Monday, November 26, 2012

Falcons Defeat Bucs 24-23, Improve to 10-1

It was a competitive game for the Atlanta Falcons from the opening kickoff to the final play of the game. Their division rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaners came into the game at 6-4. The Bucs were looking to upset the Falcons but fell short in their push for the playoffs.

Falcons' QB Matt Ryan
Falcons QB Matt Ryan went 26/32 for 353 yards with one touchdown and one interception. WR Julio Jones had a career day as he caught six passes for 147 yards and one touchdown. He was questionable with an injury heading into this game. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez each added five receptions. RB Michael Turner had another off game with 10 rushes for a dismal 17 yards. RB JaQuizz Rodgers got into the game often as he had 10 carries for 49 yards and one touchdown. He knows how to be a playmaker and gain the right amount of yardage during crucial points of games.

Like Julio Jones, Sean Weatherspoon and Asante Samuel were both questionable heading into this game with injuries. Nonetheless, they played and gave everything they had. Samuel left the game at times with a hand injury but his toughness brought him back in the game. Weatherspoon had six tackles, one of which was for a loss. CB Daunta Robinson had six tackles and one sack.

Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman went 19/30 for 256 yards and no touchdown passes. WR Vincent Jackson caught five passes for 96 yards. Rookie sensation RB Doug Martin had 21 rushing attempts for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
Bucs' RB Doug Martin

Atlanta finishes another game with a hard fought victory. They look to seal the NFC South when they face the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night football. The Saints handed the Falcons their only loss of the season two weeks ago. Atlanta looks to impress the nation under the spotlight and continue to prove why they're a Super Bowl contender. Thank you for tuning in once again and continue to look for more blogs analyzing the Falcons. So until then, RISE UP ATLANTA!!!-Yuriy A.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Georgia Shuts Out Auburn 38-0, Clinches SEC East

The Georgia Bulldogs came into Auburn looking to clinch the SEC East and a trip to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. They had no problem accomplishing this mission. The Bulldogs came out fired up from the start of the game and didn't let the Tigers go anywhere.

QB Aaron Murray & RB Todd Gurley celebrating
UGA QB Aaron Murray had another great game. He went 18/24 for 204 yards and three touchdown passes. Tavarres King, Malcolm Mitchell, and Chris Conley made up those three scores. The freshman RB duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall both had fantastic games. Gurley had 11 carries for 116 yards and one touchdown. Marshall had eight carries for 105 yards and one touchdown also. The Bulldogs had 497 yards in total offense.

The Bulldogs' defense took care of business yet again, All-American and NFL-projected first round pick Jarvis Jones got into the backfield at will and always got to the ball. Safety Baccari Rambo had an interception. The defense also recovered a fumble.

Auburn QB Jonathan Wallace went 15/22 for 181 yards and one interception. Georgia completely shut Auburn's run game down as RB Tre Mason had 11 attempts for only 33 yards. The offense had a dismal 3-11 third down efficiency. They had two turnovers and only had 238 yards in total offense.

RB Keith Marshall running downfield on the Auburn defense
Georgia now awaits the winner of the SEC West. It will be either LSU or Alabama. It will be interesting now after Texas A&M's upset of Alabama on Saturday. Last year Georgia was in the SEC Championship game but got blown out by LSU after a fantastic first half. The Dawgs look to learn from those past mistakes and apply those to do anything necessary to win the SEC Championship and keep their national championship hopes alive. Georgia improves to 9-1 and will face Georgia Southern next week. This is a time where the Bulldogs cannot afford to make any mistakes in these last regular season games. They control their own destiny. Hopefully Georgia can raise the SEC Championship trophy high in Atlanta and do the same thing in Miami in the national championship game. Tune into my blog next week. So until next week, GO DAWGS!!!-Yuriy A.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hawks Upset Thunder In Oklahoma City, 104-95

The Atlanta Hawks came into Oklahoma City looking to bounce back after losing their season opener at home to the Houston Rockets. They did just that. The Hawks didn't have Josh Smith playing because of an injured ankle. This did not stop Atlanta from playing with heart and showing everybody that they can compete with anybody in the NBA. This is the second time the Hawks beat Oklahoma City in the year of 2012. They pulled out a win against the Thunder in March at Philips Arena.

Al Horford helped propel the Hawks to an upset win over OKC
Al Horford had the big game for Atlanta as he had 23 points and 12 rebounds. He also added three assists, one steal and one blocked shot. PG Jeff Teague had 16 points and Lou Williams scored 19 points off the bench. Atlanta has a wide variety of go-to shooters and anybody can be the hero for the Hawks on any given night.

For the Thunder, Kevin Martin was the leading scorer with 28 points off the bench. Three time NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant had 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. PG Russell Westbrook had an off-night with 14 points on 5-18 shooting.

I think that Oklahoma City is vulnerable as the result of them trading reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to the Houston Rockets. Kevin Martin could be a good asset to the team but may not bring the same game that Harden did to the Thunder. I think Harden should of been a starter in OKC. He is now demonstrating that in Houston.

PG Jeff Teague drives aggressively to the basket
As far as the Hawks go, this team looks promising. They bring energy every night and have the attitude of a contender. Josh Smith will continue to display his leadership when he returns from his injury and the clutch sharpshooting from players like Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, and Lou Williams will help Atlanta win in late game situations.

The Hawks play the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, another contender in the Eastern Conference. They will face all-stars David Granger and David West. Indiana gave the Hawks some problems last season. We will see how the new-look Hawks stack up against them. Keep on tuning in to my Hawks blogs as I cover them all season. Get excited Atlanta, it's going to be a great year.-Yuriy A.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Atlanta Hawks 2012-13 Season Preview

The Atlanta Hawks have made a lot of changes this past offseason after a disappointing first round loss in the playoffs to the Boston Celtics. They signed general manager and president of basketball operations Danny Ferry from the San Antonio Spurs to the organization. All-star SG Joe Johnson was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets to clear up cap space. The players received in the trade were Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, and Johan Petro. Atlanta also received a couple of draft picks. By dealing away Johnson, that clears up $90 million over the next five years. The Hawks are looking to acquire a superstar player next summer such as Chris Paul or Dwight Howard with this cap space.

PG Jeff Teague
Head coach Larry Drew hasn't declared the official starting lineup yet. There are many scenarios. You can make it Jeff Teague, Anthony Morrow, Kyle Korver, Al Horford, and Josh Smith or Teague, Stevenson, Korver, Smith and Horford. Some of the key players coming off the bench are Lou Williams and Devin Harris. Lou Williams was acquired from Philadelphia and Devin Harris was acquired in a trade with Utah for Marvin Williams. The Marvin Williams experiment never went well at all. He was the second overall pick for Atlanta in the 2005 draft coming out of North Carolina. He never reached his full potential and was eventually a bust for the Hawks. The Hawks passed up on drafting Chris Paul and Deron Williams that year. 

Another good move Atlanta made this offseason was resigning PF Ivan Johnson. Johnson was an undrafted free agent out of San Bernardino. He was banned from the Korean Basketball League as a result of his anger problems. The Hawks signed him before the 2011 season started and he made an impact. With his powerful dunks and physical presence in the paint, he brought a lot of energy to the Hawks and became a fan favorite.

In the Draft back in June, the Hawks drafted John Jenkins from Vanderbilt and Mike Scott from Virginia. Jenkins is a SG that is a sharpshooter. He averaged 19 PPG. Jenkins was the best player in the SEC last season. Atlanta has a hand full of guards and Jenkins can be a major contributor and can be a clutch player late in games. Scott is a PF. He averaged 18 PPG and 8 RPG for Virginia. 

