Monday, August 31, 2009

Courtney Sims Is Coming To Camp

Buried beneath Joe Smith quote catering to intagiphiles and confirmation of the coming addition of Jason Collins* Sekou Smith shared this interesting tidbit yesterday:
Second-year forward Othello Hunter has committed to attend the Hawks’ training camp, which kicks off late next month.

He’ll join a growing list of camp invitees that already includes rookie free agent Garrett Siler, Frank Robinson and Courtney Sims.
Good news about Othello Hunter. The Hawks could do worse** than keep a fifth big man who could, if called upon, rebound and defend the four without embarrassment.

Even better news about Courtney Sims. He hasn't stuck in the NBA, playing 24 minutes in five games for three teams over the last two seasons, but in 1573 minutes in the D-League he's been outstanding, averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Inviting the reigning D-League MVP to camp demonstrates an increased organizational interest in both the D-League as a development system and in deepening the pool of potential bench players beyond veterans whose recent career (and less-recent fame) makes one hope they remain well down the depth chart and locals whose careers make no strong case for their involvement in the NBA in any sort of playing capacity.

*More on him when it's official.

**And, as it looks possible they'll end up with four centers on the roster, this may cease to be a hypothetical.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yahoo!: Spears: For Coaches Like Woodson, Waiting Is Hardest Part

Marc J. Spears spoke to the head coach on the phone about not receiving an extension:
"Am I a little disappointed that none of my staff and I were extended contracts this year? You’re damn right I am because we deserve it. We deserve it with what we’ve done this past year. Any other coach probably would have been extended without a doubt. For us not to be extended is not right. But it is what it is. … I still have a job to do."
I don't begrudge the coach his frustration. If his body of work over the course of his first four seasons deserved a second contract then it's hard to make the case that his far more successful 2008-09 campaign, the only truly successful season of his five in Atlanta, doesn't deserve something more than being brought back as a lame duck for 2009-10.

Spears goes on to place Woodson's lame duck status in the context of league-wide reductions in the budgets for head coaches, assistant coaches, and scouting staffs. He also, and presumably unintentionally, raises expectations for the 2009-10 team by overselling the impact of acquiring Jamal Crawford and Joe Smith, ignoring the loss of Flip Murray's 2008-09 production, and hints at another addition to the roster that could sadden fans of Othello Hunter or:
Woodson also knows, extension or not, he will be judged by whether the Hawks improve this season. The Hawks didn’t lose any significant pieces this offseason and strengthened their bench with the additions of Jamal Crawford and Joe Smith. Veteran center Jason Collins also could be joining them soon and Woodson is optimistic rookie point guard Jeff Teague could make an impact this season.
Jason Collins at*

*I can't in good conscience encourage minors, the aged, nor the infirm to click this link.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Horford Fouls Out Again As Dominican Team Wins


It took 34 minutes of play for Al Horford to foul out* of his second game in the FIBA Americas Tournament, a 100-87 victory for the Dominican Republic over Panama. Horford posted a more respectable 10 point, seven rebound, three assist line this time out. The Dominican team is off until Saturday night, when they face Venezuela.

*These are 40-minute games with five fouls equaling disqualification.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Disappointing Opener for Horford, Dominican Republic


Brazil beat the Dominican Republic 81-68 on the first day of the FIBA Americas Tournament. Al Horford had five points (on four shots) and seven rebounds before fouling out* in just 18 minutes of play.

With two points for a win, one for a loss, and four of five teams from the group advancing to the quarterfinal, the result is far from a campaign killer. The Dominican team is back in action at 1:30pm EDT, live on ESPN360.

*I imagine Mike Woodson's giving the boxscore the once-over and shaking his head in disgust.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's Official

Joe Smith signs a 1 year, $1.3 million deal.

The depth chart as of 8/26/09...

Mike Bibby
Joe Johnson
Jamal Crawford
Jeff Teague

Marvin Williams
Maurice Evans

Post Players
Josh Smith
Al Horford
Zaza Pachulia
Joe Smith
Randolph Morris

The composition of those eleven players under contract leads me to believe that Mario West and Othello Hunter have a pretty good chance of making this team along with a guard to be determined.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flip Murray Update

In the course of one season I went from the greatest critic of signing Flip Murray to the strongest advocate for the value of his contributions. I don't expect him to repeat last season's strong performance but allowed to do what he does well he could be a useful contributor for a team in need of bench scoring.

