Hawks Reveal New Secondary Logo

Thursday, May 1, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson
Hawks Reveal New Secondary Logo

The Atlanta Hawks unveiled their new secondary logo Thursday morning, an evolved version of the old logo used from 1972-1995. 

The new secondary Hawks logo pays homage to one of the franchise’s most successful periods, while personifying the team’s aggressive and attacking style of today. The evolved logo features a more fierce Hawks mark which represents the bold moves the franchise has made and continues to make in order to achieve a sustained and high-level of success on and off the court.

The new logo will serve alongside the primary Hawk logo and officially launch this summer.

The Hawks are giving fans a sneak peek tonight during Game 6.  All fans in attendance will receive a red t-shirt with the logo on it, and are encouraged to post photos with the hashtag #PACisBACK.

Merchandise with the secondary logo on it won’t be on sale until the summer, but you can get first access to it by signing up for email alerts.  Do so by clicking here.

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Click here to see logo history

Game 6 Scouting Report: Hawks vs. Pacers

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson
Game 6 Scouting Report: Hawks vs. Pacers

The Atlanta Hawks are one win away from eliminating the top-seeded Indiana Pacers, but even after an impressive Game 5 road win, Atlanta knows nothing will be easy at home.

“Our guys will have to have the appropriate mental toughness and discipline,” Coach Bud said after practice Wednesday.

And he’s right.  The Hawks are likely about to take Indiana’s best punch.  The Pacers have won both of their “must win” games in this series, and they may have found something late in a Game 5 loss.

Though head coach Frank Vogel likely won’t talk publicly about any adjustments, there’s little doubt he’s at least considering a smaller lineup for Game 6.  With their backs against the wall, nothing is a bad idea, and they’ve been more effective when Roy Hibbert and Ian Mahinmi on the bench.  In just one 15 minute stretch Monday night, they were able to outscore the Hawks by 22 using a lineup primarily consisting of George Hill, C.J. Watson, Paul George, Chris Copeland and David West.  They probably won’t start with that, but don’t be surprised if they go with a similar-looking lineup at some point.  With the smaller lineup they were able to play faster, break down defenders off the dribble and space the floor with shooters – something that’s much more difficult to do when Hibbert and Mahinmi are in the game.

Offensively, the Hawks have to continue to move the ball, keep things spaced, get into their offense early and run when possible.  Late in Game 5, their offense got out of sync because they became passive.  They weren’t cutting, cutting or making quick passes, and that led to a lot of contested shots late in the clock.

Defensively, the Hawks have been extremely good throughout the series.  The big thing now is to be ready for any adjustments should the Pacers make them.  Keeping the ball out of the lane and avoiding foul trouble usually leads to success against Indiana, and that should still be the game plan for the Hawks again on Thursday.

It should be a raucous crowd on Thursday, and the Hawks will have to stay calm and not get caught up in it.  Atlanta is in a great position but needs to take advantage of having Game 6 at home.

Fans are also being asked to wear RED to the game.

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/NBAE/Getty Images

Hawks Players Tweet Excitement After Game 5 Win

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson

There was plenty of Twitter buzz going around Monday night during and after the Atlanta Hawks’ 107-97 Game 5 win over the Indiana Pacers.  More to come on that on the Hawks Blog later, but here’s what the players had to say:

Game 5′s most talked about player didn’t send a tweet of his own but did retweet a few, including one from old teammate Dahntay Jones:

Hawks Take 3-2 Series Lead With Win In Indiana

Monday, April 28, 2014
By Robby Kalland
Hawks Take 3-2 Series Lead With Win In Indiana

The Hawks (3-2) got a 107-97 victory on the road against the Pacers (2-3) thanks to a dominant 41-19 second quarter performance led by Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack. The Hawks trailed after the first quarter by one, but Scott’s 17 points and Mack’s 13 off the bench in the second quarter lifted them to a 21-point halftime lead (full details on that second quarter performance here including video of all five Mike Scott threes).

Hawks vs. Pacers

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Highlights

Atlanta got off to a sloppy start, with six turnovers in the first quarter but played good defense to limit the Pacers to 21 points in the first and only four points off of those six turnovers. When they didn’t turn it over, the Hawks offense was effective, shooting 50% from the field and were led in the first quarter by Jeff Teague – seven points and two rebounds — and Paul Millsap — five points, three blocks, two rebounds.

