Quantcast

Atlanta Hawks don’t care about the playoffs

Mike-BudenholzerThe chances of a No. 8 seed beating a No. 1 seed in the first round of the NBA playoffs are not very good. It almost never happens. Because of that, the Atlanta Hawks seem genuinely disinterested in qualifying for the postseason.

Thanks in large part to unfortunate injuries, the Hawks have gone 8-21 since the start of February. They were once a middle-of-the-pack team in the Eastern Conference, but Al Horford’s torn pectoral muscle inevitably took the wind out of Atlanta’s sail. Despite that, the Hawks are just a game behind the New York Knicks for the eighth spot in the East. General manager Danny Ferry doesn’t care.

“Candidly, I don’t pay the amount of attention to the standings that you would expect,” Ferry told the New York Times earlier this week.

And this isn’t one of those “we’re taking it one game at a time” type of deals. The Hawks really don’t seem to care whether they make the playoffs or their season ends in two weeks.

“Our goal is not to be the eighth seed,” Ferry added. “We’re really just focused on building our habits. I know the standings. There’s not a lot of time and energy I put into it. Getting in or not getting in, I don’t think of it that way.”

That attitude has trickled down to some of the players. Forward DeMarre Carroll basically echoed what his GM said.

“I don’t think it’d be that big of a deal,” Carroll said. “Nobody expected us to be in the top eight. Our biggest thing is, don’t worry about the playoffs. It’s about building the system.”

In other words, the Hawks don’t think they have a chance. Getting sharpshooter Kyle Korver — who admitted he keeps his eye on the standings — back should give the team a boost. He and fellow guard Lou Williams seem to care a bit more than others.

“As players, our job is to win games,” Williams said. “The playoffs come with winning games. So, yes, it’s important.”

Things are looking better for the Knicks by the day. At least they have the right attitude about the final stretch of the season.

Atlanta Hawks Twitter jabs Tony Romo for late-game play

Tony Romo turnovers

Tony Romo was taking heat from all angles following his choke job against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Even the Atlanta Hawks’ Twitter account jabbed the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, who threw two interceptions in the final three minutes of a 37-36 loss, by sending this tweet:

That photo was from Al Horford’s game-winning shot to beat the Washington Wizards 101-99 in overtime on Friday night.

As our friend DJ Gallo said, I’m not sure why a historically mediocre franchise like the Atlanta Hawks are trolling Romo, but that’s how bad things are for the Cowboys right now. The Cowboys should respond by flashing their Super Bowl rings.

Atlanta Hawks respond to Trail Blazers’ Twitter diss

Trail Blazers logoThe Atlanta Hawks responded on Twitter Wednesday to a diss by the Portland Trail Blazers’ Twitter account earlier in the day.

The Trail Blazers, who lead the Western Conference with a 16-3 record after beating the OKC Thunder on Wednesday, sent out this message:

That was a reference to the strength of the conference, which has 12 of 15 teams with records of .500-or-better. The Eastern Conference only has three such teams now that the Hawks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-97 to get to .500 for the season.

After their win over one of the Western Conference’s top teams, the Hawks sent a tweet to the Blazers that linked to the box score from their game against the Clips:

Well played, Hawks. But I’m not so sure why the Blazers are talking this mess. It’s not like they’d beat the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers in a playoff series anyway, so how much would it really help them to be in the East?

Atlanta Hawks may have tampered via Dwight Howard, Chris Paul letter

Chris Paul ClippersThe Atlanta Hawks may have jumped the gun a bit by using the names of impending free agents in an attempt to boost their ticket sales, and the NBA could make them pay for it. A recent letter that was sent to prospective ticket buyers hyped up the possibility of Atlanta making a run at Dwight Howard and Chris Paul this offseason. Both Howard and Paul are under contract with other teams.

Per NBA rules, teams are not permitted to speak publicly about players who are under contract with other teams until they officially become free agents on July 1.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the letter was headilined “Hot New Player news: Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.” The opening statement read as follows: “The buzz around our offseason is more than heating up. With massive cap space, 4 draft picks, and free agency rapidly approaching, we sit in the best position in the NBA. Player interest is skyrocketing as the possibilities of landing Chris Paul & Dwight Howard become more and more of a reality.”

