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 Nets Game


5.
A Night Of Joy.
If watching the Hawks play isn't enough enticement to get
you down to Philips Arena tonight (though it obviously should be), then come
tonight for the Night of Joy post-game concert featuring Christian recording
artist Natalie Grant.
It promises to be a good show!

4.
The Streaking Nets.
Most people, when discussing the best teams in the
Eastern Conference, begin the conversation with the Detroit Pistons and end it
with the Miami Heat. But, don't be so sure New Jersey hasn't elbowed their way
into the discussion. Winners of their last ten (a feat they accomplished one
other time this season), the Nets have the kind of mojo risin' that you want for
your team as you head towards the postseason. Obviously, we hope to crush their
confidence much like we did to Indy on Wednesday.

3.
Anthony Grundy.
Called up from the D-League last week, Grundy made his NBA
debut in Wednesday's game against the Pacers, and by all accounts acquitted
himself pretty well. Grundy had six points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of
action, and figures to continue to see some minutes as long as Tyronn Lue is
out. It should be said, for the record, that with their similar hairstyles and
stature, the two could easily be confused for one another. We
caught up to Grundy
on Thursday
after Hawks practice to find out about his NBA debut.

2. Josh Childress. Just to keep you up to date, Childress continues to
have the second-highest FG percentage in the league (though he doesn't have
enough attempts to qualify), shooting 55% from the field. He is also shooting
54% from behind the arc, which ain't too shabby. Chills had a typical
performance in Wednesday's win over Indy: 5-6 from the field, 2-2 from downtown,
and a total of 13 points off the bench for the Hawks. I feel confident saying
you can pencil him in for similar production this evening as well, if not
better.

1. Playing The Role Of Spoiler. The Nets have won ten straight games.
With their 11th this evening, they would clinch a spot for themselves in the
playoffs. What fun is that? The Hawks got a much-needed confidence booster with
their win over Indiana, sweeping the season series over the Pacers for the first
time since the mid-80s. A win tonight over the Dirty Jerz would give the Hawks
at least a split in the series for the season. Let's come out and make it
happen.

See you there!

-- The Web Guy | 11:45 a.m. 03/31/06 |
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Five Reasons To Go To The Pacers Game

5. Marvin Williams. The Hawks have been shorthanded for awhile now,
which has made it necessary for the Hawks rookie F to step up and play more
minutes. Williams' scoring average has increased every month this season, and is
up to 10.6 in March. With four straight games in double figures, the Hawks will
definitely need Marvin to continue his strong play of late to help the team get
off a five-game losing skid.

4.
Jermaine O'Neal.
The cornerstone of the Indianapolis franchise, O'Neal, is
recently back from a groin injury that kept him out for almost two months. He
hasn't had any big games in the four contests he has played in since coming
back, but he will still be dangerous. He has averaged 27 ppg in two games
against Atlanta so far this season. By the way, interesting trivia question -
three players have scored 50+ points in Pacers history - O'Neal, Reggie Miller,
and current Hawks GM Billy Knight!

3.
Anthony Grundy.
The Hawks signed the former NC State star to a 10-day
contract to help offset the loss of Salim Stoudamire. Though Grundy did not see
action in his first game in an Atlanta uniform, it's possible we may see him
tonight as the Hawks play the second of a back-to-back. Grundy was second in the
D-League in scoring at 23.0 ppg before he was called up.

2. McDonald's All-Americans. Come to the game tonight, but set your TV
to TIVO the annual McDonald's All-American game. The Hawks roster currently
features four players who were former participants in this game. Can you name
them? (I will post the answer tomorrow).

1. An Impressive Sweep. The Hawks have, some would say improbably,
beaten the Pacers three times in three tries so far this season, and have a
chance to finish with a clean sweep if they win tonight. All three contests have
been close, with one of Atlanta's road wins coming via overtime. This is,
needless to say, a black mark on the Pacers season so far. Therefore, expect
them to treat tonight's game as if it's a playoff game. A win tonight would be a
very impressive feather in the young Hawks' caps, even with already owning the
season series win. The Hawks are down right now, having lost five straight.
Expect them to come out with great intensity as well, as a lot of pride is at
stake for both squads.

See you there!

-- The Web Guy | 4:00 p.m. 03/29/06 |
Have a comment?


Sports Mama Goes To The
Hawks Night Of Jazz

There's been a whole lot of something going on this week, and Sports Mama is
so very tired. First of all, you know Sports Mama just had to go and visit with
the Hawks at A Night of Jazz at the Foundry at Puritan Mill. Sports Mama has
never been one to turn down an all you can eat buffet, and this one offered her
a platter full of Hawks, just hers for the taking. You haven't seen anything if
you've never seen Coach Woody and all the Hawks onstage dancing and singing
together. This was the funniest and somehow the cutest thing Sports Mama has
seen in quite some while. By the way, an FYI for all those who don't know, (and
all of you should know because you're regular blog readers, right?) the Hawks
Night of Jazz was a fundraiser for the Hawks Foundation, an organization which
strives to give back to Georgia's young people.

Anyway,
Sports Mama was there with her tongue hanging out her mouth most of the time
while Sports Dad enjoyed himself at the blackjack table. While Sports Dad was
there, he was joined by none other than ZaZa himself. Needless to say, it didn't
look like ZaZa was much of a blackjack player, but he was definitely looking fly
in that gray suit. In between making her way from one side of the room to
another (Sports Mama had to go to whichever open bar had the shortest line. You
know a girl has to do what a girl has to do), Sports Mama ran into a few of her
favorite Hawks players. Josh Smith took a few minutes to talk down to the Mama
and not in a bad way. It was just that even in my heels, Smoove still towered
over me, but it was so freakin cool. Chatting with Smoove, with no security
guard in sight, was an experience Sports Mama will never forget. And Sports Mama
just has to tell you something. Out of all the Hawks players, Josh Smith is the
one that has always scared Sports Mama the most for some reason. Perhaps, it's
the way he carries himself on the court like he wants to beat everyone up, but
nevertheless, he was so polite and nice. Sports Mama was thrilled. You could
even say Smoove moved me (haha...a little Sports Mama humor).

And now for ZaZa. I hate to tell you Z, but it's over between us. Of course you
never knew about our relationship so the breakup should be relatively easy for
you, but you have been replaced in my affections. There's a new Hawk in Sports
Mama's heart, and his name is Esteban Batista. At the fundraiser, he was the
epitome of class and kindness. I, being Sports Mama and of dubious class, went
over and talked to the man when he was trying to eat a dish that looked liked
yellow rice. Esteban wasn't like "move woman, get out the way cause I'm eating"
or anything, but he stood there trying to talk to me while he was eating, trying
to cover his mouth while chewing and all that good manner type stuff. And when
he said hello to Sports Mama, it was like music to my ears. What a sweet
sounding, sexy voice. It almost made Sports Mama forget she was married. And of
course I was like, "you don't have to talk Esteban; I'll just stand here and
adore you". Seriously though, Sports Mama actually just said hello, goodbye, and
a little in between, and left the man to eat his rice. I do have a little class.
It wasn't like I couldn't watch him longingly from a distance anyway. Mucho Amor
Esteban!

