blkbigdog35

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  1. Falcons’ Jones, Sanu listed among NFL’s top receiver duos JuliaKate E. Culpepper The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ajc | 1:34 p.m Tuesday, July 18, 2017Sports Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson listed Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu on his list of the Top 20 Wide Receiver Duos. On NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football”, Burleson said Jones and Sanu landed at the No. 5 spot on his list because Jones provides such a great anchor for the offense and Sanu— the team’s No. 2 receiver. "I want Julio to get in the end zone a little more… I know he's going to get in the end zone a lot more this season,” Burleson said. “And then with Mohammed Sanu who’s brought there to be the No. 2. I kind of tussle with this a little bit because I love Taylor Gabriel and he's an explosive guy... but I love Sanu because he's consistent and he knows his role." Jones caught for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns last season while Sanu caught for 653 yards and four touchdowns in his first year with the Falcons. Burleson’s full rationale for placing Jones and Sanu at the No. 5 spot can be watched on the NFL.com and his Top 20 List can be seen below. ©2017 Cox Media Group
  2. Atlanta Hawks first round pick John Collins dips in Rookie of the Year odds by Brad Rowland@BTRowland Jul 18, 2017, 1:12pm EDT Peachtree Hoops After a stellar Summer League, Collins’ In the immediate aftermath of the 2017 NBA Draft, Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins received some reasonable love in terms of 2017-2018 Rookie of the Year odds. The No. 19 overall selection landed 10th among rookies according to offshore bookmaker Bovada with 20-1 odds to take home the hardware. Then, Collins exploded at the Las Vegas Summer League, racking up big-time numbers and impressing observers with highlight-reel dunks throughout the week. That was enough to garner a First Team All-Summer League nod and the former Wake Forest star saw his popularity jump in a big way. Now, though, Collins’ Rookie of the Year odds actually went the other way. On Tuesday, Bovada released its new odds for the 2017-2018 Rookie of the Year and, while Collins sits in a four-way tie for 9th in terms of likelihood, his odds are now reflected at 33-1. Some of this can certainly be tied to the emergence of other rookies, headlined by Dallas point guard Dennis Smith. Still, the prevailing factor might be that the Hawks elected to sign veterans like Dewayne Dedmon and Ersan Ilyasova, taking away presumptive minutes from the rookie and, thus, lessening his opportunity for statistical impact. If anything, John Collins is probably seen as a better prospect today than he was in late June but that isn’t all that matters in Rookie of the Year projections. At any rate, here is the full (and updated) list: Lonzo Ball 5/2 Dennis Smith 3/1 Ben Simmons 7/2 Jayson Tatum 5/1 Markelle Fultz 9/1 De”Aaron Fox 9/1 Josh Jackson 16/1 Malik Monk 16/1 John Collins 33/1 Jonathan Isaac 33/1 Justin Jackson 33/1 Lauri Markkanen 33/1 © 2017 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved Sports data © STATS 2016
  3. Falcons QB Matt Ryan says he's not worried about his next contract Dan Graziano ESPN.com | 5:01 PM ET NFL MVP Matt Ryan said he is not consumed with thoughts about his next lucrative contract, although Ryan did express support for fellow quarterback Derek Carr, who recently secured a five-year, $125 million contract from the Oakland Raiders, and good friend Matthew Stafford, who could be the league's next highest-paid player. "That's just kind of the nature of the business," the Atlanta Falcons star told ESPN on Tuesday, referring to quarterback contracts. "Those guys have all played really well. Derek signed a new contract this offseason, and he's played great. Matthew Stafford's is coming up, and he deserves it. He's played really, really well and competed so hard throughout his career. "That's just the business side of it. I'm never worried too much about that. I've always tried to let the business people handle the business and for me, just try and take care of what I can control, and that's playing good and preparing the right way. And I've always felt like if you do that, the business side of it will take care of itself. But certainly, those guys are deserving of what's coming their way." Ryan, 32, still has two years and $35 million remaining on the five-year, $103.75 million extension he signed back in July 2013 that included $59 million guaranteed. He feels like his body is in great shape and always envisioned playing 15 to 20 years as he enters his 10th NFL season. Falcons owner Arthur Blank told ESPN at the Super Bowl that Ryan "needs to be compensated well ... and he will be," coming off an MVP season. The Falcons typically extend players as they enter the final year of their contracts. Ryan told ESPN's NFL Live that contract talks have not started between the two sides, but he expressed his appreciation for Blank's reassuring statement. "You know, I'm just happy to be a part of the organization, for sure," Ryan said. "I've felt such great support from Arthur throughout my entire career. "When your owner has your back and he's been supportive like Arthur has been throughout my entire career, trust me, that feels really good." Quarterback Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts was the highest-paid player in terms of average per year when he signed an extension through 2021 last June worth $24.594 million per year ($87 million guaranteed). Then Carr surpassed Luck with $25 million per year ($70.2 million guaranteed). Stafford, with one year and $16.5 million left on his deal, likely is the next to be rewarded. And if Ryan continues to play at a high level, he'll definitely have an argument to become the league's highest-paid player regardless of how much money Stafford secures. Both Ryan and Stafford are represented by Tom Condon. No matter what type of lucrative extension Ryan eventually signs, it will pale in comparison to the $200-million-plus guaranteed contracts recently awarded to James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. "Basketball, man," Ryan said. "Good times in the NBA."