PF Josh Smith
Josh Smith had arguably his best season of his career last season. He averaged 18 PPG and 8 RPG. He was not selected to the all star team and was viewed as the biggest allstar snub. Smith is entering his 9th season in the NBA and is only 26 years old. He can only get better. He is making better decisions on the court and is learning what shots to and not to take. His leadership skills has improved tremendously as head coach Larry Drew made him a team captain last year. Based on what happens this season, we'll see if Smith decides to sign a contract extension with Atlanta. Aside from this, Hawks fans should be excited about what Smith is going to bring to the team this year.

All-star PF Al Horford tore his left pectoral muscle in January and was sidelined for the rest of the season. The Hawks made up for his absence and other players stepped up for him such as Zaza Pachulia and Ivan Johnson. Atlanta was a 5th seed in the playoffs. Atlanta may have been a higher seed had Horford finished the season. Nonetheless, every season he has all-star potential.

Center Al Horford
The Hawks won't be receiving much love from the media but this is a team that can make some noise this season. They were aggressive in the offseason to rebuild their team and find out what the main focal points were to get over the hump in the playoffs. Getting rid of Joe Johnson was the biggest move they made mostly because it gave them an opportunity to get players who can step up and win Atlanta games this season. One big problem with the Hawks last season was that they couldn't close games out. Fourth quarter leads evaporated but they eventually found ways to pull out wins. As a team, they have to play hard for 48 minutes and can't take their foot off the gas.

The Eastern Conference is wide open every year. Everbody believes that Miami is the unanimous number one seed but after that, everything's up for grabs. The Boston Celtics made a good move by signing Jason Terry from the Dallas Mavericks to make up for not being able to resign Ray Allen. They aren't getting any younger, though. One team that did give Atlanta problems last season was the Indiana Pacers. The Chicago Bulls were a threat last season until 2010-11 MVP Derrick Rose suffered a horrible knee injury and won't return til February. Due to this, Atlanta shouldn't have any problem with Chicago.

Hawks fans in Atlanta should expect good basketball out of their team this season. Philips Arena will be ecstatic as usual and I can't wait to see what the team's new acquisitions will do in the Highlight Factory. Hopefully the Hawks will improve on their mistakes from last season and make a big run in the playoffs. Good coaching from Larry Drew and fantastic managerial knowledge from Danny Ferry can make Atlanta a surprise team in the NBA. I cant wait to cover the Hawks this season and it will be another crazy ride, so tune in. Until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy A.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Falcons Remain Undefeated, Win In Philadelphia, 30-17

It was a great day for the Atlanta Falcons as they came into Philadelphia and manhandled the Eagles, 30-17. Matt Ryan had three first half touchdowns and head coach Mike Smith passed Dan Reeves as the Falcons all time winningest coach at 50 wins. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is now 0-2 as a starter when facing his former team.

Falcons' QB Matt Ryan
Falcons' QB Matt Ryan went 22/29 for 262 yards and three touchdown passes. WR Julio Jones caught five passes for 123 yards and one touchdown. WR Drew Davis played in his first career NFL game and caught two passes for 30 yards and one touchdown. RB Jason Snelling also caught one touchdown. RB Michael Turner had another off day on the ground as he had 24 rushing attempts for only 54 yards. RB Jacquizz Rodgers had eight attemps for 60 yards. The offense had 392 total yards.

On the defensive side, safety Thomas DeCoud had nine total tackles and one sack. Robert McClain and Kroy Biermann each added seven tackles. Sean Weatherspoon and John Abraham each had six tackles. Weatherspoon suffered a minor ankle sprain and is questionable for next week's Sunday night game against Dallas.

Eagles' QB Michael Vick went 21/35 for 191 yards and one touchdown pass. WR DeSean Jackson caught five passes for 59 yards. LeSean McCoy also had an off day for Philadelphia's running game. He had 16 carries for only 45 yards but ran for a touchdown. McCoy added three catches that accounted for 22 yards and one touchdown. 

Eagles' QB Michael Vick
Atlanta came out with great energy and it resulted in their first win in Philadelphia since 1988. Eagles head coach Andy Reid was 13-0 coming off a bye week heading into this game. The Falcons improve to 7-0 and are now looking ahead to the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are 3-4 following their 29-24 loss to the New York Giants. The Falcons will be playing the Cowboys under the lights on Sunday night and are looking to make a statement and show why they're the best team in the NFL. Good teams over come adversity to win games no matter what the situation is and that's what the Atlanta Falcons have been doing all season. Tune in to my blog next week and until then, Rise up, Atlanta.-Yuriy A.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Georgia Defeats Florida For Second Straight Season, 17-9

It was an ugly game but the Georgia Bulldogs pulled out the win against the Florida Gators, 17-9 in the annual game in Jacksonville. Both quarterbacks for each team struggled but it was Georgia's defense that stepped up all game long and forcing the Gators to resort to field goals.

Georgia QB Aaron Murray couldn't get anything going in the passing game. He went 12/24 for 150 yards, and threw one touchdown pass and three interceptions. WR Malcolm Mitchell caught five passes for 74 yards and one touchdown. RB Todd Gurley had 27 rushing attempts for 118 yards and one touchdown. The offense only had 273 total yards and couldn't convert on third down as they went 1/10. Penalities were a problem as they committed 14 for 132 yards.

The Bulldog's defense kept the team in the game for four quarters. CB Damien Swann and All-American safety Bacarri Rambo each had an interception. Linebacker Jarvis Jones, another projected NFL first round pick on Georgia's defense, had a Heisman-like game. He finished the game with 13 total tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. He gets in the backfield at will and never takes a play off.

Florida QB Jeff Driskel went 14/26 for 185 yards and threw two interceptions. WR Jordan Reed caught 5 passes for 74 yards. RB Mike Gillislee had 22 carries for 77 yards. The Gators also had problems committing penalties. They had 10 for 95 yards. They only had 266 yards in total offense.

Georgia's Jarvis Jones causing havoc in the backfield
Georgia improves to 7-1 and stays in the hunt for the SEC Championship game. If Florida would have won this game, they would have clinched a trip to Atlanta. From now on, Georgia controls their destiny if they want to play the SEC West winner in that championship game. The Bulldogs shouldn't have any difficulty in their final four games as they play Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern, and Georgia Tech. The road to a national championship will be tough, but Georgia has what it takes to make these aspirations happen. Hopefully Georgia takes this momentum from this win and uses it to pull out a win against Ole Miss next week. Tune in next week as I analyze Georgia's game against the Rebels. So until then, GO DAWGS!!!-Yuriy A.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Georgia Edges Kentucky, 29-24

UGA QB Aaron Murray broke the school record for touchdown passes
It was a tough, grinding game for the Georgia Bulldogs in Lexington as they defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 29-24. The Wildcats came into the game with a dreadful 1-6 record and were looking to upset the #11 ranked, 5-1 Bulldogs. Kentucky fought and clawed throughout the whole game but it was Georgia who came out on top. Kentucky gave Georgia trouble in 2011 as the Dawgs won the game 19-10 in Athens to clinch the SEC East title.