The letter also included a link to a story about Paul being unhappy with the Clippers over the notion that he forced the team to fire former coach Vinny Del Negro. It told fans to snatch up tickets before the Hawks make their “signings” and “there will be no seats left.”

Hawks president Bob Williams issued a statement on Tuesday acknowledging that the team has in all likelihood committed a rules violation, but stressed that it was a team employee who authored the letter on his own.

“The letter that has been referred to was written by one of our season-ticket reps of his own volition,” the statement said. “While certainly he is a member of our business staff, his specific reference clearly does not represent how our basketball operations or our business staff have consistently communicated about free agency. It is unfortunate that this mistake, by a single ticket rep with no ill intent, occurred.”

You would think the team would proofread outgoing letters a little more carefully for reasons like this. In any event, the Hawks will probably be looking at a hefty fine. Paul may be upset with the Clippers and Howard may be leaning toward leaving LA, but Atlanta should have waited another month or so to start using that speculation as a marketing tool.

Hawks owner Michael Gearon calls Celtics ‘old guys,’ Kevin Garnett dirty

With the Celtics leading the Hawks 3-2 in the opening round of the playoffs and Game 6 Thursday night in Boston, Atlanta will need to play their best basketball to earn a trip back home for Game 7. The Hawks were destroyed in every phase of the game during a Game 4 loss the last time they played in Boston, and they can’t afford to let that happen again. According to Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon, Atlanta has gotten no help from the officials.

“On top of all that, we don’t get any calls, which I know everybody always hears,” Gearon said according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But I’ll give you a stat. Last night, we are playing this old physical team. They are old. I know what happens when you play basketball, old guys foul. (Kevin) Garnett is the dirtiest guy in the league. We are playing Boston last night and they had two fouls the whole first half. We had five times that and we’re athletic.”

Gearon is not the first person to call K.G. a dirty player and he certainly won’t be the last, so Garnett will probably let that go in one ear and out the other. The stuff about old guys fouling, however, may motivate the Celtics. Boston was successful down the stretch this season because they were one of the best defensive teams in the league. Unless every official they have had has missed the fact that old guys foul a lot, Gearon’s reasoning seems a bit flawed.

If the Hawks think they are going to get calls based on their reputation of being athletic versus the Celtics’ reputation of being old and run-down, they’re wrong. As old as the Celtics are, they are also loaded with Hall of Famers and have earned the respect of the league and its officials. Guys like K.G., Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce are going to get the benefit of the doubt with calls that could go either way. That is the nature of professional sports.

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Charles Barkley: Atlanta Hawks Aren’t Hood Enough (Video)

Charles Barkley is not a fan of the Atlanta Hawks. He made that clear on Thursday night when he was serving as a commentator during the Hawks-Heat game on TNT. What does he believe is the problem with Atlanta? They’re not hood enough.

“I think the Atlanta Hawks got too many nice guys, that’s one of their bigger problems,” Barkley said. “They got some good players, but some of their guys just really nice guys. You’ve got to have some hood in you. You’ve got to have some hood in you to be a great player.”

The comment sure is funny, but like many things Barkley says, it’s offensive, not to mention inaccurate. Last I checked, Dirk wasn’t hood but he won a championship last year. Tim Duncan has won four rings and I don’t think people consider him hood. How bout Dwyane Wade? He’s a great player, but I don’t think he’s hood either.

Keep swinging Charles, and keep entertaining us with your commentary. Whether it’s pounding tequila or wearing sombreros, Chuck sure knows how to make us laugh.

Atlanta Hawks Leave Tickets for Jameer Nelson to Chicago Bulls Series

Back on April 10th, the Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 102-99. The game took place just before the regular season ended at a time when playoff seeds were already determined. After the loss, Magic point guard Jameer Nelson said to Derrick Rose “catch you in the second round.” Here’s that video:

Hearing Nelson say that was pretty stunning because he was guaranteeing both teams would win their first-round series. Chicago took care of business against Indiana, but the Magic lost to the Hawks in six games. Don’t think for a second that Hawks employees forgot about Nelson’s guarantee. They let him hear about it.

Hawks P.R. man Arthur Triche left tickets at will call for Nelson to attend Game 1 of the Hawks-Bulls series … as a spectator. Here’s a picture of the tickets Triche tweeted out courtesy of TNSP Sports Net:

[Read more...]