Speaking of food, Sports Mama unfortunately does not do rice, but she does eat
about every other food item they had at the party. There was some beef (and it
probably had a fancy name but who cares because Sports Mama doesn't think about
names, just about what looks and smells good), and it was the bomb! I planted my
feet at the table for a few minutes like I was an Atlanta Hawk waiting to take a
charge and filled my belly. Being Sports Mama, I also had to wrap up a few
pieces of meat in a napkin to take home for Sports Baby and Sports Teen; I did
after all promise to bring them dinner home. There were also some cute little
desserts in little glasses, but Sports Mama didn't have any of those. Sports
Mama is trying to lose a little weight so she can try out for the A-Town dancers
you know. By the way, Sports Dad is looking over my shoulders right now and
laughing.

Sports Mama:
Every team needs a token big girl. Why not me?

Sports Dad:
Maybe because you can't dance. Half the time, you can't walk across
the room without tripping on something. Maybe that's the reason.

Sports Mama:
You suck man!

Sports Dad:
You still can't dance.

Sports Mama:
Esteban thinks I'm hot.

Sports Dad:
He thinks you're a nut case. You harassed the man while he was
eating rice.

Sports Mama:
Did not!

Sports
Dad: Did too!

Sports Mama:
He even offered me some rice.

Sports Dad:
You're a liar.

Sports Mama:
So.

As you can see, Sports Dad is always supporting me. Back to my A Town girls,
shouts out to Neta and Star! I spoke to both of these dancing divas for a few
moments at the party. It is always good to chat with ladies who are both
beautiful and smart. Sports Mama always has such a hard time finding woman
exactly like herself with whom to associate.

For all you gamers out there, in addition to blackjack and various types of
poker, (if you recall, card games are Sports Dad's thing not Sports Mama's. I
don't play cards; it interferes with my drinking), there were other games being
played at the party. I saw my new beau, Esteban, playing pool with John Edwards.
I also saw Marvin Williams, Josh Childress, and Al Harrington being boys in the
videogame areas. I believe I saw Coach Greg Ballard playing a game of pool with
another coach as well. So many Hawks to stalk in one room and only one Sports
Mama; it is definitely hard being me.

And one cannot forget the silent auction and the live auction. Sports Mama's
bank account will definitely be remembering both of them for a long time. I
walked away with a couple of things including a Joe Johnson autographed jersey.
I wanted to get a picture with Joe while I was holding my jersey, but I never
seemed to catch up with him for one reason or another. I felt like the Golden
State Warriors on March 7th when they couldn't catch up with him either. Ah Joe,
if you're reading this, I want to take a picture of you with my jersey please. I
promise to keep my hands to myself.

The next day Sports Mama crawled out of bed and headed out to watch the Hawks
play the Mavericks. So many people were telling Sports Mama that the Hawks would
probably not win, and Sports Mama kept telling them things that can't be written
here. Sports Mama is always supporting her boys. Nevertheless we lost, but we
played even when we got behind. Not every night can be a Hawks night. Sometimes
we win; sometimes we lose. That's life, but you always go out for the game. What
you do not do is go dressed out in a Mavericks jersey! And I know that as Sports
Mama, I tend to rant and rave about this whole jersey thing, but come on! How
can you sit behind the Hawks bench with a Maverick's shirt on? It just ain't
right! Show a little respect for the team even if you don't like them. Sit on
the other side of the arena or something. If you sit behind the Hawks, you gotta
represent the ATL; there's no doubt about it. It's the only polite thing to do.
Come on y'all, do it for Sports Mama if nothing else. It's easy. I'm not asking
you to bathe before you come, wear clean clothes, eat your hot dog with your
mouth closed, or nothing like that...just do not disrespect the Hawks. They're out
their playing for us so the least we can do is show them a little appreciation
and respect.

In closing, I want to say again that A Night of Jazz was awesome! If you missed
it, be on the lookout for the next Hawks event. You're sure to have as much fun
as Sports Mama did if not more.

And one more shout out to my girl, Rashan Ali. She was working the room at the
party in a little black dress and had smiles for everyone.

This is Sports Mama, "Rising Up For the Hawks"!

-- The Sports Mama | 4:00 p.m. 03/28/06 |
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Five Reasons To Go To The Mavericks Game

5. Rise
Up Saturdays
.
There is a ton going on Saturday night at Philips Arena.
Rise Up Saturdays always feature a smorgasbord of activites, and this one is no
different. Amongst the highlights? Check out Hawks G Salim Stoudamire,
who will be signing autographs at Philips Experience from 6:15-6:45. Stoudamire
may be out for the season with an elbow injury, but it's to his non-signing
hand. Come out and help raise his spirits! And, don't forget, it's also a

Chick-fil-A Family Night
! Who are you to resist?

4.
Josh Smith.
Seriously, I don't know how to describe the transformation of J-Smoove
over the past few weeks. The kid didn't hit a single three-point shot in the
first 51 games of the season. In fact, he only attempted eight. Yet since making
his first trey in the game against Seattle on Feb. 22, Smith has all-of-a-sudden
turned into Steve Kerr. With last night's 2-4 performance from downtown against
Philly, he has now hit a three-pointer in nine straight games. That has
got to be some kind of record, I swear. Since missing his first eight to start
the season, he has shot 15-33 (.454) from the distance. Honestly - how does that
even happen? It boggles my mind, but it does nothing but bode well for his
development.

3.
Bucket Hats!
The first 6,500 fans through the turnstiles will get Delta Air
Lines Bucket hats (shown right). I will be honest with you, The Web Guy doesn't
know much about fashion, but that hat looks pretty sweet. And it's reversible!
That's almost a 2-for-1, and you don't even have to pay for it!

2. Dirk Nowitzki. As far as I am concerned, Dirk is the poster child for
patience in the NBA. Hawks fans, we can learn a lot from Dallas. Once considered
to be a bust, Nowitzki struggled through his first couple years in the league as
a foreign teenager. Now, the Diggler is one of the top five players on the
planet, a nightmare match-up for every team that faces him. My point? The Hawks
have a wealth of young talent, and though they may not dominate on a night-in
and night-out basis, if given time, they just may turn out to be on a similar
path.

1. A Top Notch Opponent. The Hawks have had some success against the
NBA's heavyweights this season. With wins over San Antonio and Detroit (and a
near-miss against Phoenix), Atlanta certainly has the capability to come out and
beat the best. Injuries have slowed the team a little of late, and losing
Stoudamire's offense will certainly hurt. But if the Hawks come out and play
defense, anything is possible in front of the home crowd.

Come out Saturday night and help the team pick off another highly-regarded
opponent!

See you there!

-- The Web Guy | 12:00 p.m. 03/23/06 |
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The Web Guy
Admits Personal Bias, Then Goes On Rampage

First things first. As sports fans, we all have our biases. There are some teams
we follow very closely, and others we pay very little attention to. With the
overload of information available about every single person in every single
sport, it is nearly impossible to keep a watchful eye on every development that
takes place, even within your favorite sport.

Therefore, it is understandable that people will develop perceptions about the
Hawks that may not be correct. After a solid run of success in the mid- and
late-90's, we haven't been to the playoffs in several years and we aren't on
national TV this season. If you don't make an effort to follow the team on local
TV, radio, in the newspaper or in this space, you are probably going to miss out
on what takes place at Philips Arena on any given night.