Georgia QB Aaron Murray had a phenomenal game as he went 30/38 for 427 yards and 4 touchdown passes. He passed QB David Greene for all time touchdown passes in UGA history. WR Tavarres King caught 9 catches for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Malcolm Mitchell had 9 catches for 103 yards. It was another rough game for Georgia's running game as Todd Gurley ran the ball 12 times for only 47 yards. The Bulldogs' other freshman RB, Keith Marshall, only had six rushing attempts for 23 yards. The Dawgs had 504 yards in total offense.

WR Tavarres King dominated the Kentucky defense
Kentucky QB Jalen Whitlow went 9/13 for only 86 yards and no touchdown passes. RB Jonathan George had 12 rushing attempts for 87 yards and RB Raymond Sanders had 18 attemps for 72 yards and one touchdown. They only had 329 yards in total offense but committed no turnovers in the game.

Georgia's defense seems to have taken a step back since getting returning starters Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo back from suspensions. Ever since the South Carolina game two weeks ago, they have been giving up big plays that is unusual coming from one of the best defensive units in the nation. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will have to make the right adjustments so there will be no more mental or physical errors for the rest of the season as the competition gets tougher. One of these tests will be against the #2 ranked Florida Gators next week. There are as many as four potential first round NFL draft picks on this defense such as Jarvis Jones, John Jenkins, Bacarri Rambo, and Alec Ogletree. There shouldn't be so many problems on defense with a core group of talent such as these players. I think the right adjustments will be made and they will be well prepared against a high powered Florida offense next week.

Georgia improves to 6-1 and are going to face the undefeated Florida Gators in Jacksonville next week. The Gators dominated South Carolina in Gainesville this week, 44-11. The Bulldogs will have to play smart football if they want to take over first place in the SEC East. It should be a battle all game long as both teams battle for SEC supremacy in this heated rivalry. Tune in to my blog next week and hopefully UGA is 7-1. So until then, GO DAWGS!!!-Yuriy A.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Falcons Defeat Raiders 23-20 On Bryant's 55 Yard Field Goal

The Atlanta Falcons remain undefeated as the Oakland Raiders pushed them to the limit and made the game come down to the last 6 seconds. Falcons QB Matt Ryan struggled as the threw three interceptions in the first half. Matt Ryan got his rhythm together as he pulled his fourth quarter heroics that helped set up a Matt Bryant 55 yard game winning field goal.

Matt Ryan went 24/37 for 249 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. WR Roddy White caught six passes for 72 yards and one touchdown. WR Julio Jones caught four passes for 63 yards. RB Michael Turner had an off day on the ground as the ran the ball 11 times for only 33 yards. Atlanta had a dismal 286 yards in total offense.

Falcons' QB Matt Ryan
Raiders' QB Carson Palmer went 23/33 for 353 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. WR Denarious Moore caught five passes for 104 yards and one touchdown. WR Derek Hagan had four catches for 85 yards. RB Darren McFadden had 27 carries for 70 yards and one touchdown. He also had one first half lost fumble. Oakland had 474 yards in total offense. They had three total turnovers.

Atlanta had their first half struggles but as usual, head coach Mike Smith made the right halftime adjustments to help get his team's minds together and play real Falcons football in the second half. The Falcons' will and determination are what helps them overcome deficits and win games in the fourth quarter when it matters. This is QB Matt Ryan's 20th career fourth quarter comeback for a win. Kicker Matt Bryant also continues to prove why he's one of the best and most clutch kickers in the NFL.

Raiders' QB Carson Palmer
The Falcons remain undefeated at 6-0 as they head into their bye week. They face the 3-3 Eagles in Philadelphia in Week 8. Atlanta will be going against their former QB Michael Vick. The Falcons defeated the Eagles in Atlanta in 2011.

Big things are happening in Atlanta right now as the Falcons continue to prove why they're Super Bowl contenders. They look to remain undefeated in Week 8 and continue to build momentum as they try to secure the NFC South quickly. Thank you for tuning in and I will cover the Falcons in two weeks. So until then RISE UP ATLANTA!!!-Yuriy A.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Falcons Defeat The Panthers In An NFC South Clash, 30-28

It was a back and forth game between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers in Week 4. Panthers' QB Cam Newton returned to his hometown of Atlanta looking to improve his Panthers to 2-2. Falcons' QB Matt Ryan was determined to help his Falcons improve to 4-0. This game came right down to the last 30 seconds of the game.

In the first half, Atlanta lead 24-14 but Panthers' QB Cam Newton lead a ferocious run. Atlanta slowly crept back into the game in the second half by the leadership of Matt Ryan and WR Roddy White's spectacular play making. In the last 1:15 of the game, Carolina QB Cam Newton fumbled the ball on a 4th & 1 play that could've helped the Panthers run out the clock and seal a win. Atlanta was down 28-27 and started their drive on their own 1 yard line. Matt Ryan used his strong arm and completed a deep pass to Roddy White on about the 30 yard line on the Panthers' side. After a few short passes that gained the right amount of yards to get into field goal range, Falcons' kicker Matt Bryant punched in the game winning field goal that helped Atlanta stay undefeated.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan celebrating with TE Tony Gonzalez

Falcons' QB Matt Ryan went 25/40 for 369 yards and threw for 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. WR Roddy White caught 8 passes for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. RB Michael Turner had 13 carries for 103 yards. He also caught 3 catches for 68 yards and 1 touchdown catch. When facing pressure and with the game on the line, Matt Ryan didn't have any doubts that Atlanta can come out with a win. Ryan has a history of many 4th quarter game winning drives. He only has 4 losses at the Georgia Dome.

On defense, linebacker Stephen Nicholas had 8 total tackles. Defensive end John Abraham had 5 tackles and 1 sack. Safety William Moore and Cornerback Daunta Robinson also contributed with 5 tackles each. Defensive end Ray Edwards recovered a fumble. The key play of the game for Atlanta's defense was the recovered fumble on the 4th & 1 play against Cam Newton.

Kicker Matt Bryant celebrating his game winning field goal
The Falcons now look ahead to face the Washington Redskins next week after this little scare. Atlanta is 4-0 while Washington is 2-2. Redskins' QB Robert Griffin III is struggling after a great Week 1 start while Falcons' QB is carrying a lot of momentum and being undefeated. The environment will be rough in Washington but the Falcons have proved time and time again that they can win no matter what the situation is.

Thanks for tuning in this week and hopefully the Falcons can improve to 5-0 next week. Lets expect more fantastic and exciting football. So until then, RISE UP ATLANTA!!!-Yuriy A.

Georgia Defeats Tennessee In A Shootout, 51-44

It was a tough and explosive game for both Georgia and Tennessee as it came to the last possession of the game. UGA had a fantasic day on the ground with freshman running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Both UGA and Tennessee's offenses lit eachother's defenses up as the score shows. Tennessee had 478 total yards of offense and Georgia had 560.

UGA QB Aaron Murray reading the Tennessee defense
Georgia QB Aaron Murray went 19/25 for 278 yards and 2 touchdown passes. WR Michael Bennett had 5 catches for 70 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was pure dominance for UGA's ground game as freshman running back Todd Gurley had 24 carries for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Bulldogs's other great freshman running back Keith Marshall, ran the ball 10 times for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns. Each game these players are explosive on the handoffs and the end zone is always in their eyes. UGA had a staggering 7.2 rushing yards per attempt. The offense was a little bit shaky in the first half but as usual, head coach Mark Richt's halftime adjustments gave the Bulldogs the confidence and motivation to out perform Tennessee in the second half. All this lead to another Bulldogs win.

