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. We tipped it
off with our Draft Night
Blog
, with running commentary of all of the night's events,
including draft analysis, interviews with Hawks brass, and opinions. Check
us out throughout the summer as we will be posting new material as
the team build towards the 2005-06 season. 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.


Hawks Dancers Attend ProDance
Convention in Miami

Hi Hawks
Fans! Donni Frazier here to bring you the latest information on your Atlanta
Hawks Dance Team! Normally I would let The Web Guy handle this stuff, but I have
news I wanted to share with you myself!

The Hawks Dancers attended dance
camp last week in Miami, FL hosted by ProDance Convention. ProDance is an annual
event and a powerhouse gathering featuring a week of dance for high-profile
choreographers, directors, and dancers representing the NBA, NFL, AFL and many
other professional sports leagues. During the week the Dancers were exposed to
10 of the industry's highest profile choreographers, including Tina Landon and
Cris Judd.

I am happy to announce that
Star, a 3-year veteran of our team, was recognized by the ProDance
Choreographers and awarded a one week dance scholarship to the prestigious
Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles, CA! This award is a huge accomplishment
as Star was 1 of 8 recipients to receive the honor from over 300 camp
participants.

Congratulations to Star on a job well done!


-- Donni Frazier, Hawks Talent Coordinator | 12:15 p.m. 8/9/05


U.S. Maccabiah Games Report
From
Hawks Co-Owner Ed Peskowitz

Hawks co-owner Ed Peskowitz recently experienced the
opportunity of a lifetime when he traveled to Israel as part of the coaching
staff for the U.S. bronze-medal winning basketball team at the Maccabiah Games.
Hawks Assistant Coach Herb Brown was the team's Head Coach and asked Ed to join
him as an assistant for the games. Ed readily accepted the role and checked in
with Hawks.com today with his thoughts and observations from the
17th Maccabiah Games:

From
Hawks co-owner Ed Peskowitz:

* After a heart-breaking loss to Israel the day before, the U.S. team
rebounded to take the Bronze Medal with a 94-63 win over Australia. A great
result for the U.S.!

* The U.S. team is made up of mostly of college
kids, so the medal round game against Israel the night before was a tough
match-up because Israel's roster is filled with experienced professional
players, many whom play in the highly competitive European leagues. The U.S.
hung close but ultimately lost a very tight game, a tribute to Herb and the team
because Israel had been steam-rolling people up to this game. Had we beaten
Israel, we would have faced them again in the gold-medal round.

* Herb is
making this a great experience for the players. He's coaching them and treating
them as if they are NBA players.

* The kids have been here since July 2,
living in small quarters, practicing in blazing heat. Herb's wife, Sherri, has
been a great help to the team in dozens of ways -- from helping the guys with
their laundry to keeping meticulous notes and stats on the games.

*
Dolph Schayes, one of the NBA's Fifty Greatest Players, was in the stands for
our first game against Australia. Herb had him speak to the team after the win.

* Herb introduced each player to Schayes by name, giving a little
summary of where the player is from and the college he plays for. Schayes, who
is 77, looks great, is articulate and gave the guys a great pat on the back.

* Herb introduced me to someone named Coach K (twice named coach of the year in
Israel), who drove my wife, son and me all through Israel in a single day. We
started early Saturday morning by going over the border into Lebanon. This, I
soon learned, would not your typical tourist itinerary. We visited small Arab
villages, ate in out-of-the way places a tourist could never find -- and might
not enter.

* It's been fun sitting on the bench next Herb, listening and
watching him manage the game. I'm getting exposed to 47 years of coaching -- at
every level of the game.

* I'm learning enough about Xs and Os to be
dangerous. :)

* All and all, this has been a great experience - both being around the
terrific players on the team, and to coach beside Herb Brown. What a memory!


-- The Web Guy | 6:33 p.m. 7/20/05


U.S. Maccabiah Team Takes Bronze Medal

Coach Herb Brown and assistant coach Ed Peskowitz led the United
States team to a 94-63 win over Australia to capture the Bronze Medal at the
17th Maccabiah Games in Israel today. The medal ceremony is scheduled for later
tonight. We'll have a more in-depth blog post later today from Hawks co-owner Ed
Peskowitz.

