Cleat Geeks

Atlanta Hawks: Don’t Let the Door Catch Your Cape!

Photo: Natalie Behring


With a collective sigh of relief, Atlanta Hawks fans bid farewell to Dwight Howard this week. Dwight Howard was a huge disappointment this season and spent the biggest moments of the Atlanta Hawk’s miserable playoff appearance on the bench. The star center, formally known as “Superman”, also managed to make headlines after being cited for speeding, no registration, and no insurance in the wee hours of the same day as the Hawk’s playoff elimination game.

In the weeks leading up to the trade, Howard, who has made 5 three pointers his entire career, claimed he was working on his three-point shooting and perimeter game this summer. Dwight Howard is 6’11, 265 pounds and, thankfully, a Charlotte Hornet now.

The Hawks sent Howard and the No. 31 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to Charlotte for center Miles Plumlee, shooting guard Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick, getting the deal completed late Tuesday night.

Howard, an eight-time All-Star and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, will be playing for his third team in three seasons following a disappointing one-year return to his Atlanta hometown.

Howard signed a three-year, $70.5 million deal with Atlanta and then sat out the fourth quarter in two of six playoff games in the Hawks’ first-round loss to Washington. Howard, 31, is due to earn $23.5 million each of the next two seasons. Plumlee, 28, still has three years remaining on his contract at $12.5 million per season. Belinelli, 31, is set to earn $6.6 million in the final year of his deal.





Atlanta Hawks Trade: What We Know So Far.


It has begun. Nearly 48 hours after I mentioned it, the Hawks have made a move, but not the one we all thought they made.kyle-korver


Kyle Korver has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers (granted it has not been fully completed yet) for a potential return of Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams (who has yet to play due to leg surgery), and a potential protected pick in 2019 or 2020.

It is still unclear whether the Hawks intend to keep either one of these men, or trade them again, or waive them. Atlanta already waived Ryan Kelley to make some room, but a lot still doesn’t make sense.

Earlier in the week rumors surfaced that Atlanta was taking phone calls on Paul Millsap, despite a current 5 game win streak that has seen Millsap close the game in true fashion where in the month of January he’s been averaging 21 pts and 9 boards. Where i’m getting at is where exactly are the Hawks trying to put themselves at this point? Last we checked, Atlanta was building itself to challenge Cleveland not strengthen them. Korver adds shooting depth to the Cavs, and during the playoffs could see big minutes in the right situation when they need a bucket or two.

Right, Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (34), with Chicago Bulls guard Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (34), right, is congratulated by Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) after making a three-point basket against the Boston Celtics during the second half at the United Center in Chicago on Monday, March 31, 2014. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)

Mike Dunleavy on the other hand, hasn’t scored in the last 5 games, and has missed some time due to an ankle injury. He definitely does not provide the same production (currently) that Korver has, but given a few minutes on the floor he might get a point, or a rebound, or assist. His best playing years came when he was a Warrior and a Pacer when he was averaging double digits, but that was nearly 8 years ago.


Mo Williams on the other hand, gave the world the impression he was retiring, but never inked the paperwork, and is still on the Cavs roster. He has since hinted a return, but not before enduring surgery. So it will be unclear what the Hawks organization will want to do with him. In 18 min for the Cavs last season he averaged 8 pts and 2 ast.

If your looking for a career stat chart, here’s a look below with a snapshot provided by

1 Mike Dunleavy 2003 2017 956 585 28.1 4.1 9.2 .441 1.3 3.5 .376 2.7 5.7 .482 .513 1.9 2.4 .803 0.7 3.6 4.3 2.3 0.7 0.3 1.4 2.0 11.4
2 Kyle Korver 2004 2017 996 417 26.6 3.4 7.8 .442 2.0 4.6 .429 1.5 3.2 .461 .568 1.1 1.3 .879 0.3 2.8 3.1 1.8 0.7 0.3 1.1 2.2 10.0
3 Mo Williams 2004 2016 818 525 29.2 5.0 11.4 .434 1.3 3.5 .378 3.6 7.9 .460 .493 1.9 2.2 .871 0.5 2.3 2.8 4.9 0.9 0.1 2.3 2.5 13.2
For more on the trade of the Hawks and Cavs keep your sneakers racked at!