Georgia's defense forced 4 turnovers. CB Sanders Cummings had 2 interceptions. The Dawgs' second CB Damien Swann, contributed with 1 interception. The defense also forced 1 fumble. Tennessee QB Tyler Bray read the Dawgs' defense in the first half as he was able to swiftly get out of the pocket and avoid sacks. This was turned around in the second half as Georgia's defense was able to analyze Bray's game plan and do what they needed to do to get stops.

Volunteers' QB Tyler Bray went 24/45 for 281 yards for 2 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions. WR Mychal Rivera had 3 catches for 82 yards. WR Zach Rodgers had 6 catches for 51 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Rajion Neal had 23 carries for 104 yards and 1 touchdown. He also caught 5 passes for 53 yards and caught a touchdown.

Tennessee was motivated to come into Athens and pull off an upset against the #5 ranked Georgia Bulldogs but in the end, it was Georgia who had the will to win. Next week, the Dawgs head to Columbia, SC to face the #6 ranked South Carolina gamecocks. This is a critical game in deciding BCS bowl game implications and the lead in the SEC East. It should be an all out war as QBs Aaron Murray and Connor Shaw face off.

Thank you for tuning in again as I continue to cover your Georgia Bulldogs. This was another great win and hopefully we can be 6-0 after the smoke clears after next week. So until then, GO DAWGS!!!-Yuriy A.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Georgia Routes Vanderbilt, 48-3, Improve to 4-0

UGA QB Aaron Murray

After winning a close game against Vandy in Nashville last year, Georgia annihilates them 48-3 in Athens in 2012. Going against Green Bay Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers little brother Jordan Rodgers, who is the QB of Vanderbilt, Aaron Murray had the dominant game. UGA controlled the tempo on both sides of the ball for the whole game.

UGA QB Aaron Murray went 18/24 for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Marlon Brown was Murray's favorite target in this game as he caught 5 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Brown averaged 22.8 yards/catch. WR Tavarres King caught 4 passes for 58 yards and a touchdown also. RB Todd Gurley had 16 rushing attempts for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. Georgia's other freshman RB sensation Keith Marshall ran the ball 10 times for 82 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Dawgs had 567 yards in total offense.

On defense, All- American linebacker Jarvis Jones had 7 tackles and 1 sack. Amarlo Herrera had 8 tackles. The UGA defense also forced and recovered a fumble. They continue to show their trend as a top 5 defense. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham continues to install an aggressive defense.

Vanderbilt QB Jordan Rodgers went 13/23 for 218 yards. WR Jordan Matthews caught 8 passes for 119 yards. RB Zac Stacy had 12 rushing attempts for 83 yards. The offense was dismal on 3rd down as they were 2-14. They only had 337 yards in total offense. It was obviously a rough day for the Commodores.

UGA RB Todd Gurley
The Georgia Bulldogs add another win to their total and look forward to facing the 3-1 Tennessee Volunteers in Athens next week. It will be a showdown of the two best quarterbacks in the SEC, Aaron Murray and Tyler Bray. Bray is said to have the strongest arm in the conference. Nontheless, it should be a great and close game with nothing but smashmouth SEC football involved. UGA hopes to capitalize on that game as they face #6 ranked South Carolina in two weeks.

It was another great week to be a Bulldog and hopefully UGA continues to show why they're the #5 team in the country against Tennessee next week. Keep on tuning in to my blogs UGA Nation. So until then, GO DAWGS!!!-Yuriy A.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Falcons Defeat Broncos, 27-21, Hand Manning's First Loss As Bronco

The Atlanta Falcons improve to 2-0 with their 27-21 victory over the 1-0 Denver Broncos. This was Broncos' QB Peyton Manning's first road loss and his official first loss as the QB for Denver. The Falcons defense put pressure on Manning all game long as they had 3 interceptions in the first half. It was a great day for the defense as they're playing without starting CB Brent Grimes as he is out for the season due to injury.

Falcons' QB Matt Ryan
Falcons' QB Matt Ryan went 24/36 for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Roddy White caught 8 passes for 102 yards and 1 touchdown. TE Tony Gonalez caught 7 passes for 70 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Michael Turner had an off night as he ran the ball 17 times for 42 yards but did run for a touchdown.

Atlanta's defense also had a great day on defense. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had 10 total tackles and 1 fumble recovery. Linebacker Stephen Nicholas and safety William Moore each had 8 tackles. CB Asante Samuel had 7 total tackles. They fought hard and earned their 4 turnovers against Peyton Manning in the first half.

Broncos' QB Peyton Manning went 24/37 for 241 yards, threw 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. WR Demaryius Thomas caught 8 passes for 78 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Willis McGahee carried the ball 22 times for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. Denver rallied in the second half but just fell short in the fourth quarter.

Peyton Manning had a second half comeback leading the Broncos by adding 2 touchdowns from RB Willis McGahee but it was in the end that Atlanta had good clock management and a first down run by RB Michael Turner that sealed the game for the Falcons. Atlanta constantly kept the chains moving that stopped a Broncos comeback.

Broncos' QB Peyton Manning facing pressure from Atlanta's defense
Once again, there was controversy surrounding the replacement referees. For the majority of the game, they made the right calls but it appeared that they didn't know how to take control of the game and what decisions to make. Review of many plays in the first half was a big distraction as it took almost an hour and a half to reach halftime. Nonetheless, the NFL looks to reach a new deal with their officials and get them back on the field soon.

Atlanta now heads to San Diego to face the 2-0 Chargers in Week 3. This is the third straight AFC West opponent the Falcons are going to face. The Chargers are looking to get starting RB Ryan Matthews back from a clavicle injury that was sustained in the preseason. It should be a great offensive showdown between two great QBs in Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers.

Once again, thank you for tuning in to my blog covering your Atlanta Falcons and I look forward to continuing to watch the Falcons reach much success this season and have a bounce back year from 2011. Keep on the lookout for a blog about the Chargers-Falcons game this Sunday. So until then, GO FALCONS!!!-Yuriy A.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Georgia Defeats Florida Atlantic, 56-20

UGA QB Aaron Murray
The Georgia Bulldogs improve to 3-0 after their 56-20 victory over the Florida Atlantic University Owls in Athens on Saturday night. The Dawgs had a rough first half by giving up big yardage plays and giving up 14 points but halftime adjustments helped wake the defense up. All-American Linebacker Jarvis Jones was given the night off to rest an injury so the defense had to pick up the pace. Keep in mind, Georgia was still without defensive starters Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree.

UGA QB Aaron Murray went 14/19 for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. WR Michael Bennett was Murray's favorite target in this game as he caught 4 catches for 110 yards and 1 touchdown. WR Arthur Lynch caught 3 passes for 73 yards and 1 touchdown. The Dawgs also had a great night in the running game. RB Todd Gurley had 10 carries for 111 yards and 1 touchdown. The second RB freshman sensation, Keith Marshall, had 10 carries for 104 yards and 1 touchdown. QB Aaron Murray scrambled 3 times, two of which were QB sneaks that resulted in two touchdowns. UGA's had a staggering 713 yards in total offense.

UGA RB Keith Marshall
On defense, safety Shawne Wiliams had 12 total tackles. Linebacker Amarlo Herrera had 6 total tackles and 1 interception. UGA's defense also had a forced and recovered fumble. FAU's offense was dissecting UGA's defense in the first half but then the Bulldogs picked up FAU's game plan and stuffed the Owls on almost every play in the second half.