Now, I make the aforementioned concessions so that I can say this:

I don't know

Chris Mannix
, one of 89 (that's right, count `em!!!) columnists for

SI.com
, but I am going to do the same thing he did and with no previous
knowledge of his NBA regimen suggest he has not been paying much attention to
the Hawks organization.

In

Mannix's latest column
, he lists which front office types are most
in danger of losing their jobs in the near future. One of his targets is Hawks EVP and GM Billy Knight, about whom he makes these comments:

"You can't fire coach Mike Woodson -- at least not if you have any
shred of conscience. Not when you give him a roster like that. Yes, Joe
Johnson
is better than we all thought. But Marvin
Williams
continues to struggle while Chris Paul is clearing space
in his trophy case for the Rookie of the Year award. Where is the effort?
Why are Reggie Evans, Vladimir Radmanovic and Chris Wilcox
being dealt at yard sales while Esteban Batista plays seven minutes a
night? The Hawks' owners -- whoever they are -- need to act fast with Knight
before he pulls an Al Harrington-for-Stephon Marbury out of
his hat. Because you know that's coming."

I have several reactions to that paragraph, but I will focus on one in
particular that shows to me a clear misunderstanding of Knight's tenure in
Atlanta.

Mannix makes it almost fait accompli that Knight would make a proposed
Harrington-for-Marbury trade, insinuating that this is the exact kind of move we
should expect from him.

If there is one thing The Web Guy has learned from working for the Hawks, it's
that the organization has placed an incredibly high value on obtaining
high-character players. You can never say never in the NBA, but suffice it to
say I'd be surprised if the Hawks made a play for Marbury at this time. Trading
for Marbury seems like a panic-mode move, and given the patience Knight has
shown with the Hawks youth movement (average age - 22.9), that certainly doesn't
seem his style.

I am not saying that every roster move Knight has made has turned to gold (what
GM in the NBA can claim that anyway?), but it seems to me the guy deserves at
least some credit for signing Zaza Pachulia (widely acknowledged as one
of the best bargains of the year), trading for Joe Johnson (I mean, have you
seen
what the guy has been doing lately?), and refusing to cave to the
salary demands of such current NBA contract albatrosses like Erick Dampier and
Eddy Curry. Doesn't the latter show that sometimes the best moves you make are
the ones you don't?

Most people around the country are sleeping on the Hawks right now, and I
understand why with the way we started the season (2-16). But the team has shown
steady progress since, already improving upon last year's win total by eight,
and has been in position to win several more. If you read between the lines, you
will see the nucleus of a future playoff contender coming together right before
our eyes, and if everyone is patient, their endurance will pay off.

I would invite Mannix to come check us out sometime if he likes, he can see the
progress for himself.

--- The Web Guy | 2:15 p.m. 03/22/06 |
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Sports Mama Goes To The Magic Game

What a game against the Magic on Sunday at Philips Arena! Sports Mama isn't just
talking about the three-pointers that Atlanta's finest kept landing into the
basket, or the slam dunks that had the crowd raging to its feet on more than one
occasion. Of course Sports Mama could be talking about Joe Johnson's sensational
40 points and 11 assists and Al Harrington's awesome 24 points, but she's not.

I'm talking about the last 2.4 secs of overtime, when my man ZAZA (and he is my
man, though unfortunately he and my husband both seem to live in a constant
state of denial) placed an unmovable curse on the so-called Magic of Orlando.
This game, the joke was on them when we took victory at 108 - 107.

It's simply astonishing that ZaZa even had the energy and the strength to get
the ball in there when he was so busy breaking his own rebound record with 18
rebounds. I watched them all and counted too. Who would have ever thunk that I
could have counted so high? Oh Zaza, you have proved there is still life in the
old gal yet. If only someone could just give Sports Mama a wand to turn her Zaza
bobblehead into the real thing. Zaza is tall and agile; he could have Sports
Mama's house spring cleaned in no time. He wouldn't even need one of those
extendable dusters to get my ceiling fans either. Way to go Zaza!!

On a different note, Sports Mama has got to give a shout out to her new home
girls, the A town dancers. Sports Mama has finally decided to stop hating on the
skinny girls because these women of the ATL can really dance. At least that's
what Sports Dad keeps telling me every time I catch him gawking at the girls
when they're on the floor doing one of their numbers. Sports Mama ain't mad
though. Sports Dad wouldn't be looking if the A town girls were not the true
divas of dance. After all, Sports Dad does have exceptional taste; he did marry
Sports Mama.

Finally, get off the computer and come to the games! Since Sports Mama loves
chicken, she and the rest of the Sports Family will be at Philips Arena this
Saturday, March 25 for Chick-Fil-A family night. With deals starting as low as
$69 for food and an exciting show, you can't beat a Hawks game anywhere (a
movie, drinks, and popcorn for four is even more expensive these days). I'm just
warning you that if you do come to the game, Sports Mama is determined to get
her one of those flying Chick-Fil-A cows no matter what, and I'm going to crawl
over anyone and everything to get mine.

So...Come on out, Eat More Chicken, and Cheer for your Atlanta Hawks as they rope
in the Mavericks. And by the way, Delta is even providing the first 5,000 fans
with free hats. You better come and get yours. Sports Mama is definitely getting
hers.

Once again, this is Sports Mama "Rising Up For The Hawks"

-- The Sports Mama | 4:50 p.m. 03/21/06 |
Have a comment?


Five Reasons To Go To The Jazz Game

5.
Marvin Williams Bobblehead Night
.
Continuing a popular giveaway,
tonight it's Marvin Williams' turn. He joins teammates Joe Johnson and Zaza
Pachulia in the bobblehead ranks so far this season, and I gotta say, it looks
pretty life-like. No word yet on when there will be a "The Web Guy" bobblehead
night, but I will keep you posted. For now, be one of the first 5,000 fans
through the gate and claim your prize!

4. AK-47. One of the coolest nicknames in sports, bestowed upon Jazz F
Andrei Kirilenko (it encompasses his initials and his jersey #).
Kirilenko, when healthy, is one of the most versatile players in the league,
capable of reaching double figures in just about any category. Also, it must be
mentioned, he appears to have
the coolest wife in the NBA
.


3.
For All The Nail Biters.
Win or lose lately, the Hawks seem to come down to
the wire against every opponent. Both of their games so far this week have come
down to the final seconds, though the team has ended up on the wrong side of the
ledger. But if you are faint of heart, just be warned - there promises to be
suspense this evening.

2. Zaza Pachulia. ATL's big man in the middle is coming off the best game
of his career, as he poured in 26 points before fouling out late in the
double-overtime loss to New York on Wednesday. He will have his hands full
tonight, as the Jazz's Mehmet Okur has established himself this season as
one of the top big men in the league.

1. The Luck Of The Irish. Maybe it will fall on the side of the home
team tonight, as it is St. Patrick's Day. The Hawks are justthisclose to having
a two-game winning streak, but due to a few late game mistakes (and in The Web
Guy's opinion, some questionable calls), it's three straight Ls we are dealing
with. The Jazz are not to be taken lightly - they always play hard, and when
healthy have one of the top frontcourts in the league in Okur, Kirilenko, and
Carlos Boozer
. If the hometown boys are to win tonight, they will need to
put the unluckiness of the past week behind them and create their own for the
evening.

See you there!

-- The Web Guy | 11:45 a.m. 03/17/06 |
Have a comment?