In perhaps not the strongest endorsement of my basketball acuity, the Memphis Grizzlies may agree with me. Ronald Tillery writes that Tarance Kinsey may have gone to Turkey because he suspected that Memphis plan to sign Murray:
Kinsey bolted instead of waiting out a potential Grizzlies deal as the franchise considered other options. My sense is the Griz prefer Ronald "Flip" Murray and had Kinsey as a second option.

Murray, though, won't come for the minimum salary after having several productive seasons. He's an unrestricted free agent with the Atlanta Hawks, who are stalling -- much like they did with Josh Smith - and likely will react to Murray finding an offer.

With Murray sitting as the best of the rest among combo guards in free agency, the Griz appear willing to wait out the Murray situation in hopes that a) his price tag falls with his options and b) that he'll be more inclined to not give the Hawks an opportunity after feeling disrespected by their inactivity.
I'm skeptical that the Hawks are "stalling" with Murray. I think he's been replaced by Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague. Barring a significant injury or the unexpected decision to send Teague to the D-League for the duration of the 2009-10 season, there aren't any minutes for Murray in Atlanta.

I certainly wouldn't begrudge Murray for holding firm for either more money or more years from any and all interested teams. As long as he keeps himself in shape he's not a player who will need a lot of time to settle in with a team. There's little finesse or reliance on 5-on-5 tactics to do with the good parts of his game. He plays hard, gets the better of the opponents he can dominate physically, and struggles against those he can't.

FIBA Americas Tournament on ESPN360

Hawks fans needn't wait until October to see Al Horford in action. Horford will represent the Dominican Republic in the FIBA Americas tournament. The tournament runs through the sixth of September and every game will be available on ESPN360*.

The opening day quadruple-header tips off tomorrow at 1:30pm EDT when the Virgin Islands play Uruguay. The Dominican Republic/Brazil game follows at 4. Venezuela and Argentina square off at 6:30 before Mexico and Puerto Rico provide the end of the beginning at 9.

Panama and Canada debut on the 27th.

*If any of you Comcast customers are unaware, you've now got access to a wonderful resource of live and in demand sports content. That's not an advertisement, that's one man's evident delight.

EDIT (2:15pm): A thorough preview from Jay Aych at The Painted Area. Mundo Albiceleste offers a quality Argentinian-centric preview.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Atlanta Spirit Seeking Minority Investors

I'll forgo a joke about Jamal Crawford's contract to ask if my potential (low) four-figure investment would grant the right to fill the Mario West Memorial Roster Spot with an NBA player.

From John Lombardo of The Sports Business Journal via Brandon Hoffman at Ballerblogger with a tip o' the hat to the indefatigable* Peachtree Hoops.

*72? Really? I marvel at the industry.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Second Favorite Team

I got an assignment* the other day:
For many years, the Phoenix Suns under Mike D'Antoni were (almost) everyone's "second favorite team," and why not? They were fun, exciting, joyful, and kinetic. But ever since Steve Kerr took a wrecking ball to the roster and D'Antoni moved east, sentimental favorites have been slow to surface.

What's your second favorite team -- the squad you'd adopt if your club was Sonicsized, the team you might go upstairs with if you had a few too many at the hotel lounge. Is it a specific player that draws you in? A scheme? An organizational philosophy? Alternate jerseys? A general vibe?
Barring the implication regarding the strength of my virtue. I jumped in the deep end with an answer that will surprise roughly zero (0) regular readers of this blog...

a brief essay by Bret LaGree, Hawks blogger

By leaving Kansas City in 1985, the Kings, in the long term, created the opportunity for me to become partial to a different team in a different town two decades later. In the short-term, for a basketball-intensive and willingly partisan kid in Eastern Kansas, their move to Sacramento created a void I filled fully with the University of Kansas men's basketball teams coached by Larry Brown. My complete immersion in those teams gave Brown significant influence over my formative thinking about, initially, how to play and, more permanently, how to watch and evaluate basketball.

Brown's five year stay at Kansas culminated with a national championship and, though members of that team populate a handful of NBA front offices theoretically giving me a choice as to how to hang on to a happy memory of youth, it's only ever whichever team Larry Brown currently coaches that I feel any sort of emotional attachment. With perhaps more feeling than I should have for a man I've never met, I want Brown to succeed again as a head coach to ensure that he's remembered as much for his talent as a coach as for the compulsive and idiosyncratic ways in which he fosters and expresses dissatisfaction. I'm not naive enough to believe his current job is his last job, but for now, for 78 out of 82 games, I'm a minor Charlotte Bobcats fan.