Scott’s five three-pointers in the second quarter was the second most in NBA playoff history for three-pointers in a quarter — that record belongs to Antoine Walker‘s six from 2002. The 41 points in the second quarter tied the franchise record for highest scoring second quarter — 41 in April 1986 against Detroit. Scott’s 17 points, all of which coming in the second quarter, set a new career playoff-high for him.

As the Hawks pulled away in the second quarter, the Pacers started to press, looking for a spark to get them back into the game. In the third quarter, after falling behind by as many as 30, Indiana found that spark in Paul George and CJ Watson, to help cut the Indiana deficit to 20 heading into the fourth quarter. George was great all game once again, with 26 points to lead all scorers along with 12 rebounds, six assists, and six steals.

Watson and George combined for 20 points in the fourth quarter on 80% shooting (4-of-6 from three), and were the main reasons the Pacers were able to chip away at the lead – Chris Copeland had six points off the bench as well. Three Pacers finished with 16 points – David WestLance Stephenson, and George Hill — but the late surge just wasn’t enough.

The Pacers got the Hawks lead down to as little as nine with 4:04 to play, but Kyle Korver stepped up and drilled a huge three-pointer from 27-feet on the wing to put the Hawks back up 12. The Pacers never got within fewer than eight points — and that came with 31 seconds remaining. Indiana did a great job in the fourth to frustrate the Hawks offense into tough shots and turnovers — Hawks had four turnovers in the fourth.

The Hawks, despite the scare, held their composure long enough and iced the game away at the free throw line, as Mack and Millsap were a perfect 8-for-8 from the stripe down the stretch. Mack set a career playoff-high with his 20 points — all in the second and fourth quarters — along with five assists and two steals. Millsap had 18 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and three assists in a well-balanced game. 

After seven points in the first quarter, Teague’s scoring slowed — partially because of Mack’s effectiveness at the point — and he finished with 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Korver ended up with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting — all three-point attempts — along with nine rebounds, tying his playoff career-high set in Game 4. DeMarre Carroll had 15 points in 28 minutes and Lou Williams gave the Hawks eight points off the bench – Atlanta’s bench out-scored the Pacers’ 45-23.

The win was just the Hawks’ fifth in 19 opportunities in a playoff series tied 2-2, and in NBA history, the team that has won in Game 5 in a tied series goes on to win the series 83% of the time.

The Hawks will look to wrap up the series back home for Game 6 on Thursday night.

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Tweet of the Night

Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack Catch Fire in the Second Quarter

Monday, April 28, 2014
By Robby Kalland

After trailing 21-20 after the first quarter — with six turnovers — the Hawks exploded in the second quarter, out-scoring the Pacers 41-19 behind 30 combined points from Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack off the bench.

Mack tied the game at 21 after splitting a pair of free throws on the first possession for the Hawks, and then Scott went to work on the perimeter. Scott made four consecutive three-pointers on four straight possessions as the Hawks jumped out to a 33-21 lead before the Pacers scored their first basket of the second quarter. The onslaught continued from there, as the Hawks started the quarter on a 28-6 run, capped off by Scott’s fifth three-pointer of the quarter — his 17th point of the quarter.

It was amazing. Seriously, watch this:

The Hawks stayed on the gas for the rest of the quarter, as Mack took over for Scott with eight points in the final four minutes of the half. In all, Atlanta shot 81.3% (13-of-16) from the field and 81.8% (9-of-11) from three-point range. Scott was a perfect 6-for-6 (5-for-5 from three), Mack was 4-for-6 (1-for-2 from three), and Kyle Korver was 2-for-2 (both from three)  in the second quarter.

The Pacers made a strong comeback effort in the second half, but because of the Hawks great second quarter, led by Scott and Mack, the Hawks were able to hang on for a 107-97 victory.

Hawks Fans Destroy Pacer For Good Cause

Monday, April 28, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson

The Hawks may have fallen just short in their quest to go up 3-1 in the series against the Indiana Pacers Saturday, but Atlanta fans had some fun “Pounding The Pacer” outside Philips Arena before the game.

As you may have heard or seen, the team bought a 1976 AMC Pacer and let fans, for a small donation, take a swing at it.  All of the money raised benefited the Atlanta Hawks Foundation, and hundreds of fans showed up early to take their cracks.  Among them were CEO Steve Koonin, “Voice of the Hawks” Steve Holman, PA announcer Ryan Cameron, Harry The Hawk and several Hawks cheerleaders.

You can view some of the best photos of the event by clicking here.

