All That Glitters…..(is not a contender)

How did the Hawks REALLY get it done this year?

Atlanta finds themselves in the Conference Finals as the number one seed in the East and sporting the second best record in the league.   They did it without a “Superstar” and are taking on THE superstar of the league in King James and his Cavaliers.  This storybook season of team basketball and selfless players has made for some teary-eyed traditionalists, white-haired journalists and fringe players.  But saying the Hawks are the best in the East doesn’t necessarily make it true.  Their success has been as much about luck as anything else.

The Eastern Conference was pretty much a dumpster fire this season.  The Atlantic featured two teams tanking – initially because their rosters stank, then they designed garbage rosters to stink on purpose.  The Central was the brightest spot with two winning records and one team finishing at .500.  The Southeast, Atlanta’s division, was abysmal at best.  The Magic and Hornets were playing for lottery spots from opening night.  Miami’s logo should have been a question mark going into this season with all the turnover in their roster.  That left the Wizards to compete with the Hawks and their roster looks pretty similar to Atlanta’s with the exception of John Wall.  So I’m gonna call “boo-boo” on the 60 wins Coach Bud’s guys put up this year.  It’s tough to win games, period, but when the competition is as lacking as the Eastern Conference was this season expectations should be somewhat tempered.

For all you stat riders, here’s some interesting numbers regarding YOUR Atlanta Hawks:

  • ATL was 2nd in assists per game – but gave up almost as many to their opponents
  • ATL out rebounded overall and gave up more than league average of offensive rebounds
  • ATL was in the bottom third in the league in free throws attempted
  • ATL gave up almost as many 3 pt shots as they made

The biggest advantage for the Hawks came in the training room.  Until Thabo Sefalosha got an NYPD beatdown, the Hawks had only had minor bumps and bruises this season.  They didn’t even have an injury worthy of the league report!  Miami lost Chris Bosh to a life-threatening blood clot and Charlotte had 5 guys on the injured list from late March on.  Injuries happen in sports and you can only take what’s given, but Atlanta’s luck has put them in an awesome position with regard to health.

As we’ve seen through the playoffs, the Hawks have talented players who have been successful in the right situations and lucky in others.

  • The Nets exposed the Hawks dependence on the 3 and Kyle Korver’s inability to get his own shot.
  • The Wizards challenged the Hawks inside and only when John Wall got hurt did Teague and Shroeder have an impact.
  • The Cavs exploited weakness in the post and a lack of toughness in the forwards in Game 1.

The keys to making this series competitive:

  • Find a way to get Korver open or sit him. He’s a defensive liability and can’t score off the dribble.
  • Develop a rotation with Teague, Shroeder and Carroll (if he’s healthy) since none of them are lighting it up.
  • Brand and Antic need to eat some lane. Allow them to body Thompson and Mozgov while Horford and Milsap play a scoring role.
  • Get away from the traditional – use your unpredictability to your advantage. Chaos Theory

 

 

Rockets Dwight Howard will play in Game 2 vs Warriors

 

Dwight Howard And Chandler Parsons by jrg1975, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  jrg1975 


(AP)–“I want to be out there, but the most important thing is that I’m out there for the whole series.” Dwight Howard said.

Dwight sprained his left knee when he and teammate Josh Smith crashed into each other during Game 1 of the Western Final vs Warriors Tuesday night.

With his positive thoughts along with his teammates optimism, resulted in a positive result because Dwight Howard will be playing in Game 2 Western Conference final against the Warriors.

 

Ray Rice dodges domestic abuse charges

 

Ray Rice and his wife attend local New R by AndrewDallos, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  AndrewDallo

A New Jersey judge has dismissed felony aggravated assault charges against Former Ravens Running back Ray Rice due to his completion of a pre-trial intervention program.

TMZ released a surveillance camera footage in September that caught Rice violently assaulting and knocking out his then girlfriend now wife Janay Rice in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and then suspended by the NFL, however he won an appeal that reinstated him-but to no avail Rice remains teamless.

 

Cavs take Game 1 vs Hawks in the East Finals

 

Al Horford by valdezign, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  valdezign 

As Demarre “Junkyard Dog” Carroll was being helped back to the locker room by fellow team mate Kent Bazemore after suffering a leg injury in the 4th quarter.  Atlanta’s plans of utilizing Carroll as the defensive weapon against Cleveland came to a sudden halt.  With home court not being an advantage, the Hawks lost to the Cavaliers 97-89 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. The uncertainty of Carroll’s return for the remainder of the Finals is up in the air. Either way for Game 2  held Friday at 8:30 pm expect to see Al Horford, Kyle Korver, Jeff Teague,  and Dennis Schroder going hard in the paint to secure a worthy defense against King Lebron James.

Fans support TNT Reporter Craig Sager

 

TBS Analyst Craig Sager by pvsbond, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  pvsbond 


Fashion-he-sta and TNT sports reporter Craig Sager has been unable to return to the sidelines because he is battling leukemia and has to undertake another bout of chemo. With an outpouring of support at the Game 1, Hawks vs Cavalier Eastern Conference finals. Fans, current and former pro athletes have showed their support by dressing in their best dressed Sager swag, with colleagues Reggie Miller, Chris Webber,and Charles Barkley who sported Sager-like Blazers. Shaquille O’Neal sported a Sager-like suit.  Ernie Johnson sported a special pheasant feather bow tie. We salute Craig Sager and wish him a speedy recovery.  #SAGERSTRONG

 

WNBA Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson suspended

 

24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards - San Fra by GLAAD, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  GLAAD 

Just after Phoenix Mercury center married her girlfriend Tulsa Shock forward Gloria Johnson, they were slapped with a 7 game suspension for their domestic squabble last month.

This comes after both the NBA and NFL leagues have had their share of domestic violence.
The WNBA issued a statement on it’s  WEBSITE with it’s president Laurel J. Richie commenting, The WNBA takes all acts of violence extremely seriously. It is our strong belief that violence has absolutely no place in society, in sports or in this league. As president, it is my responsibility to protect the league and uphold its values. Our athletes represent the WNBA, and they all must abide by the league’s standards of conduct. In this case, Brittney and Glory failed to do so, and that is unacceptable.

 

Sorry Manny

 


After waiting for what seemed to be forever for the
“FIGHT OF THE CENTURY”
I was unimpressed with the results. From Floyd ducking and diving and occassionally placing Manny Pacqaio in a headlock to Manny hitting Floyd with punches that had Floyd bouncing back for more.
I watched as punches were being thrown from both sides but when the fight ran it course and the 12 round ended, to my amazement neither opponets was left with visiable bruises.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement!
The question is: Do the two fight again?
Pacquiao’s camp has hinted that Manny is up to a rematch. However, Floyd Mayweather has loudly vocalized that there will NOT BE A REMATCH!
Would it surprise me that maybe a year from now Floyd has a change of heart?  Probably Not!
But again just like the Manny vs Floyd fight that was five years in the making. We have no chioce but to wait and see if the two will fight again.