Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Morrow’

Hawks Have New Faces, New Pressure

ATLANTA – Josh Smith considers himself a realist. And he’s never been one to hold his tongue where his team is concerned.

So while you might hear championship talk from someone in every single training camp around the league this time of year, the Hawks’ forward refuses to play that game in a situation where name tags were actually necessary like they were at media day Monday at Philips Arena.

Only five of the 18 players the Hawks will suit up for their first practice Tuesday were a part of the organization last year. The Hawks jettisoned six-time All-Star Joe Johnson (Brooklyn Nets) and starting small forward and former No. 2 overall Draft pick Marvin Williams (Utah Jazz) as two of the nine players sent packing during a summer makeover/fire sale engineered by new general manager Danny Ferry.

That leaves Smith, All-Star center Al Horford, starting point guard Jeff Teague and back up big men Zaza Pachulia and Ivan Johnson as the returning nucleus of a team that made five straight trips to the playoffs. A sixth is as far as Smith is willing to go with his preseason hype before seeing this new group, complete with as many as  in action.

“Every summer I take a look at my team and try to make an educated guess about where we fit,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a challenge, going against some of the top-notch teams in the East when you consider Miami comes back strong as ever. Boston went out and got better, got a couple of steals late in the draft to go with what they already had. Basically, all of the teams that were up there made moves to stay in that mix. I’m not going to lie, it is going to be a challenge. But it’s always been a challenge for us. And we always seem to find our way into the playoff mix. This season is no different.”


Even Friends Can Only Guess On Dwight

Because Dwight Howard remains very much in play as a looming NBA free agent (come next July) and trade target (on the clock right now), his future whereabouts will continue to drive speculation and media content. Until he lands somewhere and inks a fresh contract to stay put for the next four or five years.

In the meantime, we all can connect the dots around Howard and various destinations, weighing whatever tangibles or intangibles exist or might matter at the time. Climate, maybe. Or market size. Or show-biz opportunities. Or coach. Or a hundred other things that might matter when the presumably-soon-to-be-former Orlando center settles in somewhere new (unless of course those don’t matter at all and he doesn’t).

Relationships with his teammates and Howard’s personal roots in Atlanta were the factors that drove Alex Kennedy’s piece for Hoopsworld, with Kennedy noting the big man’s friendliness with Hawks forward Josh Smith and newly acquired swingman Anthony Morrow. That and the childhood Howard logged there.

Howard grew up in Atlanta and many of his relatives still reside in Georgia. He developed into one of the best high school players in recent memory at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, where he averaged 25 points, 18 rebounds, 8 blocks and 3.5 assists and led the team to the Class A state championship during his senior season. Howard was named Georgia’s Mr. Basketball in 2004, and he still spends some time in Atlanta during the offseason and his foundation occasionally holds events in the region.

Not only do the Hawks have the cap space and hometown ties to recruit Howard, they also have two of his closest friends on their roster. Josh Smith and Anthony Morrow have known Howard for years and they could help the Hawks lure the big man next summer.

Smith, who also grew up in Atlanta, has known Howard since preschool. They joke that they’ve been balling together since they were in diapers. The two boys remained friends as they completed grade after grade and started developing into the physical specimens we see today. They formed one of the best AAU duos in the nation and talked about someday playing together in the NBA. When Smith got married two years ago, Howard was the best man in his wedding. Smith admits that he would love to reunite with Howard in Atlanta.

“Who wouldn’t want a guy like that on your team?” Smith said of Howard when HOOPSWORLD caught up with him in Las Vegas. “He’s the best big man in the league. I’d love to have him. Who wouldn’t? He’s the most dominant big in the game right now. (more…)

Hawks Want Smith In The Flock

HANG TIME, TEXAS Danny Ferry has been on the job for only a few weeks and already he’s backed the moving van up to cart off Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams.

So are the movers ready to lift Josh Smith like an old sofa and carry him to the door next?

Not so fast, Ferry tells Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“He’s a really good player,” Ferry said. “I love his ability to pass the ball. I love his ability to make game-changing plays defensively. I love his competitiveness. If I was out there playing, I would want Josh on my team.”

But does Smith want to be here? He wasn’t available for comment Tuesday, but Ferry said he has met with him twice.

“He’s excited for next season,” he said. “We haven’t really gone in that direction with him [on roster plans]. But we’ve talked about how we’re going to play. We’ve talked about other players. His ideas, my ideas. I’m just trying to establish a relationship.” (more…)

Nets ‘Very Close’ To Acquiring Joe Johnson From Atlanta Hawks

HANG TIME CAPITAL BUREAU – The Brooklyn Nets are “very close” to acquiring six-time All-Star guard Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for guards Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow and DeShawn Stevenson and centers Jordan Williams and Johan Petro, as well as a protected first-round pick that came from Houston, according to a league source.