FAU QB Graham Wilbert went 18/33 for 183 yards and threw 1 touchdown and 1 interception. WR William Dukes had 5 catches for 98 yards. WR Nexon Dorvilus caught 1 touchdown pass. RB Damian Fortner had 14 carries for 81 yards and 1 touchdown.

The Bulldogs easily took care of the Owls and improve to #5 in the AP Poll. They are now looking ahead to facing Vanderbilt in Athens next week. The Commodores are one of the most underrated teams in the SEC as they came close to beating #7 South Carolina in Week 1 but fell short, 17-13. UGA beat Vanderbilt last season in Nashville, 33-28. Vandy will compete until the clock hits 0:00 and will try to give the Dawgs problems. This game will be very physical and it will be smash-mouth, SEC football.

Once again, thank you for tuning into my blog as I continue to cover the Georgia Bulldogs throughout this season. Hopefully UGA can continue their success and do great things in this competitive SEC. Keep on looking out for my next blog covering the team's game against Vandy next week. So until then, GO DAWGS!!!-Yuriy A.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Falcons Defeat The Chiefs In Week 1, 40-24

Falcons QB Matt Ryan
The Atlanta Falcons opened up their season with a satisfying win in Kansas City, 40-24. The team came out fired up and played well on both sides of the ball. The defense constantly got into the backfield which forced three turnovers on the Chiefs' offense.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan went 23/31 for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ryan received a 136.4 passer rating. Rising star WR Julio Jones had 6 catches for 108 yards and 2 touchdown catches. Pro Bowl WR Roddy White had 6 catches for 87 yards. Pro Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez returned to his old team's stadium and had 5 catches for 53 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Michael Turner had an off-day on the ground by rushing 11 times for only 32 yards.

On the defensive side, linebacker Stephen Nicholas had 12 total tackles with 1 interception. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had 7 tackles and 1 sack. Safeties William Moore and Thomas DeCoud each had 7 tackles with CB Brent Grimes having 6 tackles. DE John Abraham had 3 tackles and 1 sack.

Kansas City QB Matt Cassel went 21/33 for 258 yards and 1 touchdown. He had 2 interceptions. RB Jamaal Charles had 16 rushing attempts for 87 yards but didn't reach the endzone. Atlanta shut down three of the Chiefs' RBs by holding all of them to less than 100 yards and two of them for less than 30 yards. WR Dexter McCluster had 6 catches for 82 yards.

Falcons WR Julio Jones scoring one of his two touchdowns
Matt Ryan controlled the tempo of the game by consistently keeping drives alive by converting on third down and utilizing the talents he has on offense. WR Julio Jones is expected to have a breakout year after an injury-plagued 2011.  The one-two punch of Jones and Roddy White will give defensive coordinators headaches. Third option WR Harry Douglas is a deep threat and TE Tony Gonzalez can keep the chains moving by catching those passes on third down.

The Falcons return to Atlanta for their first home game on Monday Night Football on ESPN to play Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos. After an impressive return to the NFL on Sunday against the Steelers, Manning looks to continue to play well. After a huge game from QB Matt Ryan, he looks to do the same and help Atlanta improve to 2-0. The Georgia Dome will most likely be sold out and and will be hyped up for the Dirty Birds return. It will be a tough battle between two QBs who have championship aspirations this season.

It's going to be an exciting season for the Atlanta Falcons. It'll be a challenge as they battle against the NFC South and compete against the NFC East this year. Atlanta will look to improve on a disappointing finish from last year and go deep into the playoffs this season. I look forward to covering your Falcons all season long and keep on looking out for more of my blogs. So until then, GO FALCONS!!!-Yuriy A.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Georgia Defeats Missouri in SEC Opener, 41-20

The Georgia Bulldogs took their momentum from the win against Buffalo in Athens last week and spoiled the Missouri Tigers first SEC game and won in Columbia, 41-20. The Bulldogs struggled in the first half but when the second half came, they stepped up and constantly brought pressure to Missouri QB James Franklin.

UGA QB Aaron Murray went 22/35 for 242 yards, threw 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Marlon Brown was Murray's favorite target in this game as he caught 8 passes for 106 yards and 2 touchdown catches.  Star WR Tavarres King only caught 2 passes for 41 yards but caught one touchdown. RB Todd Gurley had 10 rushing attempts for 65 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Ken Malcome had 7 rushes for 33 yards and 1 touchdown.
UGA QB Aaron Murray

Georgia's defense played a major role in helping solidify a win for the Dawgs. All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones had 6 tackles, a forced fumble, and one interception. Shawne Williams had 4 tackles, and Malcolm Mitchell had 5 tackles. Like I said ealier, they did a fantastic job of applying pressure to Missouri QB James Franklin. UGA's defense forced three turnovers with one interception and two fumbles lost.

Despite Franklin's troubles with the Dawgs defense, he went 25/41 for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Marcus Lucas had 6 catches for 88 yards and 1 touchdown. WR L'Damien Washington had 2 catches for 81 yards and 1 touchdown. UGA stopped Missouri's running game as none of their RBs scored a touchdown.

Missouri QB James Franklin
Through two weeks in the season, the Bulldogs are clicking on both sides of the ball. QB Aaron Murray has a good rhythm going and the defense is holding up well without suspended starters Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree. Led by Jarvis Jones, they play more & more aggressive on every play. Aaron Murray has many go-to receivers such as Tavarres King, Marlon Brown, and Michael Bennett. The coaching staff is also making the right playcalling and knows how to utilize the great talents of the players on both offense and defense.

UGA heads back to Athens next week to play Florida Atlantic University. This shouldn't be a difficult game to win and it could give many of the Bulldogs' starters a rest as they play a very underrated and talented Vanderbilt team two weeks from now. I expect the Dawgs to get better and better every week as they battle it out in the very competitive SEC. Keep on looking out for more of my blogs about your Georgia Bulldogs and I will have another blog coming soon. So until next time, GO DAWGS!!!-Yuriy A.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Georgia Defeats Buffalo In Season Opener, 45-23.

Georgia QB Aaron Murray
Once again, it's always a great day to be a Bulldog. After a rocky first half, UGA completely turned it up to another level to win their first game of the season. Buffalo kept it close by making the halftime score 24-16, but Georgia's halftime adjustments paid off. UGA's defense played exceptionally well without All-American safety Bacarri Rambo & linebacker Alec Ogletree.

QB Aaron Murray had a good day in the air with 258 yards and 3 touchdowns on 15/26 passing. WR Tavarres King had 6 catches for 117 yards & 1 touchdown. WR Michael Bennett also had 5 catches for 76 yards & 1 touchdown. Freshman RB Todd Gurley had a phenomenal game by running the ball eight times for 100 yards & 2 touchdowns. He also had a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half. UGA had 458 yards in total offense.

Buffalo QB Alex Zordich went 14/24 for 148 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Branden Oliver had 30 rushing attempts for 111 yards and 1 touchdown. WR Jimmy Gordon had 3 catches for 63 yards. The offense was competitive against UGA in the first half but the Dawgs were just too much for the Bulls in the second half.

Freshman RB Todd Gurley
All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones had 8 total tackes with a forced fumble. DT John Jenkins had 6 total tackles & DT Abry Jones added 4 total tackles. This UGA defense was a top five defense last year. They look to play hard even without the services of Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree for the next 3-4 games. Leaders like Jarvis Jones and John Jenkins will have to step up in big time games. Just like the offense, this defense has so much potential. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham could've had a chance to get a head coaching job at another good D-1 school or maybe an NFL head coaching job, but he decided to stay put at UGA after having a great year last year. Grantham recently signed a 2 year extention w/ UGA.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is working with a potential Heisman candidate in QB Aaron Murray. Everybody expects him to be a 1st round NFL draft pick but his status is unknown if he is going to stay at UGA or not at the end of the season. UGA always seems to have a great recruiting class when it comes to RBs every year. The future is shining bright on freshman RBs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley.