  4. NBA Free Agency 2017: Atlanta Hawks reportedly displayed interest in Marreese Speights by Jeff Siegel Jul 16, 2017, 4:01pm EDT Peachtree Hoops It appears that Mo Buckets won’t be in Atlanta next season. In a tweet on Sunday afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Atlanta Hawks were in discussion to bring Marreese Speights into the fold, but negotiations fell apart late in the process: Wojnarowski indicates that the Hawks were deep into negotiations with Speights, who is coming off a relatively successful season with the Los Angeles Clippers in which he shot 37.2 percent from beyond the three-point line on more total attempts than the rest of his career combined. Speights was a key member of the Clippers bench unit that played incredibly (and, as it turned out, unsustainably) well in the first month or two of the 2016-17 season. He signed on last summer in Los Angeles and opted out of a second year at about $2.1 million, so odds are that he was looking for more than that from the Hawks. Speights would have brought another backup big man into the rotation to play either position as the Hawks continue to look to build their depth in this area. Ersan Ilyasova, John Collins, Mike Muscala, Dewayne Dedmon, Diamond Stone and Miles Plumlee are the big men remaining on the roster at this point after the exodus of Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap left both starting spots in question. Speights wouldn’t have filled either of those spots but would have brought a different element off the bench as an outsider shooter and scorer to boost the bench offense. The Hawks can still re-open negotiations with him, but it seems as though their interest has expired at this point. Perhaps he was asking for too much money, too many years, or perhaps they have another target in mind—only time will tell. © 2017 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved Sports data © STATS 2016
  5. NBA Summer League 2017: Winners and losers from the Atlanta Hawks by Brad Rowland@BTRowland Jul 16, 2017, 8:00am EDT Peachtree Hoops The Atlanta Hawks won’t be participating in another official NBA basketball game for some time, as the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League is now in the past. As usual, there were positives and negatives for the team throughout the journey to Las Vegas but it would be easy to argue that this year’s edition brought more intrigue to the table than most previous squads based on the talent and overall direction of the franchise. With that as the backdrop, it is time to unveil a (very) traditional evaluation tool and that is naming “winners” and “losers” from Summer League. It would be wise to actually read the text associated with each player for the purpose of nuance but, in the end, judgments are made and they arrive here. Losers • Bryce Cotton - Cotton was the biggest name in terms of non-roster invitees on the squad and the diminutive guard struggled mightily. His numbers (24% FG, 11% 3PT, more turnovers than assists) are brutal to see but, more than that, Cotton looked overwhelmed defensively and wasn’t able to make up for that with his microwave-like offensive game. There has been a lot of buzz about Cotton as a potential addition to the regular season roster but this week did not do him any favors in that regard. • Tyler Dorsey - Dorsey suffered an ankle injury and missed Atlanta’s final two games. Prior to that, his play wasn’t fantastic and some of his pre-draft deficiencies showed up in a prominent way. Dorsey will rely heavily on his shotmaking at the NBA level and the concern will be what happens when that isn’t working in his favor. He didn’t look particularly explosive and faint thoughts of him operating at point guard in the near future largely evaporated. Make no mistake, it wasn’t as if Dorsey was one of Atlanta’s worst players in Vegas because, well, he wasn’t. Still, this is compared to expectations and, as a top-45 pick, Dorsey wasn’t great. Status Quo • Isaia Cordinier - Candidly, Cordinier would have found himself in a more unfavorable segment before a very strong game on Friday. That performance prompted LVSL head coach Charles Lee to say some encouraging things about the second-year player and Cordinier flashed some of his defensive and decision-making tools. Prior to that, it was a mixed bag and, frankly, he would be in the “losers” category if not for a very disappointing showing in 2016 Summer League and throughout last season in Europe. Cordinier might land in Erie but he’s a long way off in terms of NBA contributions. • Josh Magette - Magette was seen as a disappointment by many evaluators and it seems plausible to have that takeaway having never watched Magette before. In his defense, Summer League is a (very) rough situation for his skill set, as he thrives on running an established offensive system and letting his passing shine as a result. Still, I am lower on Magette than the Hawks (clearly) are and his defensive limitations were on full display in Las Vegas. I believe he’ll be an effective caretaker in Erie that will make his teammates look good with high-end passing and execution. There is something to be said for that. • Taurean Prince - Prince is the best NBA player that appeared in an Atlanta Hawks uniform this week. With that