The deal, the source said, would be completed whether or not Brooklyn is able to convince free agent guard Deron Williams to re-sign with the team. Williams is entertaining an offer from the Dallas Mavericks as well.

Brooklyn, however, is hopeful that Williams will want to stay after the addition of Johnson, whom the Nets coveted before he became a free agent in 2010. The deal also allows the Nets to keep promising guard MarShon Brooks, who played well for the team last season as a rookie and would help comprise a strong three-guard rotation with Williams and Johnson.

The trade would dramatically change the look of the Hawks’ roster and eliminate Brooklyn from being able to make a potential deal for Magic center Dwight Howard, who wants to go there. The Nets would be taking on the final four years and $89.2 million of Johnson’s contract, after agreeing over the weekend to a new four-year, $40 million deal with forward Gerald Wallace.


All-Star Saturday Night Predictions

ORLANDO – NBA All-Star Saturday Night tips off at 8:30 p.m. tonight on TNT. With 14 different NBA teams represented in the four competitions, it should be another fun night at the Amway Center.

And it’s time for predictions. Here’s who some of our writers have tonight…

Steve Aschburner
Haier Shooting Stars: Orlando
Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Kyrie Irving
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest: Kevin Durant
Sprite Slam Dunk: Paul George

Scott Howard-Cooper
Haier Shooting Stars: Texas
Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Kyrie Irving
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest: Ryan Anderson
Sprite Slam Dunk: Paul George

Shaun Powell
Haier Shooting Stars: Atlanta
Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Tony Parker
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest: Anthony Morrow
Sprite Slam Dunk: Jeremy Evans

John Schuhmann
Haier Shooting Stars: Orlando
Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Tony Parker
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest: Anthony Morrow
Sprite Slam Dunk: Jeremy Evans

Sekou Smith
Haier Shooting Stars: Orlando
Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Tony Parker
Foot Locker Three-Point Contest: Kevin Durant
Sprite Slam Dunk: Jeremy Evans

Your turn. Tell us who you’ve got in the comments…


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

Morrow Gets His Shot

ORLANDO – At the time the field for last year’s Foot Locker Three-Point Contest was announced, the Nets’ Anthony Morrow was a hair behind Steve Kerr, the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-point percentage. Kerr had shot 45.403 percent from beyond the arc, and Morrow was at 45.398 percent when the six competitors were announced.

But Morrow was not on the list, the league passing on the possible chance of having the No. 1 3-point shooter in NBA history compete against the other No. 1 3-point shooter in NBA history (Ray Allen, who has the all-time mark for made threes), possibly because Morrow had missed a 17-game stretch in December and January of last season.

Right now, Morrow ranks fourth all-time in 3-point percentage, but this year, he got the invite. And yes, he was excited.

Nets rookie MarShon Brooks, who had already been selected to play in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, called Morrow when he heard the news.

“Rookie, we out here! We out here!” Morrow told Brooks, knowing that he would be joining the rookie and All-Star Deron Williams as part of the Nets’ contingent in Orlando.

“He just wanted his spot on the plane, and his spot in the weekend,” Brooks said.

Morrow also wanted the opportunity to pay tribute to the last Net to compete in the three-point shootout.

The first thing Morrow saw when he walked into the Nets practice facility after signing with the team before last season was the retired jersey of Drazen Petrovic, the Croatian trailblazer who was killed in a car accident in 1993. And when he saw the jersey, Morrow knew that he wanted to wear it if he ever competed in the shootout.

“If somebody got chosen for the dunk contest, you should want to wear Julius Erving‘s jersey, you know?,” Morrow said Friday. “There’s so much tradition in this [Nets] organization that, win or lose, they’re going to respect you for that.”

When Morrow told reporters his plan to honor Petrovic last week, he drew plenty of appreciation via twitter from fans in New Jersey and Croatia.

“Everybody was just going crazy,” he said. “Everybody loved the idea.”

Morrow’s affinity for Petrovic, who now stands right behind Morrow on the all-time list, goes beyond shooting. It’s also about passion, which was always on display when Petrovic played.

“They showed him on the jumbotron during a timeout. We were in the huddle and I was just looking at his highlights up there. He hit a shot, he would fist-pump and run down the court, getting the crowd hyped. That’s stuff that I love and I like to do. We should have fun playing this game, and that’s something that he definitely represented.”

