Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Kyle Korver suffered a right ankle injury with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter of last night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. X-rays performed at Philips Arena last night were negative. A follow-up MRI and examination this morning at the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed a severe high right ankle sprain. Korver will see a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment. He is out for the remainder of the postseason.
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Cavs take 2-0 series lead vs Hawks
The Cleveland Cavaliers are rocking, and leave Atlanta with two wins, heading to Cleveland for Game 3. No Kyrie Irving in Game 2, no Kevin Love for the rest of the playoffs, yet no problem so far for LeBron James and company. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:
The Cavaliers are down to one superstar and plenty of helping hands.
The Hawks might be down to their last rites.
LeBron James had 30 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists and the Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 Friday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. And they did it without Kyrie Irving.
Irving was held out of Friday’s game because of tendinitis in his left knee, yet his absence was barely noticeable.
Matthew Dellavedova had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists in place of Irving, Iman Shumpert scored 16 points and the Cavs held the high-powered Hawks to 42 percent shooting while dismantling the best team in the East on their own floor.
Tristan Thompson grabbed 16 rebounds and Timofey Mozgov had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and Cavaliers head team physician Dr. Richard Parker traveled today to see Dr. James Andrews of the Andrews Institute. Irving’s left knee was evaluated and his diagnosis (tendinitis) confirmed and treatment plan agreed upon. Irving will be with the team tonight in Atlanta, but will not play. He will continue treatment and is currently listed as Questionable for Sunday’s game in Cleveland.
Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll suffered a left leg injury with 4:59 remaining in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. An X-ray was negative and an MRI revealed a left knee sprain. Carroll will be listed as questionable and his status will be updated as appropriate.
Cavs take 1-0 series lead vs Hawks
J.R. Smith knocked down a tough 3-pointer, then another. Turning toward the fans, their heckling transformed to groans, he blew off his right index finger and motioned toward his side, like he was holstering his pistol.
Yep, Smith was that hot.
While LeBron James led Cleveland with 31 points, it was Smith who ignited the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. He made eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points in a 97-89 victory over the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
”When he gets hot,” Cleveland coach David Blatt marveled, ”he gets smoking hot.”
Intent on bringing Cleveland its first NBA title, James sealed the victory with a soaring dunk in the final minute.
J.R. Smith steps up in Game 1 vs Hawks
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 97-89 on Wednesday to open the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
With a berth in the NBA championship finals on the line in the best-of-seven series, J.R. Smith set a Cavaliers club record for three-pointers, draining eight from beyond the arc.
His 28 points accounted for all of the scoring by Cleveland reserves.
“I was just trying, if anything, to take good shots,” Smith said. “I got in a rhythm early and just stayed aggressive.”
Kyrie Irving health status for Eastern Conference Finals: good to go
The Cleveland Cavaliers are still without Kevin Love, who is out for the rest of the playoffs and inactive for months beyond that, but banged-up guard Kyrie Irving appears healthy enough to play in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:
Kyrie Irving worked overtime Monday, bouncing around the court during a shooting drill with LeBron James long after the formal portion of practice had ended.
Irving is still fighting injuries to both his left knee and right foot, but he moved fluidly and without a limp. And most importantly, he declared himself ready for Wednesday’s opening game of the Eastern Conference finals at the Atlanta Hawks.
“I’m going to go,” he said.
Irving’s availability was never really in doubt, although Cavaliers coach David Blatt cast a temporary shadow when he said he was hopeful Irving would be ready. After Irving was a full participant on Monday, Blatt said he was “encouraged’ by the progress his star guard made in a relatively short amount of time.
It was a play added to the Washington Wizards’ offense a day earlier, and it was drawn up for a guy, Paul Pierce, who’s been doing this sort of thing for the better part of two decades.
With three defenders near him, Pierce made a fallaway, 21-foot jumper that went in off the backboard at the buzzer to lift the Wizards over the Atlanta Hawks 103-101 on Saturday night, despite playing without John Wall and after letting a 21-point lead evaporate…
Schroder and Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 18 points apiece. … Paul Millsap was out of the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms and looked lethargic once he was on the court. He had eight points and two rebounds.
– Associated Press
Wizards take 1-0 series lead vs Hawks
The second round of the 2015 NBA playoffs began today with a road win by the Washington Wizards in Atlanta. Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting:
The Wizards repeated the feat Sunday, rolling off the Atlanta Hawks’ explosive punches to erase a 12-point third-quarter deficit and stun the hosts, 104-98, and seize control of another series at Philips Arena. With the victory, Washington improved to 8-1 on the road in the playoffs the past two seasons under Coach Randy Wittman. The Wizards are the first team in NBA history to win four straight Game 1s on the road.