said, he didn’t dominate in the way that Hawks fans may have wanted to see and his efficiency left something to be desired. Prince was a real-life contributor on a playoff team a year ago so there is nothing to worry about here, but his stock is neutral based on this week alone. • Diamond Stone - It was a mixed bag for Stone. We saw his offensive efficiency and touch on display at times and, when planted near the rim, he was effective in rim protection. Elsewhere, though, Stone really struggled in terms of defensive awareness and he is (very) raw at this stage. On the bright side, he’s 20 years old. On the negative side, the Hawks will have only one year to decide on his future before restricted free agency. • Everyone else - With all due respect to Trent Lockett (who played well on Friday) and Richard Solomon, the rest of the Summer League roster wasn’t exactly chalked full of overly intriguing players. Lockett was probably the best of the bunch and there are some NBA-worthy traits elsewhere but, alas, there is only so much bandwidth. Winners • DeAndre’ Bembry - Bembry was a steady hand for the Hawks throughout the week and he was highly efficient in doing so. The most encouraging thing from Bembry was apparent confidence in his jump shot and the small sample of results reflected some progression. He could still use an uptick in strength on both ends but Bembry looks the part of a rotation player next season. Whether he excels in that role at the NBA level remains to be seen but he did everything he could have to assuage fears in Las Vegas. • John Collins - The rookie was quite a bit of fun in the desert. Collins made a name for himself around the league with a bunch of ferocious athletic plays and averaged more than nine rebounds per game in only 23 minutes of action. The caveat for Collins’ breakout is that, well, he is the exact kind of player (hyper-athletic, numbers-producing) that can look better in Summer League than he actually is but we are nitpicking here. The defensive concerns remain, even from the coaching staff, but Collins made a very strong impression and there isn’t much he could have done to improve his standing more over a five-game period. • Alpha Kaba - I would like to have seen Kaba for more than 11 minutes per game but the No. 60 overall pick was quite solid. If anything, he is ahead of Stone in the pecking order when evaluating defense in a vacuum and Kaba isn’t completely lost. Make no mistake, he is certainly a project that isn’t close to contributing in the NBA but you can see the path and that is an encouraging sign. © 2017 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved Sports data © STATS 2016
  6. 4 Things the Atlanta Falcons Offense Must Do in 2017 to Stay Elite SportsTalkATL.com | Jul 15 2017 - 4:53pm The Atlanta Falcons offense was considered one of the best of all time in 2016, and rightfully so. It was led by league MVP Matt Ryan who had an endless amount of talented playmakers at his disposal to pick apart defenses. The running combination of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman proved once again to be one of the league’s most explosive backfields. All of this was done with a young defense that made significant strides as the year went on despite losing arguably its best defensive player in Desmond Trufant early in the season to injury. The entire team prospered while buying into head coach Dan Quinn’s system of “Brotherhood.” Although the Super Bowl’s result was not what the Falcons would have liked, the future, especially on the offensive side of the football, appears to be bright in Atlanta. With Kyle Shanahan gone to San Francisco and Steve Sarkisian taking over the role of offensive coordinator for the Falcons, many wonder if the offense can maintain such a high level of play in 2017. Here are 4 things the Falcons must do to keep that level of success going: PROTECT MATT RYAN Matt Ryan was the MVP of the NFL in 2016 for a reason, easily posting the best season of his career. Much of Ryan’s outstanding play can be attributed to a solid offensive line in 2016. Led by Alex Mack, arguably the best free agent signing of last off season, the offensive line played extremely well throughout the year to give Ryan the time he needed to make his throws. Statistics and metrics tell you that Matt Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the league when under pressure and when given a clean pocket. Nevertheless, it would be in the Falcons’ best interest to keep Matt Ryan as upright as possible so that he can lead the Falcons back to where they want to be. The departure of starting guard Chris Chester to retirement means the offensive line will have a new starter in 2017. As long as the unit can come together again and protect Matt Ryan, the offense will put up great numbers. