Sweet Redemption.. Hawks Fight For Playoff Spot As They Beat The Celtics 123-116

(SL) – Thursday night the Atlanta Hawks looked to redeem themselves vs the team currently fighting for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics. Heading into Thursday the Hawks were 0-2 in their last two games falling to the Bulls and the Nets on back to back nights.

With Grammy Award winning R&B singer Monica in the building to deliver a great halftime show in front of a sold out crowd in Philips Arena the Hawks most certainly didn’t disappoint. The energy inside of Philips was on another level. Maybe Monica should come through and perform at every home game in the playoffs.

usa_today_9808400.0Atlanta opened up the game in terrific fashion outscoring Boston 32-24 to go into the 2nd period with all of the momentum they needed to stay on top. The Celtics were attempting to make a run for the lead in the 2nd quarter until Ersan Ilyasova made a 3 pointer to push the Hawks lead to 10 with 2:15 remaining in the half. From there the Hawks continued to play well, and carried a much needed 71-55 point lead into halftime. This was definitely unexpected. The Hawks put up 70 points in the first half vs one of the best teams in the NBA, but I guess that’s why they say to always expect the unexpected. I still think Monica had something to do with it.

The best part about this is that Atlanta didn’t slow down and let Boston back in once the 2nd half got underway. The Hawks continued to slash away at the Celtics, and were one point shy of eclipsing the century mark going into the 4th quarter.

Al Horford picked up his 5th foul midway through the 3rd period, so the Hawks wouldn’t have to worry about him making too much noise in the 4th quarter. Horford ended the game with only 4 points.

usa_today_9996885.0Things were looking great for the Hawks until late in the 4th quarter. The Celtics shots began to fall at a better rate and the Hawks began to turn the ball over a bit too much. The last minute of the game lasted an eternity as Boston continued to extend the game, but ultimately the hawks pulled through and came out on top 123-116 to give the Hawks a much needed victory vs an extremely tough opponent

The only time Boston saw a lead in this game was in the first few minutes of the 1st quarter. After the Hawks went up 10-7 with 8:05 on the clock there wasn’t any looking back from then on. The closest the Celtics came was within 5 points of points, and the Hawks largest lead was 20 points in the 3rd period.

hawks-celtics-nba-2017Paul Millsap is back in action and it definitely shows. Most importantly it shows in the wins column. Millsap finished the game with 26 points and 12 rebounds in his 29 minutes on the floor. Hawks rookie Taurean Prince showed lots of growth in this game as he scored 20 points with 2 of those shots coming from downtown in his 40 minutes on the court. Tim Hardaway Jr added 23 points for the Hawks in this win.

On Boston’s end Isaiah Thomas did what he has done all season long scoring 35 points in 34 minutes in the losing effort.

This was a terrific win for a Hawks squad that desperately needs wins right now. The Hawks will not have any time to celebrate because they have to take on LeBron James and the Cavs tonight. That will mean the Hawks have had to take on both teams fighting for the top spot in the East in back to back nights. No problem. They’ve already taken care of one now it’s time to handle business and win this next one in Cleveland!

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Steve Bannon Fired From National Security Council Post

(SL) – President Trump on Wednesday removed controversial White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon from the National Security Council, part of a sweeping staff reshuffling that elevated military, intelligence and Cabinet officials to greater roles on the council and left Bannon less directly involved in shaping the administration’s day-to-day national security policy.

The Washington Post reports, the restructuring reflects the growing influence of national security adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army three-star general who took over the post after retired general Michael Flynn was ousted in February and who is increasingly asserting himself over the flow of national security information in the White House.

06Steveson-master768.jpgMcMaster has become a blunt force within the administration who has made clear to several top officials and the president that he does not want the NSC to have any political elements.

Two senior White House officials said that Bannon’s departure was in no way a demotion and that he had rarely attended meetings since being placed on the council. They and others interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

In conversations Wednesday afternoon, several Trump associates described Bannon as overstretched, with multiple portfolios within the White House, and said the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has been paying close attention to how to better use Bannon’s skills as the administration works to recover from a rocky and dramatic first few months.

Continue reading Steve Bannon Fired From National Security Council Post

NYPD Will Pay Thabo Sefolosha $4 Million Dollars For Breaking His Leg

(SL) – Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha is settling his civil lawsuit against five New York City police officers following a violent arrest in April of 2015 that resulted with Thabo suffering from season ending injuries.

On April 7th, 2015, Thabo and former Hawks player Pero Antic were arrested outside of 1 OAK following an altercation that Sefolosha and Antic had nothing to do with it.

041015-sefolosha-v2-1200x630Sefolosha was standing outside the nightclub 1 OAK while police investigated the stabbing of Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland. At the time, Sefolosha and teammate Pero Antic were waiting for a driver to pick them up. Sefolosha’s attorney, Alex Spiro argued that because Sefolosha was “a large black man wearing a hoodie” who happened to be standing nearby, police officers began to provoke him. Sefolosha and the officers then began to argue, during which time Sefolosha called a 5′ 6″ officer a “midget.” The argument would only escalate and officers arrested Sefolosha for obstructing the administration of government and resisting arrest.

Thabo_Sefolosha_NYPD_rtr_imgDuring the arrest, he sustained a broken fibula and severe ligament damage to his ankle. The injuries cost Sefolosha the final five games of the regular season and 16 playoff games, as the Hawks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Sefolosha faced three misdemeanor counts of disobeying orders to move from a crime scene and resisting arrest. He declined to plea bargain and was acquitted of all charges.

Sefolosha filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York claiming the officers caused permanent physical injuries and damaged his reputation.

It’s being reported that he settled for $4 million dollars.  Antic also filed a civil lawsuit, and his case is still pending.

Three Arrested In I-85 Fire That Led To Bridge Collapse

(SL) –  New information about the I-85 Bridge Collapse. Questions were looming following the fiery destruction that collapsed a chunk of I-85 near Piedmont Road, South of the GA-400. How did PCP pipes catch fire? Initial speculation involved a big rig fire, but that was later ruled out and terroristic thoughts formed.

USA-overpass-01-as-170331_16x9_992Mayor Kasim Reed was quick to dispel that theory. But, one thing was certain. The pipes didn’t just catch fire by themselves’; And once lit, nothing but problems for these particular pipes can burn for hours.

Now, 3 people believed to be homeless are being charged. Basil Elby who’s no stranger to crime with previous charges including drug possession and battery is being held along with Sophia Brunner and Barry Thomas. Brunner and Thomas are being charged with criminal trespassing.

Authorities think Elby, pictured above in a mug shot from 2014 started the blaze. How or why remains to be discovered. The suspects were allegedly at the scene at the time of the fire. What kind of accelerant hasn’t been disclosed or whether or not the 3 will receive bond.