  • Herb's Second
    Entry
  • Herb's First Entry

    -- The Web Guy | 11:33 a.m. 7/19/05


    U.S. Maccabiah Team Starts 1-1

    Hawks Assistant Coach Herb Brown has been involved with the game of
    basketball for over 40 years, and for the next few weeks will be lending his
    coaching experience and expertise to the United States Men's Basketball team at
    the 17th Maccabiah Games in Israel.
    Coach Brown led the U.S. team to their first gold medal in 16 years at the 2001
    Games, and will be seeking a repeat performance with this year's squad.
    Throughout the trip, Coach Brown will be filing reports for the Blog:

    "The opening ceremonies were Monday, and they were amazing. Over 40,000
    people were there, it was really a sight. I was concerned we would be a little
    tired from them for our first game the next day because the festivities didn't
    end until 1:00 am, but the guys shook it off well.

    We won our first game, beating Canada 88-76. Canada was a more experienced
    team coming in, but I think our youth and quickness came through for us. We got
    contributions from eleven players in the game, so I am really happy about our
    team from a depth standpoint.

    Our second game didn't go as well as we would have liked, as we lost a
    close one 64-63 to France. We struggled from the perimeter, missing all ten of
    our three-point attempts. We also committed 19 turnovers and had only seven
    assists, so that hurt also.

    We still have a chance to win our bracket if we win our last game, but it
    depends on the outcome of the France-Canada game.
    "

    Be sure to check back as Herb keeps us up-to-date on the team's progress as
    they try to bring home the gold!

  • Herb's Second
    Entry
  • Herb's First Entry

    -- The Web Guy | 3:15 p.m. 7/14/05


    Herb Checks In From Israel

    "We have been incredibly busy since we got to Israel on Sunday. We
    are practicing at 7:00 am every morning, and then getting on our bus to travel
    around from 10:00 am and not getting home until midnight. We have been traveling
    all over the country. We went to the Western Wall, the Holocaust Museum, floated
    in the Dead Sea, and kayaked the Jordan River. Last night we had a cookout on
    the shores of the Sea of Galilei in the Golan Heights, it's been quite an
    experience.

    We are staying in a place called K'Far Maccabiah with all of the other
    basketball players, which is great because it gives the athletes a chance to get
    to know each other and bond some before the games begin. Once the games start,
    there is no bonding because they are adversaries, but for now, they have a
    chance to really make some new friendships. The opening ceremonies are on July
    11, and then our first game is against Canada on the 12th.

    The team is really coming together, and everyone is enjoying the
    experience. (Hawks co-owner) Ed Peskowitz is set to arrive in the next day or so
    to resume his assistant coaching duties. The guys have been asking where he is,
    and I have been telling them he is on a scouting trip. He gave all the players
    copies of two books:
    Let Me Tell You A Story
    by Red Auerbach and John Feinstein and also my book
    Let's Talk Defense.
    So the guys are really excited to have him back."

    Be sure to check back as Herb keeps us up-to-date on the team's progress as
    they try to bring home the gold!

  • Herb's First Entry

    -- The Web Guy | 2:25 p.m. 7/07/05


    The Hawks Boys Of Summer

    The Hawks released their summer league roster yesterday for the
    upcoming
    Rocky Mountain
    Revue
    , one of the NBA's Summer leagues which allow teams to work out their
    younger prospects and give free agents a chance to impress against NBA-level
    competition. Here on the BasketBlog we thought we would give you some insight
    about

    the players the Hawks will be taking
    to Salt Lake City. Five of the players
    are returning members of last year's squad.

    Josh Childress: One of the stellar members of the Hawks 2004 Draft
    class, Childress improved over the course of the season to earn second team got
    Milk? All-Rookie Honors. Childress played on the Summer League team last year,
    leading the team in rebounding and averaging 10.8 ppg.

    Boris Diaw: The Hawks first-round pick from 2003 will make his third
    appearance in Utah as he continues to hone his perimeter game for the Hawks.
    Diaw is a tantalizing prospect who can create mismatches with opposing guards
    because of his size and ballhandling skills.