NBA 5 On 5 12/16

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Welcome to the NBA 5 On 5, where we break down 5 topics buzzing around the association.

1)New CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) Has Been Reached:


Key Details:

-Shorter Preseason. Which means it will reduce the schedule going forward of back-to-backs and 4 games in 5 nights type deals.

-Basketball Related Income will remain the same. This means everything made off ticket sales, television contracts, and etc. will remain between 49-51%. In other words whatever the league makes, the players and franchises do as well. With the new TV deal causing the salary cap to explode, of course there is no need to restructure this.

-College “1 and Done” will remain n place. However, the union is trying to explore additional options like allowing High School players in the draft, but keep college players from declaring until after their sophomore season.

-“Two Way Deals” for players shuttling themselves between the D-League and the NBA. Teams will have an automatic roster spot for the players who are called up or recalled from the D-League, and more money will be accommodated to D-League Players.


2)Mike D’Antoni Opinion On “Mass Rest”:


He doesn’t like it. Simply Put. If you didn’t hear, the “Big 3” for Cleveland did not even make the road trip to Memphis (and the Cavs lost by 8 by the way), and out west DeMarcus Cousins sat out against the Rockets. Now we’ve seen Greg Poppovich rest his stars in many games in the past, and at one point was fined $250,000 by the league for resting his stars during a nationally televised game back in 2012. D’Antoni believes that if someone travels from afar to watch their favorite player, they should play. Now the NBA is built on entertainment yes, and the players are human, but he does have a point here. To sit the men that “oh” and “aw” the crowd is tough to do, because it affects ticket sales and revenue in the long run. Maybe 1 per game wouldn’t be so bad, instead of almost half your starting lineup.


3)Russell Westbrook Says He Doesn’t Care About Numbers.


Can you blame him? OKC has bigger things to worry about than what will happen if Russell Westbrook does or does not average a Triple-Double. Yes Oscar Robertson did it, in a different era that make it seem like a big distraction. Even after rallying 7 straight contests of such incredible numbers, Russell is not phased. “For the 100th time, I don’t care.”…


4)Atlanta Hawks Not Where They Should Be.

Photo by: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

12-13 is extremely rough to look at. Especially given the talent this team has flashed, it’s almost pitiful to look at. After shutting the door on that 7 game losing streak, and cashing in a win streak of 2, you would hope against the league’s worst offense in the Orlando Magic they would make it 3. But no. The Magic shot 44% from 3, made the Hawks cough up the ball 15 times, and had 3 players score 20+ points. Whats the problem? Ball movement isn’t as fluid as it used to be. Now teams know the Hawks are looking for Dwight in the post, and have tightened up the passing lanes to make sure he doesn’t find him. Scoring is an issue. No Carroll, no Teague, nor Horford, and Korver isn’t shooting as well either. Don’t believe me? The Hawks are 23rd in the league in scoring. After being top 3 almost a season and a half ago. Thabo Sefolosha has been inserted into the starting lineup, and it has boosted the defense tremendously. However, these woes aren’t simple to fix, and at a quarter of the way through the season, what moves need to be made to remedy these problems?


5) Craig Sager.


After losing Stuart Scott at the beginning of the year, we have now lost another bright spot in not only this association, but in this broadcast world. One of the most colorful, energetic, beloved reporters has left us, but not without memories that make you smile every time you think about him. Though I will be honest with all of my readers and followers, I have a hard time typing about subjects like this, so courtesy of NBAToday24 on Youtube, and TNT I have posted a moving, and hopefully inspirational tribute video below.

Atlanta Hawks: Fading Fast.

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 13: Dwight Howard #8 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on October 13, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Grey Backed Hawk is an endangered animal.

The Hawaiian Hawk is on the list as well.

