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Paul Millsap, NBA Players of Week

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 4 through Sunday, April 10.

Millsap helped the Hawks to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics. He averaged 19.0 points, led the league in both rebounds (15.7 rpg) and blocks (4.33 bpg), and posted point-rebound double-doubles in all three contests. On April 9, Millsap’s 31-point, 16-rebound, five-block performance lifted Atlanta to a 118-107 win over Boston and moved the Hawks one game ahead of the Celtics for the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Karl-Anthony Towns wins nba player of week

Towns led the Timberwolves to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers. He averaged 21.3 points (seventh in the Western Conference), 10.3 rebounds (tied-sixth) and 1.67 blocks (tied-sixth). On April 9, Towns made the game-winning shot with 1.8 seconds remaining during the Timberwolves’ 106-105 win over the Trail Blazers.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Detroit’s Reggie Jackson, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford.

The Atlanta Hawks are 44-30 this season, which is the third best record in the Eastern conference — though the Boston Celtics are only half a game behind them. Their best player this season has been power forward Paul Millsap, who caught a shot to his head but will keep on playing. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

Paul Millsap gets stitches for cut on head

Atlanta Hawks power forward Paul Millsap sported a big bandage over his left eye.

It was the protective covering for a cut that required 10 stitches to close, sustained in Saturday night’s win over the Pistons. The injury won’t force him to miss Monday night’s game against the Bulls.

“It was just a head bump,” Millsap said Monday morning at Hawks shootaround. “Hurts like hell. It wouldn’t affect me at all. … Everything is good to go.”

Hawks sign Kris Humphries

Hawks sign Kris Humphries

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Kris Humphries, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

“As we explored opportunities to add to our team after the trade deadline, we felt it was important to prioritize experience and versatility,” Budenholzer said. “Kris is a versatile veteran with playoff experience who fits well with our group and within our system. We are fortunate to have Kris join our team and would like to welcome him to the Hawks family.”

Humphries, in his 12th NBA season, has recorded career regular season averages of 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in 18.3 minutes (.466 FG%, .696 FT%) in 723 games (199 starts) with Utah, Toronto, Dallas, Brooklyn, Boston, Washington and Phoenix.

He was originally selected in the first round (14th overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Jazz following his freshman season at the University of Minnesota.

He will wear uniform no. 43.

Hawks hope to add player by Tuesday

The Atlanta Hawks are 32-27 this season and were getting 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game from center Tiago Splitter, who is done for the season. Those stats might not sound like much, but as a backup he still did fill a need in the rotation. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution with more:

Hawks hope to add player by Tuesday

A ‘vacancy’ sign still hangs outside Philips Arena.

Nine days after the Hawks created a roster spot at the NBA trade deadline, they have yet to fill the opening. Team management deemed it necessary to be able to add a player for the stretch run after the season-ending surgery to Tiago Splitter. They made runs at Anderson Varejao and Joe Johnson after they were waived but each chose other teams.

The Hawks are currently concentrating on the buyout market to add a veteran player because an important deadline looms. With the trade deadline passed, March 1 is the last day a players who is waived is eligible for the playoffs. Players can still be signed after Tuesday, however they can’t play in the postseason.

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on what the 76ers had hoped to accomplish as last Thursday’s NBA trade deadline passed:

Sixers reportedly tried to trade for Dennis Schroder

The 76ers were prepared to make major changes to their roster to get a coveted point guard at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

The team offered packages that included some combination of shooting guard Nik Stauskas, point guard Ish Smith, a player with an expiring guaranteed contract and a 2016 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for point guard Dennis Schroder, according to multiple league sources.

Former Sixer JaKarr Sampson was said to be player with the expiring contract in the deal. According to NBA rules, Smith could not have been part of a multi-player deal since he had been acquired by the Sixers fewer than 60 days before. But he could have been traded alone in a second deal.

kirk hinrich traded

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has acquired guard Shelvin Mack from the Atlanta Hawks, pending the outcome of a physical, as part of a three-team trade with the Hawks and Chicago Bulls. As part of the deal, the Jazz traded a future second-round pick to the Bulls, who also received guard Justin Holliday from Atlanta while sending the Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich.

Mack (6-3, 203, Butler) has appeared in 24 games for the Hawks this season, averaging 3.9 points and 1.6 assists in 7.5 minutes of action.

Originally selected in the second round (34th overall selection) of the 2011 NBA Draft by Washington, the 25-year-old has appeared in 247 career games (14 starts) over five seasons with Washington, Philadelphia and Atlanta, and owns career averages of 5.3 points, 2.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 15.0 minutes. He has also appeared in a total of 21 playoffs games over the last three seasons, averaging 5.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds, including 10.0 points, 1.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 21.7 minutes during the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals.