March Madne...errr Mayhem - Second
Round


The NBA is running an
NCAA
Tournament-style bracket
this month, pitting all of the dance teams in
the league against each other in a single elimination format to determine which
is the best. The
A-Town
Dancers
beat the Milwaukee Bucks squad,
The Energee,
in the first round, and now face the
Knicks' City
Dancers
on March 20 for a spot in the Elite Eight.

Once
again, we had Desiree
(right),
the captain of A-Town, break down the matchup:

Thank you fans!! Because of your persistence the A-Town dancers have breezed by
the Energee to the Sweet Sixteen. I am not surprised. If you remember, I had
predicted this earlier.

Now we are starting to see some competition. New York City, the Big Apple, "The
city that never sleeps" is up next. Do the Knicks City Dancers live up to the
hype that surrounds NYC? This I cannot tell you. I can only go by pictures and
bios of which I have been studying. At first glance I will admit that the KCD
have a lot to offer - glitz and glam, and apparently lights just like their
hometown (see picture #1 in their photo gallery). OK, so they are hot. But how
hot can you really be in the northern part of the country? This is the south - "Hotlanta"!
We have hotter food, music, celebrities, people and of course, the hottest dance
team in the NBA.

We already have one elimination under our belts and with your help we can make
that two. The stakes are getting higher as we get closer to the championship and
my competitive nature is rearing its ugly head. We can do this! You have two
opportunities to come check us before
the voting on March
20
. Come see us on March 17 when the Hawks take on Utah and
March 19
against Orlando and see for yourself what the A-Town Dancers are
all about...you will not be disappointed!

--- Desiree | 2:300 p.m. 03/16/06 |
Have a comment?


Notes On A Wednesday

First
things first, check out this week's issue of
Score Atlanta
, which features Marvin Williams on the cover!

The Hawks are in New York tonight to take on the Knicks, a team we have made
our whipping-boy at Philips Arena (scoring 120 or more in both games) but lost
105-94 to in our first visit to Madison Square Garden. New York currently sports
the worst record in the NBA, but that doesn't mean it will be a walk in the park
for our boys.

If we have one weakness this season (ok, I know we have more, but you know
what I mean), it has been a tendency to play to the level of our competition - a
great thing when we are going up against the Pistons and Spurs, but not so great
when we are playing some of the league's lesser lights.

Hopefully the team will have a bad taste left in their mouth from Monday's
heartbreaker at Milwaukee that will inspire them to come out and own the Knicks
this evening.

Speaking of Monday, how about Josh Smith and Joe Johnson? In case you missed
it, J-Smoove hit for a career-high 25 points on 10-15 shooting from the field,
while JJ dished out a career-best 17 assists.

I have two comments to make about this:

1)
I am absolutely amazed at the renovation of Josh's jumper this season. The
conventional wisdom in the NBA says that you make improvements to your game
during the off-season - there is too little time to really work on anything
during the season with all the games and travel. Yet here is Smith, developing a
reliable perimeter jump shot in the middle of the season! I am astounded, I
really am.

2) The best part about Johnson's 17 dimes? He shot only 3-13 from the field
in the game. The 13 shots were the least he has attempted in the last ten games.
It shows a maturity in his game to realize the shots aren't falling and to
concentrate on setting up his teammates. JJ's transformation into the lead guard
for the Hawks has been equally impressive. Through the end of January (43
games), he hit double digits in assists four times. Since the beginning of
February (18 games), he has accomplished the feat eight times (that's double the
amount, for the non-mathematicians out there).

All of this just goes to show that you have to have patience with young
players. This doesn't mean that either of them should start honing their
acceptance speeches for the Hall-of-Fame, but it certainly bodes well for the
future of the team..

-- The Web Guy | 12:00 p.m. 03/15/06 |
Have a comment?


The Sports
Mama Goes To Fan Jam

Hello yall!

The last time I dropped by was in February when I was heading out to the Atlanta
Hawks Fan Jam presented by Sprite at the Stonecrest Mall in Lithonia. Weeks and
games have come and gone since then (Joe Johnson scored a career high of 42
against Golden State, and on Saturday night at Philips Arena I watched Al
Harrington continue to play like a man possessed by a basketball God. He scored
an awesome 32 points against the Bulls!), but Sports Mama remembers it oh so
well...

Sports
Mama is proud to say that she survived that adventure with no new restraining
orders. In fact, Sports Mama was on her best behavior when she walked up to
Marvin Williams and Royal Ivey and got their autographs and a photo. Yes I was
good, very good. I kept my hands to myself and all that. No, I was not the
problem; it was Sports Teen, my oldest daughter who was the problem. Sports Teen
personally believes that if you looked up the word "finest" in the dictionary,
Marvin Williams would be written right beside it..

Sports Mama is never one to debate the meaning of words. I'm just ecstatic to
think that my teenage daughter has even considered looking at a book with words
in it. My fellow fans, please understand me when I say that my daughter who is
almost a junior still doesn't know the location of her school library. The
phrase "Read To Achieve" has completely eluded her. Anything that brings us
closer to a dictionary is a good thing.

Anyway...Sports Teen traumatized me while we were waiting in line to get
autographs. Being unfamiliar with the whole autographing procedure (as you know,
Sports Mama has never actually been close enough to a Hawks player to get
anything - a pair of shorts, a piece of hair, etc. before being chased away), I
wasn't sure what Marvin and Royal were willing to sign. I had brought along one
of the game programs with Royal on the cover and a #24 Jersey for Marvin to
sign. Sports Teen was in front of me, and I noticed that she had nothing to be
signed. Being the innocent that I am, I asked her what she had for Marvin to
sign. She raised her shirt just a little and pointed to her belly. For the first
time in her life, Sports Mama was speechless. Sports Teen started to laugh, but
Sports Mama wasn't laughing. Sports Mama doesn't roll that way. I grabbed Sports
Teen by her long ponytail and told her that if she didn't get in line, she would
be seeing Marvin Williams from a fetal position on the floor. Sports Mama always
carries an extra set of thunder "beat down" sticks with in her purse, and I was
prepared to use them.

After
that, Sports Teen stopped laughing and begged me for the jersey. Being the
fairly good parent that I am, I sold it to her for only double what I paid (and
yes I know that
Sports Baby actually got the jersey for free; it was one of those wonderful
Hawks game giveaways. Sports Baby (remember she's eight and her every purpose in
life revolves around candy) later traded me the jersey for a bag of Blow-pops.
The bag of Blow-pops cost me around $2.00, but in order to prepare Sports Teen
for the financial cruelties of life, I had to charge her $20.00 for it.

Finally, it was Sports Teen's turn to meet Marvin. I stood behind her just in
case she passed out. Her knees were shaking, and her mouth fell open. Marvin
asked her where he should sign the jersey. She stood there speechless, like she
was stockpiling flies. Patiently, Marvin asked her again (He was so sweeeet!!!).
Finally, I repeated his question, and she shook her head. He signed his name
right under his number. Marvin and I both watched Sports Teen as she walked off
clinching the jersey. He looked at her strangely when she sniffed it. And I,
being Sports Mama, smiled. I was so darn proud! She was a Sports Mama in the
making.

And we cannot, under any circumstances, forget Royal Ivey. He was kind and
patient with everyone, but the thing about him, the very best thing - he has a
smile that can melt butter pecan ice cream (and this includes the pecans too) in
Upper Michigan in January. He just warmed his way right into Sports Mama's
heart.

