Josh Smith

Atlanta Hawks head home… is that an advantage?

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Atlanta is just an apathetic sports town. Always has been.

I’m not going to try to explain it — Atlanta native Kevin Arnovitz laid it out better than I ever could hope to, and he doesn’t have all the answers — but I am here to pass along this tidbit:

The Atlanta Hawks return home for a huge Game 3 of a tied series with Orlando, and they would like some passion from their fans. And told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they don’t really know what to expect (via Slam).

“Sometimes it feels more like a road game,” coach Larry Drew admitted Thursday. “Maybe our guys don’t respond to those things very well.”

“At home at times [this season] it didn’t feel like we had that confidence of the crowd, but I feel like our crowd feeds off what we do,” Al Horford said. “So if we have some highlight plays and really get it going, the crowd buys into that. Or we play hard. That’s all the fans ask for. It’s really disappointing at times we don’t do that as a team.”

If they hustle, if the get out and run a little, if they have a chance to take a 2-1 lead over the Orlando Magic when there are 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the fans will be plenty loud. But the Hawks have been blown out more than once this season on their home court due to a flat effort. That’s not on the fans. But it adds to their apathy.

This isn’t New York or Boston, they Hawks will have to drag their fans along with them. But those fans will jump on the bandwagon.

The Hawks just need to go out and give them a reason to.

C.J. McCollum ejected for flagrantly fouling Gordon Hayward (video)

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I’m not sure C.J. McCollum meant to grab Gordon Hayward‘s neck. The 6-foot-8 Hayward elevated, and the 6-foot-4 McCollum just might not have been able to get high enough to make a play on the ball.

But McCollum did grab Hayward’s neck.

It was a dangerous and unnecessary play, especially in the preseason.

Report: Mavericks may be team interested in Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.

Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.

His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.

He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.