Bradley Beal headed the effort with 28 points but sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter. He returned but was held scoreless the rest of the way. John Wall played through a left wrist injury he suffered in the second period to post 18 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds. Marcin Gortat added 12 points and 12 rebounds.
DeMarre Carroll erupted for 21 points in the first half — the most a Hawks player has scored in a half this season – but was held to just three in the second half. His 24 points led five Hawks in double figures. Al Horford (17 points and 17 rebounds) and Paul Millsap (15 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists) each registered double-doubles but Atlanta was held to 35 points in the second half after recording 37 in the first quarter alone.
Atlanta Hawks sale agreement reached
The Atlanta Hawks today announced that a definitive agreement has been signed for the purchase of the NBA franchise by an ownership group led by Tony Ressler, co-founder of Ares Management. The group also includes seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, Clayton Dubilier & Rice partner Rick Schnall, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely and Marquis Jet co-founder Jesse Itzler, who are married.
The transaction, which includes operation of Philips Arena, requires the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. Terms of the sale were not released.
“We are honored and thrilled to have been chosen to become the new stewards of the Hawks,” said Ressler. “We respect the NBA’s approval process and, accordingly, can say no more other than we are incredibly excited by the Hawks’ success and wish them luck in the playoffs.”
“We are excited to welcome this new ownership group and are deeply gratified by its commitment to the Hawks and the Atlanta community,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin. “We are pleased that the group is committed to continue building on the franchise’s storied history and recent success.”
The sellers were advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Inner Circle Sports, and the buyer by Moelis & Co.
Atlanta Hawks sale agreement may come soon
While the Atlanta Hawks are enjoying an amazing season and busy winning playoff games, team ownership is reportedly succeeding in finding new owners. Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting the latest development:
Private equity billionaire Antony Ressler is leading a group that is finalizing a deal to purchase the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Ressler’s group will purchase the team from majority owner Bruce Levenson for a figure somewhere between $700-plus million and $900 million, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Former NBA All-Star Grant Hill and Atlanta entrepreneur Jesse Itzler will be investors in the group, sources said.
Mike Budenholzer wins 2014-2015 NBA Coach of Year award
Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer, who guided the team to the best regular season in franchise history, is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.
Budenholzer received 67 first-place votes and 513 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr, who led the Pacific Division champions to a franchise-record and NBA-high 67 victories in his first season as an NBA coach, finished second with 56 first-place votes and 471 total points. Jason Kidd of the Milwaukee Bucks was third with one first-place vote and 57 total points. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
Budenholzer led Atlanta to a 60-22 record in his second season, three games better than the previous team high of 57-25 set in 1986-87 and matched in 1993-94. The Hawks earned both the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference and a division title (Southeast Division) for the first time since 1993-94 — the last season they had the NBA Coach of the Year (Lenny Wilkens). Atlanta made the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year, the longest active streak in the East.
After posting a 38-44 record last season, Budenholzer oversaw a 22-win improvement rooted in balance on offense and teamwork on defense. According to NBA.com/Stats, Atlanta tied for sixth in the league in offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) and ranked seventh in defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions). Six players averaged double figures in scoring, but none eclipsed 17 points per game. The Hawks set a franchise record for three-pointers with 818, ranked second in the NBA in assists (25.7 apg) and finished in the top five in field goal percentage (fourth), three-point field goal percentage (second) and free throw percentage (fifth).
Atlanta opened the season 5-5 before winning 35 of its next 38 games, a stretch that included a franchise-record 19-game winning streak. The 35-3 run also featured a 17-0 January, the best calendar month in NBA history and a perfect run that earned the Hawks’ starting five the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month and Budenholzer his second NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month award of the season. The honors continued when a team-record four Hawks players were selected to the NBA All-Star Game, coached on the East team by Budenholzer.
Howard happily gets to focus on the upcoming playoffs
Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting on Rockets center Dwight Howard, who will fortunately get to focus on the upcoming NBA playoffs instead of off-court issues:
Atlanta (Ga.) Police will not press charges of child abuse against Rockets center Dwight Howard, according to Atlanta Police spokesman Sgt. Gregory Lyon.
“We have investigated this case and are not moving forward with charges,” Lyon said via email.
The mother of one of Howard’s children had alleged that Howard had caused bruises on their then six-year-old son. The case was originally investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families, but no charges were brought.