The Bulldogs are on the road next week against newly-added SEC member Missouri. It will be tough playing in a rough environment like that but knowing that the #6 ranked team UGA is, they should be able to run the table against the Tigers and make it a fantastic game. I think QB Aaron Murray will be able to deliver in the clutch and get the Dawgs another win.

Keep on looking out for more of my UGA blogs and I hope you have enjoyed this one. I'm looking forward to covering UGA this season and watch the Bulldogs try to achieve their championship aspirations. So until then, GO DAWGS!!!!!-Yuriy A.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Danny Ferry Wastes No Time in Hawks' Free Agency

Hawks GM & President of Basketball Operations Danny Ferry
Its been a busy first week on the job for new Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry. First he drafts SG John Jenkins from Vanderbilt and PF Mike Scott from Virginia. Earlier this week he traded allstar guard Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets for the expiring contracts of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, DeShawn Stevenson, and a future first round pick. Atlanta also traded Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz for PG Devin Harris.

The Hawks are in rumors to get superstar center Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic. They are one of various teams trying to go after him, including the Lakers, Rockets, and Nets. Brooklyn owes Joe Johnson $90 million over the next five seasons and they just resigned PG Deron Williams on a five year, $100 million contract so I don't know how they would have room to bring in Howard. They are coming up with a trade that would include four 1st round picks from Brooklyn and MarShon Brooks but I don't think this trade is likely to happen.

Dwight Howard
Some good news for Atlanta is that Josh Smith is impressed with the way Danny Ferry is making aggresive moves. I think Smith sees the fact that Ferry is trying to bring the right pieces to Atlanta and those moves will convince him to stay. If Dwight Howard does come to Atlanta, he would reunite with his best friends Josh Smith and Anthony Morrow. Howard has known Smith since pre school and from AAU basketball.

The problem with getting Dwight Howard is that the Hawks would have to convince him to sign an extension with the team. I don't think there's any point in getting rid of good players like Al Horford or Jeff Teague to just rent Howard for a year and then he leaves in free agency in 2013. I think Danny Ferry is the type of person who can bring in the right players and can convcince Howard that he can win in Atlanta. The city would be buzzing with hometown players Josh Smith and Dwight Howard on the same team together.

Chris Paul
The Hawks have the money to acquire Clippers PG Chris Paul. Some sources say that Paul is committed to the Clippers. It would be difficult convincing CP3 to come to Atlanta after the Hawks passed up on him in the 2005 NBA Draft and drafted Marvin Williams instead. (We all still think about that nightmare) I honestly believe that the Hawks will try to pursue Howard instead of Paul though. Atlanta has always been looking for that true center. When we drafted Al Horford, we had to put him at center because of that issue. Al Horford is actually a PF. I think we would have to trade Horford in order to acquire Howard.

It's been a wild free agency so far and we will see if Danny Ferry makes any more big moves for the Hawks. Hopefully Atlanta wins the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Keep on looking out for more of my Hawks blogs about their free agency and I hope you enjoy them. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy A.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hawks Hire Former Cavs GM Danny Ferry

Former Cavs GM Danny Ferry signs with the Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks have hired former Cleveland Cavaliers GM & executive of the San Antonio Spurs, Danny Ferry. He served as Cleveland's GM from 2005-2010. Ferry had the NBA's current MVP LeBron James on his team until James went to the 2012 NBA Champion Miami Heat in 2010. Ferry is also signed as President of basketball operations and is signed to a 6 year deal. He is now replacing the Hawks' current GM, Rick Sund. Sund was Atlanta's GM for the past four seasons. He will now be a consultant with Atlanta.

There was much speculation about Danny Ferry going to the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers were busy looking for a front-office chief so talks started to break off. Obviously,  Ferry had success everywhere he went.  His biggest challenge was trying to get a championship to LeBron James. Every year the Cavaliers fell short of reaching the Finals. James' only trip to the finals was in 2007, in which the Cavs got swept by the Spurs.  After a second round exit to the Boston Celtics in 2010, that was James' last season in Cleveland and an era was over.

Ferry had to deal with the tension between Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert and LeBron James during that dark night when "The Decision" aired on ESPN. Dan Gilbert sent a letter to Cavs fans saying they deserve better and how James "quit" on his team in the playoffs against Boston. All around Cleveland, you could see people burning LeBron James' jersey. The next day the city took down the "We Are All Witnesses" poster in downtown Cleveland which had James on the poster with him throwing the powder during his pre-game warmups.

Now Ferry starts a new chapter in his managerial career. It is going to be a long and interesting offseason for the Atlanta Hawks. Hawks forward Josh Smith has been in trade rumors ever since last summer. Some people question if he wants to even play in Atlanta anymore. Hawks management also has to deal with allstar Joe Johnson's huge contract. Johnson signed a 6 year, $123 million deal back in the summer of 2010. This makes the Hawks' salary cap small. Atlanta has nine free agents to resign. Obviously, not all of them are going to be with the team next year. I believe the Hawks should resign guys like Jannero Pargo and Ivan Johnson who stepped up this year. These players were two of many free agent players who signed one year contracts with Atlanta, including former NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady.

Hopefully the Atlanta Hawks have a great offseason and can bring a core group of players to the team that can take them deep into the playoffs. The Hawks made it into the second round of the playoffs every year since 2009 until this year when they made a first round exit to the Boston Celtics. I think Danny Ferry is the best managerial signing we've had in a really long time. I think he's the guy that can put us over the hump in the playoffs. We will see what this team will look like come training camp in September. Keep on the lookout for my Hawks post-draft blog and keep on checking out for more blogs coming soon including an Atlanta Falcons training camp blog. Until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy A.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Atlanta Hawks 2011-12 Season Review

PG Jeff Teague
The Hawks ended their season on a tough game 6 loss to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. It was a game that went down to the wire and in my opinion, there were many questionable calls that cost the Hawks the game. There should of been a foul called on the inbound play with three seconds left that would've gave Al Horford an extra free throw that could of possibly sent the game to over time. The NBA acknowledged the missed call and left Hawks fans disappointed.

This year we saw hometown product Josh Smith have arguably the best season of his career. He averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds. Many critics believed he was an all star snub. Smith definitely put in the work and proved that he wanted to win games. His game elevated when all star center Al Horford went down for two months with a left pectoral muscle injury. Joe Johnson also increased his stats.
PF Josh Smith & SG Joe Johnson

We also saw the development of PG Jeff Teague. After his breakout performance against the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs last year, he earned the role as a starter. He averaged 12 points and 4 assists after averaging 5 points and 2 assists the previous year. Teague does a great job of getting to the basket and finishing. He knows how to run the offense and all he can do is get better and improve year by year. He will continue to bring playoff experience which will help him develop into the point guard that the Hawks have been looking for.

When Al Horford went down, many Hawks fans believed that their season was over. Little did they know, they were wrong. Atlanta's bench stepped up with key players such as Jannero Pargo, Willie Green, Ivan Johnson, and veteran all star Tracy McGrady. Josh Smith's leadership increased which earned him the role as a team captain. The Hawks racked up key wins against the NBA's top teams such as the Heat, Bulls, Thunder, and Celtics.

