Posts Tagged ‘Hawks’

Zaza Pachulia Takes Classes At Harvard

by Micah Hart

The Hawks’ Zaza Pachulia has long been one of the NBA’s most engaged entrepreneurs outside of his basketball day job. While some athletes sadly end up in dire straits once their careers are over, Pachulia seems determined to set himself up for success once he finally hangs ‘em up.

With that in mind, Zaza has spent parts of the last four offseasons taking executive business courses, for example at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business. This summer he stepped it up a notch, joining the future Zuckerbergs of the world at Harvard for a three-day business seminar, as he recently detailed for Hawks.com:



I like to picture Zaza at Harvard, hanging out with the bad guys from Good Will Hunting, playing the enforcer and causing that scene to play out much differently than it did in the movie (slight language).

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Top 10 Most Amusing Moments From The 2012 Playoffs

by Micah Hart

What a shortened, yet still very long, strange trip it’s been. In a season that felt like we inhaled on Christmas Day, only to exhale roughly two hours ago, I’m already counting down the days until we start this whole thing over again in November.

But before we start dreaming of a fresh start, let’s pause for a few moments to remember some of the fun and funny we had over the course of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, which started somewhat slowly but picked up speed to the thrilling conclusion that was the Finals series between the victorious Heat and vanquished Thunder.

Here’s a look back at the 10 most amusing moments from the last seven weeks:

10. Amar’e channels Andy Bernard

The Knicks had a lot of hype at one point in the NBA season, but it all began to fall apart starting with a rash of injuries to the likes of Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert. At least their injuries occurred on the court though. Amar’e Stoudemire made headlines when he punched a fire-extinguisher case after Game 2 of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Heat, causing a huge laceration and forcing the Knicks’ big man to miss the next game of an eventual 4-1 series defeat.

No one saw it happen, but I have to imagine it went something like this.

9. Spurs fan gets Matt Bonner haircut, gets suspended

In case you forgot, a Spurs fan got this shaved into the back of his head:

For doing so, he got suspended from school, which seems bad, until the Internet found out about it and the Spurs ended up invited him to a playoff game. Miss school AND see playoff basketball? BEST WEEK EVA! By the way, a month later, the kid did it again.

8. Metta World Peace being Metta World Peace

His playoff run may not have lasted long (one game against Denver and five against OKC), but that doesn’t mean Metta World Peace didn’t have time to make lasting contributions, including doing the local weather in Vancouver, being in Vancouver in the first place because he’s filming a movie there based on a novel by Nancy Freaking Grace, and unveiling his new superhero alter ego Metta Man:

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Three For All: A Retrospective

by Micah Hart

The 2011-12 NBA regular season will come to an end tonight, and one thing we can say for sure is the compressed 66-game slate certainly gave teams their share of challenges. Chief among those (in our eyes at least) were the back-to-back-to-back series that every team faced at least once throughout the year, a chore that never occurs during a normal 82-game calendar but was made necessary once again due to a lockout (the last time teams played three games in three nights was 1998, the last time the NBA played a shortened season due to a labor stoppage).

With 42 three-for-all sets built into the calendar, we made it our business here at All Ball to document each one, curious to see what information we might glean from them. Would it be an accurate predictor of postseason achievement? Would we see NCAA-tournament style cinderella runs from some of the lesser squads? Could anyone win what we assumed would be an incredibly grueling third game?

Let’s run through some of the numbers and see what’s what.

7 – Number of times teams went undefeated in their three for all challenge, led by the Spurs, who managed to do it twice within the span of less than a month. The Spurs’ second run saw them match the Heat with 15 points, the maximum possible score allowable for three road wins by double-digit margins. We’ll break down who’s was more impressive on Thursday night. In addition to those two, the other perfectionists were the Bulls, who maxed out their trip with 13 points (all wins were by double-digits, but they played only one road game), the Thunder, the Hawks, who amazingly found the strength to win the third game in four overtimes over the Jazz, and the Suns (more on them in a second). Of the six teams to taste perfection, only Phoenix will be sitting out the postseason.

6 — Number of times teams went winless. Would it shock you to learn that the Wizards were the only team to go defeated twice? Would it shock you further to learn the Bobcats, the worst team in NBA history, aren’t on this list? In addition to the Ashington Izards (No Ws – I R HILARIOUS), the Pistons, Clippers, Mavericks, and Suns found the going toughest. The Suns, incidentally, were the only squad to put up undefeated and winless marks, which really encapsulates their season in a nutshell, from being 12-19 to just missing out on a playoff spot after their loss in Utah on Tuesday.

