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Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague named to 2015 East All-Star team

Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague have been selected by the Eastern Conference coaches to the All-Star team, and will compete in the 2015 All-Star game on Sunday, Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. This marks the first time since 1980 that the Hawks have had three All-Stars.

“It is an honor for our entire organization to have Al, Paul and Jeff selected to play on the All-Star stage,” said Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer, who will serve as head coach of the Eastern Conference squad. “The recognition is well-deserved for each of them. We are very proud of the guys, and also want to acknowledge the rest of our players and coaches for their roles in helping our players reach this accomplishment.”

Horford, an All-Star for the third time (also 2010 and 2011), is averaging 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks in 30.5 minutes (.551 FG%, .750 FT%), having played in 44 contests. He ranks ninth in the NBA in FG%, 17th in assist-turnover ratio (2.77), 18th in FGM (300) and t20th in bpg. Horford owns eight double-doubles and recorded his first career triple-double with 21 points on 8-10 shooting, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 29 minutes at Philadelphia on Jan. 13. He was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice this season, for games played 12/15-12/21 and for 1/12-1/18.

“I feel honored to represent the Hawks and the city of Atlanta again,” Horford said. ”I want to give credit to our coaches and my teammates, as I know I wouldn’t be in this position without their support. I look forward to enjoying the time in New York and being a part of All-Star.”

Making his second consecutive All-Star appearance, Millsap is putting in team-bests of 17.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals to go along with 3.2 assists in 33.3 minutes in 45 games (all starts), hitting .487 FGs, .364 3FGs and .753 FTs. He ranks 12th in the league in spg, t22nd in FTM (175), 24th in rpg and 36th in ppg. He is also seventh in the NBA in +/- radio (+331). He has scored in double-figures 42 times, including 12 20-point nights, and has 11 double-doubles.

“It’s a privilege to be an All-Star for the second straight year,” Millsap said. “I know the success our team has had so far this season is a major factor, so my teammates and coaches are the reason that I have this opportunity. I’m proud to be representing them in New York.”

In his sixth season, all with the Hawks, Teague is headed to the All-Star game for the first time. In 42 games this season (41 starts), he’s compiled 17.0 points, 7.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 31.3 minutes (.470 FG%, .331 3FG%, .866 FT%). Teague is sixth in the NBA in apg, 11th in spg, 14th in FT%, 15th in assist-turnover ratio (2.86), t22nd in FTM (175) and 36th in ppg. He has scored in double-digits 34 times, with 19 20-point outings, and has nine games with 10-or-more assists. Teague was the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played 12/29-1/4.

“I’d like to thank the Eastern Conference coaches,” Teague said. “Being named to the All-Star team means a lot to me and to my family, and I’m going to truly enjoy the entire experience. I’m only as successful as the team, so my teammates and coaches share in this honor.”

The Hawks are currently a Conference-best 38-8 (.826) and on a franchise record 17-game win streak (15-0 in January). Atlanta is 31-2 (.939) over the last 33 contests, and are 30 games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Atlanta is the fifth team in the last 20 seasons to win 38 of their first 46 games.

Hawks beat Pistons for 13th straight win

The Atlanta hawks defended their home court Monday, beating the Detroit Pistons 93-82. Paul Millsap and Mike Scott each scored 20 points in the win. For Detroit in the loss, Greg Monroe had 16 points and 20 rebounds, while Andre Drummond had 13 points and 18 rebounds. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

Hawks beat Pistons for 13th straight win

The two hottest teams in the NBA met Monday in Atlanta, and the Detroit Pistons got another up-close look at just how good the sizzling Hawks are.

Whether making shots or not, the Hawks’ defense always shows up, as it did again in a 93-82 victory in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee at Philips Arena.

The Hawks won their 13th consecutive game and 27th in their last 29, while Detroit lost for just the third time in its last 14 games, with two of those losses to the Hawks.

The Pistons (16-26) lost contact during a late-third-quarter stretch when they had drawn within one point but Jodie Meeks and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope forced 3-pointers in quick succession.

jeff teague

Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant on Monday were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 29, through Sunday, Jan. 4.