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE RUN While the NFL seems to be a pass-happy league these days, the value of a good running game couldn’t be higher. Many of the NFL’s best teams (Cowboys, Steelers, etc.) have a strong running game and it produces results. The Falcons have the best 1-2 punch in the entire NFL with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Last year, the pair combined for nearly 1,600 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. It’s simple: don’t abandon the running game when you have two incredible running backs. Having these two players allows the Falcons to eat up the clock, tire out defenses and even open up the passing game. Freeman and Coleman are both amazing athletes, and hopefully last year’s Super Bowl was a reminder never to forget about these guys. GET THE BALL TO TAYLOR GABRIEL Turbo Taylor, as he’s now known around Atlanta,. Watching the film on Gabriel provides some eye popping moments. He has the potential to take it the distance each and every time he touches the ball. His speed and quickness make him a deadly option in the slot and a matchup nightmare for linebackers and defensive backs alike. . Despite his lack of size, Gabriel has proven to be a durable, reliable playmaker that any NFL coach would love to have on his roster. His game serves as a nice complement to Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. If the Falcons want to continue in 2017, look for number 18 to get a lot of touches. IGNORE THE SUPER BOWL TALK Every coach and player on Atlanta’s roster will be asked about last year’s Super Bowl over and over. The Falcons’ offense and play calling were both criticized heavily after the loss. The best thing the players on offense (and really the entire team) can do is to ignore any talk about last year or last year’s Super Bowl. The Falcons want to get back to this season’s Super Bowl and they can’t let last year’s epic collapse against the Patriots be a distraction going forward. The best way the Falcons can shut down the Super Bowl talk is to simply keep their focus going forward and start winning again. Last year’s success was just the beginning of what Dan Quinn is trying to build in Atlanta. The ultimate goal is to bring back multiple Lombardi Trophies to the city. Those seem like lofty expectations, but Dan Quinn and the Brotherhood fully expect to be playing for several Super Bowls in the future.
  7. Falcons linebacker, Fort Myers native hosts free youth football camp Sabrina Lolo winknews.com FORT MYERS, Fla. Atlanta Falcons linebacker De’Vondre Campbell hosted a free football camp Saturday for children and teens at Cypress Lake High School. After fulfilling his lifelong goal of playing in the NFL, Campbell wants to share his love of the game with the younger generation. “For me, it’s the fact that I didn’t have it growing up,” he said. “So I always said that when I got the opportunity, I would come back and kind of contribute and give back to the community where I grew up at.” The Cypress Lake High grad had an excellent rookie season with the Falcons and made it to the Super Bowl. “I did a pretty good job of catching on as I went, but I also had a lot of really good guys around me who kind of brought me along and helped me and showed me what it took,” Campbell said. However, the person who has had the biggest influence on Campbell’s life is his mother. He wears the number 59 in her honor because that’s the year she was born. “She is a very important person in my life,” he said. “I learned a lot from her — she taught me a lot about perseverance and even if things aren’t going your way, how to get over it.” The Falcons play their first regular season game against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 10. Reporter:Writer:Sabrina Lolo Copyright ©2017 WINK Digital Media
  8. Trufant teaches importance of competition as he prepares for NFL return By Luke Garzalgarza@thenewstribune.com theolympian Desmond Trufant, holding a white and red megaphone to complement his bold, red pants, paced the turf at Wilson High School on Saturday as he instructed the next wave of Tacoma football players. Hosting his third annual Desmond Trufant Competition Camp, Trufant is one of many Tacoma athletes who regularly give back to the community. This camp isn’t about participation trophies and moral victories; instead, it’s about hustling and improving. Standout players were given awards at the camp’s conclusion —offensive and defensive MVP, as well as position-based awards. “That’s the name of the camp,” Trufant said. “I want them to really compete, because if you want something, you gotta go get it.” Fellow NFL players such as Xavier Cooper, as well as Atlanta Falcons teammates Robert Alford and Brian Poole, joined Trufant at his alma mater. Two football fields were broken into segments based on players’ positions. Offensive linemen practiced protecting a quarterback dummy while defensive linemen tried attacking it. Seven-on-seven drills were held. The NFL players acted as coaches and teachers, interacting with the players and offering advice between drills. Dede Smith sat in a folding chair on the sidelines as she watched her 16-year-old son, Zak, participate in lineman drills. Although Zak doesn’t plan to play in college, the camp’s competition and star power keeps him coming back. “I think they have great coaches out here showing them different techniques that they can learn for their season,” Dede Smith said. “It’s cool to have kids from different schools together. They can learn to all play together and have respect for each other.” Zak said he’s a big fan of Trufant, which makes the experience even more special. “This is one of the best things that I do,” Trufant said. “Just being out here with the kids, talking