4.5 — The average score for the 42 attempts was 4.5 points. The most common score was 2 points, accomplished 10 times, while no one scored 14 or 9.

22-20 – Record for teams in the third game of the three for all. I gotta tip my cap to these guys, I would have pegged this mark to be much worse before the season started.

And now for some superlatives, after the jump.

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Tommy Heinsohn, How Do You Feel About Last Night’s Officiating

by Micah Hart

It’s always easier to laugh about things like this when the team doing the complaining still comes out ahead. I’m guessing that 24 hours later, Celtics announcer and homer extraordinaire Tommy Heinsohn can smile about last night’s OT win for Boston over Atlanta, but boy was he hopping mad in the final minutes about a few calls from the gray and black:



No Tommy points for these guys, I’m guessing.

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Three For All Round Up: Hawks, Bucks, Pacers, Spurs, and Wizards

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. 

As we near the season’s home stretch (my god it’s weird to say that, but it’s true — the Bobcats became the first team to officially be eliminated from postseason qualification with tonight’s loss to the Timberwolves), we’ve seen so many teams face back-to-back-to-back challenges over the past few days that it’s hard to keep it all straight.

For the sake of brevity, we’ll run down each of the five teams that completed the threeplay along with a few comments about their performances.

Indiana Pacers (Mar. 22-24): A road win in Washington, a loss at home to the Suns, and a blowout win over the Bucks in game three nets the Pacers 8 points (2-1+7) for their three for all, good enough for a tie for seventh-best mark so far this season. The win over the Wiz was particularly impressive, as Indy rallied from down 22 to win. A pessimist might wonder how they got down to the Wizards by 22 in the first place, but there’s no room for that kind of negativity here.

Milwaukee Bucks (Mar. 22-24): Not a great showing for the Bucks, who sandwiched two home losses to the Celtics and Pacers around a double-digit win in Charlotte over the Bobcats. Big deal. My local rec league team could beat the Bobcats in Charlotte at this point. Or Kentucky, one of those two. One highlight of their threebie was the game with the Pacers, which was the first game this season between two teams on the final leg of the back-to-back-to-back. 3 points (-2+5+0) for the Bucks, a team that better get a hitch in their giddy-up pretty soon if they want to make the playoffs.

Atlanta Hawks (Mar. 23-25): And we have another undefeated entry! The Hawks become the fifth team to sweep a three-play, beating the Nets at home, the Wizards on the road, and the Jazz at home, a game that went to quadruple-freaking-overtime. I am so impressed by the Hawks winning the third game of their series in 4OTs, I’m hereby awarding them an extra point. THIS I DECREE! From now on, any team that wins a three for all game in 4OT gets an extra point. 11 points (1+4+6), and I promise to update the scoring system chart soon to reflect the change. Also, the Hawks are the only team now with two top-ten finishes in the three for all.

San Antonio Spurs (Mar. 23-25): Of course the Spurs would also go undefeated at the very same time the Hawks do. Can Atlanta never have the spotlight to themselves? Naturally San Antonio did it better, beating the defending champs and Atlantic-leading Sixers by double-digits and escaping the plucky Hornets on the road in New Orleans. 12 points (2+4+6) for Los Spurs, good for a tie with the Thunder for third best overall score this season. And did we mention the win over Philly came without the services of Tim Duncan, who was apparently too old to play?

Washington Wizards (Mar. 24-26): We spend a lot of time around NBA.com arguing about which teams are the best, and thankfully we have the playoffs to settle any questions of team dominance. But what of the league’s worst teams? How will we ever know which team is more terrible between the Bobcats and Wizards? Yes, Charlotte may have four fewer wins at present, but they did put up 3 points in their three for all earlier this season. The Wizards? Bagel. -3 points (I’m not even adding the math here because the – and + get confusing with the negative numbers — just trust me they had -3) for Washington, which lost home games to the Hawks and Pistons and on the road at Boston. Washington is the fifth team to take the collar, but they do get another crack at it Apr. 4-6. Goody?

Up next: Things slow down for a few days, then the Memphis Grizzlies play three straight April 2-4.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
San Antonio Spurs I (12 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks II (11 points)
Phoenix Suns II (10 points)
Indiana Pacers II (8 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks I (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Phoenix Suns

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Phoenix Suns, who played three straight from Feb. 13-15.

While I have your attention, I’ll step aside from the task at hand for a moment and agree with the presiding opinion going around the Internet and say: Free Steve Nash.