The Fan Jam allowed us to meet the players one-on-one. It was my first
experience at an event of this type, and it was really awesome. Perhaps Sports
Mama should try and attend more Fan Jams. It's much cheaper than the attorney
fees I usually end up incurring when I try and meet the players, and it's
certainly more fan friendly than the stun gun. Hmmm...something to think about.

-- The Sports Mama | 2:30 p.m. 03/13/06 |
Have a comment?


Five Reasons To Go To The Bulls Game

5. Free
Read To Achieve Backpacks
.
The first 5,000 kids 12 and under will
receive a Read To Achieve Drawstring Backpack presented by Philips Electronics,
Sprite, and BrandsMart USA. So if you really want one and have no children, why
don't you take your neighbor's?

4. Joe Johnson. We are starting to run out of superlatives for the
Hawks' best player, who set a new career-high in Tuesday's win over Golden State
with 42 points. Johnson has reached 40 three times now on the season, which is
great. But what impresses me just as much is that he is averaging 8.4 assists in
his 40-point performances, which shows he isn't just hoisting shot after shot in
search of a milestone. JJ had his first 40-point effort in a loss to the Bulls
at Chicago back in January - look for him to take it to them again tonight.


3.

Read To Achieve Night
and Rise Up Saturday.
A great night for the
family, the Hawks will have several events going on throughout the game,
including an autograph session with
Tyronn Lue before the game, live music from recording artist William
Green, and a birthday celebration for Hawks' mascots Harry the Hawk and SkyHawk
(not to mention the previously-mentioned backpacks!).

2. The Playoff Push, Part 2. Tuesday night, the Hawks did their part to
help keep Golden State out of the playoffs. Tonight they can do the same to
Chicago, which enters the contest three-and-a-half games out of the eighth spot
in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls are headed in the wrong direction, having
dropped six of their last nine games, including a home loss to the Clippers on
Friday night in Chicago.

1. Ending Another Streak, Part 2. This is sounding a lot like
Tuesday's Five Reasons, isn't it? Much like the Warriors had a hex on the Hawks,
the Bulls have won five straight againts Atlanta after sweeping the season
series last year. But, this is a game between two teams heading in opposite
directions - the Bulls are slumping while the Hawks' confidence is perhaps at
its season's apex. Atlanta dropped Golden State on Tuesday, and I see no reason
the trend can't continue tonight against Chicago.

See you there!

-- The Web Guy | 12:45 p.m. 03/11/06 |
Have a comment?


March Madne...errr Mayhem

The NBA is running an
NCAA
Tournament-style bracket
this month, pitting all of the dance teams in
the league against each other in a single elimination format to determine which
is the best. The
A-Town
Dancers
face off against the Milwaukee Bucks squad,
The Energee.
Perhaps we are biased here on the Hawks BasketBlog, but we think we will win -
first of all, energy is clearly mispelled - what kind of message is that to send
to America's youth?

Anyway, we asked one of the members of A-Town to break down the matchup.

Desiree,
the captain of the team, had this to say:

March...my
favorite month of the year. Why? The obvious reason is that it's my birthday
month, and the second reason is March Madness, of course. Since 1999, when I was first
immersed in the fanaticism that is NCAA basketball, I have looked forward to the
big dance. And this year I am actually competing in it! The NBA
Dance Team bracket is up and my fellow A-Town Dancers and I are taking on the Milwaukee Bucks. I don't know much about Energee, the Bucks dance team, but
I did get a chance to observe them at camp this year and I will say they are an
attractive, energetic and talented group of women.

But I am not concerned. As an
A-Town Dancer I can tell you that we have the looks, the energy and the talent
to take them head on. Not to mention the support of the "crunkest" city in the
country. As a former University of Florida Dancer, I have been to the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight and the
Final Four. So it is imperative that I make it
that far again with the best dance team in the NBA!

So stop reading this blog and go
mark your A-Town Dancers calendar to
vote for us on Monday, March 13!
Go A-Town
Dancers and go Hawks!!!

--- Desiree | 10:15 a.m. 03/10/06 |
Have a comment?


The Hawks
Night Of Jazz

Admit it...though you love the BasketBlog, you get tired of reading only The
Web Guy every now and then. Therefore, I would like to hand it off today to a
couple other employees who have some things to say.

Debbie Golden and Emily Appen do a great job in the Special Events department
for Atlanta Spirit (I should know, they sat in my row of cubes for the last year-and-a-half until
they moved this week - parting is such sweet sorrow!), and they are the brains
behind the Hawks big community event coming up on Friday, March 24 - the
Hawks Night
of Jazz
.

I offered them this space to give you a few reasons to get a ticket and go -
take it away ladies!

Top Five Reasons to go to the Atlanta Hawks Night of Jazz (*formerly Full
Court Fest):

5. Hang out and play games with your favorite Atlanta Hawks players and
coaches (2K Sports Hoops, Pool and Texas Hold `em). Try to beat Marvin
Williams
and Josh Childress at their own games...literally. They're
featured on the College Hoops 2K5 & 2K6 game, which will be in the house.

4. Be a part of an exclusive jazz performance by Hidden Beach Recording
Artist Mike Phillips. Mike has toured with Stevie Wonder and Prince, and
is sure to impress! Not to mention, he's the only non-athlete to be sponsored by
Brand Jordan. That's gotta mean something.

3. Mix and mingle with a select group of the NBA's hottest dance team,
the
A-Town Dancers
.

2. WIN big prizes!! Night of Jazz features a Live Auction with big
ticket items (you can bid on a trip with the team!), and an equally amazing
Silent Auction packed with vacation packages, Philips Electronics products,
autographed sports memorabilia, and more!

1. You have seen the celebrities that pack Philips Arena...now experience
the opportunity to kick back with them in private! The Foundry at Puritan Mill
will be transformed into a funky, chic jazz lounge where you can eat, drink and
be merry while taking in the scene.

...And One Extra: Watch the NCAA Tournament on FIVE 42" Philips Electronics Plasma
TV's. If you like basketball, that alone should get your out of your house and
over to the event!

-- The Web Guy | 3:35 p.m. 03/09/06 |
Have a comment?


Five Reasons To Go To The Warriors Game

5.
Two-For-Tuesday
.
The next to last chance to take advantage of this deal
this season, tonight's game gives you a chance to see the game for FREE -
provided you have a friend who is willing to cough up the dough for a $25 or $45
ticket. That's the beauty of a two-for-one. Get your friend to pay, and you can
take in the game gratis! I mean, you could buy the guy a coke or something, just
to be nice - but that's your call.

4.
Josh Smith vs Jason Richardson.
Personally, I think Smith is the best dunker
in the NBA today. But, if I have to give that moniker to another player, it
might very well be the Warriors' J-Rich, who has two dunk titles on his mantle
and a reputation for throwing 'em down with the best of 'em. Though their games
are different, Richardson can be a good role model for J-Smoove, as he has
rounded his game to become a more complete player known for more than just his
breathtaking dunks.


3.
Zaza vs. Zarko.
Honestly, how many times in your life will you get a chance
to see two players whose first names begin with Z go up against each other? I
submit it won't happen often.

