Hawks hire Larry Drew as coach


Thumbnail image for hawks_logo.gifIt’s always the one right under you nose that you don’t notice. Until you do.

The Atlanta Hawks have promoted assistant coach Larry Drew to the head coach position, according to multiple reports. Yahoo was first, plus there is one on NBA.com, so, we can probably trust it.

It’s an interesting choice. After Mike Woodson was let go, the Hawks talked openly about needing a new direction and a new voice. Then they went with the man who was Woodson’s lead assistant for the past six years. Either they didn’t want that dramatic a change, or Drew convinced them that he was that change, that what he learned from Woodson was what not to do.

Drew reportedly had the support of a number of players. Also, as this is his first-ever head coaching job after 16 years as an assistant, he likely was the less expensive than other candidates being considered.

The Hawks front office and owners — all nine of them — were meeting today to get on the same page on the coaching search and make a decision. Apparently they had been leaning toward Avery Johnson, who took the money and lower expectations (for now) of the New Jersey Nets instead.

Drew beat out Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and ESPN/ABC analyst Mark Jackson for the job. Both of those men are rumored to be in the running for other head coaching gigs, including for the Clippers.

Drew had a 10-year NBA playing career before becoming an assistant. Most recently he worked under coach Woodson, who was allowed to walk as his current contract expired (the polite way to fire someone).

Final contract details are still being hammered out, but once the lawyers are done the contract will be signed.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.