing in 25.1 seconds. The Lakers were up next, and it
took Lisa Leslie almost that long just to hit the bank shot. On the bright side,
Kobe Bryant hit a half-court shot, and he didn't even have to get a running
start. Man is he good. He looked like he was shooting a free throw. The Rockets
took their shot, as did Phoenix (the defending champs, so to speak), but no one
could match San Antonio. Precursor to the playoffs? We will see.

-- The Web Guy | 9:05 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?

Welcome, welcome, welcome - this is The Web Guy, broadcasting (so to speak)
live from his house, getting set to watch the events of All-Star Saturday night.
Josh Smith is coming up in a little while in the dunk contest, but first (I
imagine) will be the Radio Shack Shooting Stars, the PlayStation Skills
Challenge, and the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout.

Right now on TNT they are having a debate about the greatest dunk of all-time
- the finalists are Michael Jordan's leaner from 1987 and Vince Carter's between
the legs windmill from 2002. First of all, they are only including dunks from
previous slam dunk contests. Having said that, let me just end all debate right
here and now when I tell you that Vince Carter's dunk over Frederic Weis of
France in the 2000 Olympic Games is the best dunk ever, end of discussion. No
one will ever top it - the dude jumped over a SEVEN-FOOTER to throw it down.

The dunk itself was incredible, but what made it the chart-topper was the
audacity of it - it would never even occur to me to attempt to dunk over a
seven-footer. How was that even an option. I don't know what any of this has to
do with whether or not Josh Smith will win tonight, but it does remind me of
this - much like Vince Carter with that dunk, J-Smoove executes dunks most
players wouldn't even try. Even if he doesn't win tonight, he is still the best
dunker in the league.

Let's see how the night unfolds!

-- The Web Guy | 8:05 p.m. 02/18/06 |
Have a comment?


And We Have
A Winner!

The Hawks Fan Correspondent Contest has come to an end, and we are happy to
announce the winner...the self-described Sports Mama!

The Sports Mama
will be posting her thoughts on the Hawks and her experiences at Philips Arena
periodically for the rest of the season - first up, read her winning entry
detailing her night in the stands watching the Hawks beat the Pistons last week!

The Remarkable Atlanta Hawks versus the Detroit Pistons

Some
people just aren't appreciative of good help, I thought to myself as I shook
security's grubby paws off my Hawks shirt. All I had been doing was making my
way toward the Hawk's locker room to offer my assistance in helping rub down
Tyronn Lue's sprained knee. Alas, it was not to be. I guess they thought Sports
Mama had cruel intentions. Go figure. Nevertheless, this was only the first
misconception of the night. There would be one even bigger than that, and it
would be one the Pistons would never forget.

Of course I was a little dismayed by the whole security thing, yet being Sports
Mama, I was not one to let a temporary restraining order get me down. After all,
I did have friends in the building. Judge Mathis was in the house! Bubba Sparxx
was large and in charge. Huge Hawk fan Chris Tucker was also there, but he was
pretending he didn't know me. Quit playing Chris! At least my friends at the
Tiki Hut were happy to see me. Sometimes, I had the feeling that they were
happier to see my money, but it didn't matter to me. Sports Mama is not above
buying friends. While I waited in line to order my traditional double margarita
on the rocks without salt (salt - bad; tequila - good according to Sports Mama's
nutritional pyramid), I saw an appalling sight around me, and I was sickened to
my stomach. There were people, not a person, but people actually walking around
Philips Arena wearing Pistons jerseys. Screw that! I'm all for equal opportunity
cheering, but wearing a Piston's jersey to a Hawks game in the ATL is definitely
not cool. If you backstabbers like Detroit so much, you should consider
relocating.

Just as I was about to take on a horde of Piston's fans, I heard Ryan Cameron's
melodious voice announcing that the Hawks were entering the arena for their
warm-up. Giving all the traitors a dirty look, I headed towards my seat. I would
let the Hawks do my talking for me.

Remember earlier when I mentioned a misconception? Scroll back up. Well, the
Pistons did indeed have a false impression about the Hawks. From the start they
assumed we couldn't beat them. Sure at the end of the 1st quarter, the Pistons
were beating Sports Mama's boys, 34 to 24, but what the Pistons didn't realize
is that the best things in life often take a few minutes to warm up, to find
their groove. Obviously the Pistons hadn't been watching us grow as a team over
the season. Perhaps, the Pistons and all their fans noticed when during the rest
of the game, we were breathing down their necks like a group of cats watching a
canary. You think they would have known better being the "best team in the
league", but as Sports Mama has told you - the Pistons were misled by their own
misconception.

Perhaps they were thinking that with Tyronn Lue out of the game, we were easy
targets. That will teach those Pistons to not wear corrective lenses. There's a
whole team that sits on the Hawks bench. Royal Ivey, Al Harrington, and Salim
Stoudamire ran on that court like they owned it. Zaza (and yes, Sports Mama has
to say it again in all caps cause it sounds so darn sexy), ZAZA, well he kept
the rebounds coming and still managed to get sixteen points. J Chill cannot be
forgotten either. He also had a strong presence in the game. At the end of the
night though, it all came down to Mighty Joe Johnson (29 points) and with 7.6
seconds left on the clock (and you know this is a very short time because Sports
Mama couldn't even beat a Pistons fan down with her thunder stick in that time,
and Sports Mama is real good with a thunder stick), he produced the winning
basket with a lay-up that took the wind out of the Pistons' sails.

On Tuesday, February 7, the Pistons made a drastic mistake. They underestimated
a remarkable team. Sure, you're thinking to yourself, how can Sports Mama, a
lady who records Jerry Springer everyday so she can preserve memories of her
family, know what remarkable means or even how to spell it (it's called spell
check fool). And yes, I do know what remarkable means.

Remarkable is:

  • The ability to play as one, as a team
  • The daring to take risk in hopes of achievement
  • The wisdom to reflect and find strength in your loss
  • The dogged persistence to never give up, even when you're falling
    behind.

    Remarkable is:
    MY ATLANTA HAWKS

    And I know this blog entry has gone on and on, but there are a few more things
    Sports Mama must say. First of all, my fellow fans, come out and support the
    Atlanta Hawks at the games. Sports Mama can't promise you that the Hawks will
    win every single game, but sometimes magic happens. Ask the woman whose
    boyfriend proposed to her on center court Tuesday night. Ask the Hawks who came
    back and beat a team everybody assumed they couldn't. Ask the fans who walked
    away from Philips Arena Tuesday night talking about the game of a lifetime.
    That's the magic I'm talking about.

