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Why The Falcons should win

Sep 04, 2014 -- 2:14pm

Why the Falcons should win

by Hometeam Brandon Leak

 

1-They are at home

The Falcons are 36-12 in the Georgia Dome under Mike Smith, third best in the NFC since 2008. The crowd will be off of the chain for the first NFL game and it could be a playoff-like atmosphere. Fast starts and comeback wins happen in that building.

 

2-More Receivers for Matt Ryan

The departure of future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez certainly will be missed but the void in the offense could make the Falcons' passing attack ... better.

Matt Ryan will have more targets in his passing routes. Julio Jones and Roddy White will get the lion's share of passes but Harry Douglas, Devin Hester, Levine Toilolo, Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith will ALL catch passes. That's nine potential targets for a man who threw for more than 4,000 yards last season. Someone will be open always.

 

3-The Falcons usually win close games.

Falcons/Saints games are traditionally close and the Falcons win 64 percent of games decided by eight points or less. Matt Bryant can be a big weapon in the first half and for a game-winner in the clutch.

 

4-Payback

The Falcons had the Saints week one last year. A dropped pass by Steven Jackson on 3rd and game and a batted-ball intercepted on 4th and game stopped a Falcons win. The guys remember it and were mad about it. They will look to win this game for this year and last.

5-Better run D

The Falcons and no team will stop quarterback Drew Brees. If the Falcons stop the run they have a better chance of winning. Pierre Thomas has averaged nearly 90 yards per game in his last few games against the Falcons. Mark Ingram and Khyri Robinson have to be stopped as well. Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson brought in to be run-stoppers will prove their weight in gold out of the gate.

 

You know how it goes no matter what happens, the game will be decided in the final four minutes of the contest. The Falcons should win.

 

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Why Fans Dislike the Miami Heat

Jun 24, 2013 -- 12:42pm

Is there an agenda against the Heat. YES! Will there always be, YES! Is it ok to dislike the Heat's style ... YES!

People dislike the Heat because they want to. Each dissenter has their own reason and sometime rightfully so. The fact is the Heat will be the heel of the NBA like the Iron Sheik was to Hulk Hogan for as long as they are constructed with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Here are a few tangible reasons why:

Bandwagon Fans-Showing up because it's your team is not winning is not bad. Leaving early, having no knowledge of the team history and being obnoxious is.

The Decision- LeBron rubbed people the wrong way and still does taunting fans with Instigram messages and post-game rants. Just not likable.

Whiners- LeBron, his fans, and Heat fan base are angry everybody doesn't like him and his team. Question, did all fans root for Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Bird or Michael Jordan ... NO! but everybody is supposed to bow to the king. Please.

Fake Celebrity Fans- Lil' Wayne and Justin Bieber are as real a two-dollar bills when it comes to loving the Heat and if Bieber is with you ... a good number of diehard fans are not.

Mocked Dirk Nowitzki- In 2011 Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki was ill and had a reported temperature of 102 degrees in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Heat. Dirk dropped 21 points scoring 10 in the fourth quarter in an 86-83 win over the Heat. LeBron and Dwyane Wade were caught on video mocking Nowitzki being sick the next day. The Heat did not win another game. The sports gods were not happy.

Fans leaving Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals early- The Heat won one of the best games in franchise history while clowns in Heat garb were outside talking to the media about how the team lost and attempting to beat traffic. Weak. The celebration parade is Monday, June 24, 2013-I wonder how many fans will leave early for that. Weak. 

Truth is when LeBron leaves with his three or four titles with the organization, so will the so-called fans who are loudly passionate now about their team.

 

 

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Why We Should Root For The Hawks

Apr 19, 2013 -- 7:38pm

Could Be The Last Hurrah

Only four players on the Hawks’ roster are under contract for next season, and the coach's deal is up too. This will be the last incarnation of the Billy Knight-Rick Sund projects in the Atlanta Hawks era. Danny Ferry has already gotten rid of two players whose contracts were extended by the two previous general managers (GM) – Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson; he’s also brought in a new assistant GM, a new vice president of public relations, and upgraded the media room with new paint and free food ... awesome for the media!

In short, the new sheriff is bringing in his own deputies. With this, the organization is likely to get a new coach and new players; let's make some final memories with this crew.

They've Been Hurt

The Hawks started 29 different starting lineups this season, which may have worked in their favor. After all, rooting for a banged-up team is just flat-out American. Insert Lou Williams and Zaza Pachulia in the lineup, and this team could be the number four seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks have been undersized all season; so losing Pachulia is was a huge blow. Williams was "money in the bank" in the fourth quarter of games; he came off of the bench and solved a lot of the offensive power-outages the Hawks had at times. This season, the Hawks seem to have always been a man/shooter short and have persevered in spite of their circumstance.

They Have Beaten The Doubters

The Hawks are not supposed to be here – in the playoffs. According to several publications, the Hawks should be headed for a lottery pick and should have been an embarrassment all season. Instead the Hawks:

Started the most lineups in the NBA this season – due to injury;

Finished 25-16 at home;

Won 19 road games and were second in the NBA in assists (first in the Eastern Conference), third in fast-break points and sixth in three-point shots made.