    Sharrod Ford: An undrafted rookie out of Clemson, Ford improved his
    scoring and rebounding averages all four seasons in college. That is impressive
    in general, let alone for a guy who played in perhaps the toughest conference in
    college basketball. The Hawks have seen Ford some, as he worked out for the team
    before the 2005 Draft.

    Royal Ivey: Ivey made the team last season as a second-round pick,
    providing contributions off the bench and in an occasional starting role. The
    all-time leader in games started at Texas, Ivey will be in Utah to continue
    working on an offensive repertoire to rival his already stellar defensive
    reputation.

    Arthur Johnson: An above-average college center at Missouri, Johnson
    was signed by the Nuggets as an undrafted free agent before last season but was
    waived before he ever played in a game. He finished his college career as
    Missouri's all-time leading rebounder and shot-blocker despite being listed at
    just 6-9.

    Lonnie Jones: The tallest member of the Hawks summer league team,
    Jones starred at Ball State until he finished his eligibility in 2002, finishing
    his career as the school (and Mid-American Conference) all-time leader in
    blocked shots. Jones spent part of last season playing in the CBA with the Gary
    Steelheads, and performed well enough to be named a CBA All-Star.

    Randolph Morris: A former AAU teammate of Josh Smith's (as well as
    Orlando's Dwight Howard), Morris went unselected in the 2005 Draft but will get
    a chance to impress his hometown Hawks nevertheless, as he brings his 6-10 frame
    to the summer league team in hopes of earning a training camp invite or beyond.

    Josh Powell: An NC State product, Powell also left school with
    eligibility remaining, forgoing his final two years in Raleigh for the 2003
    Draft. He was the top selection in the CBA Draft after that, and has spent time
    playing overseas in Italy as well.

    Tre Simmons: Simmons never received the same hype at Washington as his
    teammate, first-round pick Nate Robinson, but he was every bit as vital to the
    Huskies success last season in college basketball. Simmons was named first-team
    All-Pac-10 as a senior, and is a tremendous three-point shooter. Despite playing
    only two seasons there, he departed school third on the all-time list in made
    three-pointers.

    Donta Smith: Donta flashed glimpses of his talent for the Hawks as a
    rookie last season, and figures to use the summer to continue to show why the
    Hawks selected him in the second round in 2004 despite never playing a minute of
    major college basketball. Smith participated last summer in the Rocky Mountain
    Revue, appearing in all six games.

    Josh Smith: The NBA's reigning Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Champion
    and another second-team got Milk? All-Rookie selection, Smith figures to be a
    potential star in the summer league. As a rookie in last year's Revue, Smith led
    the team in scoring at 14.7 ppg and in blocked shots - a sign of things to come
    for his first season in the NBA. Smith will most likely use this time to work on
    his perimeter game and ballhandling skills as he figures to see plenty of time
    at the 3 this coming season.

    Omar Thomas: One of the most prolific scorers in college basketball
    over the last two seasons, Thomas led the University of Texas-El Paso to the
    NCAA Tournament in his senior year. Considered an undersized forward, Thomas
    nevertheless is a beast in the paint and can score in a variety of ways down
    there. A two-time All-WAC performer.

    Salim Stoudamire: The Hawks top pick in the second round, Stoudamire
    has a reputation (and well-deserved at that) as a terrific outside shooter. The
    knock that caused his slide into the second round is his lack of experience at
    the point, but Stoudamire never had to direct the offense at Arizona as he
    played alongside top-flight PGs Jason Gardner and Mustafa Shakur. Stoudamire
    should get a chance in the summer league to show if he can translate his game to
    the lead guard spot, which if he is successful will add a tremendous weapon to
    the Hawks arsenal.

    Marvin Williams: The jewel of the Hawks 2005 Draft class, Williams
    will get his first chance to give Hawks fans a glimpse of his tantalizing
    potential in Utah. With both Joshes on the summer squad, coach Mike Woodson will
    get a chance to see what the team might look like with all three of them on the
    court at the same time.

    Rashad Wright: A second-round draft pick of the Indiana Pacers out of
    Georgia in 2004, Wright was cut during training camp before the start of last
    season. One of the better point guards in the SEC during his college career,
    Wright was named second team All-SEC during his senior year in Athens. A local
    product out of Statesboro, GA, Wright will try to impress the Hawks with his
    ballhandling (he is Georgia's all-time leader in assists) and his defense (he
    was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior).