    And finally, because there's always one thing you wished you had missed at a
    game, something silly, something crazy, and even stupid beyond comprehension.
    This is it. Bless their skinny hearts, but we have to talk about the A-Town
    Dancers. Y'all know Sports Mama ain't hating on the little ones though; it's
    because of them that Sports Mama has more to eat. By the way, this is completely
    ignoring the fact that while the ladies are walking around before the game,
    handing out their freebies to all the men they see, they ignore me as if I
    didn't have the need for some good coasters in my living-room. But then again to
    each his own. Maybe I would feel differently if the A-Town Dancers were male.
    You're damn right I would.

    This is Sports Mama, "Rising Up For The Hawks"!
    See you at the games!

    P.S.- Hey security, no hard feelings. I know you guys were just doing your job.
    Except for that whole stun gun thing, we're like family.

    --
    The Web Guy (and the Sports Mama) | 3:30 p.m. 02/15/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Some Thoughts On A Valentine's Day

    Just TCB'in over here on the Hawks website on Tuesday, I have a few things
    I'd like to get off my chest.

    -- Chris Paul, you are very, very important to your team, the New
    Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. Your team is in the thick of the playoff chase
    (currently sitting in the 6th spot out West), largely because of your amazing
    poise and precision. Therefore, don't you think you should take some time off in
    the next few days to rest your body for the stretch run?

    You have sat out the last three games with bruised ribs - think how nice
    another week off would be for your well being! You already have to worry about
    hitting the rookie wall, which you are on track to hit any day now. Do yourself
    a favor and sit out the All-Star festivities this weekend. Your team, your fans,
    and the NBA will thank you when you lead your team back to the playoffs.

    What's that? Salim Stoudamire might take your place in the
    Rookie-Sophomore game should you sit it out? I....had no idea!

    -- Apparently, the NBA will be announcing 10 additions to the 50th
    Anniversary All-Time Team during Saturday's All-Star Festivities (man that's a
    lot of capitalized words). SI.com's Kelly Dwyer

    made his picks
    for who he thought should be added, and his top choice
    (though not listed this way due to the alphabet) was none other than Hawks
    legend and VP of Basketball Dominique Wilkins. I can't say I am
    surprised, as it was a crime Wilkins wasn't on the team in the first place, but
    it's always nice to see Nique getting some recognition. Charles Barkley
    said it last year during All-Star Weekend, and I couldn't agree more: Wilkins is
    the most underrated player in NBA history.

    -- A little pre-All Star heads up. I will be blogging
    NBA All-Star Saturday Night

    from the comfort of my couch, watching the entire thing on my roommate's 51-inch
    HDTV. Any questions or
    topics
    you want me to discuss? Send 'em in and I will delve into your
    emails during the course of the night's events. Personally, I think all three
    events stand a pretty good chance of being exciting if not downright memorable.
    The dunk contest has it's strongest field in several years, and stars abound in
    each of the other two competitions as well. Join me during the night, I promise
    a good time!

    -- The Web Guy | 3:45 p.m. 02/14/06 |
    Have a comment?


    What A
    Win

    It's now been about 17 hours since the final buzzer sounded in last night's
    99-98 victory
    over the Pistons
    , and it still doesn't feel real. What a game! So many
    great things went down last night, it's hard to know where to start.

  • This game was not lost by the Pistons - it was won by the Hawks. Teams
    definitely have a tendency to take our boys lightly sometimes, but that was not
    the case last night. The Pistons came out smoking, hitting 63% of their shots in
    the first half (a season-high for a Hawks opponent) on the way to a 60-57
    halftime lead. I will be the first to admit the Hawks have defensive lapses in
    games that lead to their opponents scoring easy baskets, but that was not the
    case in this game. Detroit was just making everything.
  • I have pretty much thought all season the Spurs were going to win the
    NBA title, regardless of what happened in the regular season. But after watching
    the Pistons last night, I may have to change my tune. Boy are they good. All
    five of their starters are among the best three-four players at their position
    in the league. Could they use a little help on the bench? Perhaps - but all I
    know is when they got the ball back down a point with seven seconds last night,
    I was thinking to myself, "What are the Hawks going to do? They literally have
    four guys who would be happy to take the last shot for them!" By the way, for
    anyone who isn't counting, the Hawks have now beaten both of last year's NBA
    finalists.

  • Joe Johnson is sure starting to earn his paycheck, no? I mean, when you
    make a move for a player you think can be your Number One guy, this is pretty
    much what you are looking for right? Two game-winners in five days is a pretty
    solid return on your investment. JJ may never be the guy who gets in the face of
    his teammates or inspires them with his words - but you can count on him to go
    out every night and produce, and lately he has been doing that at an extremely
    high level.

  • This just in from Hawks PR man Jon Steinberg - after the Pistons
    lights-out shooting performance in the first half (see above), the Hawks
    tightened the screws on D and held them to 9-33 (27%) in the second - a
    season-worst performance by an opponent.

  • The late game issues the Hawks have had for stretches of the season did
    not cost the team the victory last night. Every time Detroit would take a lead
    and give the impression they were going to pull away, Atlanta hung tough and
    closed the gap. Free throws? The Hawks made their last ten attempts in the
    second half. The Pistons, conversely, missed three of their last five down the
    stretch. The Hawks were resilient, and it is all the more impressive considering
    the team they were playing.

  • All this happened in the team's first game without Tyronn Lue,
    the Hawks fourth-leading scorer and top point guard. Royal Ivey and
    Salim Stoudamire
    both played well in his absence - Ivey with his defense and
    energy and Stoudamire with his scoring. I watched Stoudamire in practice today,
    and maybe this is just one man's opinion, but that kid hates to lose more than
    anyone else on the team. His fire and intensity will aid the team as they try to
    cope with the loss of Lue for the next month or so, no doubt about it. And while
    we are here, this is what Ivey had to
    say today
    at practice about last night.

  • The Hawks team president, Bernie Mullin, is fond of saying a team is
    never as good as it looks in a win and never as bad as it looks in a loss. I
    happen to agree with that statement, and am not about to predict a 15-game
    winning streak based on last night's performance. However, you can't deny the
    fact that this team is starting to grow up right before our eyes. No one outside
    of Atlanta seems to notice, but more wins like last night will cause more people
    to pay attention. The fact remains that since the team started 2-16 they have
    gone 13-16. Now, that's not the recipe for Hall-of-Fame enshrinement, but it is
    competitive. Take out the start of season and this team is competing for a
    playoff spot right now. Last night's victory was not a fluke. The Pistons showed
    up, played hard, and played well. They just didn't play well enough to win the
    game.