We’ve also put together a sweet time lapse, which you can watch above.

Hawks Shift Focus to Executing In Game 5

Monday, April 28, 2014
By Robby Kalland
Hawks Shift Focus to Executing In Game 5

With the Pacers winning Game 4 and evening the series at 2 games apiece, the focus shifts to the all important Game 5 in Indiana between them and the Hawks. The winner of Game 5 in first round series’ that are tied at 2-2 goes on to win the series 91.3% of the time (42-4 all time; 24-1 higher seed; 18-3 lower seed).

The Hawks maintain that they are a confident group, and have reason to be after taking Game 1 of the series in Indiana with relative ease. The Pacers picked up their intensity in Game 2 — more specifically in the second half of Game 2 — and followed their tenacious defense to a big win. The focal point for the Hawks, and really the difference in their two wins and losses, is on their offensive execution.

After Saturday’s game, in which Atlanta was held to 40 second half points, the team pointed to their second half execution, or lack thereof, as the biggest reason for them losing the fourth quarter lead.

“Our execution wasn’t where it needed to be, and we’ll all work on that and look to improve as we execute down the stretch,” Coach Bud said. “Defensively, there are a lot of positives. Both teams hit some tough shots and made some big plays. We just need to get more efficient offensively and get better execution offensively. If we can keep competing like we competed tonight, that’s what we’re looking for.”

“We shot like 35% for the game,” Kyle Korver said. “We’ve got to shoot a little better than that, probably. Also, I don’t think we converted on a lot of the fast-breaks that we had. If we had done that, it would’ve been a little different.”

Getting that execution starts with ball movement — the hallmark of the Hawks all season — as they have to get the Pacers defense to rotate to create driving lanes and open shots. Jeff Teague has been the catalyst for that ball movement all season, and has been terrific thus far in the series creating 17.3 points per game off of his 6.5 assists per game — 4th among all players in the playoffs per NBA SportVU Stats.

Where the Hawks need to improve for Game 5 is in the team’s collective ball movement. The Hawks were second in the league in assists per game during the regular season (24.9), but during this series are averaging just 17.5 assists per game. Atlanta’s shooting struggles have contributed to their lower assist totals — fewer made shots will naturally mean fewer assists — and the Pacers are forcing the Hawks to make plays off the dribble, but even still, the Hawks offense has appeared stagnant in the second halves of their two losses.

During the regular season, five Hawks players averaged 2.9 assists or more, and six had 0.7 secondary assists — passes leading to assists — or higher. Through four games this series, only two players are above those thresholds respectively — Teague and Shelvin Mack in assists and Korver and Pero Antic in secondary assists. Those numbers, particularly the secondary assists, shows that at times the Hawks are struggling to string together multiple passes to lead to a score, something they prided themselves on doing in the regular season.

The final minutes of last night’s game was emblematic of the Hawks struggles in their two losses against the Pacers’ defense, as they were pressured into turnovers and contested shots. The Hawks have to get back to playing with the pace and intensity they showed in Games 1 and 3, where, led by Teague, they pushed the ball in transition and semi-transition to collapse the Pacers defense and create open looks. In those two games, even when they struggled to make shots, they were able to create open looks off of penetration and ball movement.

Even with the offense’s sporadic nature this series, the defensive presence has been tremendous all series — maybe with the exception of the second half of Game 2. As noted in Budenholzer’s quote above, the Hawks were pleased with the defensive effort throughout the game last night, and particularly in the final minutes as they gave themselves opportunities to come back. The Pacers’ three biggest shots were all difficult shots – Paul George‘s fading three, David West‘s three, and George Hill‘s running, contested scoop layup. The Pacers have been forced to make difficult shots, which at times they have done, but the Hawks have done well to avoid giving Indiana easy shots and dunks that boost their confidence.

Game 5 is crucial for each team, and the deciding factor will likely be which team can execute offensively. For the Hawks, this means moving the Pacers in the half court with pace and ball movement and not allowing the Pacers to dictate the flow and pace. While Atlanta wants to improve on their execution, they are moving on from the Game 4 loss and focusing on the task at hand.

“There is no time or energy or thoughts of what could have been,” Coach Bud said. “We just have to move on to the next game.”

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Game 5 Scouting Report: Hawks vs. Pacers

Sunday, April 27, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson
Game 5 Scouting Report: Hawks vs. Pacers

The Indiana Pacers did what they had to do in getting a split in Atlanta to regain home-court advantage.  Their Game 4 win, particularly the second half of it, was a display of grit and will, as the team many thought to be the best in the NBA through the first half of the season finally looked the part.