All-time leaders, 3-point percentage

Player G 3PM 3PA 3P%
Steve Kerr 910 726 1599 45.40%
Hubert Davis 685 728 1651 44.09%
Stephen Curry 175 367 833 44.06%
Anthony Morrow 227 404 920 43.91%
Drazen Petrovic 290 255 583 43.74%

Minimum 250 3PM


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

Recruiting Season Begins For Nets

LONDON — Road trips in the NBA have always provided the sort of seclusion and quality time members of the traveling party cherish. Ferrying a team across an ocean and to another continent, though, seems like a bit much, even by today’s standards.

Nets general manager Billy King isn’t complaining. Not with few of the normal distractions around as he continues to cultivate his relationship with the new face of the franchise, point guard Deron Williams.

It’s an ages old practice that has become increasingly more important in the last eight months since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, and Carmelo Anthony joined Amar’e Stoudemire in New York, a movement of friends pairing up with other friends to form “super teams.”

King and the Nets are in full-blown sales mode, knowing full well that Williams has to be treated like the prized that he is. Williams can sign an extension in July, though, the current CBA expiring after this season throws a curve into the process. Still, the Nets have plenty of time to woo him. Williams also acknowledged that he, too, has to don his recruiter’s cap at this stage of his career, wherever he plays, in order to keep up with All-Star and Olympic team peers in Miami and New York.

“I’m going to have to [turn into a recruiter],” Williams said from a courtside seat Thursday morning after the Nets finished practice. “I tried to do it in Utah. But it’s tough. It was a tough situation. You’ve got to do it. Guys have to want to play with you and hopefully they will. And I’m going to try and recruit some guys to come here and help.”


Morrow About to Make History

NBA All-Time Leaders: 3-Point Percentage
  Player G 3PM 3PA 3P%
1 Steve Kerr 910 726 1599 0.454
N/A Anthony Morrow 147 246 546 0.451
2 Hubert Davis 685 728 1651 0.441
3 Jason Kapono 467 448 1020 0.439
4 Drazen Petrovic 290 255 583 0.437
5 Steve Nash 1026 1498 3472 0.431
6 Tim Legler 310 260 603 0.431
7 B.J. Armstrong 747 436 1026 0.425
8 Daniel Gibson 259 367 868 0.423
9 Wesley Person 733 1150 2754 0.418
10 Anthony Parker 381 472 1133 0.417
Bold: Active

On media day this September, Nets head coach Avery Johnson was asked about the shooting stroke of his new guard, Anthony Morrow.

“It’s effortless,” Johnson said. “He makes threes in his sleep.”

Morrow doesn’t have the prettiest form or the quickest release, but it’s the results that count. And Morrow’s jumper gets results.

As an undrafted rookie playing Nellie-ball two seasons ago, Morrow led the league by hitting 46.7 percent of his threes. Last season, he increased the volume (from 184 to 307), but kept shooting at an efficient rate, ranking fifth at 45.6 percent.

The best 3-point shooter over a two-year span, Morrow earned a three-year contract with the New Jersey Nets, where he has been asked to spread the floor for Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. He made an immediate impact, nailing a game-winning three in the Nets’ opener against the Pistons.

And now with 246 threes made in his career, Morrow is about to earn his place among the greatest shooters of all-time.

To qualify for the all-time 3-point shooting list, you need to make 250 threes. So Morrow is four bombs away. As he stands, at 45.1 percent, he would rank second all-time, but if he were to go 4-for-4, he would be shooting 45.45 percent and rank No. 1, ahead of Steve Kerr.

That may be tough to pull off, but as long as Morrow hits four threes in his next 20 attempts, he’ll rank ahead of Hubert Davis and qualify as the second best 3-point shooter in NBA history.


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

Did You See What We Saw?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The hump day schedule in the NBA is usually a robust 12 or 13 games deep, but we went with the diet plate (just 10 games) this week.

Lucky for us all, there was no skimping on the action.

Between John Wall‘s triple double, the Bucks’ beatdown of the Hawks, Michael Beasley‘s 42 points in a Minnesota win, David Lee‘s triumphant return to Madison Square Garden and a second straight epic comeback for the Utah Jazz in Florida, our table is loaded with plenty for you to chew on.

So all we have to figure out now is Did You See What We Saw?

The Prime Minister kicks things off with this special report on that Jazz-Magic thriller:


Looking good: Another night with Jerry Sloan‘s comeback kids! The Jazz rode the back of Deron Williams in the third quarter and Al Jefferson down the stretch to rally from an 18-point hole and sweep their annual trip to Florida. In their last five quarters (four regulation, one overtime), Utah outscored its opponents (Miami and Orlando) 153-112. And, as our man Dick Scanlon points out, the Jazz have rallied from 16-, 19- and 10-point halftime deficits in the last four days. Safe to say, the Jazz have this whole comeback-wins thing down.