Granted there is nothing humorous about that, and something that should we all should be conscious of, but the Atlanta Hawks are finding themselves in that book, after having lost 7 straight games and currently sit at 10-12, 10th place in the East.

After a convincing win in Indiana that saw Dwight Howard power his way for 23 pts and 20 rbs, it looked as if the Hawks finally found their stride getting off of a 4 game skid. That was November 23rd. Fast forward to December 6th.

23rd in PPG – 100

We all saw the formula ramp its way up last season when Atlanta sacrificed O for D, and was challenging teams better than before. Although this time around, points don’t seem to come as well when Paul Millsap is on the bench, or when Schroeder is not hitting jumpers, or Kent Bazemore can’t find the hoop. Let’s not forget about Kyle Korver who has flashed games without a reasonable stat sheet either.

11th in OPPG – 102

Speaking of D, for a team that once had the #1 best defensive efficiency rating, they sure aren’t showing it. It’s better than last place, but why is it fair to keep giving up what you aren’t even making? The team is 2nd in steals though which is fine, but can they maybe ramp it up a little to not allow 40 points in the paint?

Next 7 Games

The Hawks will see 4 teams out of the next 7 games with winning records (Bucks, Raptor, Hornets, and Thunder) Seeing that the team is already 2.5 games behind Charlotte and 2nd in the Division, that game will mean a lot coming up. However this is a chance to at least go in for the kill against a few of these juggernauts even when no one else thinks you can. A win against any one of these teams could make a big difference going forward.

Do you think the Hawks have a chance to climb back up in the East? Is there something going on between the team we may not know?

Comment below, and for all your NBA action, keep you sneakers racked at!

Atlanta Hawks: It’s Not Over Yet.


Dwight Howard is back, and on July 7 we should all rejoice as he signs his 3 year contract for 70.5 mil. However, we still have one problem. Depth. Especially at the guard position. That’s no shade on Dennis Schroeder or Tim Hardaway Jr., but looking forward there are only 2 options: either the young guys [rookies] grow under the mentorship of a vet who can run what Coach Bud needs, or they step up and immediately spit fire. Neither one is impossible, but you have to admit things feel a little shaky given the fact Jeff Teague was traded, and Shelvin Mack is no longer with us. Two vets, gone.

As for the draft pick SG DeAndre’ Bembry out of St. Joseph’s.

Deandre Bembry pic

Considered one of the best passers in the draft, he is versatile, can rebound, and provides vocal leadership. He doesn’t sport a gasping 3 pointer, but neither does Rajon Rondo right? (If you get what i’m getting at).

Yes Shooting Guard is much different from playing point, but on a team that possibly has the opening for the job to be taken away from your 4 year vet, is it possible? Absolutely yes. He must prove it though, and last I checked, Summer League for the Hawks starts this weekend.

If you understand where i’m getting at, it will take more than a scrappy Kirk Hinrich to stop a Kyrie, or Jimmy Butler, or Derrick Rose over here. With the free agent’s that haven’t signed yet, it’s time for Atlanta to put their foot down and secure someone, who without a doubt you know will provide, just in case running off of the idea of “let’s find out” doesn’t work.


Atlanta Hawks: Can We Be Patient?

The draft is in rear view, and it’s on to July 1st when Free Agency Starts. I can guarantee one thing, there is unrest after the draft for Hawks fans, as well as the coming disappointment from them should they not make the big splash on the free agent market. Now, I know what your thinking, “who can we get?” Well technically you can get anybody, it’s all just a matter of trying. Below I’m going to outline a few players that could help the Hawks, and what it could do for them should they bring them to the city of Atlanta.

1)Mike Conley PG Memhis Grizzlies

Mike Conley pic2

Although his 3pt% is nothing to boast about, a 15 and 6 guy that can lock down his opponent on the ball is good enough for me. Although he was limited to 56 games last season, when Conley is on the floor, his presence is felt. When you have a Kyrie Irving, John Wall or Russell Westbrook on your scouting report, this is the guy to help you stop them.