    The Hawks did.

    -- The Web Guy | 3:05 p.m. 02/08/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Rising Up

    If you weren't at Philips Arena last night you probably missed out
    on the game of the year. Just a great win by the Hawks over a Pistons team that
    is likely to steam-roll their way to the NBA title this season. Here's some
    photos from an electric atmosphere at Philips Arena.

    All Photos By Scott Cunningham / NBAE



    The game-winning shot.


    The Hawks bench celebrates.


    L: Josh Smith | R: Marvin Williams


    L: Hawks Fan Chris Tucker celebrates. | R: Hawks GM Billy Knight congratulates
    Coach Woodson

    -- The Web Guy | 9:55 a.m. 02/08/06 |
    Have a comment?


    5 Reasons To Go To The Pistons Game

    5. Keep On Rollin. That's what the Pistons keep doing. People (The Web
    Guy included) have been skeptical of their chances to get to 70 wins, but after
    reeling off an 11-game winning streak that ended last Tuesday against the Nets,
    the Pistons have pushed their record out to 39-7. I still say it's out of reach,
    but double-digit streaks certainly help the cause. For the record, the Pistons
    need to go 31-5 in their last 36 games to make that happen - and for the record,
    they were were 31-5 exactly through the season's first 36 contests.

    4. Joe Johnson. In Joe's last five games, I think Hawks fans have seen
    exactly why the team was so hot to trade for him last summer. First he hits for
    40 against Chicago last weekend, then recorded his first career triple-double on
    Wednesday against Charlotte. But he saved his best work of the season for Friday
    against the Orlando Magic, when he scored 23 points, dished out 11 assists, and
    had no turnovers. Did he do anything else? Oh yeah, he hit the game-winning shot
    with 0.7 seconds left in the game. Tonight should be a good matchup for him and
    Tayshaun Prince, who I presume the Pistons will assign to defend him.

    3. Twice
    as Nice
    .
    Tuesday night is another 2-for-1 ticket night, courtesy of
    Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership. Buy any ticket of $25 or $45 value and get a
    second one for free. Have a friend you've been meaning to take to a game for
    helping you move? This is a good time to pay him back.

    2. Josh Smith. This is your last chance to see J-Smoove in action at
    Philips Arena before he heads to Houston to

    defend his title
    in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest. Smith has
    had some great dunks this year, and can go off at any time during a game. My
    advice? Wait until a timeout to leave your seat for those nachos you've been
    craving.

    1. The First Quarter. When the Hawks hosted the Pistons at Philips
    back on Jan. 18, they led at the end of the first quarter 19-18. Coach Mike
    Woodson said yesterday in an
    interview with
    Hawks.com
    if the Hawks can duplicate the effort they gave in that
    quarter for the entire game, this is a game they can win. It will be tougher
    without the services of Tyronn Lue for sure, but hopefully T-Lue will
    give the team an emotional lift as they try to press on without him for the next
    four-to-six weeks. The Pistons are the favorite to win the NBA title this
    season. Can the Hawks slow them down for at least a night? We'll see tonight.

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 1:05 p.m. 02/07/06 |
    Have a comment? |
    Buy Tickets


    A Close
    Call

    Well, we have some bad news Hawks fans - Tyronn Lue sprained his knee in
    practice earlier today and will be out for the next 4-6 weeks. This is
    definitely a blow to the team, as T-Lue has been a big part of nearly every
    Hawks win so far this season. However, I will say, it could have been worse. Lue
    hurt his knee in a scrimmage during practice, and those there at the time
    thought initially it could be much, much worse. So the fact that he has a good
    chance to make it back this season is perhaps a silver lining in this dark
    cloud, for it could have been much worse.

    Here's to hoping Lue recovers quickly.

    -- The Web Guy | 5:20 p.m. 02/06/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Go To The Magic Game

    5. Streaky, Streaky, Streaky. The Magic have to be the streakiest team
    in the league. Since starting the season 2-2, the Magic have (deep breath), won
    three, lost four, won two, lost one, won one, lost two, won four, lost five, won
    two, lost four, won three, lost three, won one, lost four, won five, and have
    currently lost three straight coming into tonight's game. Does that fascinate
    anyone else?

    4.

    Chick-fil-A Family Night
    .
    This is the last one the Hawks have for a
    month, so make sure to take advantage tonight. Recently I have become a bigger
    fan of their breakfast items. I used to only get the #1, but the chicken biscuit
    is a pretty solid way to start the morning as well.

    3. Dwight Howard. The former Georgia high school product is a
    borderline All-Star in his second season, leading the league in rebounding at
    12.7 a game despite being only 20 years old! Come out and see the man-child
    tonight as he faces his former AAU teammate, Josh Smith, and the Hawks for the
    first of four times this season.


    Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo
    2.
    ATL Funklordz.
    Sometimes the halftime entertainment at NBA games can be
    worth the price of admission on its own. Last week we saw "Quick Change", the
    people who change their costumes like 150 times in 5 minutes (or so it seems),
    and we have also seen the infamous "Rubber Boy" on several occasions. Tonight is
    another good one, as the ATL Funklordz, a group of breakdancers, will break it
    down at center court in between halves. On a side note, I made it out to
    "BreakLanta" last year, allegedly a premiere breakdancing competition (maybe it
    is, maybe it isn't, I don't have much of a frame of reference). I was actually a
    little disappointed in the competition, but that may be because I was totally
    expecting moves on par with Breakin' (or at least Breakin' 2: Electric
    Boogaloo
    ). Either way, the Funklordz can get down. Come check out their
    moves - and watch the game too.

    1. Three In A Row? The Hawks have won two straight games four times so
    far this season, but have yet to break through and get that elusive third.
    Tonight is a very good chance to make that dream a reality, as Orlando is on a
    current down-trend. Given the snubs the Hawks rookies and second-year players
    got this week with the announcement of the Rookie-Sophomore participants, look
    for Marvin, Salim, J-Chill and J-Smoove to come out tonight with a
    bit of a chip on their shoulder.