For the Hawks, nothing about the two games in Atlanta should discount their belief that they can get another win in Indianapolis.  For stretches of Game 4, the Hawks were the aggressor, but the turning point seemed to be Paul Millsap picking up consecutive fouls in a seven second span in the third quarter, which forced him to the bench for six minutes.  The Pacers knifed into what was a double digit lead and ended up winning the game.

As the focus turns to Game 5, the concern for Atlanta has to be the way Game 4 ended.  Though not the most productive quarter in terms of points scored, the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game was arguably Indiana’s best all-around quarter from an offensive standpoint.  The ball seemed to never stop moving, and shot after shot went uncontested.  Defensively, the Hawks need to do a better job of keeping the ball in front of them, playing good on-ball defense, and avoiding unnecessary double teams.  When Atlanta went to double or trap, rotations to the open Pacers were nonexistent.

Offensively, Atlanta got some good looks that didn’t go in, but there were also several bad shots that came as a result of the shot clock getting too low.  Jeff Teague needs to do a better job getting the team into a consistently-moving offense earlier in the shot clock, because Indiana is not a team you can afford to let guard you easily for 19 seconds.

Coach Bud made a heads up decision to play Mike Scott instead of the struggling Pero Antic for stretches with the starters, and it seemed to work.  Antic had trouble finding his man after leaving to help, and Scott also made a few shots on the offensive end.  It hasn’t seen Antic’s series to date, but it was good to see Scott step up when his number was called.

I expect very few matchup and lineup adjustments from either team going into Monday’s Game 5.  The Pacers rallied around their home crowd for an easy win last time the teams were there, so the Hawks will need to do a better job of keeping the crowd at bay by protecting the ball, getting back on defense and taking quality shots in Game 5.

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Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Hawks Drop Close One as Pacers Even Series at 2-2

Saturday, April 26, 2014
By Robby Kalland
Hawks Drop Close One as Pacers Even Series at 2-2

The Hawks (2-2) had a shot to tie the game on the final possession, but Pero Antic‘s three was wide right as the Pacers (2-2) held on for a 91-88 victory to even the series before going back to Indiana. Paul Millsap led all scorers with 29 points (10-of-18) along with seven rebounds, three blocks, and two assists, but Paul George and George Hill carried the Pacers down the stretch with an assist from an unexpected three-pointer by David West to help the Pacers get a much needed win.

Hawks vs. Pacers

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Stats

Highlights

The Pacers rolled with their small lineup featuring West and Luis Scola for the closing stretch of the fourth quarter, and it paid off for Frank Vogel’s club. The lineup, which has been one of Indiana’s best offensive groups the last few games, was not only effective on offense, but did well defensively as well. Atlanta turned the ball over five times in the fourth quarter leading to six Indiana points, and shot just 6-for-16 from the field in the fourth.

“Against this team which has five three-point shooter, I think it makes sense ,” said Coach Vogel. “It makes me a little worried about rim protection, as we usually have Ian or Roy out there. What we have are two major league competitors in David West and Luis Scola.”

George finished with 24 points (10-of-18), 10 rebounds, and five assists and hit 4-of-7 from the three-point line. While George has had big games with the exception of Game 3, the difference in this game was the production from Hill, West, and Evan Turner. West had 18 points (7-of-13), five rebounds, three steals, and two blocks and, along with Ian Mahinmi, did a terrific job protecting the rim on defense. Turner gave the Pacers a spark in the first half with 11 points and Hill had his best game of the series going 5-of-8 from the floor with 15 points, five assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Hill hit a tough layup cutting across the lane that put the Pacers up by three in the final minute.

The Pacers defense as a whole was terrific, holding the Hawks to 35.7% shooting, blocking 11 Hawks shots on the game, and forced 14 turnovers that led to 22 points. Aside from Millsap, the Hawks struggled to get much going offensively. DeMarre Carroll — who had a big Game 3 — was just 1-of-6 from the field with three points, seven rebounds, and four assists, and Pero Antic also was just 1-of-6 from field with two points.

Only Millsap shot above 50% from the field – Shelvin Mack shot exactly 50% at 3-of-6 — and for the first time all series, they were able to keep Jeff Teague away from the rim and off the free throw line — only two free throw attempts for Teague. Jeff finished with 14 points (5-of-15), seven assists, and six rebounds and hit a pair of big three-pointers in the fourth quarter, but was not able to create as many looks at the rim as he had in the previous games.