*One of the real pluses of this gig: people caring enough about what I think to provide a premise for me to work within and, even more importantly, a deadline to meet.

If anyone else has a second favorite team to which you'd admit and a reason why, please share in the comments. Comments attacking me and/or my admission above will not only be allowed but also serve only to embolden me. Fair warning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Call For Help

Brett at Queen City Hoops has been working tirelessly on the site's stats pages. He'd like some help to finish the effort:
an example to start you with is Gerald': Gerald Wallace Player Page. Again, it looks very different from the old layout but similar to the new team pages. The first column is again relevant posts. The 2nd and 3rd columns are where I need your help: These columns contain a quick player summary and any fan photos of the player. I do not have it in me to go through and come up with a witty (or even just coherent) one- or two-liner on every player in the NBA - but I hope that through the power of the interwebs I can get it done. Oh, and I only have a handful of players pics - but I figure that the NBA's collective fandom probably has close to every player covered in snapshot.

So, here is what I am asking: Comment on this post with your player summary and you will be entered to win a $25 gift card to (or email qchoops(at)gmail(dot)com - but commenting will be more fun for everyone). Same deal for photos: Either post a comment with a link to a snapshot (please no copyrighted work or ap photos) or send it to me in an email (again qchoops(at)gmail(dot)com) and you will be entered for a chance at another $25 gift card. Yes, two gift cards, $25 each, one for a randomly selected summary entry and one for a photo entry. Credit will be given to the submitter as a quote for the summary or as a credit at the bottom of the pic (and if you provide a link to your site, I will include - within reason).
If anyone has a spare moment and a concise comment about a Hawks player, please, lend a hand.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tripartite Ownership Reinstated By Maryland Judge

The short version:
A Maryland judge has ruled the eight owners of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers are back in business under the same operating agreement they shared before their split in 2005.
Judge Durke G. Thompson's advice to the parties involved:
"The parties would be well served if they were to reach an agreed buyout price on their own without relying on investment bankers to make such a vital decision for them. Much of what has become a stumbling block in this case would be avoided had this been the procedure originally adopted."
Seems sound advice to me even if one must overlook that the parties involved are the same that so royally screwed up the logistics of both practicing and dissolving their joint ownership.

I don't believe there's any (new) reason for concern for Hawks fans. The organization has demonstrated, if not an interest in contending for a championship, a willingness to spend sufficient money so as to increase the team's likelihood of making the playoffs and possibly wining a series once there.

Mark Bradley envisions a way in which this decision helps the Hawks:
Much has changed between 2005, when this jerry-built partnership splintered over Joe Johnson, and August 2009. The economy has gone so far south that even wealthy men have lost real money, and the idea of not having to put up more cash — $145 million plus interest — to get rid of Belkin must seem mighty appealing to the seven other Spirit men right about now.


With no ongoing court case — Belkin can appeal this decision, but he isn’t apt to win — the Spirit can look beyond the next deposition. Rumors have circulated for months that the Spirit might sell the Thrashers (while keeping the Hawks), but nobody could do anything while the Maryland decision was pending.

That could well be the best thing for Atlanta sports fans. It’s no secret that, with the exception of Levenson, the Spirit has always cared more about basketball.
Even as one disagrees with the decisions made by the particular member(s) of the tiny subset of human beings able to own the team one supports emotionally and ponders intellectuallyan acknowledgment must also be made that the owners' emotional investment and commitment to financial responsibility is important and, sadly, should not be taken for granted.

Saturday, August 15, 2009 Source: Hawks Sign Joe Smith

ESPN reports that Ric Bucher reports:
Joe Smith has agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks for the veteran's minimum, a source told ESPN's Ric Bucher on Friday.
As I've written before, Smith is a fine insurance policy and a plausible source of leadership, locker room presence, choose your own intangible descriptive. Practically speaking, he shouldn't, as the third center, be expected to play a lot, and, assuming that the fifth big man turns out to be Othello Hunter or someone similar, Al Horford and Marvin Williams appear set to share the power forward minutes left over after Josh Smith gets his share.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Looking At Last Year's Wins (More Prediction Thoughts)

The Hawks won 47 games last year by beating up on worse teams, more specifically, the Hawks won 47 games by beating up on worse teams in the Eastern Conference. They won 2 of 12 games against Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando. They won 8 of 18 against the nine Western Conference teams with 46 or more wins. That 8-10 record against the good Western Conference teams isn't bad in and of itself, but it only brings the Hawks' record against equal or better opposition to 10-20. That's essentially a league-average record against those 12 opponents. The rest of the league (cumulatively) would have managed 9.3 wins in the 30 games the Hawks played against those opponents.