Teague led the Hawks to a 3-0 week, behind a conference-leading 23.7 ppg, and his 8.3 apg and 2.67 spg were both good for second in the conference. Teague shot .500 or better from the field in all three games, and handed out at least six assists in each contest. On Dec. 30, during a 109-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Teague scored 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, and added 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals. At 25-8 (.758), the Hawks stand alone atop the Eastern Conference.

kevin durant

Durant helped the Thunder to a 2-0 week, which included wins over the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards, behind a league-leading 39.0 ppg. He added 9.0 rpg and 4.5 apg, and ranked eighth in the West in three-point field goal percentage with a mark of .556 (10-of-18). On Dec. 31, Durant scored 44 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 effort from the foul line, as the Thunder topped the Suns 137-134 in overtime.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Dallas’ Monta Ellis, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on the Hawks and point guard Jeff Teague, with stats through Saturday’s games:

Hawks, Jeff Teague enjoying great season

The Hawks boast the best record in the Eastern Conference and Teague directs the well-balanced offensive attack. Teague is the Hawks’ leading scorer through 33 games with an average of 17.3 points. The total is good for just 30th in the NBA. Teague has scored in double figures 22 times this season, including 16 20-point games. He is on pace to increase his scoring average in each of his six seasons.

The Hawks’ offense is all about pace and ball movement as they share the wealth better than nearly every team in the NBA. The Hawks are third in the league in assists at 25.3 per game. Their season totals include 30 games of at least 20 assists and 20 games of at least 25 assists. They have reached the 30-assist mark five times. Teague is the man directing that facet of the offense most of the time as well. He leads the team and his 10th in the league with 7.0 assists per game.

Teague has led the Hawks in scoring 10 times and in assists in 26 of his 30 games. He also adds 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals, 11th in the NBA, to his all-around totals.

Atlanta Hawks for sale

If you want to buy an NBA team, an opportunity is developing. Unfortunately, though, it could cost more than expected, and you can blame Donald Sterling for that. Ever since the Los Angeles Clippers sold for billions instead of millions, the value of almost every franchise probably flew up. Anyway, here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting that the Hawks are for sale:

The Hawks are for sale – as in 100 percent of the franchise.

According to person familiar with the situation, agreements have been reached between all three ownership groups to sell their complete stakes in the team. Those agreements have been approved by the NBA.

The team will be officially on the market next week, according to a league source. The investment banking firm Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports has been retained to handle the sale process. The firm can now begin the process of gathering and vetting prospective buyers. Estimations are the franchise could be sold for upwards of $600 million dollars.

The Washington-based group, led by controlling owner Bruce Levenson, announced in September that it would sell its 50.1 stake following the discovery of a racially inflammatory email that rocked the franchise. An independent investigation discovered an e-mail Levenson wrote in 2012 that included racist remarks about the fan base and game operations. Levenson’s partners Ed Peskowitz and Todd Foreman are also stakeholders in the original group known as the Atlanta Spirit.

That Kyle Korver jumpshot is special

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on shooting guard Kyle Korver, whose ability to shoot a basketball is something special:

Kyle Korver doing amazing jumpshot-things

Korver leads the NBA in 3-point percentage at .520 (91 of 175). He led the league last season at .472 (185 of 392). He also holds the record for best percentage in a season of .536 (59 of 110) set in the 2009-10 season with the Jazz.

The shooting guard is flirting with the 50/50/90 mark this season of shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line. He is currently the only player in the NBA shooting at least 49 percent from the field (.498) and 3-point range (.520) and 90 percent from the free-throw line (.938). He ranks third in the league in effective field goal percentage at .679, which takes into account all three percentages.

Korver has made four or more 3-pointers in a game 12 times this season. He has made five or more five times already after accomplishing that feat seven times all of last season. Korver is still well over 50 percent from 3-point range despite going a combined 3 for 13 in games last week against the Bucks.

al horford

Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford and Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 15, through Sunday, Dec. 21.

Horford led the Hawks to a 3-0 record, which included a home win over the Chicago Bulls and road wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets. He led the Hawks in scoring at 18.3 ppg and stuffed the stat sheet with 6.7 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.67 bpg and 1.0 spg. Horford’s .605 field goal percentage ranked eighth in the conference. On Dec. 15, he posted 21 points on 10-of-19 shooting, and added 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals as the Hawks topped the Bulls 93-86. Winners of 9-of-10 and with a 19-7 (.731) overall mark, the Hawks are tied for the Eastern Conference’s second best record.

lamarcus aldridge

Aldridge helped the Trail Blazers to a 4-0 mark on the week, which included two wins over the San Antonio Spurs and wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans. Aldridge, who posted point-rebound double-doubles in all four games, ranked sixth in the West in scoring (26.3 ppg), second in rebounding (14.3 rpg), and eighth in steals (2.25 spg). On Dec. 19, Aldridge collected 32 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and two blocks during a 129-119 triple-overtime win over the Spurs in San Antonio. At 22-6 (.786), Portland owns the second best record in the West.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Dallas’ Monta Ellis, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Portland’s Damian Lillard, and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry.