2)Harrison Barnes SF Golden State Warriors

Harrison Barnes pic

Nothing but a raise in his stats every year for the 4 year man out of of UNC. Whether you start him or bring him off the bench he will be big. Many will question what he deserves after his performance in the Finals, but any team (and that includes the Warriors) will be smart to remind him of it. He made a little less than 4 Million in Golden State, and will see a big pay increase regardless of where he goes. With his athletic ability, and nice stroke from the inside out, the Hawks can’t go wrong if they pursue him.


3)Dwight Howard C Houston Rockets


His maturity, his drive, his health yes all of this comes into question. One thing you can’t deny, is that if the Hawks keep Paul, and Al, and get this guy here, the inside out offensive play as well as interior defense for the Hawks will be nearly impossible to stop. This is one of the few players left that is able to put their back to the basket and capitalize. All this being said, the Atlanta Native could also help his team attract some of the other valuable free agents to come to the city.



4)Hassan Whiteside C Miami Heat

Nov 23, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) controls the basket ball away from New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Many teams will be standing in line to talk to the “walking double-double” after his impressive season with Miami. 13 pts and 11 rbs is plenty enough to help any team, especially the Hawks in particular who had trouble over the years rebounding the basketball. The main concern with Whiteside is his motive of foul first, stop later mentality, that put Erik Spoelstra in tough positions to decide whether he wanted to keep him on the floor or not. It may sound like a tough task, but with training and experience in these situations, Whiteside will prove more than valuable on the Hawks roster, and at both ends of the floor.


5)Nicolas Batum SF Charlotte Hornets

Nicolas Batum pic

After having a bounce back season in Charlotte notching up 15 pts 6 rbs and 5 ast, Batum has long proved he’s worth every penny. The 6’8 swingman from France is athletic enough to slash and finish, while also being able to defend most points on the floor outside of the paint. He’s not the type you can force feed the ball when you need a bucket, but if you happen to find him the ball he’s set to go.



6)Kevin Durant SF Oklahoma City Thunder


The number one prize this off-season, will not be the easiest to convince, but if he does say yes it will change the shape of the entire city without question. A superstar that can play inside and out, nearly impossible to stop because of his size, ability, and athleticism, will bring the Hawks from pretender, to contender. Should the Hawks sway him, Al Horford will end up staying at center most likely, but he will not be depended on to score at the end of games.

Do any of these players seem reasonable? Did I forget anyone that the Hawks have a chance to get, or should go after? Comment below!


Atlanta Hawks: In Need Of A New Flight Plan.

It doesn’t really help much that the entire city of Atlanta is on the back of the Hawks, more than just because of the 2nd round debacle; The up and down play of the season, the head scratching trades, the inconsistencies of the back court (Teague & Schroder), you name it. The system works and there is no doubt about that, but the players in it can only use it to get themselves so far apparently.


No matter how many times you run a play to get an open man, it means nothing if they can’t create their own shot. Kyle Korver, had 37 minutes in game 1, and only walked away with 1 field goal attempt. Not point, not an assist, or a block, or a steal. You know what else? He missed that attempt, and made his only 3 free throws. If it’s not coming off a screen, or trailing a fast break, he has the potential of contributing nothing. Korver had a season that really couldn’t have been any stranger for him due to his elbow surgery in the offseason. He went from All-Star with a 50-40-90 season, to a guy on the floor. But he’s the one of the least of our worries.

Jeff Teague Pic 1-27

Jeff Teague, was nowhere to be found when it mattered most, in games 1 or 4 (truth be told the only 2 winnable games for the Hawks in this series). Dennis picked up the slack some (except for games 3 and 4), but it makes no sense that either one of these guys can be consistent enough to take charge. Teague especially. Every time you looked for him, he was on the bench in crunch time.



The Hawks have to figure out what will happen this offseason with Bazemore, Hinrich, Humphiries, and most importantly Al Horford. Many sources say Al will command a max contract, but if your the Hawks organization, i’m sure they will take out the film of this past playoff series and let it roll. Between the first 2 games only scoring 20 points, and grabbing 9 rebounds. He finished with 24 followed by 15, and those numbers aren’t terrible, but can you really pay top dollar to a player that doesn’t average scores in the 20’s? What about rebounding double digits? Or even blocks.