Sound the Alarm: For Stan Van Gundy‘s bottle of Pepto Bismol, which is surely taking a pounding right now. Unlike when the Jazz beat the Heat two nights ago, Orlando’s lack of killer instinct wasn’t an aberration. Van Gundy was not pleased that after nearly blowing an 18-point lead against the Bobcats two games ago, the Magic didn’t learn from their mistake and totally blew their big lead against Utah. A jingle of the bell, too, for starter Ryan Anderson, whom Van Gundy cited for a lack of effort in his postgame comments.

HT’s Take: Big props for Sloan, who in back-to-back nights made crucial in-game adjustments. One night after the Jefferson-for-Kyrylo Fesenko center swap down the stretch in Miami, he switched to a zone defense in the second half against Orlando. That move flustered Orlando’s shooters and kept Dwight Howard a little more under control, allowing the Jazz to get some stops and sway momentum their way. Jefferson’s little rest in Miami worked out well last night, too, as he nailed a bunch of clutch shots in the post to seal the win.



Looking good: An early 13-point deficit for the Bucks disappeared when the reserves hit the floor. Corey Maggette and Ersan Ilyasova entered the game and promptly turned things upside down. By the time the Bucks’ reserves had finished their first half work they were up 54-40 and the rout was on. The Bucks are finally looking like the team many of us thought they’d be with a healthy Andrew Bogut back in the mix.

Sound the Alarm: The Hawks did that for us. Did you hear what they had to say about their power outage on their home floor? “I don’t understand what happened,” Al Horford said. “When adversity hit us in the face we went our separate ways,” Josh Smith said. Not exactly the sorts of things coach Larry Drew wants to hear from a team that was undefeated as recently as Sunday morning .

HT’s Take: The Bucks weren’t just good last night, they were fantastic once they got going. Like Bucks coach Scott Skiles said, if you get up 30 on the Hawks in their building, you’re doing work. If the Bucks can keep this up, they might look back on this early stretch of the season as the turning point. It certainly helps that Brandon Jennings (19 points and 4-for-5 from deep in the win over the Hawks)  is heating up right now, too.


Changes possible in G-State

Posted by Art Garcia

LAS VEGAS — Golden State general manager Larry Riley isn’t worried about his job status or that of coach Don Nelson after Thursday’s announcement of the franchise’s sale. A group led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the Warriors for a record $450 million from Christopher Cohan.
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Riley expects the evaluation process of the front office to take place soon. Nelson is entering the last year of his contract and the league’s all-time winningest coach has talked about finally retiring after this season.

Nelson could also step aside this summer, but that’s highly unlikely with $6 million left on his contract. He said earlier this week he’s excited about the upcoming season.

“He will now have some decisions to make himself,” Riley said of Nelson. “I had some consultations with him. I don’t know where all that will go, but I think he has energy where he can coach the team.”

It’s a very real possibility Riley and Nelson aren’t retained by the new ownership group. Riley had spent more than 20 years in the NBA and understands the nature of the business.

“Twenty years ago it would have kept me up at night and it would have been on my mind all the time,” he said. “Fortunately for me I’ve been so busy, even since this whole [ownership change] began that I haven’t had time to really deal with it much, so that’s a good thing.

“I think I have enough maturity to understand what you can control and what you can’t, and you better work on the things that you can do something about. And that’s the way I approach it. it really hasn’t kept me up at night. It’s something that the decision will be made one way or the other on a lot of things in the franchise. There won’t be much I can do about it. I will continue to do my job until I’m told otherwise.”

Riley feels good about the direction of the team, adding the moves made this summer leave the Warriors deeper and more experience without getting older. The Warriors completed a sign-and-trade for David Lee, moving the disappointing Anthony Randolph in the deal. The Warriors expect the former New York power forward to anchor the frontline for years to come.

“I don’t know where Anthony Randolph’s career is going, but I know where David Lee is,” Riley said. “That was a bigger basis for making the deal than anything else.”

Golden State also signed Dorell Wright, is high on rookie lottery pick Ekpe Udoh, even though the power forward is out for at least six months. Hard-working gunner Anthony Morrow was lost to New Jersey and Corey Maggette was traded to Milwaukee.

Cohan approved all the moves up to this point, Riley said, with the new ownership group not having input on any of the transactions. The sale is pending league approval.