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 4:00 p.m. 02/03/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Kudos

    It's a running joke we have around the offices of Atlanta Spirit (the group
    that owns the Hawks and Thrashers), where we give each other kudos anytime
    anyone does anything positive. Sure, it can be for something significant like
    signing a new sponsorship deal or selling a bunch of season tickets, but just as
    often it's for something much more mundane like refilling the water cooler or
    having an extra piece of gum.

    That being said, I thought it was time to hand out a few kudos to some of the
    Hawks:

    Kudos to Joe Johnson, who accomplished the first triple-double of his
    career in Wednesday's game at Charlotte. JJ had 15 points, 11 assists, and 10
    rebounds for the Hawks, and most importantly, did so in a 102-92 victory...

    Kudos to Jason Roose, the Hawks Media Relations Manager, who predicted
    Johnson would get his first triple-double in the very near future last Friday
    during the Suns game. Very prescient Roose...

    Kudos to Hawks radio man (and Hawk Talk Online co-host) Steve Holman,
    who broadcast his 1,400th consecutive Hawks game Monday night with the Knicks in
    town. That is quite a streak, stretching (hang on, doing the math in my head...)
    across over 17 seasons of Hawks action! Man, that is a LOT of talking. Holman,
    who did a majority of those games solo, added color commentator Dennis Scott
    this season to give his voice a rest. You can catch them during all the Hawks
    games on Sports Radio 790 The Zone...

    Kudos to Tony Delk, whose wife gave birth to the couple's second
    daughter, Trinity Leigh, on Tuesday. We are happy to report both Mom and Dad are
    doing well...

    And finally, Kudos to former Hawk Boris Diaw, who also recorded the
    first triple-double (14 pts, 13 assists, 11 rebs) of his career Tuesday night
    against the Sixers.

    Which brings me to a short rant, if you will indulge your humble Web Guy:

    Diaw has played exceptionally well this season for the Phoenix Suns, and as he's
    said on the record, Mike Woodson could not be happier for him. Boris is a great
    guy - he was certainly one of the friendliest guys on the team last season,
    always coming by to say hello and see how I was doing. I wish him nothing but
    the best of success.

    Now, having said all that - let's all calm down about his performance there and
    how Phoenix got the best of the Joe Johnson trade. Boris has played great there,
    but he is in a system that affords him a much better chance to succeed. First
    and foremost, he is playing alongside Steve Nash, the reigning NBA MVP (and
    frontrunner for that honor again if you ask me), who makes nearly every player
    look like a potential Hall-of-Famer. Look at the seasons being put together by
    other former non-entities like Eddie House and James Jones (no knock against
    those guys, who are certainly earning their keep this year, but neither has seen
    much success in the past) to see other examples of what playing with Nash does
    for you.

    Sometimes players just need a change of scenery to get their game in gear, and
    Diaw, clearly a talented player, is one of them. I for one am happy to see him
    succeeding, but I think it is fair to say there was no indication he was going
    to do this for us this season. As recently as this summer he led the Hawks
    summer team in minutes, yet was the team's sixth leading scorer at 7.7 ppg. In
    summer league!

    If you saw this coming, more power to you. But I submit the move to Phoenix was
    best for Boris and for the Hawks, and I think both teams are happy so far with
    how the trade worked out.

    That is all.

    -- The Web Guy | 11:15 a.m. 02/02/06 |
    Have a comment?



    Smith In
    The Dunk Contest

    It
    was

    announced yesterday that Josh Smith will defend his dunk title during All-Star
    weekend
    , competing against Hakim Warrick of the Memphis Grizzlies,
    Andre Iguodala
    of the Sixers, and Nate Robinson of the Knicks.

    Is it too early to handicap the field? Too bad, 'cause I'm going to anyway.

    Warrick - Hakim is an intriguing dunker. He has unbelievable hops that
    will allow him to do some things in the air. I happened to be at Syracuse when
    he was there, and you could count on him for a pretty sweet alley-oop jam about
    once or twice a game. Last year this would have helped him, as one of the dunks
    each participant did had to involve a teammate. I don't know if that is the case
    this year, but if it is, it will be a plus for Hakim.

    Iguodala - I was sad he didn't compete last year, as he was made for
    the Dunk Contest. Whenever I think of Iguodala, I think of the Texas-Arizona
    game I saw him play in at Madison Square Garden two years ago. Arizona was
    running the break, and PG Mustafa Shakur lobbed a terribly off-line alley-oop in
    his direction. Iguodala didn't seem to mind though, as he reached back with one
    hand and thundered it home from the side of the basket. It was the kind of play
    that makes you cringe it was so nasty. He should be a definite contender.

    Robinson - Likely the crowd-favorite going in. No one of his stature
    has won a dunk contest since Spud Webb won over America with his victory 20
    years ago (shameless plug - we will have much more on that in the coming weeks
    on
    hawks.com). We got a glimpse of his skills on
    Monday night at Philips Arena - not on a dunk, but in preventing one. Joe
    Johnson was leading the break and tossed an alley for Josh Smith, but the play
    was broken up at it's apex by Robinson, who it should be noted was an All-Pac
    Ten defensive back at Washington before switching to basketball full time.
    Despite his small size, figure him to be a threat on All-Star Saturday.

    Smith - Hey, until proven otherwise, J-Smoove is still the king. Last
    year's performance will be hard to top, but Josh already has a reputation that
    will put the judges in the frame of mind to reward him for his dunks (much like
    Michael Jordan was).

    The Web Guy will be honest - he thought the Dunk Contest was walking around
    with a fork in it's back for much of the new millenium, but Josh Smith proved
    last year that it still has the pizzazz to be a water-cooler event when it has
    the right contestants.

    This year's field is strong, and it is shaping up to be an incredibly
    exciting contest.

    My predictions? We will hold off on that till All-Star weekend. But let's
    just say I like Smoove's chances...

    How do you think the contest will go down?
    Email us your predictions
    and we will post the best responses!

    -- The Web Guy | 1:15 p.m. 02/01/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Finally, A Big Win

    Monday night was the kind of win we have been waiting all year for - a
    no-doubter, turn-it-off-in-the-fourth-quarter-cause-its-over rout of the New
    York Knicks that saw the team lead by as much as 30 points and place six players
    in double figures.

    Josh Childress said it best after the game: "That's
    the first time all season we got up on somebody and stepped on their throat. We
    needed to keep pushing and that's what we did." Well said, Chill.