2. The Playoff Push. Ok, the Hawks are pretty much out of it in the East,
I won't lie. Could something crazy happen? Absolutely. The Hawks are clearly
talented enough to beat any team in basketball, and if they pull off an
incredibly hot run of games, the Eastern Conference is mediocre enough they
could take a swipe at the eight seed. But it's pretty unlikely. On the other
hand, the Warriors sit 4.5 games out of the playoffs in the West, and as long as
the Hawks are going golfing in May, why not affect who is joining them in their
foursome? The Hawks can help spoil a lot of teams' plans in the coming weeks,
starting tonight with Golden State.

1. Ending Another Streak. The Hawks have snapped several losing
streaks to NBA teams this season, and here is another chance tonight. The
Warriors have beaten the Hawks seven straight times, but come into tonight on a
slide of their own, having lost six of their last seven games overall. Atlanta
let a great opportunity slip through their hands on Saturday at Miami, and it
will be interesting to see how this team responds. Of late, they have done a
very good job responding to adversity and missed opportunities. I say the Hawks
have good vibes heading into this one.

See you there!

-- The Web Guy | 3:00 p.m. 03/07/06 |
Have a comment?


Five Reasons To Go To The Kings Game

5.
Chick-fil-A Family Night
.
You know I love em. For those that don't read
this space often (for shame, for shame), I will reiterate the highlights: 4
tickets, 4 Chick-fil-A combo meals, all starting at $69. Basketball and
delicious chicken sandwiches, they go together like peas and carrots - except
much tastier, if you as me.

4.
Joe Johnson.
JJ was nearly named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month
for February, finishing as a runner-up to Dwyane Wade. We
talked about it in the
blog yesterday
, but Johnson put up some crazy stats over the last month,
including averaging 9.3 assists a game. As he has raised his game, his teammates
have gotten better as well. Hopefully he rested well on Thursday, after playing
all 53 minutes in the overtime win at Toronto on Wednesday night.


3.
Pre-game Activities!
The first 5,000 kids 14 and under through the turnstiles tonight
will receiver this nifty Sprite Kids
Cooler bag
(right). Perfect for carrying goodies like Capri-Sun and
orange slices to the next soccer practice, plus it has all of your favorite
Hawks players right there on the bag! You are literally insane to pass this up,
especially since it's FREE for goodness sake! You will probably want to come
early to make sure you get your child one, or else they are going to pitch a
huuuuuuuuuuuuge fit. Also, while you are getting to the game early, check out
the
book signing with former NBA referee Ken Hudson
, who will be
autographing copies of his book "A Tree Stump in the Valley of Redwoods" from
6:00-6:45 at the Team Gear Store.

2.
Ron Artest.
The bad boy of the league makes his 2005-06 Philips Arena debut.
Artest has been pretty much everything the Kings had hoped he'd be, and
demonstrated his worth in the teams' first meeting a few weeks back in
Sacramento. Artest was a large reason the Kings blew the Hawks out 109-84,
finishing the night with 20 points, 6 assists, 6 steals, and 3 rebounds. Not a
bad night, to say the least. So far the Artest-Stojakovic has been pretty much a
wash for both teams, as each player has made their presence felt on the court.
The question is, can Artest keep it up?

1. Free Basketball. Given the Hawks play of late, there is a pretty
decent shot this game will go to extra time. The team's last three wins have all
come in overtime, which ties an NBA record. No team has ever won four straight
overtime games (that is to say, four straight victories by the team that all
came via an extra period - did that explain it better?). Personally, I'd be
happy to see the Hawks win in regulation tonight, but I takes 'em how I gets 'em.

Atlanta has played very good ball of late, competing till the end in every
game since the loss at Sacramento. No doubt they will remember that game when
they take the floor tonight at Philips as they try to return the favor.

See you there!

-- The Web Guy | 10:30 a.m. 03/03/06 |
Have a comment?


Hawks Work Late, Get Wins

I'm telling you, it's becoming more and more fun to be a Hawks fan these
days. Tired of piling up impressive victories over the playoff contenders in
each conference, last night the Hawks finally pulled the biggest monkey off
their back from this season, taking a
113-111 victory

in overtime (again) over Toronto. Atlanta had lost the first three meetings of
the season between the two teams, and avoiding a season-sweep at the hands of
the lowly Raptors (ok, all kidding aside, Toronto is far from terrible, and much
like Atlanta, has been overlooked due to a poor start that masks the fact they
have played around .500 ball for a good part of the season) was crucial.

What gives with the overtime games lately? The Hawks now own the league's
best record in overtimes games (minimum five) at 4-1, with their only blemish
coming on January 14 at home against Washington. We asked Zaza Pachulia
for his thoughts on the
matter, including the OT win against the Pacers last week which included a
little interaction between him and Serbian sniper Peja Stojakovic. By the way,
Zaza asked that I mention in here that he was making three-pointers in practice
today from well beyond the arc. Hey, he asks and we deliver (I saw it with my
own eyes).

The bottom line is, this team is starting to come together. I know I touched
on this just the other day, but we are a long way from the Joe and Al show from
earlier this season. Everyone on the team is contributing to the victories, as
witnessed by Al fouling out early into the overtime in last night's game. And as
for all those close losses at the start of the year? Becoming less and less
frequent - the Hawks are 5-1 in their last six games decided by five points or
less.

Lastly, the Web Guy wants to give a shout out to Joe Johnson, who was
a runner-up to Dwyane Wade

for the Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for February. Here are a
few stats, courtesy of Hawks ace PR man Jon Steinberg:

  • Since point guard Tyronn Lue suffered a knee injury on February 6,
    improved his assist numbers dramatically as well ... During that time, he ranks
    4th in the NBA in apg (9.7, 87 total), trailing only Brevin Knight (10.9 apg,
    89), Andre Miller (10.8, 83) and Chauncey Billups (10.1, 101).

  • At Indiana (2/24), he became only the third NBA player this season (Allen
    Iverson
    three times and LeBron James twice) to total 40 pts and 10 assts in a
    game, finishing with 40 and 13.

  • He also became the fifth active NBA player (James, Tracy McGrady, Antoine
    Walker
    , Baron Davis) to ever have 40+ pts and 13+ assts in a game.

    I have a feeling this isn't the last time he comes close to winning that award,
    if not outright taking it down.

    -- The Web Guy | 4:55 p.m. 03/02/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Props To The
    Joshes

    First things first - go to NBA.com and vote for Joe Johnson for
    NBA's Best
    Dressed
    for this week.

    Second, can we
    all take a minute to give Josh Smith and Josh Childress a mental pat on the back
    for their efforts of late? Both played a large role in last night's
    104-102 overtime
    victory
    over the Nets, each hitting clutch shots late
    in the game to help seal the win.

    What I particularly liked last night was the shots they made were from
    outside of their perceived comfort zone. Neither Josh is thought of as much of a
    perimeter threat; Smith because his perimeter skills are still developing (if
    you were 6' 9" in high school, wouldn't you just dunk on everyone too?), and
    Childress because of his funky delivery.

    With Childress, the criticisms of his form are starting to get a tad bit
    absurd - the guy is shooting 53% from three-point range on the season (21-40).
    Now I realize 40 attempts isn't a gigantic sample size, but it's not 2-3 either.
    And his FG percentage overall ranks

    2nd in the NBA
    !

    2nd in the NBA!!!