to them and watching them compete. It’s fun, and that’s what it’s all about: everybody getting together for something positive. I’m glad I can do it.” Trufant, five years removed from his senior season at Washington, is considered one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks. In November, however, he suffered a pectoral injury that required surgery and forced him to miss the Falcons’ run to the Super Bowl. The injury came as a surprise to Trufant, who had been remarkably healthy throughout his career. He hadn’t missed an NFL game before, and he missed only one game during his entire career at Washington. “You definitely learn a lot throughout the process,” Trufant said. “I feel good, though. I feel healthy and ready to move forward. You just gotta work hard and rehab through it and keep pushing yourself. I feel good, so I’m gonna be ready to go.”
  9. Well I guess happy wife happy life will apply here, lol. Well LA definitely has cap space to do it.
  10. Chuck is right. All you can do is put it in your rear view mirror and dominate 2017 and claim that Lombardi.
  11. Young you think Bron is going to leave Cleveland. I think George will though.
  12. Why rookie John Collins is ready for the Hawks system Chris Haynes ESPN.com | 8:28 AM ET Two of the best rookies at the Las Vegas Summer League made noise with their outrageous athleticism. Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith and Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins produced highlights whether or not they finished off their explosive dunks -- the misses were sometimes even better than the makes -- though Collins' overall play flew slightly under the radar compared to Smith. Collins Joined Smith, Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum in the top-10 for points per game at summer league among 2017 draft picks, but he scored with way more efficiency, hitting 59.3 percent from the field while none of the other highest-scoring rookies topped 48 percent. Of course, summer league is only somewhat predictive of NBA success. Still, the Hawks finding a player with Collins' versatility, athleticism and potential at No. 19 could end up being a key moment for a franchise that doesn't have a clear direction after losing two All-Stars in Al Horford and Paul Millsap and trading Dwight Howard. It's especially helpful that Collins already seems like a Hawks player. Head coach Mike Budenholzer should have an easy time getting Collins to buy into the franchise's system and culture that's known for player development. Collins stands shorter than 7 feet but slid to center and averaged 9.2 rebounds per game while also flashing signs of pick-and-roll expertise during his four summer league games. "My biggest strength is my versatility," Collins told ESPN.com. "With the way this game is going, at my size, I need to do multiple things -- pass, shoot, dribble and make plays. "Since I don't get to learn from Paul [Millsap], I have to go out there and earn my minutes and prove to my coaching staff. It's an opportunity there for me to get." Collins used his superb athleticism by grabbing rebounds in traffic, blocking shots in transition and taking advantage of smaller opponents with size and bigger foes with speed. "My ability to play off the pick-and-roll, open plays for other guys and use my athletic body to catch lobs, that's what I do every night," Collins said. "They are giving me free rein to do all that." And the Hawks' coaching staff has appreciated the rookie's performance. "I think he's adapted very quickly, and the energy that he's brought on the defensive end is what's fueled him to also be able to play great offensively," said Charles Lee, the Hawks' summer league head coach. Still, Collins has a lot to learn before he can become a formidable force. When the game gets quicker against real NBA competition, how well will that versatility hold up? According to Lee, Collins looks ready to contribute to the team right away. "Just play hard. Don't try to do too much. That's a big concept for the Atlanta Hawks," Lee said. "We don't need you to be extraordinary, just do your job, compete and have passion." "I am taking it step by step," Collins said. "For me, the biggest thing is to adjust from college to a professional setting." Part of that adjustment will be unlearning his best skills from Wake Forest, as ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton put it. For Collins to succeed in the NBA, he'll have to spend far less time as a traditional post player and much more time spacing, cutting and driving. Growing up in a military family with parents who each served for more than 20 years, Collins got used to adapting to new environments at an early age while living in Guam and Turkey. Since then, Collins has instilled discipline into his mentality. "There are a lot of guidelines and regulations that come with being a military kid and being raised on a military base," he said. "It gives you a structure and discipline on what not to do and right and wrong. I've been used to it my whole life." Even now, Collins said he still benefits from that mentality every day. "I think one thing the military does show you is that you're fighting not just for yourself, but your country, and I think that translates onto the court," he said.