The topic that Hawks fans always want to bring up is Joe Johnson and his max contract. He is expected to perform at a high level every night and whenever he doesn't stuff the stat sheet, he receives a lot of criticism. When he doesn't hit a game winning shot in crunch time, he gets bashed for it. In my opinion, I believe he has to perform at that level. Night after night he needs to average at least 25 points per game. Every year it seems that Joe always steps up in the regular season and earns a trip to the all star game but come playoff time, he shuts down. Other players step up, but Johnson has to be that guy that puts the team on his back and is going to help the Hawks win and go deep into the playoffs.

I also believe that the Hawks should've took advantage of an aging Celtics team. There was no excuse to lose three games in a row and lose home court advantage. Game 6 wasn't an excuse to lose the whole series. The Hawks handed Boston those games in those three straight losses. Some factors were not coming out strong in the beginning of the game and not executing in the second half. Atlanta should know what the Celtics like to do in the playoffs due to the fact that they played Boston in the first round of the playoffs in 2008 which the Hawks took the Celtics to seven games but lost the series, unfortunately.

It will be a very interesting offseason for the Hawks. Ivan Johnson is a restricted free agent. There is also a long list of unrestricted free agents such as Jason Collins, Eric Dampier, Willie Green, Kirk Hinrich, Tracy McGrady, Jannero Pargo, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Jason Collins. Atlanta did a good job of signing veteran players last offseason but I think most of these players received one year contracts to evaluate on how they would play this season. I believe guys like Pargo, McGrady, Hinrich, and Green deserve extentions. Our bench definitely improved this year and I wouldn't want most of this team to break apart.

The Hawks are just a work in progress. This is a team filled with talent that can go to the next level. Head coach Larry Drew has had a solid first two seasons but just has to find a way to go deeper into the playoffs. Atlanta can't afford always going out in the second round, and this year, the first round. I think the Hawks should spend some money this offseason and they must do this if they want to be recognized as one of the elite teams in the east and in the NBA.

It was fun watching our Atlanta Hawks this season as usual. I hope you continue to read my blogs next season and hopefully the Hawks can do some big things next year. We'll always go through good and bad times together. Look out for my offseason evaluation blogs this summer. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy A,

Monday, April 30, 2012

Hawks Defeat Celtics in Game 1, 83-74

Hawks' forward Josh Smith getting the crowd involved
It was a great night in Atlanta as the Hawks came out on top against Boston in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks came fired up from the start of the game & didn't look back. Atlanta consistently maintained a double digit lead throughout the game until Boston rallied in the second half but the Hawks were able to hold them off.

Hawks' forward Josh Smith was stuffing the statsheet with 22 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists, & 1 block. Many critics were surprised with the way the Hawks were playing but no one in the Hawks' locker room was. It was just typical Atlanta Hawks basketball. 

Rajon Rondo had 20 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists, & 4 steals. He was ejected in the last minute of the 4th quarter after "chest bumping" and screaming at an official. The league office is going to review this and a suspension is pending. Kevin Garnett also added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Celtics' guard Ray Allen was out due to injury and is uncertain for Game 2.

Everybody was doubting this Atlanta Hawks team. Every analyst on ESPN and TNT. Everybody had Atlanta losing in five or six games. But the Hawks want to do what the fans want them to do, which is to shock the world. 

Head coach Larry Drew has this team believing that they can win a lot of games in the playoffs. They have the potential to get farther than the second round. If Atlanta wins this series, they either play the Philadelphia 76ers or a Chicago Bulls team that is without star point guard Derrick Rose for the rest of the playoffs.

Hopefully the Hawks can come out with the same energy they did in Game 1 and come out on top in Game 2. Everybody in Atlanta should come out to Philips Arena and be apart of the Highlight Factory. "Come To Play" with your Hawks and watch their run throughout the playoffs. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy A.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hawks Defeat The Clippers, 109-102

Johnson driving to the paint against the Clippers
Coming off a rough loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday, the Hawks come in facing a playoff bound and division leading Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams are hungry looking to build momentum heading into the playoffs this weekend. The Hawks came out with the last word.

The Atlanta Hawks collected a win on Tuesday night that was a key victory heading into the game against Dallas on Thursday and are looking to lock up homecourt advantage against the Boston Celtics in the 1st round of the playoffs. This key win was against an improved Los Angeles Clippers team that had Blake Griffin putting up 36 points. Nonetheless, the Hawks' will to win gave them the victory.

One of the huge contributions in the Hawks' win against L.A was Joe Johnson as he put up 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. A long, fadeaway three-point shot in the fourth quarter by Johnson helped seal the game for Atlanta. The Hawks also received contributions from fellow star Josh Smith with 18 points and 10 rebounds. PG Jeff Teague scored 21 points. Second chance shots helped the Hawks build momentum throughout the game.

On the Clippers' side, Blake Griffin scored 36 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 blocked shot. PG Chris Paul added 34 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Despite the "Lob City" duo putting up these huge numbers, the Hawks still managed to put Griffin in foul trouble late in the game which was a factor.

The Hawks play the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday in their last home game of the regular season before they start the playoffs against the Celtics. The team with homecourt advantage is yet to be determined. Atlanta is looking to shock some people and show them that they can compete with the strong teams in the playoffs such as the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls. Their 1st round showdown with the Celtics will most certainly be like the seven games series between them back in the 2008 playoffs when the Hawks took Boston to seven games.

Keep on looking out for more of my blogs as I update the Hawks' progress in the playoffs. Hopefully we can do some big things. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy A.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hawks Defeat The Pistons, 101-96

Jeff Teague driving to the paint against the Pistons
I know I've been out for a while but let's get back to business. Good Friday was actually good for the Atlanta Hawks. A win against Detroit is giving the Hawks more momentum heading into the last two weeks of the regular season. It was a big night for PG Jeff Teague, who put up twenty-four points,  eleven assists, five rebounds, two steals, and one block. Josh Smith also had a good night with twenty-two points and twelve rebounds.

On the Pistons' side, PG Rodney Stuckey had twenty-seven points, three rebounds, & three assists. PG Will Bynum also contributed fifteen points off the bench. Detroit played hard all game long and even took the lead after the Hawks lead by twelve in the second half. This was a different Pistons team than the one that played Atlanta back in January.

The Hawks lead the season series with Detroit, 2-1, with one more game against each other to go. This game will be played in Atlanta on April 18th. The Pistons' playoff hopes have evaporated while the Hawks are playing for playoff position. They are currently the fifth seed.

If the Hawks stay healthy, they can finish out the last two weeks of the regular season strong and could do some big things in the playoffs. Players have stepped up through many injuries this season, even through the major loss of all star center Al Horford.

We have seen players such as twenty-seven year old rookie Ivan Johnson and Hawks veteran Zaza Pachulia step up in the absence of Horford. The contribution from the bench will be a big factor come playoff time and can win us a lot of games. Josh Smith has took his game to another level this season and doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. Head coach Larry Drew has his team thinking in the right direction and is looking like he has stressed winning to the team.

Keep on looking out for more Hawks blogs coming up and please post comments if you wish. Hopefully our Hawks can have a good rest of the regular season, post season and make a lot of noise. I know we can put the league on notice. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!- Yuriy

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hawks Defeat The Hornets 94-72

The Hawks come out with another win on their five game road trip. This time, a win against the 4-16 New Orleans Hornets. Atlanta came out strong in the 1st half and didn't look back since despite having a 20-6 Hornets run against them in the second quarter. Star PG Jeff Teague had 24 points despite quiet nights from both Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.