    The team played the kind of game we know they have been
    capable of, forcing 23 turnovers and scoring 30 points off of them to help in
    the blowout. Hitting 10-17 from three-point range didn't hurt either.

    If only we could play the Knicks 10-15 times a season - so
    far this year, the Hawks have averaged 112.7 ppg in three meetings with the
    Knicks, including breaking 120 in both of their wins. Al Harrington and Joe
    Johnson would be happy to play them more as well, as they are each averaging 30+
    in the three meetings (30.5 for Al, 30 for JJ).

    With a game at Charlotte (losers of 12 straight) and one
    against Orlando (18-24 on the season) at home on Friday, the Hawks have a
    definite chance to put together their first three-game winning streak of the
    season.

    Aggressive play and a commitment to sharing the ball in the
    second half like they did on Monday will be the keys.

    By the way, don't forget to sign up for the

    Hawks Fan Correspondent Contest
    and win a chance to post your thoughts
    right here next to mine!

    -- The Web Guy | 1:45 p.m. 01/31/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Josh Childress Audio

    At shootaround this morning, Josh Childress spoke about tonight's game:


    On defending the Suns


    On playing up tempo teams

    -- The Web Guy | 1:35 p.m. 01/27/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Come To The Suns Game

    5. JJ Faces His Former Mates. Joe Johnson spent the last four years of
    his career in Phoenix, culminating in last season's playoff run to the Western
    Conference finals. We all know the rest of the story that brought JJ to the
    Hawks. This will be the first time Johnson gets to face his former mates on his
    new homecourt, (the Suns beat the Hawks 112-94 at Phoenix back in December).
    Johnson began his career with the Boston Celtics, who the Hawks went 2-1
    against. Therefore, tonight's game will mark the finale of the Joe Johnson
    Vengeance Tour, and the Hawks are 2-2 through the first four. Let's give him a
    winning record, shall we?

    4.
    Joe Johnson Bobblehead Night
    .
    Speaking of Joe Johnson, The Web Guy
    suggests arriving early tonight - the first 5,000 fans in attendance will get
    Joe Johnson Bobblehead
    dolls. Add it to your collection - I've already got
    Al Harrington, Josh Smith, Josh Childress, and the departed Antoine Walker. Does
    anyone know if these things are still popular? I mean, I know they are still
    popular (otherwise why would we still give them out), but I remember when people
    used to sell them on Ebay for like 100 bucks a pop.

    I once nearly didn't get tickets to a Phillies-Cardinals game at the Vet in
    Philly because it was (Phillies broadcaster) Harry Kalas Bobblehead Day, and
    people were going to the game, getting their Bobblehead, and turning around and
    leaving. We just wanted to watch the game! Long story short, we ended up getting
    tickets from a bobblehead collector who gave them to us for free so long as we
    gave him our freebie. Very sad.

    3. Up Tempo Basketball. I won't lie. After the Hawks, the Suns are
    probably my favorite team in the NBA. Not in a "I root for them to win every
    game" kind of way, but I just think they are the most entertaining team to watch
    in the league. The Web Guy grew up on 1980's era basketball and fondly remembers
    the days when teams dropped 120 in a night without breaking a sweat. No one is
    going to do that these days, but the Suns are certainly capable of pouring it in
    on any given night - and that is without their big man, Amare Stoudemire,
    who should be back to help the Suns playoff run. The Hawks have some athletes of
    their own, so look for tonight to have big-time scoring potential.

    2.
    Zaza Pachulia.

    The Hawks big man is currently featured on NBA.com as one of the best dressed
    members in the league. Go online and
    vote for him
    !

    1. The End Of The Road, So To Speak. Or actually the beginning
    (nearly). Tonight marks the seventh straight contest the Hawks will play at
    Philips Arena before they head back out on the road Saturday night at Chicago. A
    win would give the team some confidence as they head out, with seven of their
    next ten on the road. The Suns are playing the second half of a back-to-back,
    winning a hard-fought battle last night at Miami. This is also the third of five
    straight for Phoenix on the road. Let's go out and get a victory for JJ as we
    welcome Boris Diaw back to Philips Arena, what do you say?

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 10:45 a.m. 01/27/06 |
    Have a comment? |
    Buy Tickets


    Five Reasons To Come To The Cavaliers Game

    5. Long Live The King. LeBron James is worth the price of admission
    folks. The third-year star continues to step his game up every year, and is now
    averaging over 30 points per-game on the season. He just turned 21 for pete's
    sake! Of course, all the points in the world can't get his team victories if no
    one else contributes - LeBron had 39 in the teams' first meeting this season in
    Cleveland, but the Hawks pulled out a 100-94 win.

    4. The
    Shirt Off Their Backs
    .
    Did you know that at every Hawks home game, the
    players give away their warm-up shirts? Well it's true! Each player warms up in
    special autographed shooting jerseys, and those jerseys are then given away
    throughout the game to lucky fans. You could be one of those lucky fans if you
    come tonight. Think about it.

    3. Marvin Williams. The Hawks #2 overall pick has picked his game up
    recently as well. According to the Hawks PR staff, Williams has improved his
    scoring average and shooting percentage every month this season, going from 5.5
    ppg (37.3%) in November to 6.2 ppg (43.8%) in December, and is currently at 9.0
    ppg (50.7%) in January. As his confidence has increased, his offensive output
    has increased - witness his 13 points in Monday's win over the Pacers.

    2.

    Hawks Diversity Roundtable
    .
    Before the game, the Hawks will be hosting a
    Diversity Roundtable from 5:00-6:30 pm, examining the question of diversity in
    the workplace with the title Corporate Diversity: How Far Have We Come Since
    King?
    Hosted by Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine, the panelists will
    include Arthur Triche, the Hawks VP of Public Relations, Alfred Elder, Diversity
    Manager for the City of Atlanta, and several others. It promises to be a very
    informative and thought-provoking experience. Check it out, and then stick
    around for the game!

    1. Two In A Row, Twice. The Hawks beat the Pacers Monday night, coming
    from behind in the second half to pull away late for a ten-point victory. What
    was remarkable was how composed the team remained late in the game, stretching
    the lead in the last few minutes where they have lost so many earlier this
    season. I don't think we realized how much we missed Tyronn Lue while he was
    out, his performance down the stretch made the difference. Tonight the Hawks try
    to extend two streaks to two games as they go for their second straight win
    overall and second straight against the Cavs. Can they get the job done? Come
    tonight and find out!