The Hawks won 9 of 12 against the dregs of the Western Conference (Golden State, Minnesota, Memphis, Oklahoma City, the Clippers, and Sacramento) but that .750 winning percentage only marginally bettered the rest of the league's .723 winning percentage against those six teams. Collectively, against the Eastern Conference's three elite teams and the entirety of the Western Conference, the Hawks were one game better than average.

The other five extra wins were earned by virtue of an extraordinary 28-12 (.700) record against teams five through fifteen in the Eastern Conference. The rest of the league won just 56.5% of games* against Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Indiana, Charlotte, Toronto, New York, New Jersey, Milwaukee, and Washington.

*the league's record against those teams when converted to 40 games: 22.6-17.4

So that's where the Hawks got wins 42 through 47 last season. The question remains: Does this breakdown by opponent have any bearing on predicting the number of wins they'll amass in 2010? Frankly, I'm not sure. It seems unlikely to me that the Hawks will go 2-10 again* against Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando and should better last year's pace** in those 12 games regardless of those teams making themselves better or worse in the off-season. It also seems unlikely to me that an essentially unchanged*** Hawks team can again be seven games better than average**** against the other 26 teams.

*For the optimists out there, the Hawks' pythagorean record in those 12 games last season rounds up to 4-8.

**Bear in mind that should those three teams cumulatively average 60 or more wins again next year, that third win out of twelve against them would just get the Hawks to the league average. They'd have to win at least four games to get ahead of the rest of the league on that sliver of the schedule.

***Even if you count the swap of Flip Murray for Jamal Crawford as a change, the Hawks return players accounting for 83.6% of last year's minutes played.

****For the pessimists out there, the Hawks' pythagorean record in the other 70 games (actual record: 45-25) was 42-28. They may be due a similar downward correction against the rest of the league as they are an improvement against Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando.

In the on-going pursuit of solid reasoning on which to base an accurate prediction of the Hawks' 2010 record, I still see little reason to make a guess that varies more than a couple of wins in either direction from last season's total.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More On Point Guard Development

It shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that Kevin Pelton has already studied the issue of point guards struggling as rookies as well as their simultaneously unpredictable and larger than average improvement in subsequent seasons. I recommend reading the whole thing, but here's his conclusion:
Point guards are worse as rookies, they improve more, and their improvement is less predictable than at other positions. I've argued in the past that NBA observers are too slow in updating their evaluations of players to reflect their performance early in their NBA careers, but that may not be the case with point guards. We should be slower to come to judgments on point guards, and give them more of an opportunity to prove themselves.
Pelton's study is from 2004 and includes a far larger sample than did I as well as limiting the inquiry to point guards.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Reasonable Expectations For Jeff Teague, Or, A Rookie Guard Study

Not that anyone is expecting great things from Jeff Teague in the short term, nor that anyone is especially expecting him to play a lot* in 2009-10 but I still believe it's instructive to look at what players in circumstances (somewhat) similar to Teague's have accomplished in their rookie seasons.

*The more I think about it, the more I lean toward the probability that, if Jamal Crawford, in 2009-10, plays significantly more minutes than Flip Murray did in 2008-09 then that extra playing time will come at the expense of Maurice Evans rather than Jeff Teague (who I figure for 650-1000 minutes). I'm still not cured of my modest, semi-rational epiphany that Woodson underrates Mo Evans because he doesn't dribble much and I say this as someone who finds it difficult to comprehend the concept of Mo Evans being underrated.

In the interests of building a reasonable sample size, I looked at all rookie point/combo guards drafted outside the lottery from 2003-2008 (plus Acie Law IV) who played a reasonable number of minutes as rookies. The 23 players meeting the criteria includes the starting point guards for the three best teams in the East (Jameer Nelson, Rajon Rondo, and Mo Williams) plus several other average starters or good reserves (Delonte West, Leandro Barbosa, Aaron Brooks, Jarrett Jack, Steve Blake, Nate Robinson, George Hill, Rodney Stuckey, Mario Chalmers, Jordan Farmar, Sergio Rodriguez, Chris Duhon). Collectively they averaged just over 1 Win Share per 1000 minutes played, had an average offensive rating of 99, an average defensive rating of 108, and none of them posted a league average (15.0) PER as rookies. The 23 player seasons in question account for over 29,000 minutes played.