    Sorry, I don't mean to get all excited about it, but come on - Chill can
    close his eyes and heave the ball over his shoulder and it wouldn't bother me if
    he shoots that percentage.

    Yes, we are still losing some games late. But we are winning some as well,
    and part of the reason for that is that teams are starting to have to worry
    about other shooters besides Joe Johnson and Al Harrington. Last night was a
    perfect example with the two Joshes, but Marvin Williams and Salim Stoudamire
    have also shown the ability to hit shots.

    Hopefully the team and the Joshes can build off last night's success. Don't
    think I don't love watching Joe Johnson take over games when he has to, but I
    like the idea that maybe he won't have to as much in the future.

    -- The Web Guy | 4:05 p.m. 02/28/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Hawks.com Interviews A Globetrotter

    The Harlem Globetrotters are

    coming to Philips Arena
    on March 11. As part of their goodwill tour,
    Globetrotter Otis Key
    made a visit to the Hawks game Saturday night against Milwaukee. Your humble Web
    Guy got a chance to spend a few minutes talking to Key, a giant of a man with a
    smile as big as his 6' 9" frame.

    Hawks.com: Growing up as a basketball player, did you ever see yourself
    becoming a Globetrotter?

    OK: Not at all! I guess it was fate. But it worked out perfectly, because
    being a member of the Globetrotters matches all of my loves - traveling, playing
    basketball, and meeting new people.

    Hawks.com: The Globetrotter act isn't quite the same as it used to be. What
    is the difference?

    OK:
    We are still out to entertain the fans, but we put more emphasis on playing the
    game now. Our charisma comes out through the game on the court, but we still put
    on a show.

    Hawks.com: Harlem Globetrotters are known for their tricks. What is your
    favorite trick to perform?

    OK: I like the half-court shot. It was the easiest one to perfect
    (laughing)!

    Hawks.com: What are some of the amazing experiences you have had with the
    team?

    OK: The travel really sticks out. We have performed in Beirut, Australia,
    all over the world. I once slept through an earthquake in Christchurch, New
    Zealand.

    Hawks.com: You do a lot of work as an advance ambassador for the team. What
    does that entail?

    OK: I try to get out to the cities we are visiting and share the message
    of the Globetrotters. I'll go to schools, hospitals, all over the place.

    Hawks.com: You guys play against the New York Nationals on your tour, but you
    also play games against colleges during their exhibition seasons. What are those
    games like?

    OK: I love the exhibitions against the college teams. It's great to go
    out and just play serious basketball sometimes. It helps us to work on our
    games, and sometime you just want to go out and whoop on somebody. Those games
    are great for that.

    -- The Web Guy | 2:45 p.m. 02/27/06 |
    Have a comment?


    The Sports
    Mama Returns

    It's been a busy week for Sports Mama. That whole restraining order thing was
    finally taken off my record, and since then, I've been warmly welcomed by the
    family I love most, The Atlanta Hawks. As the greatest of all the mamas, I have
    received my autographed basketball and jersey from the Hawks organization (much
    love to the Hawks folks). Of course, this is an honor of which I am truly
    worthy, and I will do my sworn best as the fan correspondent to not let my
    fellow fans down. I promise to keep you updated on the most Hawkish of the Hawks
    events.

    Since
    February 22nd, I have taken in three Hawks game, including the one on the 22nd
    where I was large and in charge at Philips Arena, sitting only six rows behind
    the Atlanta Hawks themselves. For that particular game, not only was I the
    Sports Mama that you know and love, but I was also THE Mama (both my girls, my
    teenager and my eight year old daughter, Sports Baby, were there) so I had to
    keep myself in line and not do some of the things that I would normally do such
    as attempting to leap past security and give some love to the Hawks players and
    of course beating down a few of the Sonics, especially Ray Allen and Rashard
    Lewis, with my THUNDER sticks. As THE Mama I had to be a good role model and sit
    back and hope that the skills of my favorite team would prevail over their
    opponents. Nevertheless even with Al Harrington dazzling the crowd with
    twenty-four points and Josh Childress and Joe Johnson both coming up strong in
    the double digits, it still wasn't enough to take down the Sonics. My boys
    seemed to struggle with the rebounds that night, but I guess it was probably my
    fault. They were probably distracted by all the beauty of the Sports Mama
    sitting so near to them.

    But there were also some super things that happened at the game. I'm not one to
    brag, but I think some of Josh Smith's sweat blew in my direction, perhaps even
    landed on me. Thanks to the super playing of the Hawks, one of the lucky ATL
    fans won airline tickets courtesy of Delta Airlines. T-Lue was also nice enough
    to turn around and pose for a picture for my eldest daughter. You just gotta
    love him and all the Hawks.

    Then on Friday night, the 24th, I watched the game at home on television. Don't
    assume that Sports Mama doesn't love her Hawks enough to not fly to Indiana to
    watch her boys play, but it's my children's fault. For some reason the thought
    of me being up close and personal with the Hawks in Indiana didn't seem to
    interest them when they compared the cost of it to their wants like food,
    clothing, and shelter. Of course, they're ingrates, but bless their little
    tax-deductible hearts. It is tax season after all. It wasn't like I needed to be
    in Indiana anyway!!! I could hear the Pacers crying all the way back here in ATL
    without the television. From a tied game at halftime, to the Hawks never giving
    up, to Joe Johnson's marvelously magnificent overtime driving basket, all the
    way to the final score, 117 - 112, my Hawks were outstanding. And the win it
    wasn't just about JJ, even though he did score forty points. This was a team
    win, and for all of us out there except those who cannot spell, "There is no I
    in team". Nobody hogged the ball, and the players played unselfishly with a
    united purpose. The Hawks even looked like they were having fun, and this even
    came across on television. Yours truly and all the Sports Family were screaming
    and jumping around like we had upgraded seats at Philips Arena. The popcorn
    popper was blasting, the hot dogs were simmering, and Sprite was flowing for
    everyone. Sports Mama even did a halftime dance tribute to the A-Town dancers.
    Of course, it wasn't well-received (unless you can count people throwing popcorn
    at you as praise), and I was quickly told that I would never be invited to be on
    Dancing With The Stars. But it was all good. Negative words only make Sports
    Mama rise up harder next time.

    With so much excitement on Friday night, it wasn't surprising that the Hawks
    couldn't keep a lid on the Bucks Saturday night at Philips Arena. Even though
    they were short a few men and had played one hell of an overtime game the night
    before, Sports Mama's boys still played hard, but they just couldn't bag the
    Bucks. Even so, Sports Mama is still loving the Hawks. In fact, right now, I am
    gearing up for the Hawks Fan Jam at Stonecrest Mall. Security doesn't know me
    there, and I'm bound to be able to get up close and personal with at least one
    or two of my favorite players. I'll let you know about it real soon.

    Once again, this is Sports Mama, "Rising Up For the Hawks"!
    See ya at the games!

    -- The Sports Mama | 12:00 p.m. 02/27/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Five Reasons To Go To The Bucks Game

    5. Zaza Pachulia. Zaza gets another shot at his former team on the
    night the Hawks introduce the Zaza Pachulia bobblehead doll. ZP continues
    to chug along for the Hawks, manning the middle and leading the team in rebounds
    at 8.1 per contest. Come out to support him, and bring a large bag should you be
    one of the first 5,000 fans. Zaza has a larger-than-average head, so this head
    might have quite the bobble.