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 3:30 p.m. 01/25/06 |
    Have a comment? |
    Buy Tickets


    Join Me On
    The Blog!

    You
    know how you are always reading The Web Guy's witty commentary on the Hawks Blog
    and thinking to yourself, "I could do that"?

    Well, now is your chance! Enter the Hawks

    Fan Correspondent Contest
    and you can post your comments to the Hawks
    Blog just like I do!

    All you have to do is go to the

    Contest entry page
    , write up to 200 words explaining why you should be
    chosen (be as creative as possible - we want your stuff to stand out!), and you
    may be selected as one of six finalists.

    The six finalists will be invited to the Hawks game on Tuesday, Feb. 7
    against Detroit to record their finalist entry, and from there we will select
    the grand prize winner, who will not only get the chance to voice their thoughts
    on www.hawks.com for the rest of the season,
    but will also win an autographed basketball and jersey from one of the Hawks
    players!

    How can you not enter?!? Do it today!

    -- The Web Guy | 2:00 p.m. 01/24/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Come To The Pacers Game

    5. Kobe Bryant. Ok, I'm cheating here. This game will have nothing to
    do with Kobe. But my God, did you see what this man did last night? 81 points.
    Eighty-one. That is ridiculous. I know Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 in a
    game, but to me this was more impressive. Bryant is a perimeter player, where it
    is much more difficult to score in bunches than it was for Chamberlain, who was
    much larger and stronger than much of his competition.

    Earlier this season Kobe had 62 against the Mavericks through three quarters,
    then sat out the fourth. Some (fans) complained Kobe should have stayed in and
    taken a shot at immortality. We asked Hawks assistant coach Larry Drew what he
    thought of Kobe's night and whether it's ok to stay in and go for a record.
    Here is what he had to say
    .

    4.
    College And Military Discounts
    .
    You may not be aware of this, but with a
    valid college or military ID you can get discounted tickets at every Hawks home
    game. College students, you know Monday night isn't a party night - the weekend
    doesn't start until at least Wednesday.

    3. Reunions. Al Harrington will face his former team for the second
    time this season, while Stephen Jackson makes his second appearance at
    Philips Arena since goign to Indy in the Harrington deal. In his only previous
    appearance in Atlanta as a Pacer, Jackson scored just six points on 1-7 shooting
    in Indiana's 84-79 win last Feb. 5. John Edwards, who may be back in
    uniform tonight after missing the last few games, also played for the Pacers
    last season.

    2. Josh Smith. J-Smoove has sorta played slightly under the radar this
    season, but with NBA All-Star Weekend just a month away, it's time for the
    Hawks' second-year forward to start honing his dunking skills in order to defend
    his Slam Dunk title. For those that haven't seen the

    alley-oop he had from Harrington
    on Friday, you gotta check it out.
    Based on this one (and others throughout the season), I'd say Smith is sitting
    pretty.

    1. Back On Track. The Hawks have three big home games this week, the
    first two of which are against teams they have already beaten (on the road no
    less) this season. Al Harrington usually raises his game against Indiana, the
    team he spent his first six years in the league with. The Hawks surprised the
    Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse back in November, but you can bet the Pacers won't
    be taking anything for granted tonight. With Tyronn Lue most likely back to
    spark the Hawks off the bench, look for Atlanta to shake off the funk they have
    been in the last couple games and start the week off right.

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 2:00 p.m. 01/23/06 |
    Have a comment? |
    Buy Tickets


    Oh, And Marvin Had One Too

    No sooner did I write the previous post but Marvin Williams added an
    incredible dunk of his own, taking off from outside the lane on the baseline to
    rattle home a one-hander.

    Man these guys can fly.

    -- The Web Guy | 8:03 p.m. 01/20/06 |
    Have a comment?


    J-Smooooooove,
    With The Jaaaaaaaaaam

    The Web Guy here (ok, not like it would be anyone else), sitting courtside at
    the Hawks-Bucks game. I just had to get on my computer and tell you, if it's the
    last the you do (though it should be the first), you have GOT to see the
    highlights of tonight's game. The Hawks are leading 35-31 as I write this, but
    regardless of outcome, you must see the alley-oop Al Harrington threw to Josh
    Smith in the first quarter.

    Trust me, it will be on the highlights tonight. Check out Sportscenter, I'm
    guaranteeing it's a Top Ten Play. I will link to it later on once the NBA has
    their video up from tonight's games, but just believe me (have I ever led you
    astray before?) when I tell you it's the best Hawks highlight of the season so
    far.

    That is all.

    -- The Web Guy | 8:00 p.m. 01/20/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Come To The Bucks Game

    5. Zaza Pachulia. It's not a revenge game, per se, but Pachulia did
    toil for the Bucks last season before signing as a restricted free agent this
    summer with the Hawks. We asked Zaza about his feelings about tonight's game,
    and in typical Zaza-understatement, he deflected any feelings of ill will.

    "I wanted to come to Atlanta," said Pachulia. "So I have no animosity towards
    them. I was given a great opportunity here, and I am thankful for it. I just
    want to come out and play hard, and hopefully we can get back on track."

    Well said.

    4.
    Chick-fil-A Family Night
    .
    You know the drill. Come out to the game, and
    get four tickets and four Chick-fil-A combo meals for as low as $69. Seriously,
    why hasn't Chick-fil-A offered me something for all the free publicity I give
    them here in the Blog? Chick-fil-A is so tasty people, you don't realize how
    lucky we are to live in a part of the country where it is available in so many
    locations.

    3. Terry Stotts. The Bucks' first-year head coach helmed the Hawks
    directly before Mike Woodson. It's hard to judge his body of work in Atlanta
    considering he was here for the beginning of the rebuilding process, but so far
    he seems to be doing a decent job in Milwaukee. It will be interesting to see
    how Hawks fans treat him tonight - I don't think he was here long enough for
    anyone to form an opinion on him for better or for worse. Therefore, when he is
    introduced before the game, I suggest everyone give a collective shoulder shrug.

    2. #1 vs. #2. The Bucks won the NBA lottery last year, taking Utah
    center Andrew Bogut with the top pick. With Bogut gone, the Hawks (as we
    all know) selected Marvin Williams. I'll be honest, I haven't seen much
    of Bogut so far, but from what I hear he is acquitting himself well, much like
    Marvin, although with bigger minutes. Of course, both are hearing about how
    Chris Paul is the best rookie so far (ok granted, he is playing extremely well),
    so they are both toiling in relative obscurity (Williams because he doesn't get
    many minutes, and Bogut because he plays in Milwaukee). This game won't quite
    have the "LeBron-Carmelo Meet" vibe going, but it will be interesting to see the
    two top picks in action.