Prior to the NBA, Mack played three seasons at Butler University (2008-11), helping the Bulldogs to the Championship game in each of his final two seasons, and was selected to the All-Tournament Team at the 2011 Final Four. For his collegiate career, Mack appeared in 108 games and averaged 14.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists while helping Butler to an 87-21 record in those games. During his first two seasons at Butler, Mack teamed with current Jazzman Gordon Hayward, as the pair led Butler to the school’s first ever Final Four and an appearance in the 2010 title game.

A native of Lexington, Ky., Mack was also chosen to the 2010 USA Select Team which helped Team USA prepare for the FIBA World Championship, and was captain of the gold medal-winning USA U19 World Championship team during the summer of 2009.

Tiago Splitter will undergo season-ending hip surgery

After seeing multiple specialists to determine the best course of treatment for his right hip pain, Atlanta Hawks center Tiago Splitter has elected to have surgery to repair his right hip. Splitter will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season, including the 2016 NBA Playoffs.

The timing of the procedure is being finalized and his status will be updated once complete

Al Horford replaces Chris Bosh on 2016 NBA All-Star team

Atlanta Hawks forward/center Al Horford has been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and will join teammate Paul Millsap in competing in the 2016 All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Horford will replace Miami’s Chris Bosh, who is unable to play due to injury.

Horford, making his second consecutive appearance and fourth overall in the midseason classic, is averaging 15.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 blocks and 0.8 steals in 31.6 minutes (.507 FG%, .340 3FG%, .778 FT%) while starting all 55 games. He ranks 17th in the NBA in blocks per game and 20th in FG%.

Horford has scored in double-figures 49 times, including nine 20-point contests (two 30-point nights), and owns 11 double-digit rebound games. He also has 10 double-doubles, including four 20-point/10-rebound outings.

The nine-year veteran has hit 55 3FGs this season after making 21 triples in his previous eight years combined. He knocked down a career-best five 3FGs at Houston (12/29) and has made two-or-more three’s in a game 13 times.

Here’s MassLive reporting Danny Ainge’s comments from the 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich program in response to a rumor involving the Celtics and Hawks center Al Horford:

Danny Ainge comments on Celtics, Al Horford rumor

The Celtics have been rumored as a possible destination for Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford, but Ainge threw a bit of cold water on that idea. Despite a batch of recent reports saying the Hawks could consider drastic changes, Ainge said he believes they will keep their core intact.

“I will just remind you that ‘according to reports’ is the key phrase there,” he said. “There’s a lot of motivations that teams have. Sometimes it’s just to see what the value of their players are, and by leaking things like that you can find maybe what people are willing to offer. Typically when you do that and you leak out that you’re willing to move your team or break up your team and start over, you don’t really get — people are looking for bargains. They’re not going to give you the best deal. So my feeling is Atlanta will stay intact. They may make a trade or two but I don’t think they’re going to lose their key guys.”

The Atlanta Hawks (29-22) are getting just 4.7 points in 15.4 minutes per game from Tim Hardaway Jr this season. But in recent games he’s gotten 20 or more minutes. Baby steps. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

Tim Hardaway Jr getting more minutes from Hawks

Defense got Tim Hardaway Jr. on the floor.

Trust is keeping him there.

The guard had season-highs in six statistics as part of a balanced attack that led to the Hawks lopsided 124-86 win at the 76ers Wednesday night. It was the 16th straight game played for Hardaway after appearing in just four of the Hawks’ first 35 contests.

“You earn the trust off your teammates; you earn the trust of your coach,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said prior to the victory. “He’s doing all those little things in a way that earns that.”

Hardaway had a team-high 13 points, along with Dennis Schroder, as the Hawks had all 13 players score with eight in double-figures. The point total was a season-high for Hardaway, eclipsing the 10 points he scored at the Heat just three days earlier. He also set season-highs in minutes (25:47), field goals (5), rebounds (7) and assists (4). He tied his season-high in field goal attempts (8).

Paul Millsap has minor ankle sprain

Paul Millsap has minor ankle sprain

In Thursday’s game at Indiana, Paul Millsap suffered a left ankle sprain with 2:50 remaining in the second quarter. He left the contest and did not return. X-rays were negative. He is listed as probable for tomorrow’s game at Miami.

While on D-League assignment with the Austin Spurs, Walter “Edy” Tavares suffered a right hip bruise in the second quarter of last night’s game against Idaho. He didn’t return to the contest, and is listed as probable for Austin’s game tonight vs. Idaho.