  13. Pro Football Focus: Atlanta Falcons LB Vic Beasley’s sack total may drop in 2017 by James Rael@falcoholicjames Jul 15, 2017, 12:21am EDT The Falcoholic Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley racked up 15.5 wonderful, amazing, jaw dropping sacks during the 2016 regular season. I suck at math, but that is a lot of sacks, which is why he won the sack crown. Falcons fans everywhere think the world of Beasley. Meanwhile, he’s been productive this offseason, participating in a special pass rush summit hosted by Von Miller for the league’s most elite pass rushers. So what does 2017 hold for Beasley? Pro Football Focus did an interesting piece yesterday about the importance of pressuring the quarterback. More to the point, PFF writer William Moy highlighted the importance of turning pressures into sacks. And while he certainly respects Beasley’s skillset, he’s skeptical about his future sack totals. Beasley finished the year with 45 total pressures. Despite besting Khalil Mack by five sacks, Mack had more than double (96) the number of pressures that Beasley had ... f Beasley is going to force himself into the conversation in terms of elite pass-rushers, he’s going to need generate pressure much more consistently, because he will be very unlikely to repeat his conversion rate of notching a sack on 28.5 percent of all of his pressures in 2017 and beyond. Basically Moy thinks Beasley’s 2016 sack total isn’t indicative of his status as a pass rusher. Moy thinks Beasley is a great football player, but he doubts Beasley’s ability to rack up 15.5 sacks again, absent a lot more pressures. It’s a fair criticism, even if it’s a little nit picky. We can’t have this conversation without talking about Beasley’s supporting cast. Grady Jarrett isn’t going to suddenly regress and the Falcons added an impactful player in Dontari Poe. With those two manbeasts manning the middle of the defensive line, Beasley will get his shots. He’s also got an up and coming linebacker corps and a truly elite secondary backing him up. Your thoughts? © 2017 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved Sports data © STATS 2016
  14. Hawks 92 (3-2), Rockets 86 (2-3) The Atlanta Hawks exploded for 34 points in the fourth quarter, overcoming a six-point deficit to down the Houston Rockets. While it took Atlanta some time to truly find its offensive rhythm, it finished the contest shooting a solid 46.7 percent from the field, while the Rockets converted just 41.8 percent of their attempts. Much of the focus was on Hawks first-round draft pick John Collins, and he didn't disappoint, providing some highlight-reel dunks. As seen in this video courtesy of the Hawks' official Twitter account, Collins proved difficult to stop when he created some space in the paint: Although Collins finished with only seven points and five rebounds, the Wake Forest product flashed his big-time potential. The biggest starring performance for the Hawks came from unheralded guard Trent Lockett, who led the team with 17 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He doesn't receive nearly the amount of attention Collins does, but he proved in the game that he has some remarkable hops in his own right: Despite coming out on the losing end, the Rockets benefited from some solid performances, with L.J. Peak and Chris Johnson scoring 19 and 17 points, respectively. The Rockets traded much of their depth to land guard Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers, which means there should be open roster sports. Peak went undrafted out of Georgetown, but he was 6-of-8 from the field Friday and made his case to be considered as a bench player in 2017-18.