The Atlanta Hawks have recalled forward/center Adreian Payne from the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Payne has appeared in 11 D-League games this season (six with Fort Wayne and five with Austin), averaging 13.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.1 minutes. In last night’s win over Rio Grande Valley, he totaled 18 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes (7-12 FGs).

Hawks assign Mike Muscala to D-League

The Atlanta Hawks have assigned forward/center Mike Muscala to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Muscala has appeared in eight games with the Hawks this season, averaging 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.0 minutes (.586 FG%, .800 FT%). In a Dec. 10 win against Philadelphia, he had 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal in 19 minutes (6-8 FGs), tying career-highs in FGM and assists.

He saw action in two games with Fort Wayne earlier this year, putting up 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 assists in 25.0 minutes (.625 FG%, .700 FT%). In his most recent contest with the Mad Ants (Dec. 7 vs. Westchester), he recorded 14 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two assists in 27 minutes (6-9 FGs, 2-4 FTs) in a 97-86 win. He was first assigned on Dec. 6 and recalled on Dec. 8.

Atlanta Hawks hire a Diversity and Inclusion Officer

The Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena have named Nzinga Shaw as the organization’s new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO), it was announced today by CEO Steve Koonin. In this role, Shaw is responsible for developing and embedding diversity and inclusion best practices throughout the organization. She will design a strategic, cross-departmental program that creates deeper cultural awareness and sensitivity. Additionally, Shaw will serve as a member of the Executive Committee and provide guidance to the leadership team so that they can engender inclusivity in every facet of the business. She will report directly to Koonin.

“I am excited to be a member of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena organization at such a pivotal time. My goal as the CDIO is to help our organization continue to rebuild trust and partnership in the Atlanta community, emphasizing civility and sportsmanship in an effort to ensure that everyone can be a fan of the team, attend home games, and so that we can serve as a model for inclusion in the NBA,” Shaw said. “More specifically, I will lead the charge of creating a strategic framework to help shift the culture so that we can create greater inclusion and engagement with all of our fans and stakeholders.”

Shaw most recently served as SVP of Diversity & Inclusion at Edelman, the world’s largest public relations agency. There she led the implementation of a global diversity and inclusion strategy. For her work, Shaw was selected by PR Week in August 2014 as a recipient of the 2014 40 Under 40 Award, and she was featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle in October 2014 as one of 15 women to receive the inaugural “Women Who Mean Business Award” for her strength in creating viable workplace diversity and inclusion programs. Shaw is an alumna of Spelman College (BA) and the University of Pennsylvania (MLA).

“As CEO, I am committed to infusing diversity and inclusion throughout our organization and I will continue to champion it from the very top. A key part of the new model – appointing a CDIO who reports directly to me – will improve accountability across the organization,” Koonin said. “Nzinga will help us establish diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage in terms of exceptional internal performance, outstanding customer service, and unparalleled fan engagement.”

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who is scoring a team-best 18.3 ppg and leading the team in assists with 7.0 apg:

Jeff Teague moving up in Hawks record book

Jeff Teague doesn’t like to talk about his individual accomplishments.

However, his body of work is speaking volumes for the Hawks point guard.

Teague had 24 points and 12 assists in a loss to the Raptors Wednesday. The 20-point, 10-assist effort tied him with Joe Johnson with 18 for sixth on the Hawks’ all-time list. He trails only franchise luminaries Mookie Blaylock (24), Pete Maravich (22), Jason Terry (22), Eddie Johnson (21) and Lenny Wilkens (21).

That’s not bad company.

Hawks recall Adreian Payne from D-League

Hawks recall Adreian Payne from D-League

The Atlanta Hawks have recalled rookie forward/center Adreian Payne from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Payne appeared in two games with the Mad Ants (at Erie on 11/21 and 11/22), averaging 12.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in 31.1 minutes. In last night’s contest, he totaled 17 points, 13 rebounds (five on the offensive glass), two assists and two blocks in 31 minutes (4-9 FGs, 9-11 FTs).