Where the attention needs to be focused is on the free agents ahead that are available, and despite no matter how hard it sounds, you at least have to try. Yes the name Kevin Durant in Atlanta sounds incredible. Is it possible? Not likely. You should still try right?  What about trying to sign and trade for Paul George? You have to try. Because what those 2 names have in common is they are elite, and will get you over the hump when it matters most. Not a star, not an All-Star, but a Superstar. Something the Hawks have never had, because they would rather sign 10 guys who can do all the things a Superstar can.

What do you think the Hawks need to do going into the summer? What is Al Horfords’ future in the city? Comment below!


Cavs Dominate Hawks In Game 1….Sort Of

Watching Game 1 Monday night, you would have thought Cleveland was up 20 plus points the entire game. Somehow this wasn’t the case, as Atlanta hung around all while playing terribly for most of the game.

Korver, Millsap and Horford were a combined 2 for 17 in the first half. Jeff Teague played scared and left points on the table all night. He finished just 2 for 9 from the floor for 8 points. The normally solid 4-5 combo of Horford and Millsap were a disaster. They finished the game a combined 10-32 shooting. Terrible performance. Just terrible.

AP Photo by: Chris Szagola

AP Photo by: Chris Szagola

The lone bright spots were Schroeder and Bazemore, the latter of which lit the Cavs up from deep in the first half.

LeBron did what he wanted. Whether it was thunderous dunks that electrified the crowd, or his forever streaky 3 ball, he delivered in large doses. Irving has become the Cavs leading scorer and offensive weapon so far this playoff run. Kevin Love had an abysmal shooting night (4-17 from the floor) as he was as frigid as a Cleveland winter’s night on Monday. He still managed a double-double.

Watching the game I really had no idea how Atlanta hung around. The key players on the Hawks were mostly no shows. Horford couldn’t play dead Monday. He was flat-out awful. Whether he was short arming midrange J’s, closing out on Kevin Love at the 3 line like a middle schooler, or being dominated on both ends by Thompson, he just plain didn’t show up. Kyle Korver is a gunner. He has been an All-Star, he has had entire seasons with sky high 3 point fg%, and is a solid all around player most nights. In Game 1 he attempted 1 shot through his first 24 minutes on the floor. He finished with 3 points, all from the foul line, in 37 minutes.

Cleveland was blistering from the land of 3 in Game 1. They had 13 makes from downtown through 3 quarters. They finished 15 for 31 from deep for the game.

How on earth was Atlanta in this game? Three minutes in to the 4th quarter it was a one point game. I was befuddled. And more than that, I was a little angry. Atlanta deserved to get their butts kicked, but it just wasn’t happening.

KyrieIrving2The Hawks took their first lead on a lob from Schroeder to Horford with 8 minutes remaining. It was Horford’s first impactful play of the night. The lead lasted about 10 seconds. Kyrie Irving responded with a 3 from the right wing to make it 82-80. It looked as if this game was going down to the wire. Atlanta fought down the stretch, spearheaded by a career night from Dennis Schroeder. He dropped 27, a playoff career high, on 50% shooting. But it turned out to be just short of enough.

Cleveland got stops when they needed them, Thompson was an absolute animal on the boards, and Atlanta’s lack of execution down the stretch cost them the chance of snagging this game, however improbable it seemed. Going forward its safe to say Cleveland will play better. Atlanta may play better as well, you just can’t discern whether or not that translates to wins. Cleveland is the better team on paper, they should have no issue continuing their dominance of the Hawks’ interior, and they play well on the road. Oh, and yeah, they have this guy named LeBron James.

Atlanta should be able to gut out a win on their home floor, I’m thinking Game 3. Cleveland left the door open tonight for an upset. In a game they dominated, the individual performance of Schroeder was nearly enough to squeeze out a win. It’s hard to see Cleveland being this vulnerable to a loss again this series. LeBron, Lue and co. will make adjustments to neutralize Schroeder. Maybe Horford wakes up at some point. Maybe Millsap or Korver can put together a great performance making things competitive. Maybe not.