    1. 20/20. The Hawks are 5-2 this season when Joe Johnson and
    Al Harrington
    each score 20 points. With Tyronn Lue doubtful with a
    bad back, the Hawks Big Two will be relied upon to put up numbers tonight.
    Milwaukee is a high-scoring team, capable of putting up lots of points at a time
    (well, no more than 2 or 3 at once, but you know what I mean), so look for a
    back and forth game with a lot of offense. I don't think the team will be fazed
    by Wednesday's loss to Detroit the way they have been by other losses, in the
    sense that Detroit was just clearly a dominant opponent, and the Hawks didn't
    give the game away down the stretch. So I expect them to come out tonight and
    play some good basketball. Come see for yourself, and root for another home win!

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 2:00 p.m. 01/20/06 |
    Have a comment?


    More For Tonight

    This just in, another reason to come to the game tonight - the Hawks are
    releasing the

    2006 A-Town Dancers Calendar
    ! Come out tonight and get yourself a copy,
    and if you are lucky, you can get one of the dance team members to autograph it
    for you to make all your friends jealous and unable to get work done when you
    display it near your cubicle at work.

    Also, we talked to a bunch of the guys at shootaround today.

    Coach Woodson talked
    about his respect
    for the Pistons talent.

    Herb Brown talked about the difference
    between Flip Saunders and Larry Brown
    at the helm.

    Joe Johnson said the Hawks need to
    keep their confidence up and
    come out and be aggressive if
    they want to win.

    -- The Web Guy | 1:00 p.m. 01/18/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Come To The Pistons Game

    5. The Run For 70. Any time a team gets off to a hot start in the NBA,
    the question inevitably arises - can they win 70? Well, the Pistons are hot -
    Jessica Alba hot - and have posted a 30-5 mark through their first 35 games. In
    contrast, the '95-96 Bulls were 32-3 at this point. Does that mean the Pistons
    have a shot at it? Sure, I guess. I was listening to 790 the Zone (the Hawks
    flagship station, by the way) this morning, and the Mayhem in the AM guys were
    talking about the best starting fives ever, comparing this group in Detroit to
    the Celtics' lineups in the mid-80's as well as Magic's Showtime Lakers. I think
    it's a little early for that, but if they keep putting up wins like they have so
    far this season, the comparisons may become valid.

    4. Coach Woodson. Two years ago Mike Woodson (and Herb Brown as well)
    each won championship rings with the Pistons, serving under Herb's brother
    Larry. Last year the Hawks whipped the Pistons in Woody's return to Detroit (on
    the night he received his championship ring, no less). Look for the guys to try
    to replicate that feat again tonight and win one for Coach Woodson.

    3. Rip Hamilton. There is a lot to like about the way the Pistons
    play, but watching Hamilton play is one of the unique pleasures in the NBA.
    Perhaps the most well-conditioned athlete in the league, Hamilton is a
    whirling-dervish, constantly running around screens and picks to free himself
    for jumpers. Look for Royal Ivey, the Hawks best perimeter defender, to see more
    action tonight as they try to keep up with the former UConn star.

    2. Zaza Pachulia vs Ben Wallace. If you like banging, tonight is a
    good night for you. Pachulia and Wallace are both known for their tenaciousness
    on the boards, and there should be some serious battlin' going on between them
    tonight. Look for both teams' trainers to be busy post-game with ice, aspirin,
    and maybe some stitches.

    1. Remember the Alamo. This isn't the first time this season the Hawks
    have faced the cream of the NBA's crop - remember the victory over the Spurs at
    home on Dec. 10 that jump-started the team's December winning streak . The Hawks
    outplayed San Antonio that night. Can they repeat that performance against the
    streaking Pistons? We'll find out tonight.

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 1:00 p.m. 01/18/06 |
    Have a comment?


    News and Notes From The Houston Win

    Since I didn't have a chance to get up 5 reasons to see the game beforehand,
    I thought I would try to make up for it with some thoughts from watching
    Monday's victory over the Rockets:

    - Whoever added peanuts to press row, I say kudos. And kudos again.

    - The Rockets are in baaaaaaad shape, yet are in good shape all at the same
    time. What do I mean by that? Well, the more they play without T-Mac and Yao,
    the worse their record will be. And if they end up without their services for
    long stretches of the season, they may end up with one of the worst records in
    the league, which would give them a shot at the top pick (or thereabouts). It
    reminds me of when the Spurs played without David Robinson the year before Tim
    Duncan entered the league, ended up getting the top pick (Duncan), and
    immediately became contenders for the title the next season. I don't know if
    there is a Duncan out there in this year's draft class, but adding a top talent
    to the Rockets (like Adam Morrison of Gonzaga or Rudy Gay of UConn) could make
    them very dangerous in the future. Of course, that is perhaps little comfort to
    Rockets fans for this season, but hey - gotta be a silver lining behind every
    dark cloud right?

    - Alright, we know the Hawks have had issues closing teams out in the fourth
    quarter of games all season, so it was a breath of fresh air to watch the team
    continue to move the ball around efficiently throughout the last period
    yesterday, in fact increasing their lead by five from the end of the third till
    the game's end. Hopefully they will remember this the next time they are in a
    close game at the end (which, based on how the season has gone so far, should be
    just about every game the rest of the way out).

    - One thing I continue to marvel at with this team is its breathtaking
    athleticism. Maybe every team in the NBA has it, I don't know - but there are
    stretches where our play can leave you (or at least me) breathless. One specific
    example from yesterday - late in the game, the Rockets have the ball, and Josh
    Smith goes up to swat away a shot. Houston retrieved it though to maintain
    possession, but then Josh Childress blocked a shot by David Wesley. Al
    Harrington send an outlet halfway down the court to Joe Johnson, who tossed an
    alley-oop to Childress, who promptly slammed it home one-handed. It was the kind
    of play that makes you realize how amazing NBA basketball can be, and the Hawks
    have the horses to play it at a high level when everything is clicking. Say what
    you want about the team's record, but there is definitely bang for your
    entertainment buck if you come out to Philips Arena.