DeMarre Carroll set to return for Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks, who through Thursday’s games have a 5-5 record, are regaining the services of rugged, versatile small forward DeMarre Carroll. Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting:

DeMarre Carroll set to return for Hawks

DeMarre Carroll is back.

The Hawks small forward will be active for tonight’s game against the Pistons and all indications are that he will start. Carroll missed the past four games with a groin strain. He went through full practices Wednesday and Thursday and shoot-around Friday.

Carroll declared himself 100 percent healthy following the morning practice.

“Coach Bud makes the final call but in my head I’m good to go,” Carroll said. “I think we did the proper treatment by taking the time off.”

Hawks assign Adreian Payne to D-League

The Atlanta Hawks have assigned rookie forward/center Adreian Payne to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. He was Atlanta’s first-round pick (15th overall) in 2014.

The Mad Ants’ next two games are Friday and Saturday night at Erie.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on a roster decision made by the Atlanta Hawks:

Hawks decline team option on John Jenkins

The Hawks declined to exercise the fourth-year team option on former first-round pick John Jenkins. The shooting guard who have been due $2,228,025 for the 2015-16 season but now becomes an unrestricted free agent following this season.

The team exercised the third-year option on Dennis Schroder. The point guard will make $1,763,400 next season.

Jenkins, who was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft out of Vanderbilt, has been slowed by injury during his Hawks career. He averaged 6.1 points in 14.8 minutes as a rookie in 74 games. However, last season was an injury plagued year for the shooting guard. He missed substantial time that summer and training camp with a back injury. The 23-year old appeared in only 13 games last season when the injury re-occurred and eventually required season-ending surgery in February.

The Atlanta Hawks have waived Jarell Eddie and Dexter Pittman, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

The Hawks’ roster stands at 15, the league maximum for the regular season, which begins in one week.

Pac-Man logo Hawks court is back

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on a Hawks development that a lot of old-school fans will appreciate:

The team’s new secondary logo, a revision of the old Pac Man look, is now dominant at center court. The large white-and-red logo replaces the primary logo that had been the centerpiece of the court. The new secondary logo has been popular with the fan base and its use will likely grow in the future. It will eventually replace the current primary logo of the Hawk with spread wings.

“I was pretty excited to see it,” Al Horford said of the new logo at center court. “It’s pretty powerful. I like it.”

The court underwent several other revisions. The free-throw lanes have been painted bright red. The apron surrounding the court is blue. The apron displays “Atlanta Hawks” painted in white block-style letters with red trim along both baselines. The team web site address and Twitter and Instagram handles are painted along the baselines opposite the team benches.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on one of the most popular Hawks of all time:

atlanta hawks

Dominique Wilkins will get his statue.

The Basketball Hall of Famer and Hawks legend will have a statue of his likeness erected outside Philips Arena next year.

A group has contracted Hall of Fame sculptor Brian Hanlon to do the art work many believe long over due. Hanlon worked with Wilkins when he created the bust for his 2006 enshrinement. The sculpture will be unveiled on March 6, the day the Hawks host LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

“The first thing that comes to mind is that it immortalizes you,” Wilkins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday. “There is no better feeling in the world to know that you will be recognized for the rest of your life and even after you are gone it’s still going to be there.”

The Atlanta Hawks finished last season with a 38-44 record. Enjoy this video showcasing their best plays of the season:

Atlanta Hawks re-sign forward Mike Scott

Atlanta Hawks re-sign forward Mike Scott

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed forward Mike Scott, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“Mike has worked hard and continues to adapt, improve and expand his all around game,” Ferry said. “We are very happy to have him with us going forward and we look forward to his continued growth with our group.”

Atlanta’s second-round pick (43rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft, Scott played in 80 games (six starts) for the Hawks last season, averaging 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18.5 minutes (.479 FG%, .780 FT%). He knocked down 62 three-pointers after going 0-1 from downtown in his rookie season. Scott scored in double figures 40 times (five 20-point games including one 30-point night), leading the team in scoring nine times. In his six starts, he put up 14.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32.5 minutes. He hit double digits in 13 straight games from 1/8-2/5, the longest stretch of his career.

In Atlanta’s 2014 first-round playoff series against Indiana, Scott compiled 9.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.9 minutes, including a 17-point second quarter (6-6 FGs, 5-5 3FGs – the second-most three’s in a quarter in NBA playoff history) in Game 5 (4/28/14).

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