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Pre-Game Reconnaissance: Knicks vs. Hawks- 2/16/11

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What are the "Atlanta Hawks"? Jump with me to find out.

Odds and ends!

- The Hawks have won 6 of their last 10, the most recent win being a blowout victory in Detroit on Monday night. There was a three-game losing streak in there, too.

- Per HoopData, Atlanta is pretty middle-of-the-pack when it comes to rankings. They have the league's 14th most efficient offense and also the league's 14th best defense. Interestingly, they don't get to the line very much (29th in the league in free throw rate), but make up for it by keeping their hands to themselves (4th in opposing FTR).

- The Knicks have already lost to the Hawks twice this season. They got badly out-rebounded and out-hustled just a few weeks ago in Atlanta (a blowout loss that ended in a bout of fisticuffs flailing between Shawne Williams and Marvin Williams). Before that, they laid bricks in a post-Thanksgiving matinee stinker in New York.

- One interesting bit of statistical insight in advance of tonight's game: The Knicks' defensive success with and without Amar'e Stoudemire on the floor.

Wassup with the Hawks!?

Kris Willis of the most excellent Peachtree Hoops:

The Atlanta Hawks are coming off a turbulent week after dropping two home games to Philadelphia and Charlotte last week. Hawks coach Larry Drew wondered out loud if changes to his starting lineup or perhaps a trade was needed to shake up a roster that he described as too comfortable.

Atlanta bounced back with a win Monday in Detroit but still doesn't appear to be playing its best basketball. Josh Smith has been huge of late but Jamal Crawford and the Hawks bench in particular has been struggling and that has caused Atlanta a lot of problems.

Know the Opponent!

#10 Mike Bibby: The NBA has a delightful history of players resembling their team mascots. Some examples of this are Chris Bosh's seven years as a Raptor or Brian Scalabrine's stint as a Celtic. Anyway, Mike Bibby has a cloaca.

#11 Jamal Crawford: Whenever he returns to New York, Jamal takes the opportunity to visit the Botanical Gardens and catch up with his old friend Sidney the orange daylily.

#1 Maurice Evans: Though Maurice has never even sampled a performance enhancing drug, his blood repeatedly tests positive for almost a dozen different banned substances. A single drop of his blood contains what would typically be a lethal dose of androstenedione.

#2 Joe Johnson: Like any ballplayer who just received a huge contract, Joe followed his six-year, $119 million deal with a celebratory purchase. In Joe's case, that was a medium-sized oaken stool. When asked what he intended to do with said stool, Joe responded, "sit".

#27 Zaza Pachulia: Zaza's personal fragrance has been compared by teammates to "Black Sea flotsam".

Wilson Chandler is unimpressed by your highlights!

Yo, Wilson, did you see Josh Smith posterize Eduardo Najera the other day?

That's probably not the dunk of the year, but it's gotta be in the running, right? Wilson?


You're hard to please, bro.

Just because!

War of the Williamses!

The January 28th fistfight between Shawne Williams and Marvin Williams forced individuals who share their surname to take sides, causing something of a rift within the Williams community. Check the following list to see the official affiliations of the world's foremost Williamses.

Michael K.

Billy Dee

Here is a picture of the opposing coach!


And now you know about the Hawks.