    4.
    Josh Childress.
    Chill has started the second half with a bang, averaging
    18.7 ppg in his first three games back. Much like last season, when he stepped
    up his game on the way to earning Second-Team All-Rookie honors, Childress is
    getting more and more aggressive around the basket and showing why he is one of
    the best finishers in the game. Josh will never be in the dunk contest, but word
    on the team is that if there were ever a Lay-Up Contest during All-Star weekend,
    he would be pretty tough to beat. Watch him closely Saturday night, you are
    guaranteed to see him make several shots around the basket from a variety of
    angles.

    3.

    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. There are only three
    Saturday home games left this season (hard to believe, isn't it?), so make sure
    you make it out for this one. And while you are there, why don't you stick
    around for...

    2.
    A Night Of Joy
    Concert
    .
    After the game Saturday night, Christian Contemporary recording
    artist Joy Williams will get
    her sing on in a live concert at Philips Arena. Everyone who comes to the game
    can stick around and watch for free!

    1. Royal vs TJ. The former University of Texas teammates helped lead
    the Longhorns (The Web Guy's alma mater) to the Final Four in 2003, and will
    face each other for the first time tonight in the NBA. Ford has been injured in
    every game between the two teams since the beginning of Ivey's rookie year, but
    expects to play tonight for the Bucks. Meanwhile Ivey will continue to get
    bigger minutes as the team is considerably short-handed in the backcourt - Salim
    Stoudamire is suspended for one more game, Tony Delk was waived Friday, and
    Tyronn Lue is still a week or so away from returning from his knee injury. Both
    teams are coming off a tough game Friday night, with the Hawks winning a
    thriller in overtime in Indiana and the Bucks falling in the final minute in
    Philadelphia. The Hawks owe the Bucks for a 118-102 pasting at Philips back in
    January. Look for them to gain their revenge this evening.

    See you there!

    -- The Web Guy | 11:30 a.m. 02/25/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Talking To The Man Of Many Identities...

    Which I will get to in just a second. Just to wrap up yesterday's NBA
    Deadline. Hawks GM Billy Knight
    issued
    a statement
    regarding the team's lack of movement - check it out if you
    haven't seen it yet (you know, for those of you who have the Hawks Blog
    bookmarked and bypass the site's homepage).

    I think, now that all is said and done, that no move was a good move for the
    Hawks. I know fans are complaining that we didn't move Tony Delk, but I can only
    speculate on that one. My guess is, with media reports saying there is a chance
    the team will buy out his contract teams are probably thinking, why give up a pick when they might be
    able to get him for free? In the meantime, TD can still be an asset to this
    team, especially with Tyronn Lue still out with an injury.

    Not moving Al Harrington I also think was the right move, especially once
    Earl Watson went to Seattle. The Hawks do run the risk of losing Harrington for
    nothing after the season, but that scenario is unlikely. The team owns his Bird
    rights, allowing them to re-sign him for more money than anyone else can offer
    him. Which means, if it works out that Harrington decides to leave, it will be
    in his best interest to work out a sign-and-trade, which would mean the Hawks
    would still get something in return (much like Phoenix with Joe Johnson last
    summer).

    So that's that. Nothing else really exciting went down yesterday aside from
    the four-teamer,
    but I doubt even that deal will make much of a dent in the playoff picture.

    Moving on...Wednesday night at the Hawks-Sonics game, I got a chance to sit
    down with Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis, who was in town to take
    in the game. Known for his colorful personality and playful manner with the
    press (he dressed up
    in a different costume
    nearly each week this past season when meeting
    with the media during the week), Portis did not disappoint in the few minutes I
    talked to him:

    Hawks.com: What have you been up to in the offseason?

    Clinton Portis: Just hanging out for the most part. I just came back
    from NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, and went to the Super Bowl before that.
    Basically, just making the rounds, hanging out, getting it all out of your
    system. It's the offseason, so you want to enjoy it, but you still have to get
    your rest in and recover from last season.

    Hawks.com: You were at the All-Star game all weekend?

    CP: Yeah, I got there like Wednesday, so I'm a little partied out
    right now.

    Hawks.com: You have used many personalities to add some spice to your
    weekly media interviews. Which of your characters do you think would be the best
    fit for the Hawks?

    CP:
    Reverend Gonna Change (right). The Hawks have a lot of talent, with guys like Salim
    Stoudamire, Marvin Williams, and Al Harrington. They just need to find a way to
    play together. Once they do that, I think they got all the talent, they will be
    in good shape. We were in the same position in Washington. Last year we had a
    bunch of stars, young guys who didn't play together. This year we changed our
    mentality and went to the playoffs. I think they are just a mentality away.

    Hawks.com: Do you play ball at all?

    CP: I try, man. Basketball is my first love. I try to play some in the
    offseason, but I have to recover. I actually played at 3:00 am this morning.

    Hawks.com: What is your game like?

    CP: I'm like Ray Allen (laughing). All that other stuff, defense and
    all that, I don't do. I can't get hurt, so I just sit out behind the three-point
    line and score. I'm a scoring machine.

    Back later on with the ever-popular 5 Reasons To Come To tomorrow's Bucks
    game!

    -- The Web Guy | 11:45 a.m. 02/24/06 |
    Have a comment?


    Trade Deadline Today

    Today is generally one of the more exciting days in the NBA - the trading
    deadline, where all the teams who signed players to ridiculous contracts just a
    year ago try to unload their gargantuan contracts on some poor unsuspecting
    team.

    The biggest deal to go down so far (at least this close to the deadline -
    there were some other deals in the last few weeks) saw Orlando send Steve
    Francis to New York for Penny Hardaway and Trevor Ariza yesterday.

    I think the Knicks are a team to watch the rest of the day, if for no other
    reason than because they do have so many guys who fill the exact same role
    (Francis, Marbury, Jamal Crawford, Jalen Rose, and Nate Robinson). They could
    definitely have moves left in mind - say what you want about Isiah Thomas, but
    he fearless as a GM and willing to pretty much try anything (and pretty much has).

    My personal opinion? There won't be as much movement this year as there was
    last season - many of the names being tossed about like Kevin Garnett, Allen
    Iverson, and Jermaine O'Neal, are too valuable to jettison at the deadline. If
    these players get moved, it will most likely be in the summer, when their teams
    can step back and take a broader look at the direction of their franchise and
    decide the best course of action for their rosters.

    Will the Hawks make a move? GM Billy Knight has not been shy to deal at the
    deadline, making moves in each of the last two seasons, and does have Al
    Harrington and Tony Delk - two players whose names have come up a lot in
    discussions. My guess is that Al will stay put - Knight has shown he has the
    patience to wait for the deal that suits him best and rarely makes a "panic"
    move. Therefore, if Harrington gets dealt, you can count on it being for the
    right offer. As far as Delk goes, it's harder to predict. His lack of minutes on
    the court makes it tougher for teams to know his level of production, but most
    teams in the playoff hunt can always find room for a talented perimeter scorer.

    Either way, the deadline is at 3:00 p.m. ET today. If you want to follow all
    the movement, NBA.com has a page
    devoted entirely to player
    movement
    . Let's see how the day unfolds!

    -- The Web Guy | 10:30 a.m. 02/23/06 |
    Have a comment?


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