Their Style Is Fun

When the Hawks run, they are a devastating team on the fast break. The Pacers, and hopefully a second-round opponent, will pay for turnovers and rebounds that end up in the hand of Hawks' guards in transition. The Hawks beat the Clippers, Grizzlies, Thunder, Lakers, and Celtics by utilizing their speed throughout the course of the season.

They Are The City's Most Successful Team in the Last Six Seasons

The fact is – in the last six years, the Atlanta Hawks have been in post-season play more than any other professional sports franchise in Atlanta. While we can debate which sport has the toughest road to the post season, we cannot argue about which team has been there the most consistently over the last six years. Let's keep a good thing going. 

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Run Until the Feathers Fall Off

Mar 19, 2013 -- 4:13pm

It's going to come down to speed for the Hawks to be successful the remainder of the season and in the playoffs. With the absence of center Zaza Pachulia in the lineup, the lack of size the birds will have on the floor nightly can only me matched by one element ... speed. The Hawks can outrun anybody in the NBA if you don't believe me look at what they have done to the Lakers, Celtics and Heat on the fast break this year.

Jeff Teague and Devin Harris are tough covers in transition and when Teague makes up his mind the pick and roll can be a devastating weapon for the Hawks. Attacking and playing with an up-tempo style is not an option, but a requirement in every game. The bench has seen energy from rookie John Jenkins and Ivan Johnson this year, and defensively, Al Horford and Josh Smith have started many of the Hawks fast break opportunities by blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.

The Hawks have three elements that regularly show up in losses:

A lack of energy

A lack of rebounding

Turnovers

All off the above can be offset by running the daylight out of our opponents. The Hawks can make shots and knock down 3-pointers without blinking an eye and can score in bunches early and late in games. The team can punish larger teams with quickness but can hurt themselves when the offense becomes stagnant. Either way slowing the game down for the Hawks is the only way to ensure the team is not utilizing. best strategy to win.

Entering the week of march 18, the Hawks are third in the NBA in fast break points with more than 17 per game. If we see less than that number, something has gone wrong. The Hawks have the talent to put up nearly 20 points per game in the break.

Run, run, run! Even if the shots don't fall ... run run run ... even if the 3-pointers are off target. Speed has hurt bigger teams and forced big men to be off balance when the Hawks are playing fast. When we run, we win. Let's keep winning.

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Who Do You Want Back?

Feb 27, 2013 -- 9:44pm

With the Hawks making the push to the post season, the team has players who will be instrumental in making the run but who will not be on the roster next season. Some should stay some should go, here are my thoughts on who the Hawks who should return that have expiring contracts.

Josh Smith

Yes ... for the right price. A unique player who is active on both ends ... but for the right price. The organization learned a lesson by paying Joe Johnson a kings' ransom. That mistake won't be made again.

Devin Harris

No. Solid point guard and can finish at the rim. But has dealt with injury the latter part of his career and this season with the Hawks. Could be a starter or back up but may be hampered by injury. Hawks may need to go younger at point guard.

Zaza Pachulia

Yes. He's 7-feet tall and brings energy. Plays his role well as a starter or reserve and can be big on the offensive glass. Hawks need to build a team with size, Zaza can be a solid anchor.

Kyle Korver

Yes. There are men and then there are special men. Kyle Korver was born to shoot three-pointers. Sign him up.

DeShawn Stevenson

No. I love DeShawn as he uses most of his energy on defense. He is very reliable shooting three-pointers. But father time and achy knees will only hurt him minutes-wise moving forward.

Johan Petro

No. A big man but not enough impact on the floor. Has length but is not active enough to get minutes.

Dahntay Jones

No. A defensive piece for this season but is north of 30 and does not have enough offense to bring him back.

Anthony Tolliver

No. Not a lights out shooter but his size and versatility allow him to get minutes. He can knock down the three but is not consistent enough to make a second run with the Hawks.

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Good Coaching Getting Great Results

Sep 23, 2012 -- 11:11pm

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud deserves to be NFC player of the week after five tackles,  a pass defended and an interception against the Broncos on Monday Night Football, followed by three tackles, two interceptions, three passes defended and a fumble recovery in a 27-3 beating of the Chargers in San Diego. And why has he turned into one of the most disruptive defenders in the league? Coaching.

The coaching of the Falcons was brilliant enough again to get the team to 3-0 this season. Whenever the readily available argument of "who is an elite quarterback" came up  before the season, Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers made a list, probably yours and mine. In two consecutive weeks the Falcons defense has made both men look like scabs and  replacement fill-ins.

The defense is confusing the best triggermen in the game at the line of scrimmage and disguising their coverages, the secondary keeps coming up with turnovers and big hits to any opponent who has the ball. Who are these guys? The same people they were last year, and the year before, and some of them the year before that with better coaching.

The talent is the same but the play-calling, execution and aggressiveness are all much better. The defense has become the X-factor for the Falcons this season and they are showing up with a chip on their shoulders and the results are different. The Falcons are physical, disciplined and consistent in getting turnovers in three weeks of action so far.

The good coaching is getting great results.

 

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