The Suns have stated they have no interest in blowing up their team, and that is their right, but if their reasoning is that it alienates fans, I have to respectfully disagree. Fans want to win, clearly.  But what they really want is to compete for titles, and most intelligent fans are willing to tolerate a year or two of losing as long as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Look no further than the Indianapolis Colts, who are most likely about to part ways with Peyton Manning — more an institution in his city than Nash is in Phoenix — and their fan base couldn’t be happier because they have Andrew Luck waiting to take his place. Suns fans know that Nash’s time is coming to an end regardless of where he plays, and as much as they’d hate to see him go, if they get some young prospects in return that help set them up to return to contention, they’ll take that deal all day long.

Why do I bring this up? Because the Suns joined the Detroit Pistons as the only two teams to lose every game in their three for all:

Game 1: Warriors 102, Suns 96 - One player the Suns shouldn’t trade is Marcin Gortat, who has evolved into one of the best centers in the NBA (though that does speak in part to the paucity of legit big men). The Polish Hammer had 25 points and 12 rebounds in the loss in Golden State. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for Phoenix against Golden State. -2 points

Game 2: Nuggets 109, Suns 92 - Phoenix sat Nash and Grant Hill for this one, trying to conserve their energy in the midst of the brutal stretch. So yeah, they really didn’t have much of a chance in this one. Markieff Morris had 21 points, which reminds me that in college, I always thought his brother Marcus was the hot shot recruit, and that he (Markieff) was sort of the Robin Lopez to his brother’s Brook. I mean, Marcus was Big 12 Player of the Year, and a second-team All-American. Then Markieff got drafted first (Marcus went to the Rockets with the very next pick), and now I question everything that happened to me in the last two years. Was it all just a dream? -1 point

Game 3: Hawks 101, Suns 99 - No one should get much grief for losing a third in three, but the Suns did lead by 15 points in the second half. Josh Smith had an absurd line for the Hawks (30 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks), and when all is said and done I still expect someone’s injury to put him into his first All-Star Game next weekend in Orlando. 0 points

Time to face facts, Phoenix. The Nash-Era Suns are long gone, and the sooner you turn the page the better off you’ll be. -3 points for the Suns.

Up next: The Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers play three straight Feb. 14-16.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three For All: Miami Heat

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Miami Heat, who played three straight from Feb. 12-14.

Back on January 12, the Chicago Bulls put up a three for all number I wasn’t sure would be beaten this season, as they attained the highest possible score they could with three victories by 10+ points. At the time, I said this:

The only way they can be topped from here on out is if a team plays two road games and wins all three by double figures, so, yeah, good luck beating Chicago.

Challenged extended? Challenge accepted by the Miami Heat, who took to the road for all three legs of their back-to-back-to-back.

Game 1: Heat 107, Hawks 87 - Once again we see the key to a good start in the three-play: play Atlanta get up early in Game 1 so you can save your strength. The Heat ran out to a 30-18 lead at the end of the first period, led by 22 at the half, and cruised the rest of the way. Dwyane Wade didn’t even play half the game — and still put up 21 points. 3 points (1 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 2: Heat 114, Bucks 96 - Revenge! This one was a little personal for the Heat, who somehow managed to lose both prior games to the Bucks despite Milwaukee being under .500 and currently on the outside of the playoff chase. LeBron James made sure there was no sweep, dropping 35 and eight in another game that was pretty much over by the fourth quarter. 5 points (3 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

Game 3: Heat 105, Pacers 90 - Indiana, what gives? Two nights rest for the Pacers going into this game (a rare sight in this condensed season), and although Danny Granger did exit this one early (a tough blow for Indy, which started its own three-play on this night), they were already down 16 at the time. LeBron drops 23-9-7, and Norris Cole continued an excellent rookie season with 20 off the bench. 7 points (5 for the win, 1 for +10 margin, 1 for road)

So, yeah. You wanted to see what perfection looked like, this was perfection. Not only did the Heat play all three games on the road (only the Pistons had to play three road games for their triple, and they lost all of them for a season-worst -3 points), but they won all three by +10 and were so dominant I’m surprised they didn’t petition the league to go ahead and play again tonight. Seriously, check out Wade’s minutes and points totals from the three games:

– 23:56 and 21 against Atlanta
– 28:00 and 22 against Milwaukee
– 24:06 and 16 against Indiana

When you only need one of the five best players in the world for half a game and you win, you know you have things cooking. 15 total points for Miami, the highest possible amount possible available this season, and a sincere tip o’ the cap from All Ball on a job well done. 

Up next: The Utah Jazz also played three straight Feb. 12-14.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Three for all: Charlotte Bobcats

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Charlotte Bobcats, who played three straight from Jan 12-14.

Let’s be honest – the Bobcats are among the worst teams in the NBA. We’d probably expect them to lose three straight games at any point on the schedule, whether those games were six days apart or back-to-back-to-back. Still, they went through all the trouble of showing up at the arenas at the scheduled times, so we may as well take a look at how they did.

