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News » Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-02-19

Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-02-19

Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-02-19
The Hawks are in listening mode as the hours tick down on the NBA trade deadline.

They've assumed that position, as opposed to the probing trade instigator, which is a rare position to be in with so many teams cash-strapped due to the worsening global economy and the impact it's having on the finances of owners around the league.

"I don't think it forces your hand," general manager Rick Sund said of the current climate around the league. "This is always a time on your calendar when you need to assess. The truth is, sometimes trades take 10 months to a year to come to fruition and other times they come together in a short period of time. So there is always a dialogue going on. Either way, you always have to be prepared."

Sund's predecessor, Billy Knight, made a deadline deal last year that changed the fate of the franchise. Acquiring Mike Bibby in a five-player deal with Sacramento lifted the Hawks into the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.

Sund has a history of being active at the deadline. The biggest deal he made during his tenure in Seattle, acquiring All-Star shooting guard Ray Allen from Milwaukee for aging superstar point guard Gary Payton, happened at the deadline in 2003.

And the Hawks have a first round pick and several expiring contracts they could use as bait for a team that needs to dump salary, and potentially a quality player.

But with the Hawks at 32-22 and currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, the need for that kind future-altering makeover simply is not there.

"I think we can win with what we have," Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson said. "I think we've proved that over the course of the last year that this is a winning team when we're at our best."

Hawks coach Mike Woodson agreed, insisting that a move for the sake of making a move is not in the best interest of the franchise.

"I don't think you jump out there just to jump out there," he said. "I would think something has to make sense for us to do anything."

HAWKS 105, KINGS 100: Mike Bibby guided the Sacramento Kings to six straight wins over the Hawks at Arco Arena.

On Wednesday night, he helped the Hawks snap a streak he helped build with a huge game against his former team.

Bibby finished with 29 points and a huge steal late as the Hawks rallied for a 105-100 win over the Kings, just his second visit to his old stomping grounds since being traded at the deadline last year.

The victory snapped the Hawks' eight-game losing streak at Arco Arena, dating back to 2000.

"It was big being back here and all you want to do is win," Bibby said. "I had some great years here but right now we're all about winning games. That's it."

Bibby also finished with five rebounds, four assists and three steals, helping the Hawks bounce back from a nasty road loss the night before against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Hawks' win, coupled with losses by Miami and Detroit, leaves the Hawks 3.5 games ahead of the Heat for the fourth position in the East, and 4.5 in front of the Pistons.

The Hawks can thank Bibby again for that cushion, because if he hadn't heated up early, the Hawks might have fallen to the lowly Kings (11-44).

After briefly trailing by six, the Hawks -- or better yet Bibby -- took charge and reversed that early deficit to lead by three at the end of the first quarter, 30-27. Bibby knocked down 5-of-8 shots to lead all scorers with 12; the hot start needed to propel him to a huge night.

"We bounced back," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We closed the half really bad. We were up 10 with 2:25 on the clock and they go on a 14-0 run. That's ridiculous. We weathered the storm and came back into the ball game. They made plays and we made plays. We were just able to make the plays down the stretch."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 19, 2009


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