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March 2, 2015 Updates

The Atlanta Hawks have recalled forward/center Mike Muscala from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. In six contests with Fort Wayne this season (4-2 record), he is putting up 12.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 blocks in 29.8 minutes (.475 FG%, .857 FT%). NBA.com

Some believe delaying the Nets sale is Silver’s goal. The Atlanta Hawks also are for sale, with bids said to be around $900 million, and the NBA may not want prospective buyers to be split between the teams. China’s Fosun is also in the bidding for the Hawks, sources said. New York Post

March 1, 2015 Updates

Chris Vivlamore: Hawks assign Mike Muscala to Fort Wayne. Will play today vs. Sioux Falls. #ATLHawks Twitter @CVivlamoreAJC

So with the Hawks set to unveil a statue of Dominique on Thursday, we figured it was appropriate to check in with him again — first to discuss the honor, then to extract more tales from the old days. The granite sculpture eventually will reside outside Atlanta’s Philips Arena, and the Hall of Famer is understandably proud. “It just puts a stamp on your career,” he said. “It’s very weird, and it’s almost surreal. Growing up, you never think about stuff like getting a statue. But to be immortalized that way is unbelievable. And the closer it gets, the more unbelievable it is. It’s a nervous feeling, but it’s a good nervous.” Boston Herald

February 27, 2015 Updates

The deadline for bids for the Atlanta Hawks was Tuesday and several offers have been made. Top price: $800 million. Controlling owner Bruce Levenson announced in September he was putting the NBA team and the operating rights to Philips Arena up for sale in September. Although Bloomberg reported the offers were around $900 million, a source with knowledge of the bids said that is not accurate. The source, who traded candor for anonymity, said the $900 million figure includes $112 million of bonds remaining on the original $131 million used to finance the construction of the arena. Forbes.com

February 26, 2015 Updates

Hawks ratings on SportSouth have increased 100 percent year-to-date in Atlanta through 53 games, the network announced Thursday. The network has reported several record viewership games this season, including an all-time high, regular season or playoffs, for the game against the Warriors earlier this month. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tampa Bay Rays part-owner Randy Frankel and ComPsych Corp. founder Richard Chaifetz are among the bidders for the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Some of the bids were for about $900 million, the people said, declining to be specific. The people requested anonymity because the bidding isn’t public. The team, which is on the market after lead owner Bruce Levenson disclosed a racially insensitive e-mail, retained Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Inner Circle Sports to run the sale. Bloomberg

February 25, 2015 Updates
February 24, 2015 Updates
February 23, 2015 Updates

What’s interesting is that while most teams experience lower efficiency rates with increased attempts, Atlanta has actually become a more efficient driving team this season — improving their 41.9 percent drive conversion rate (25th ranked in 2013–14) to a 46.1 percent clip (14th ranked in 2014–15). This can best be explained by Dennis Schroder’s emergence as one of the league’s most prolific drivers. Schroder is the only player in the league who plays less than 20 minutes per game yet still has attempted more than 350 drives for the season. He also converts his drives (48.8 percent) at a higher rate than All-Stars Kyrie Irving, Jeff Teague and Russell Westbrook. Medium

As you can see, the Hawks have cut back on their pull-up attempts, reapportioning nearly all of those possessions into six extra drive attempts per game. Again, these numbers may appear marginal, but they’re actually drastic. Atlanta went from taking the fifth-most pull-ups in 2013–14 to tying for the least so far in 2014–15. No other team has come close to Atlanta’s dropoff of 3.9 pull-up attempts per game from season-to-season: Medium

Make no mistake, leading the league in catch-and-shoots while attempting the league’s fewest pull-ups does not happen coincidentally. It’s a calculated decision to infuse the gameplan with higher efficiency shots. Head coach Mike Budenholzer probably recognizes this, but won’t let on with the media: “I don’t know if it’s a strategy,” said Budenholzer. “We want to attack the rim and score there first. We want to have spacing around our rim and paint attack. So it probably lends itself a bit to more points at the basket. And if it’s taken away, we move the ball for catch-and-shoot opportunities. Our personnel is built that way, so I don’t know if it’s totally by design. I think a lot of things kind of just go that way.” Medium

To put it simply, the Hawks largely ignore offensive rebounding opportunities. Atlanta ranks last in the NBA in both offensive rebounds (8.3 per game) and offensive rebounding rate (20.6 percent). (For reference, the Hawks are 21st in defensive rebounding percentage, per TeamRankings.com.) Ignoring offensive rebounds is a crucial element to Budenholzer’s defensive strategy. Because the Hawks shoot the ball at such a high efficiency, they’re willing to sacrifice potential extra possessions from offensive rebounds if it means they can limit easy scores in transition for opponents. After all, transition opportunities lead to some of the easiest points in the NBA: Medium

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN HAWKS HISTORY

While arguably the most popular, Dominique Wilkins is not the best player in franchise history.

   

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