Originally posted on The Fields of Green:

(Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty)

(Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty)

The Atlanta Hawks’ ownership just scored a big win.

Turner Entertainment Network’s president and entertainment chief Steve Koonin was named CEO and minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks last weekend and will commandeer all business, financial and strategic operations of the Hawks and Philips Arena.

As the former president of Turner Entertainment, Koonin oversaw cable networks TNT, TBS, and TruTV. Prior to Turner, Koonin was a top executive at Coca-Cola overseeing sports and entertainment marketing among his many responsibilities.

Bruce Levenson will remain the Hawk’s controlling owner with Koonin serving as the team’s lead executive. Bob Williams will remain with the organization to operate Philips Arena while Danny Ferry will remain president of basketball operations and general manager.

Hawks’ Rocky Ownership

By 2005, Time Warner had sold the Hawks to the Atlanta Spirit LLC ownership group— a collection of executives located both in Atlanta and Washington DC.  The deal also included the…

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Originally posted on Atlanta Falcons blog:

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The Atlanta Falcons are not playing around.

Next week is a big as the Falcons finalize their board for the NFL draft, which will be held May 8-10. This will be the “grit and toughness” draft. Don’t look for them to deviate on character. They will stay close to normal methods of drafting players with degrees, former team captains and individuals with high football IQ’s.

The Falcons start offseason conditioning on Monday. We’ll have some media access on Tuesday.

Also, several of the top prospects including UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack are scheduled to visit Flowery Branch next week.

The Falcons have also been connected to all of the top tackles in the draft in Auburn’s Greg Robinson, Texas A&M Jake Matthews and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan.

It’s pretty clear that they are going either edge rusher or offensive tackle in the first round of…

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Originally posted on For The Win:

To gear up for the NBA playoffs, the  For the Win  staff is sharing our favorite things about all of the teams that made the postseason. Up next, the Atlanta Hawks.

1. The team got rid of a ton of contracts, and got in a better situation as a result

So long Joe Johnson. Goodbye Josh Smith.

The Atlanta Hawks went into this season a lot lighter in the contract department after taking the last two offseasons to offload Johnson and Smith for expiring contracts and draft picks. Everyone thought their team would take a tumble. They did…but still managed to stay relevant.

Josh Smith and Joe Johnson on their new teams. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Smith and Joe Johnson on their new teams. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

They added Paul Millsap at a very friendly contract, picked up some shooters and cap-friendly veterans, and somehow this team managed to make the playoffs. They got nice contributions from Jeff Teague and Elton Brand…

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Originally posted on Nose Bleed Network:

For the first 8 innings of Thursday’s game, the score between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves was 0-0, until Ben Revere stepped up to the plate. The outfielder got an RBI bringing home  Dominic Brown, who was in scoring position when the hit was made, to make the score 1-0.

A.J. Burnett tossed three-hit ball over seven innings to outpitch Alex Wood (2-2). Atlanta’s Julio Teheran beat Cliff Lee 1-0 less than 24 hours earlier.

Antonio Bastardo (2-1) worked the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished off the four-hitter with a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five tries.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg successfully challenged a call in the fifth inning when Andrelton Simmons was ruled out trying to steal second base. Simmons overslid the bag on a headfirst dive, and reached back to touch the base as shortstop Jimmy Rollins lunged to tag him. The replay showed…

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Originally posted on Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith | NBA.com:

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com

[nba-video vid=channels/nba_tv/2014/04/13/20140412-arenalink-jeff-teague.nba]
VIDEO:Jeff Teague talks about the Hawks clinching a playoff berth

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The Atlanta Hawks are the only playoff team that finished below .500. The Indiana Pacers basically led the Eastern Conference from start to finish. So there shouldn’t be much intrigue in this 1-8 series.

But the Pacers been rather mediocre over the last two months, struggling on both ends of the floor against good teams. And the Hawks have played Indiana rather well. In fact, no Eastern Conference team has scored more efficiently against the league’s No. 1 defense.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for Hawks-Pacers, with links to let you dive in and explore more.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Indiana…

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Originally posted on CBS Atlanta:

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith joins Jason and Randy to discuss the current state of the Falcons.

He discussed the upcoming NFL Draft and what the Falcons need to get back to the playoffs.

When asked “if he feels it’s a make or break season for him” Coach Smith answered, “every season is a make or break season”.

He also spoke on the evaluation process of some of the players available in this 2014 NFL Draft, and his upcoming golf tournament he’s involved in.

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Originally posted on From VA to the show:

I thought this might happen. Braves OF Justin Upton (Chesapeake) was named NL player of the week for the week ending April 13. Upton hit .591 with 4 homers and 8 runs scored, tops in baseball, and his 8 RBIs were third in baseball.

Upton went 1-15 to start the season, but this hot streak has sent his batting average soaring nearly 300 points, to now .386. His batting average has increased in four straight games.

This player of the week award is Upton’s third career honor.

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Originally posted on Atlanta Falcons blog:

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Caught up with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan as he was making the turn at the fourth annual Matt Ryan Celebrity-AM Classic at the TPC Sugarloaf on Monday.

We’ll have a full story up on MyAJC.com – our subscribers site – later today.

Some of the celebrities participating in the tournament included former Falcons running back Warrick Dunn and tight end Alge Crumpler. Kicker Matt Bryant, center Joe Hawley, and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux played. Also, former Braves star Chipper Jones played in the outing.

Ryan raised money for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Visit www.choa.org for more information.

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FALCONS’ DRAFT BOARD

–Blog:FSU linebacker Telvin Smith visitng the Falcons today

–Blog: Falcons check out Towson State RB Terrance West, CB Jordan Love (UGA transfer)

–MyAJC ($):Eye-test vs. Tape-measure test: Falcons must trust their eyes during draft prep. 

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Originally posted on Braves Banter:

Game Preview

The Braves are coming off a big sweep at home against the Nationals, but that’s nothing new. The offense has been getting the job done lately (something new), especially Justin Upton as he has collected 11 hits in his last four games, including 4 home runs. His bother has swung the bat well lately too, collecting multiple hits in back-to-back games. And of course Freeman is also swinging a hot bat as he’s currently in the middle of a 9-game hitting streak. The pitching wasn’t as stellar the second/third time through the rotation, but they’re doing enough to get the job done. The bullpen has been the shakiest part of this team lately, which is something Braves fans aren’t use to seeing.

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Originally posted on Atlanta Falcons blog:

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Falcons owner Arthur Blank spoke before the Rotary Club of Marietta and the Marietta Kiwanis Club at the Marietta City Conference Center on Wednesday.

Afterwards, we talked him about his comments on 680 The Fan concerning his displeasure that players didn’t rush to quarterback Matt Ryan’s defense after he was walloped by New Orleans safety Kenny Vaccaro last season.

(He seemed to get a kick of my new camera phone stand! Check the video!)

The comments to the radio station were not necessarily new, but they continued a theme the team has been ringing all offseason, but in more veiled terms.

Nov. 21, 2013:NFL Network crew: Falcons lack ‘toughness’

Nov. 22, 2013:Mike Smith defends the Falcons’ toughness

Jan. 6, 2014:Blank wants players with ‘capacity to be tough’

Jan. 21, 2014: New coaches Tice, Cox to preach toughness

March 11, 2014: Dimitroff believes Falcons added ‘grit and toughness’

Here’s…

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