The bench was also very productive. Guard Willie Green had 16 points on 6/11 shooting. Hawks big man Ivan Johnson also poured in 9 points. Atlanta had a lot of help from their three point shooting. Jeff Teague went 4/4 on his threes. Willie Green went 4/7 on three point shooting also.

Hawks' PG Jeff Teague
The New Orleans Hornets continue to look dismal after having a rough offseason. Losing superstar PG Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers was the bullet that helped the Hornets go down the drain. This is a franchise that is owned by NBA commisioner David Stern and his front office. This was a team that went to the western conference finals four years ago but has been melting year by year. Chris Paul leaving only made it worse. New Orleans is in rebuilding mode and is playing without guard Eric Gordon. They also have the toughest schedule in the league. They play Miami in their next game.

The Hawks travel to Toronto to finish their five game road trip and look to finish strong on their way back to Atlanta. Head coach Larry Drew has his team playing hard and doesn't plan on looking back. Atlanta continues to win games and wants to put themselves on the map as one of best teams in the East, and if not, the NBA.

Keep on continuing to look out for more blogs about your Atlanta Hawks and I look forward to keep on writing about them and seeing more and more Hawks victories come along the way this season. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy A.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hawks Defeat The Trailblazers 92-89

It was a good night in Atlanta as the Hawks came out with a win in Jamal Crawford's return to the Highlight Factory. Hawks superstar Joe Johnson poured in 24 points and Josh Smith had added a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Hawks SG Joe Johnson
Blazers PF LaMarcus Aldridge
Portland's Jamal Crawford had 22 points and star forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Despite their 8-6 record, this is a talented Trailblazers team that has a lot of potential and that can make a run in the West. They've beaten the Lakers on numerous occasions and are playing well despite losing one of their all-star guards Brandon Roy to injuries on both of his knees that cost him to retire. A five year veteran who was unquestionably Portland's best player and it's always sad to hear that a player has to have his career cut short due to a serious injury.

After a slow first half for both teams, the Hawks ended the third quarter on a 13-0 run while Portland answered back and went on a 14-0 run to start the fourth quarter. Great shooting from Joe Johnson and great play from Josh Smith helped Atlanta take the lead back and didn't look back since. The Blazers didn't want to go away and kept on fighting but in the end it was Atlanta who was the team who got the better result.

Since Horford went down, many players have stepped up, both the starters and the bench. Sensational rookie Ivan Johnson and Zaza Pachulia, who's been with Atlanta for seven seasons, has helped fill that void. The Hawks have also had fantastic shooting from Willie Green and Vladimir Radmanovic. Tracy McGrady has also showed that he has some gas left in the tank, and is greatly contributing to this talented Atlanta Hawks team.

The Hawks improve to 11-4 and play the 10-4 Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. Atlanta continues to make a statement in the NBA and is riding a four game winning streak since all-star center Al Horford went down with a shoulder injury that will put him out for the season. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith each have improved their statistics in every category.

The Hawks take their momentum to Philly on Friday and are hoping to pull out another big win. Keep on looking out for my blogs and I hope you have enjoyed them all so far. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!!-Yuriy A

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Take On Al Horford's Shoulder Injury

Hawks Center Al Horford going for a dunk against Orlando
It now appears that the Atlanta Hawks' all-star center Al Horford is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Many people have a lot of ideas as to what the Hawks should do from this point. There was always the speculation of Atlanta bringing back the hometown superstar, from the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard, to play in his city. I think the Hawks would have to give up way to much to get him. I like the core group of players we have on our roster now.

Our bench can definitely help us in the long run. The development of rookie Ivan Johnson is going well and Zaza Pachulia, in his seventh year with the Hawks, plays with great intensity every night and his leadership is strong.  Great shooters such as Willie Green and Vladimir Radmanovic can help us in crucial situations in a game. They all helped us beat the Heat and the Bulls all in the same weak.

Filling Horford's role in the line up will be tough but if every player in that locker room shows up to play every single night then we should win a lot of ball games this year and make another huge run in the playoffs. Josh Smith is playing on another level and has greatly improved his shooting. Head coach Larry Drew has this team playing cohesively and has a desire to win.

The Hawks can play with any team in the league if they show up to play every night. At times in the season Atlanta did all that they were supposed to do to win games. Other nights they just walked down the court during turnovers and fast-breaks. Those are easy ways to lose games in this league. So the Hawks have to have that same intensity level every night.

I'm looking forward to what the Hawks do during the rest of the season. I think we will have a great record at home and have the Highlight Factory rocking. We're primed to make a big playoff run and put the NBA on notice. With or without Al Horford, we will make a statement. For Future blogs about the Hawks, please click on the link at the bottom of the article and feel free to leave comments. I look forward to writing about the Hawks and looking forward to a fantastic season. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy A.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Atlanta Hawks defeat the Miami Heat, 100-92

It's been a while since I've been on here, but it's back to business. The Hawks improved their record to 4-1 with their win over the Heat tonight on January 2nd, 2012. Atlanta is the first team to beat Miami this season, giving Miami their first loss at home. We've seen the rise of young PG Jeff Teague and we saw it from him tonight. Newly aquired free agent Tracy McGrady was also a key factor in the Hawks' win.

Atlanta's top performer in the night was Al Horford with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. Jeff Teague had 15 points and 5 assists. Star shooting guard Joe Johnson had 21 points. Sixth man Tracy McGrady had 16 points off the bench and went 3/3 on three point shooting. Jannero Pargo's 2/3 on 3 point shooting also helped seal the game in the fourth quarter for the Hawks. Jeff Teague got in to the paint at will and finished when he drove to the basket.

LeBron James had 28 points and 7 rebounds for Miami. Dwyane Wade had an off night with 12 points and 4/17 shooting. Chris Bosh added 19 points and 6 rebounds. Shane Battier came off the bench and added 11 points with 3/4 from 3 point shooting but it wasn't enough to hold off the Hawks' rally in the second half.

The Hawks were hungry to bounce back after a 95-84 loss to the Rockets on New Years' Eve. Atlanta started the New Year out right and continue a brutal schedule as they play at Chicago on January 3rd, play the Heat at home on January 5th, go on the road to Charlotte on January 6th, and finish it at home on January 7th against the Bulls again.

Even though the Hawks are faced with this brutal schedule, they showed they can compete with anybody with their huge win against the Heat. The development of young point guard Jeff Teague is crucial to the Hawks' success and will take them far. The bench giving the starters help and closing out games will also be a X-Factor. 6th man Tracy McGrady is proving his doubters wrong and is showing that he has a lot of gas left in the tank. Star shooting guard Joe Johnson is playing with a chip on his shoulder also quieting his doubters when they say he is overpaid and didn't deserve the contract he got in the summer of 2010. His play on the court speaks for itself.

Head coach Larry Drew is winning over  an improving Hawks team year by year and will be determined to make another run in the playoffs this year. The chemistry with the team is where it needs to be and that will win ball games. PG Jeff Teague is the player I thought he would be when we drafted him in 2009. It took him a couple seasons to develop but that's what every great PG does in this league. I'm looking forward to watching him and the rest of our Hawks play this season and what they can get accomplished. Keep on looking out for my Hawks blogs and upcoming blogs about the Atlanta Falcons trip to the playoffs. So until then, GO HAWKS!!!-Yuriy