I use these cumulative stats, rough in their estimates of comprehensive value, not because I believe them to be the ideal measure of a player's production but simply so as to avoid attempting to put each of these 23 rookie seasons in its full context as none are likely to provide an especially close and meaningful comparison with Teague's skill set and playing time situation.

The closest comps to Teague's situation figure to be the three rookie guards who have played for Mike Woodson. Even here, none are an especially good match for a gifted but raw offensive player backing up three veteran guards on a team that intends to make the playoffs. Royal Ivey was a nominally defensive-oriented reserve on a purposefully terrible team. Salim Stoudamire was presumably drafted to play (and shoot) alongside Joe Johnson, defense be damned, though it never really worked out that way for any length of time, and Woodson either never wanted Law in the first place or Law was thoroughly unable to convince his head coach of his possible utility. Probably some of both.

For the record, here's what the three did as rookies:

Ivey, Royal2003-048090.20.258.9951112337
Stoudamire, Salim2005-0612361.20.9712.51051142331
Law IV, Acie2007-08865-0.1-0.127.7931122311

I don't know what's more surprising in retrospect: that Law had an arguably worse rookie season than Royal Ivey or that Ivey played another 1500 minutes over two years for the Hawks despite demonstrating essentially no improvement. I lean toward the latter if only as a reminder that the organization's aversion to change is not simply a result of its recent, relative success.

The two most productive rookie seasons, in terms of volume, were put up by second round picks (Chalmers and Duhon) who were older, more experienced players than Teague and were given the opportunity to earn over 2000 minutes of playing time. Barring at least one catastrophic injury, Teague's not going to play 2000 minutes. Fortunately, there are some examples of rookie guards putting up good rate statistics in more limited minutes. Jameer Nelson (1612 minutes) and Segio Rodriguez (862 minutes) both put up a PER over 14. The three players to top Chalmers' WS/1000 rate (1.97) each played less than 1000 minutes for a playoff team as rookies: Aaron Brooks (608 minutes), Boobie Gibson (988 minutes), and Delonte West (507 minutes).

Even if Teague struggles mightily as a rookie hope should not be lost. Mo Williams put up a rookie line not dissimilar to Royal Ivey's before becoming a legitimate contributor* in his second (age 22) season. Leandro Barbosa didn't put his obvious talents to consistently productive use until his third (age 23) season. Even though I'm fairly positive that no one is sitting somewhere today, fingers-crossed, hoping that Jeff Teague has Steve Blake's career, Blake's three seasons as an average starter for Portland would be an above-average return on the 19th pick and came after two poor seasons (age 23 and 24) in Washington to start his career.

*It should be noted that Williams is an exceptional case and the rest of the similarly ineffective rookies (Ivey, Marcus Williams, Quincy Douby, Javaris Crittenton, and Law) are not in danger of drawing criticism for an undeserved All-Star birth anytime soon.

Admittedly, there's nothing groundbreaking to be learned about Jeff Teague's future from either the collective data or individual cases but I think it's valuable to establish the historical range of performance against which one can expect to evaluate his rookie season and for the reminder that his rookie season will probably not clearly establish the path of his career.

For those desiring more complete and sortable data, a Google document featuring the relevant information on all 23 players' rookie seasons is below:

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Comfort of Sameness Achieved (Not Officially But More Almost Than Before)

At, Chad Ford:
The Atlanta Hawks reached an agreement in principle with free agent forward Marvin Williams, a source close to the process told

Williams is expected to sign a five year, $37.5 million contract as early as Friday, according to the source. The deal also has some hard to reach incentives that could boost the value of the contract to $43 million.
In the AJC, Sekou Smith quotes Marvin:
"It was crazy to look on the Internet and see stuff about me signing with the Hawks or that I was staying with the Hawks. Yet there was never anyone quoted. It was always some anonymous person saying it was done or saying it was going to happen. Yet there was never anyone quoted. It was always some anonymous person saying it was done or saying it was going to happen. The truth of the matter is, I still haven’t signed, yet."
Smith goes on to report that Williams "expects" to sign a contract this afternoon with an official announcement coming next week. At which point we presumably get to go over all of this again.

UPDATE: Now it's official. See also: Marvin speaks.

Mark Your Calenders

The seven game pre-season slate begins two months from today.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Basketball Prospectus: Doolittle: The New NBA Schedule

Bradford Doolittle takes an early look at projected schedule strength. As one might expect, the toughest projected schedules tend to belong to the worst teams in the Western Conference and the easiest schedules tend to belong to the better teams* in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks' schedule ranks 15th-hardest in the league and the 4th-hardest in the East.