NBA centers usually can’t hit three-pointers. In practice, maybe. When unguarded and unrushed. But usually not in games. But power forward-sized Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford started tossing around one three-point attempt every other game in the 2013-14 season, and currently in 2015-16 is attempting about three per game, hitting 33.7% Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting:

Al Horford taking and making three-pointers this season

The center hit a career-high five 3-pointers in the Hawks’ dramatic come-from-behind win over the Rockets, 121-115, Tuesday night. The Hawks overcame deficits of 19 points in the first half and 11 points in the fourth quarter for a victory several players labeled the best of the season.

Horford finished with a season-high 30 points, four off his career-best. He also had a season-high 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block…

Paul Millsap and Horford both said after the game that the Rockets were allowing the Hawks frontcourt players to shoot from long range – until it because apparent they could make them. The Hawks were 14 of 41 from 3-point range in the game as they set a franchise-high for attempts. The frontcourt players were a combined 12 of 23. The backcourt players were a combined 2 of 18.

Tiago Splitter sustains calf strain

Tiago Splitter sustains calf strain

Atlanta Hawks center Tiago Splitter left last night’s game versus New York due to right lower leg muscle soreness and did not return. Further examination revealed a mild right calf strain. Splitter did not travel with the team to Indiana and is out for the next two games. His status will be updated as appropriate.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on the Hawks, who are 20-12, which is the second best record in the Eastern conference:

Hawks doing well with Kent Bazemore as starter

Kent Bazemore downplays his move back into the Hawks starting lineup.

However, the team’s record is hard to ignore.

The Hawks are 15-5 with Bazemore in the starting lineup, including their current six-game win streak. The run began one game after he was re-inserted on Dec. 14 in a home loss to the Heat even as Bazemore scored a season-high 28 points. The Hawks are 13-4 when Bazemore starts at small forward with the regular unit.

“Everything is starting to come together,” Bazemore said Saturday before the Hawks’ 117-98 win over the Knicks.

The Atlanta Hawks have recalled three players from the NBA Development League - guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and center Edy Tavares from the Canton Charge, and guard/forward Lamar Patterson from the Austin Spurs - it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

In D-League action this season, Hardaway Jr. has played in two games (both with Canton), averaging 17.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 32.7 minutes. Tavares has played in four contests (two with Canton and two with Austin), putting up 10.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 24.1 minutes (.667 FG%, .857 FT%). Patterson has appeared in three games (all with Austin), and has averaged 16.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists in 34.7 minutes.

Hawks assign Tim Hardaway Jr and Edy Tavares to D-League

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has assigned guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and center Edy Tavares to the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League, pursuant to the flexible assignment rule, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Hardaway Jr. has appeared in four games this season for the Hawks, and Tavares has played in three contests.

The Hawks are off to a 12-9 start this season. They’re led by Paul Millsap (18.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.6 apg), Jeff Teague (16.7 ppg, 6.4 apg), Al Horford (15.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Kent Bazemore (11.6 ppg).

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer fined by NBA

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has been fined $25,000 for making incidental contact with a game official during live action, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Budenholzer was assessed a technical foul and ejected, occurred with 6:27 remaining in the second quarter of Atlanta’s 109-97 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Hawks face Cavs on Saturday

Two of the best teams in the Eastern conference face off on Saturday. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

The Cavaliers (9-3) lead the Eastern Conference, with the Hawks (9-5) in third place early in the new season. The Cavaliers are not going anywhere, it would appear. LeBron James carried them last season, and he could very well do it again.

The Hawks will face the Cavaliers without one, and possibly two, starters. Small forward Kent Bazemore (right ankle sprain) has been ruled out. Point guard Jeff Teague (left ankle sprain) is questionable.

The Cavaliers are injured themselves. Point guard Kyrie Irving (fractured left kneecap), guard Iman Shumpert (injured forearm), center Timofey Mozgov (right shoulder sprain) and guard Mo Williams (right lower leg soreness) all will not play. With Mozgov out, Tristan Thompson may start at center. He gave the Hawks fits in the postseason.

“Taking care of the defensive boards is something that is going to be important,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

From President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer:

Wife of Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer recovering from medical emergency

“On Friday morning, I returned to Atlanta from Boston to be with my family due to an emergency medical situation involving my wife. We are encouraged by her progress to this point and remain cautiously optimistic.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the doctors and support staff at Emory for the outstanding care they have provided my wife. I would also like to thank my coaching staff, our players and the entire Hawks organization for their support and encouragement during this time. We are humbled by the outpouring of support from so many friends and members of the NBA family. It is greatly appreciated.

Finally, I’d like to thank the media and our fans for respecting our family’s continued request for privacy during this period.

I will return to the team as soon as possible and will be happy to answer any basketball-related questions at that time.”

Hawks exercise pair of options

The Atlanta Hawks exercised the fourth-year (2016-17) options on the contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dennis Schroder, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

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