After executing exceptionally well in the fourth quarter of Game 3 on both ends of the floor, the Hawks execution left plenty to be desired late in this one. With the Pacers’ defense locked in, the Hawks struggled to create open looks and had some sloppy turnovers and possessions in the fourth.

“Our group competed tonight and put themselves in a position to win,” said Coach Bud. “Our execution wasn’t where it needed to be and we’ll all work on that and look to improve as we execute down the stretch. Defensively, there are a lot of positives. Both teams hit some tough shots and made some big plays. We just need to get more efficient offensively and get better execution offensively. If we can keep competing like we competed tonight, that’s what we’re looking for.”

The Pacers, who trailed by six at the half, got going in the third quarter while the Hawks sputtered. Millsap picked up his third and fourth fouls with 9:42 to go in the third, and had to sit until the 3:45 mark. In that stretch, the Pacers went on a 14-8 run to get the lead down to three, and continued that run to take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.

The Hawks quickly took the lead in and led for most of the fourth quarter, by as many as six with 7:31 left, but the Pacers were able to fight back and took the lead for good on a George fall-away three-pointer with 2:11 to play followed by West’s three-pointer with 1:54 left. The Hawks got the lead back to just one after three Kyle Korver free throws — three of his 15 points and a career playoff-high nine rebounds — but after Hill hit the runner to go back up three with 56.3 seconds left, neither team was able to score.

Execution on offense was a problem for both teams who got opportunities, the Hawks to tie or lead and the Pacers to ice it away, but neither offense could produce in that final minute. Millsap missed a runner in the lane late that would’ve cut the lead to one, and then, up three, George missed two free throws to give the Hawks one final look with 6.9 seconds to go. The Hawks got the ball in to Millsap who passed to Antic on the wing. Antic stepped back and got a decent look that went off the right-side of the rim as time expired.

With the win, the Pacers reclaimed home-court advantage and the Hawks will have to take at least one more in Indiana if they are to win the series.

“I think we’re still a confident group,” said Millsap. “We let one slip away here. We showed that we can go and compete in the games up there. That’s what our mindset is now. We have to let this one go and get ready for Monday.”

The Hawks’ first opportunity to do that will be Monday night in Game 5.

Tweet of the Night

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/NBAE/Getty Images

Game 4 Scouting Report: Hawks vs. Pacers

Friday, April 25, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson
Game 4 Scouting Report: Hawks vs. Pacers

A seesaw series now leans the Hawks’ way once more after Atlanta recorded an impressive Game 3 victory at Philips Arena Thursday night.  Now the Pacers are back on their heels, needing a bounce-back win similar to the one they had in Game 2.

The Hawks got big contributions from Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll – two players who were quiet offensively in the two games in Indiana – in Game 3.  Korver’s 20 points included 4 three-pointers, and Carroll’s 18 came on an efficient 6/8 shooting.  Paul George sat a chunk of the first half after two quick fouls, but the Hawks couldn’t capitalize with him on the bench.  Assuming he can avoid similar foul trouble in Game 4, Korver and Carroll will have to once again be factors offensively, as George will likely spend most of his time guarding Jeff Teague.

Much has been made about the Pacers’ lineup and whether or not they’ll change things up for Game 4.  Center Roy Hibbert has struggled, while backup power forward Luis Scola has excelled thanks in large part to a pinpoint mid-range game.  If Scola starts, or even if he doesn’t, Atlanta will need to be aware of his ability to knock down the Al Horford-like 18-footer if he has space.

Paul Millsap had another good offensive outing Thursday despite being guarded by the taller Hibbert for most of it.  He went just 1/4 from three, but the threat of him making those is still enough to draw Hibbert away from the rim.  If Indiana sticks with that matchup, Millsap will once again have to make threes, or at least enough of them to keep Hibbert honest.

Atlanta did a great job of getting to the free throw line in Game 3, shooting 37 freebies.  Conversely, they kept Indiana out of the paint and off the line just enough to keep their distance.  They lost shooters a few times, but for the most part they locked the Pacers down and made shots difficult.  With another rowdy crowd expected for Saturday’s afternoon tilt, the Hawks should be in decent position to go up 3-1 in the series, provided they can defend the way they did in Games 1 and 3.

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images