The Hawks shot 38% from the field. They out rebounded the Cavs 48-44. The stats didn’t tell the full scope of what happened Monday. This was one of the strangest games I’ve watched in a long time.

If the Cavs play this uneven a game and win, it spells trouble for Atlanta. Regardless of who plays well, or when or where they do it, Cleveland looks like they’re running away with this series.

Cavs in 5.

Hawks vs. Cavs Round 2 Preview.

Until The Pacers vs. Raptors series finishes up I will do a second round preview for all teams, but until then let’s talk about Atlanta having the top seeded team in the East on their plate.



Previous Series: Beat Detroit 4-0

Cleveland managed to sweep Detroit yes, but you can’t overlook the fact that the Pistons gave them all kinds of issues to make it through in order to pull off the win. Van Gundy did some excellent coaching letting his guys weather many runs from the Cavs, and letting his players get a real taste of playoff basketball. Remember Reggie Jackson was the only starter with playoff experience given his time with the Thunder. Either way, the “BIG 3” for Cleveland looked healthy and better than ever, and each being a contributor in many categories. Kyrie Irving led in points (27), Kevin Love led in rebounds (18), and LeBron led in assists (6). Chemistry. The one word that most deemed nonexistent between the 3. Sure didn’t find any issues this series did you?



Previous Series: Beat Celtics 4-2

Atlanta finally got the lock cut off of the long post season hiatus against a team they have never beat on the road in the form of the Boston Celtics. In a series that looked like it was possibly going to be a sweep, it turned into a chippy dogfight that again saw Atlanta win in 6 to advance. The scoring remained pretty even throughout, and even the bench stepped up to contribute. Schroeder was able to exploit Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas on certain plays, Bazemore has shown his growth on both ends of the floor, and Millsap is still a beast.NBA-Conference-Finals-Preview-Atlanta-Hawks-v-Cleveland-Cavaliers

In This Series: It wont be much of a surprise to us if Atlanta makes something out of this and actually wins a game or 2, but doesn’t so much change the outcome of things. The inconsistencies of the front court for Atlanta (Schroeder & Teague) will make matters harder for the Hawks if they don’t make up missed points for defensive stops. We all know how tough it can be to guard Irving, LeBron as well. Thompson in the middle will be tough to contain if they don’t find a way to keep him off the glass. Monday will prove interesting to see where the match ups will be.

Series Outcome: Cleveland Wins 4-2




Hawks vs. Celtics: Seem Familiar?

Does the Hawks vs. Celtics playoff series kind of remind you of a similar event of matches that took place before? I feel as if I must be the only one. Without further ado let’s flashback to my point shall we?


ZaZa vs. KG pic

Remember this? I sure do! It was the moment that re-sparked this play-off curse that has for decades cursed the Hawks. The real fire behind it all, was that the Celtics being the title favorites that year all because of their big 3 (Ray Allen, KG, and Paul Pierce), believed they could march into Phillips Arena and take another 2 games from the Hawks. Of course we all know, they had it all backwards when the Hawks fought back, and eventually stole 3 games from Boston, they never saw coming. Flash to now, many people from Atlanta were ready to call for a sweep given the fact the Hawks took 2 games away from Boston. In “Beantown” however, Atlanta couldn’t get it done, and now the series is tied 2-2.paul-millsap-nba-boston-celtics-atlanta-hawks

If you missed game 4, Paul Millsap exploded for 45 pts and 10 rbs. The first to score that many in a post season game since Dominique Wilkins in ’88. However, due to last second mistakes, and poorly executed plays, Coach Bud and his ball club came up short. The Hawks still have home court, but don’t forget, it was stripped in 6 games in their previous match-up with the Celtics in 2012. This series is really about to bring out the best in both teams, because through all the missed calls, and cheap shots from both sides, it’s clear from sides, its now personal.

Keep an eye on the rest of this series. If you have any comments on the Hawks or Celtics, comment below!



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