    So there you have it, a little snippet about each of the players the Hawks
    will take with them to Utah. You never know who will impress in summer leagues -
    Marquis Daniels did so well for the Mavericks two years ago in the summer league
    he parlayed it into a roster spot and eventually a big contract extension.

    -- The Web Guy | 11:25 a.m. 7/07/05


    Herb Goes For Gold

    "We started practicing last week, and the guys are a little
    gassed. We were doing two practices a day, and I think they were winded from
    that. I missed the first couple days of practice because I was in Atlanta for
    the NBA Draft, but I came up to meet the team on Wednesday morning. We held
    practices on Thursday and Friday, and then we left late Saturday night and
    arrived in Israel on Sunday.

    This is going to be an interesting tournament, because we have the target
    on our backs this time. We've got a young team of guys from all over the
    country, and they will have some stiff competition to repeat our gold medal from
    last time. There are some good teams out there."

    Be sure to check back as Herb keeps us up-to-date on the team's progress as
    they try to bring home the gold!

    -- The Web Guy | 11:50 a.m. 7/05/05


    Salim Stoudamire Meets The Press:

    The Hawks continued introducing their newest players on Thursday, bringing in
    their newly-shorn second-round pick Salim Stoudamire (the dude's hair used to
    rival J-Chill's, but he cut it short when he started working out for NBA teams)
    to check out the city for the first time and meet the media. Hawks.com

    talked to him on his own
    , but here is some of what he had to say to the
    regular media:

    Stoudamire quotes:

    (On
    joining the Hawks)
    I'm excited to be here. I want to thank the Atlanta Hawks
    organization for choosing me. I think I will reinforce hard work, a positive
    attitude, and the main thing I want to do is just to win.

    (On watching the draft) While I was watching it, I kinda got that sour
    feeling in my stomach, `cause I saw many people go ahead of me that I thought I
    was better than, but that's the business aspect. When I heard my name, I was by
    my mother, and everyone jumped for joy. I had my family over at my house, I felt
    a feeling of relief.

    (On playing point guard) At Arizona, I was out of position, I played the
    2-guard position. A lot of people didn't see what I could do, and in the NBA,
    there's a lot more freedom, and I'll be able to do that.

    (On proving something to the teams that passed on him) I want to come in
    and play, but I'll definitely have to earn it, it's not going to be given to me.
    I do want to show the other teams that they did pass on me.

    (On what he thinks of his position) I'm a guard. Put me in the point
    guard position, shooting guard position, and I'll create positive results.

    (On his penchant for hitting big shots) I think that's what you play
    basketball for, those situations. What I did in was just look at those
    situations as a practice situations, and by doing that, I felt no pressure at
    all.

    -- The Web Guy | 5:00 p.m. 6/30/05


    Marvin Williams Press Conference
    Quotes:

    Wednesday afternoon the Hawks introduced Marvin Williams to the media, and
    your faithful blogger was there to jot down every audible sound. Fortunately, we
    have distilled it all down to give you only the choicest cuts. Read below to
    what Marvin and Hawks Executive VP & GM Billy Knight had to say:

    Marvin Williams quotes:

    (On
    whether he thought about going pro straight from high school)
    I wasn't too
    close, to be honest with you, about going pro coming out of high school. I had
    the opportunity, but I wasn't thinking too strong on it. I wanted to go college,
    I felt like college helped me definitely on the court and off the court. I had
    to mature on the basketball court, get bigger, stronger, I needed to learn more
    but I needed to mature as a man, so going and leaving Washington was a big step
    in my life. I think going to college did me well.

    (On when he decided to turn pro) I feel like after the national
    championship game, I sat down and met with my parents and I met with Coach
    Williams, we all came to the decision that going pro would be the best decision
    for me, so I would say after the national championship game.

    (On what he can bring the Hawks) Hopefully excitement. I want to win.
    Everybody wants to win. We're all going to work hard, we're going to be young,
    but at least we're going to learn the game of basketball from the coaches, and
    hopefully we can win some games.

