SportsNation Blog Archives Atlanta Hawks
Coming off four losses in a row to close 2009 and begin 2010, including back-to-back losses against the Cavaliers, the Hawks were reeling. John Hollinger had a simple message as the Hawks prepared for three in a row against the Celtics, Magic and Celtics again.
ATL didn't come out of that back-to-back with CLE too well. How will they survive BOS/@ORL/@BOS in the span of 72 hours?
They better win at least two if they want to maintain contact with the East's upper crust. Hawks were playing as well as anyone in basketball up until two weeks ago but have lost their mojo a bit of late; last night's scrimmage against New Jersey should help boost morale and they've done well historically against both Boston and Orlando (not so much against Cleveland), so they have a chance to emerge in decent shape. Full transcript
Mission accomplished, with wins in both games against the Celtics (we won't mention the blowout loss at Orlando). But the best sign the Atlanta Hawks may just be for real this season? Even Cavaliers fans now consider them a threat.
Almost two months ago, we asked if the Hawks were legit. A healthy majority of voters, 57 percent, gave them the nod of approval. Ohio was one of the few states leaning the other way. But now? Even the Buckeye State sees a four-team race in the East.
Erik (Atlanta, Ga)
Are the Hawks standing pat or is there a move out there they can make?
If they could do a move along the lines of Marvin Williams-Antawn Jamison which would give them a better shot of getting out of the 2nd round, I think they'd [do] something like that. They need an upgrade somewhere more than they need an extra piece. Crawford is the extra piece they were missing. Full transcript
Fresh off the team's 105-90 win against the Heat Wednesday, it's a good time to be an Atlanta Hawks fan. Joe Johnson is in heady territory at No. 7 on Maurice Brooks' MVP Watch, holding down the fort just behind LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki. And at 10-2 overall, the Hawks continue holding down the No. 1 spot in John Hollinger's Power Rankings.
So why are so many good seats still available on the bandwagon?
Only 54 percent of SportsNation thinks the Hawks are legitimate contenders, and a majority still like the Magic to win the Southeast. And looking at SportsNation's Power Rankings, it's taken a long time for the Hawks to gain traction.
Should we offically say Hawks are contenders?
I think that's fair. They have a ton of talent and every year they keep taking another step. Joe Johnson has been an early MVP candidate. Josh Smith has been on fire. They really look great. I still favor Orlando, Boston and Cleveland. But Atlanta's closer than I thought they'd be. Full transcript
Lakers fans are understandably excited about the new season, and the defending champs are a popular choice to repeat among bloggers in the ESPN.com community.
"I've never been more excited for the opening of any season, any sport," blogs kurtnaphansen. "The combination of being on the heels of the Lakers winning the NBA championship, of all the trash talk from Cavs, Celtics, Magic, Spurs and even Blazers fans, and of a very new interesting development with the addition of Sheed to Boston, Shaq to Cleveland and Artest to LA."
Below are fan blogs and predictions about the season, which tipped off this week. Click through to respond. If you don't already have an ESPN profile, create one now and start blogging.
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Let's get one thing straight: Linas Kleiza isn't exactly a household name. He's a good complementary piece, perhaps even a starter for a non-contender; one of those guys who are nice to have but aren't going to take over a game on a regular basis.What he is, however, is one in an increasingly long line of trailblazers. Having established himself in the NBA, Kleiza is leaving for Greek team Olympiakos. He's not the first, of course. Europe is fast becoming a destination for midlevel NBA and college talents. Josh Childress is perhaps the most notable example, signing with the Greek powerhouse for big bucks. Brandon Jennings spent time in an Italian league in lieu of college, and Nick Calathes has chosen Greek team Panathinaikos instead of submitting to the vagaries of the draft. (Though Calathes was drafted in the second round and traded anyway. Go figure.) It seems like a matter of time before a European team springs for an A-level NBA talent, if for no other reason than the money can be surprisingly lucrative. Kleiza is getting paid more than triple his previous yearly salary, while Childress is pulling down a cool $10 million per year in Greece. Chris Webber briefly flirted with the idea of playing for Olympiakos, and rumors had Greek teams looking at Allen Iverson, but so far, no dice.
Good move for Kleiza! he will get more recognition over in Europe and will also get a better chance at proving himself! The NBA here is so bad now a days thats its almost unwatchable!” -- eric.cartman22
I never thought that we were in danger of losing our stars to the European leagues, but I see instances like this one becoming more and more common. It's going to be hard to keep European players here if they get an offer to go back home for more money. American born players will always prefer to play here, even if it is for slightly less than they could make in Europe, because they're slightly intimidated by the though of living abroad (with an exception for players like Kobe who spent significant time overseas when they were growing up). The same is true in reverse for the European players. If they can make the same amount of money back home as they can make here, they'll go home. The end result will be that NBA teams will have to overpay for international talent in order to keep them here.” -- jb1089