Mike Budenholzer gives credit to Danny Ferry
Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on the Hawks, whose success has been one of the top stories of the 2015-16 NBA season:
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer credited general manager Danny Ferry as the person most responsible for assembling the current roster.
With Ferry on an indefinite leave of absence, Budenholzer was the Hawks nomination for the NBA’s Executive of the Year award the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday. Budenholzer was named head of basketball operations in September.
“Anyone who has followed the Hawks for the last two or three years knows that Danny Ferry is the executive who is most responsible for the makeup of our team,” Budenholzer said Sunday before the Hawks played the Wizards. “Danny is responsible for me being here. Our team is in a good place. I’m very grateful to work with such good players and with such a great staff.”
Budenholzer, Hawks enjoying amazing success
Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on the Hawks, whose success has been a terrific season-long story:
With general manager Danny Ferry on a leave of absence the entire season, the Hawks submitted head coach Mike Budenholzer for consideration in voting for the NBA’s Executive of the Year Award, a person familiar with the situation told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Budenholzer has been serving as the head of basketball operations since September when Ferry took the leave following the discovery of racially insensitive remarks about free-agent target Luol Deng during a June conference call with team ownership and management. At that time, CEO Steve Koonin elevated Budenholzer to lead the basketball operations and make final decisions.
The Hawks clinched the Southeast Division title and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last month as part of a record-breaking season. The team extended its franchise record for wins in a season with its 60th victory Friday night. The Hawks have also had a franchise record 19-game win streak, which included an NBA record 17-0 mark in January. The win streak is the longest in Atlanta professional sports history.
Thabo Sefolosha suffers major injuries from incident outside NYC nightclub
Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha suffered injuries during yesterday’s early morning incident where he was arrested near the 1OAK nightclub in New York City after Pacers forward Chris Copeland had been stabbed. But did these injuries occur due to the arrest from police, or did something else happen with Thabo beforehand that we don’t know about? We do not know this.
An examination of Sefolosha’s right leg, including an X-ray at Barclays Center yesterday and an MRI today at Peachtree Orthopaedics revealed a fractured fibula and ligament damage that will require surgery. He is out for the remainder of the season, including the entire postseason, and a timeline for his return will be updated at a later date.
“This is a very difficult situation for Thabo and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery. We know that his approach and dedication will serve him well in his rehabilitation,” Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our team remains focused and will be prepared as we head into the postseason.”
Hawks sign Austin Daye to multi-year contract
The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Austin Daye to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. He signed consecutive 10-day contracts with the Hawks on March 15 and March 25.
Daye has appeared in five games with the Hawks, and also played in 26 contests earlier this season with the San Antonio Spurs.
Hawks sign Austin Daye to second 10-day contract
The Atlanta Hawks (53-17, having amazing season, but struggling a bit recently) have signed forward Austin Daye to a second 10-day contract, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.
Daye has appeared in two games with the Hawks. He also played in 26 contests (four starts) earlier this season with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes.
In 10 games this season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Daye averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 blocks in 28.5 minutes.
Thabo Sefolosha should return soon for Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are 53-14 through Tuesday’s games, enjoying an incredible season, and should get deeper any game now. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:
Thabo Sefolosha competed in three-on-three work following Hawks shootaround Wednesday, a sign the guard/forward is close to a return from a calf injury.
Sefolosha has missed the past 20 games due to a Grade 3 strain of his right calf suffered against the Trail Blazers on Jan. 30. The original diagnosis called for Sefolosha to miss 6 to 8 weeks.
Last week Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said Sefolosha is “making the progress that we expect.”
With most starters out, Hawks beat Lakers
The Atlanta Hawks are 52-14 this season, which is the best record in the Eastern conference and second best in the NBA behind the 52-13 Warriors. They believe a deep playoff run is possible. Which means they need to keep their squad healthy, and a good way to do that is to rest key players when their game schedule gets a little too crowded. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:
What difference does another starter make?
The Hawks were already resting three starters – Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap – when they lost Kyle Korver to a broken nose during Sunday’s game against the lowly Lakers.
It didn’t matter.
Al Horford, the lone remaining starter, had 21 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists as the Hawks defeated the Lakers 91-86 Sunday night at Staples Center. Horford played a normal 35 minutes as the Hawks controlled much of the game and a held off a Lakers’ fourth-quarter rally in a reserve-lead effort.
Dennis Schroder had a game- and career-high 24 points to go with 10 assists. His layup with 13.9 seconds left stopped a 16-2 Lakers run. He added two free throws in the closing seconds to ice the win.