    (On who he emulates) I try not to be like anyone. Growing up, I liked
    Kevin Garnett, I loved Gary Payton. My favorite player though, to be honest with
    you, would be my dad. So if I modeled my game after anyone, it would be my dad,
    definitely. But I just try to be my own player.

    Billy Knight quotes:

    (On drafting Marvin) We're very pleased and happy to have Marvin. We
    think a lot of him, both as a basketball player, and as a person. We think he
    exemplifies the things we're looking for in our young people, the people who we
    are trying to build our franchise with. Just like last year, the type of
    on-court performance we are looking for, but also the type of strong character
    that we look for in our players. And he certainly holds all of those things in
    high esteem, high value, as we do. We want our players to be competitors, we
    want them to be good players, and we want them to be good people too. So. That
    being said, we're very pleased and happy to have him. We weren't sure which way
    it was gonna go. We really didn't know. Milwaukee made the call to go the way
    they went, and we're very pleased to have Marvin as our choice.

    (On how to use his forwards together) Well, like I said many times
    before, they're basketball players. I think one of the misnomers everyone has,
    everyone envisions Josh Childress being a forward on our team. That's really not
    the way we envision him. We envision him as a 2 man, as a big guard. We like our
    players to overmatch the opposing team, size-wise, so you're able to rebound
    your position, you're able to guard your position, and you're able to over-match
    defensively. So we envision Josh Childress as a 2 man in our league, and so that
    leaves Al Harrington, Josh Smith, and Marvin at the forward position for us
    right now.

    There's 96 minutes in a game at the two forward spots. And if you split that
    time up evenly, that's 32 minutes each. So, I don't think there's any problem
    with the time element or the players feeling like they won't be able to play. I
    think the play will dictate what happens out on the court. It could be a
    situation where you could have 3 forwards out on the court at the same time,
    instead of a guy that is in the NBA books as a center. We may play with all
    forwards. So that's the good thing about having players that are versatile, that
    can play more than one position and have perimeter and interior skills. And
    that's the kind of team we'd like to develop and evolve into, where all 3 of
    those guys if they cross the other man they can switch defense, those types of
    things we thing add an advantage to us.

    - The Web Guy | 10:36 a.m. 6/30/05


    Salim In The House

    If you were driving in to work today, you probably heard Marvin Williams and
    Salim Stoudamire on the radio. Salim will be formally introduced to the media
    around 2 p.m. today at Philips Arena. We'll have live streaming audio. Update:

    Here's the audio
    .

    - The Web Guy | 9:24 a.m. 6/30/05


    Marvin The Pool Shark

    Some cool photos from Marvin's press conference. (Photo credits: Scott
    Cunningham)


    Marvin in the Hawks players lounge.


    Billy Knight presents Marvin with his new Hawks jersey.


    No. 24


    Meet The Williamses

    - The Web Guy | 9:04 a.m. 6/30/05


    Marvin Blogs Himself!

    So, in addition to being a high school All-American, a NCAA Champion at UNC, and
    the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft, apparently Marvin Williams is also
    gunning for my job!
    Check out
    his own blog on NBA.com.

    - The Web Guy | 4:50 p.m. 6/29/05


    Marvin Meets With The Atlanta Media

    Back from the press conference at Philips Arena where Marvin Williams was
    introduced to the Atlanta media. If you want to listen to it,

    click here
    , it's about 12 minutes long. Afterwards, I caught up with him for
    our own version of

    Five Questions
    .

    - The Web Guy | 7:02 p.m. 6/29/05


    Marvin Chat Transcript

    The guys at NBA.com just sent us this. Marvin stopped by last night for an
    online
    chat
    with fans.

    - The Web Guy | 10:55 a.m. 6/29/05


    Meet The Media

    So we've had some coffee this morning and we're ready to go. We posted this late
    last night, but here's the official Hawks
    team press release
    from draft night. The AJC's Hawks beat writer, Sekou Smith, filed
    this
    story
    for the paper. And it looks like Marvin Williams will be meeting the
    Atlanta media today at 4 p.m., while Salim Stoudamire will meet the media on
    Thursday at 2 p.m. Check the homepage today for live streaming audio of Marvin's
    press conference.

    - The Web Guy | 10:44 a.m. 6/29/05




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