Game 1: Hawks 111, Bobcats 81 - One might think the Bobcats would have a chance in the Hawks’ first game after losing Al Horford for the season, but one would be incorrect. Oh one — always making mistaken assumptions. -2 points

Game 2: Pistons 98, Bobcats 81 - Hey at least the Hawks game was on the road. How to explain letting the Pistons — 2-9 coming into the game — win by 17 on Charlotte’s home court? I have an explanation, but the Bobcats aren’t going to like it. -1 point

Game 3: Bobcats 112, Warriors 100 - Just when you think we’re headed for the first shutout, the Bobcats summon their strength and top the Warriors by a dozen to salvage a win. Rookie Kemba Walker justified his first professional start with a career-high 23 points, so expect to see him in the first five more often going forward. 6 points (5 for win, 1 for 10+ margin)

The Bobcats are lucky (lucky I say!) my arbitrary scoring system doesn’t penalize for double-digit losses, or any losses to the Pistons for that matter. Teams are now 8-3 in the third games of the three-for-all, and the Bobcats are in the clubhouse with 3 total points.

Up next: The L.A. Clippers and Orlando Magic both play three straight Jan 16-18.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Charlotte Bobcats (3 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (2 points)
Toronto Raptors (1 point)

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Three for all: Atlanta Hawks

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Atlanta Hawks, who played three straight from Jan 5-7.

Before I get into the meat of the Hawks triumvirate of games, I should make note (for those that didn’t know) that I spent six years working for the franchise before coming over to NBA.com. I mention this because as far as I am concerned, these three games perfectly encapsulate what it’s like to root for them. They were the Hawksiest Hawks games I’ve ever seen.

Game 1: Heat 116, Hawks 109, 3OT - The Heat were without LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and if you know these Hawks, you know that spells trouble. Missed free throws, missed opportunities, Hawks loss. They made history by becoming just the 10th team in history to go scoreless in an overtime period (the third), so there’s that. -2 points

Game 2: Hawks 102, Bobcats 96, OT - Atlanta always seems to struggle in Charlotte, and despite the Bobcats being one of the worst teams in the league, they nearly pulled out the home win. I give the Hawks credit for perseverance if not style. 4 points

Game 3: Hawks 109, Bulls 94 – Just when you are ready to bury the Hawks, they turn around and blow out the Bulls in Game 3, snapping Chicago’s six-game win streak in the process. Josh Smith had one of those games that makes you simultaneously gobsmacked by his abilities (25 points, five rebounds, five assists, six blocks) and depressed because he often eschews them in favor of low-percentage jump shots. 6 points

What to do with this team? Do you focus on the fact that they lost at home to a Heat team playing Chris Bosh and the JayVees? Or do you notice the squad that was talented enough to go up 30 on Chicago in the third game — especially impressive given they’d played almost an extra half of basketball the previous two nights thanks to overtime? Shoot, the Hawks were a few missed free throws away from going 5-0 last week, with four of the games coming against the reigning Eastern Conference finalists.

Yet with all my griping and complaining, with settled dust and cleared smoke the Hawks somehow managed to post a new high score for the three-play, putting up 8 total points. Go figure.

Up next: The Oklahoma City Thunder are right on the Hawks tails, with three games in a row Jan. 6-8: home and home against the Rockets, and tonight against the Spurs.

Three for all Scoreboard:
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Denver Nuggets (6 points)
L.A. Lakers (3 points)
Sacramento Kings (2 points)

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Three for all: Houston Rockets

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Houston Rockets, who played three straight from Dec. 29-31.

Game 1: Rockets 105, Spurs 85 – Houston got off to a good start, beating the Spurs so badly that Gregg Popovich pretty much threw in the towel at halftime. 2 points

Game 2: Grizzlies 113, Rockets 93 – A road loss in Memphis is no surprise, and while Houston kept it reasonably close in the first half, the Grizzlies blew it open by outscoring them 31-16 in the third quarter. -1 point

Game 3: Rockets 95, Hawks 84 – The Rockets finish strong and then some, beating the Hawks at home and doing it fairly easily at that. Kyle Lowry had an NBA season-high 18 assists in the win, though none of them were as impressive as his one block. 6 points

All in all an impressive performance from Houston. Two double-digit wins, and the Rockets take an early clubhouse lead with 7 total points.

Up next: The Nuggets take on one of the stranger threesomes, playing the Lakers twice in a row and then the Bucks Dec. 31 – Jan. 2.

Previous three for alls:
–  L.A. Lakers