    -- The Web Guy | 3:00 p.m. 01/17/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Come To The Wizards Game

    5. Jekyll and Hyde. The Hawks lost four games to the Wizards last
    season, two by blowout and two in very close three-point affairs. Wednesday's
    game at Washington fell into the first category - so expect the trend to
    continue tonight with a very close affair at Philips Arena.

    4. Rise Up
    Saturdays
    . Every Saturday home game in 2006 is a Rise Up Saturday that
    features special autograph sessions, concourse entertainment, live music, and
    food and drink specials in Headlines Grill. Come out to the Wizards game for the
    next edition - how can you refuse?

    3. Josh Childress. Chill has gotten lost in the shuffle a little this
    season as Joe Johnson and Al Harrington have grabbed most of the headlines, but
    he has adjusted to coming off the bench and provides a necessary spark In Friday
    night's loss to the Knicks, Childress was 8-9 from the field for 16 points and
    had six rebounds as well. In the games the Hawks win, their bench contributes
    big time. Look for Chill to have a big game tonight if the Hawks win.

    2. Gilbert Arenas. In the game against the Wizards on Wednesday night,
    the Hawks managed to accomplish the one thing generally needed to beat
    Washington - they held Gilbert Arenas to just nine points and harassed the
    Wizards all-star into seven turnovers. Unfortunately, six of his teammates
    reached double figures and the rout was on. Generally though, as Gilbert goes,
    so go the Wiz. Look for him to be another huge priority in tonight's game.

    1. Revenge. The Hawks got spanked Wednesday night at Washington. It
    wasn't really even close for most of the game. It's time to turn the tables,
    isn't it? The Hawks have lost six straight in this series - it's time to put a
    stop to it.

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 11:00 a.m. 01/14/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Checking
    In From The Dance Team

    As a second year veteran, it was a great privilege to be welcomed back to the
    Atlanta Hawks Dance Team for the 2005-06 Season. After being offered the
    position of co-captain, I felt a true sense of honor and responsibility.
    Although a very demanding position, I enjoy serving my team. In October 2005 the
    dance team was knighted the A-Town Dancers giving us a unique set of
    characteristics just like our beloved city of Atlanta. Each dancer brings
    something special to the team and game day activities. We all look forward to
    fan interaction. As ambassadors for the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Spirit, we
    value the brief conversations, photo opportunities, and hugs we received from
    the wide variety of fans at Philips Arena. Our greatest joy is bringing energy
    and enthusiasm to the court when we perform during the games. Every time we
    perform we give a little of ourselves to the fans and we are gearing up to bring
    new dances and thrills to the court. Thank you Atlanta for letting the A-Town
    Dancers entertain you!

    See you at the game!

    -- Vera | 3:30 p.m. 01/11/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Come To The Celtics
    Game

    5. Nobody Likes Boston. Now before you think I'm saying something all
    inflammatory, what I mean is, this town has had enough athletic success in the
    last few years to last any city for several decades. The Red Sox won a World
    Series, and the Patriots have won three of the last four Super Bowls (and may be
    well on their way to a fourth). So let's keep them from winning everything by
    taking down the Celtics, eh?

    4. Two
    For Tuesdays
    . This is pretty simple folks. Buy one ticket in the $25-$45
    price range, and get another one free. Double your Hawks viewing pleasure!

    3. Al Harrington. Harrington has owned the Celtics this season,
    averaging 31 points per game against Beantown in two wins. Last Friday he had 28
    to pace the Hawks, who won 103-98 at Boston.

    2. Bench Play. The Hawks bench has been a strength in many of their
    wins this season, and Saturday's win over the Hornets was no different, as
    Tyronn Lue
    and Marvin Williams each reached double figures. On any
    given night, the Hawks have four guys who can step up to make plays off the
    bench to help lead the team to a W. Who will it be tonight? Maybe Salim
    Stoudamire
    , who had 19 in the first win over Boston this season, a 120-117
    triumph at Philips Arena back on November 23.

    1. Three Straight. Over Boston, on the season - tonight the Hawks have
    a chance to stretch two win streaks to three. With a victory, not only will the
    team sweep the season series against the C's for the first time since 1998-99,
    but they will also own their first three-game winning streak overall since April
    12-14, 2004. The Celtics are coming off a home loss last night to Dallas, so
    they should be slightly worn.

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 11:00 a.m. 01/10/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Come To The Hornets Game

    5. Salim's Magnificent Quarter. The Hawks played the Hornets in
    Oklahoma City back in late November. Atlanta trailed by 26 midway through the
    fourth quarter, and things looked bleak. Then, Salim Stoudamire got hot.
    Crazy hot. Stoudamire erupted for 24 points in the fourth, bringing the Hawks
    all the way back before they fell by a final of 95-92. Very few players in the
    NBA have the shooting ability Stoudamire possesses, and you can bet the Hornets
    will keep a wary eye on him when he is in the game tonight.

    4.
    Chick-fil-A Family Night
    . Once again this season, you can get 4 tickets
    and 4 Chick-fil-A combo meals starting at $69! You know you want to, it's
    Chick-fil-A. It's quite delicious.

    3. Threes. Did you know the Hawks lead the NBA in 3-point shooting
    percentage? Well they do. And after going 3-5 last night from behind the arc, Al
    Harrington is now 2nd in the NBA in that category, making nearly half his
    attempts (28-57). Teammates Tyronn Lue and Stoudamire are 3rd and 19th as well.
    That is quite a turnaround from last season, when they finished dead last in the
    category.

    2. Hook Em. Hawks guard Royal Ivey returns home for the first time
    since his alma mater, the University of Texas, won the national title Wednesday
    night in the Rose Bowl. We had a chance to
    ask
    Royal about the game
    , a thriller won by the Longhorns 41-38 on a last
    minute touchdown by Texas QB Vince Young. Flash Ivey the Hook 'Em sign tonight,
    and you are guaranteed to see a smile on his face. Ok, and mine too - the Web
    Guy went to Texas as well!

    1. Oh Yes They Call It The Streak. The Hawks have so far emerged as an
    incredibly streaky team. They lost nine, won two, lost seven, won three, etc
    etc. With last night's victory at Boston, the team has a really good chance to
    build another one tonight. The Hornets are also on the second night of a
    back-to-back, having defeated Portland last night 90-80, but will be without the
    services of their floor leader and rookie sparkplug Chris Paul, who tore a
    ligament in his thumb and is out for two weeks.

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 2:00 p.m. 01/07/06 |
    Have a comment?


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