*And Charlotte. Larry Brown's second year, a favorable schedule...might not be a bad idea to bump the Bobcats' prediction up a couple of wins.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fat Babies

In a similarly self-deprecating yet accurate manner as he described his more famous (and, frankly, far better) song "Nobody Knows Me" as being about cheating and Mexican food, I once saw Lyle Lovett explain that he wrote "Fat Babies" on the occasion of his realization that, in a friendship, it's far more important to hate the same things than it is to like the same things. This is pre-High Fidelity.

In that spirit, I offer the following evidence that Bethlehem Shoals and I can be friends. Read the whole thing. It's too good to excerpt.

A tip of the cap to Ziller at Sactown Royalty for showing his work regarding one of Dr. Berri's suppositions.

I Still Don't Have a Good Feeling About This

Sekou Smith reports that Rick Sund is scheduled to discuss a contract extension with Joe Johnson's representatives:
Multiple sources have confirmed that Hawks general manager Rick Sund is on an extended trip to the left coast, and part of his itinerary includes time in Los Angeles for face-to-face talks about a contract extension with Johnson’s camp.
Johnson is only 28 but has a ton of mileage* on his legs and is simply not a good enough player, even at his peak, for it to make sense for a team with any aspirations to contend for a championship to allocate roughly 30% of its cap room to him as he enters his thirties.

*Johnson's NBA rank in minutes played: 1st (2003-04), 4th (2004-05), 3rd (2005-06), NR (but 41.4 minutes per game over 57 games) (2006-07), 3rd (2007-08), 2nd (2008-09)

With Al Horford under team control at a bargain price for at least three more seasons, Josh Smith signed to a reasonable deal through his age 28 season, and Marvin Williams rumored to be on the verge of signing a long-term deal at a fair price the Hawks have the opportunity to build around a young frontcourt core but if they shackle that trio as it ascends to its (collective) peak with veteran guards in their (collective) decline phase it's difficult to envision how this team gets significantly better barring Jeff Teague fulfilling the wildest expectations one might have for him.

The cost of acquiring Joe Johnson was essentially a value neutral move. Re-signing him either for the long-term or at anything close to his current cost threatens to be an outright damaging move for the franchise's future.

Who Won't Be Attending Training Camp

I don't know that anyone truly expected any of these guys to be at the Hawks' training camp but each drew a mention in this space previously.

Siler To Attend Hawks Training Camp

Chris Gay, he of the Garret Siler beat at The Augusta Chronicle, provides the latest update. Siler's decision is, as was reasonably suspected, a direct result of Minnesota signing Ryan Hollins.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

2009-10 Schedule Released

  • The Hawks will open the season at home against Solomon Jones and the Indiana Pacers on the season's second night, Wednesday, October 28th. Josh Smith's missed jump shots are a slight betting favorite in a match up against Brandon Rush's missed runners/layups.
  • The season's first weekend will feature the start of Atlanta's first west coast trip. From November 1-4 the Hawks will be at @Lakers, @Portland, @Sacramento.
  • The Hawks will play two back-to-backs (@Portland/@Sacramento and @Charlotte/Denver) during the season's first full week.
  • The season's tenth game (and the Hawks' seventh road game) will be in Boston and on ESPN on Friday, November 13th.
  • On November 26th the Hawks host the Orlando Magic on the front end of TNT's Thanksgiving night doubleheader.
  • Boston's first trip to Atlanta on January 8th will also be an ESPN game.
  • ESPN will broadcast three Hawks games in February: Friday the 5th vs. Chicago, Sunday the 21st @Golden State, and Friday the 26th vs. Dallas.
  • The final national network TV appearance comes on April 2nd, again on ESPN, @Cleveland.
  • The Hawks are scheduled to be on NBA TV six times: November 7th vs. Denver, January 1st vs. New York, January 4th @Miami, January 11th @Boston, January 30th @Orlando, and April 3rd vs. Detroit.
  • Despite playing five of eight April games on the road, the Hawks could catch a break at the end of the season should they need to make a push for a better playoff seed. Games 76-81 are Detroit, @Charlotte, @Detroit, Toronto, @Washington, and @Milwaukee (none of whom appear certain playoff teams at this writing) and Game #82 is at home against Cleveland who could view that game as an opportunity to rest players before the playoffs begin.
  • Home/Road breakdown by month: October (2/0), November (6/9), December (7/7), January (9/6), February (6/7), March (8/7), April (3/5)