Sunday, May 1
HAWKS VS KING JAMES
Hawks get another playoff shot at King James and Cavaliers
ATLANTA (AP) — A year ago, Atlanta's magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn't do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
Falcons release recruiting video to undrafted free agents
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are recruiting undrafted free agents, and they began the process before the final round of the NFL draft.
The Falcons are emphasizing the recent success of undrafted free agents in making the roster and even earning starting role. The team sent a video to NFL agents on Saturday morning and also posted the video on YouTube.
Falcons starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder and linebacker Paul Worrilow were undrafted free agents. Three players who were not drafted in 2015 made the roster: safety Robenson Therezie, nose tackle Joey Mbu and running back Terron Ward.
Schraeder and coach Dan Quinn talk on the video about the opportunities given players by the Falcons.
Falcons mostly draft defense for second straight year
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — For the second straight year, defense was the early priority in the NFL draft for coach Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons chose Minnesota linebacker DeVondre Campbell in the fourth round on Saturday. Campbell was the third defensive player and second linebacker taken in Atlanta's first four picks.
Campbell (6-4, 232) adds size, versatility and potential pass-rush skills with his speed to the Atlanta defense. He led Minnesota with four sacks in 2015.
The Falcons drafted Florida safety Keanu Neal in the first round and LSU linebacker Deion Jones in the second. They veered from their defensive focus by drafting Stanford tight end Austin Hooper in the third round.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn addressed offensive needs with the team's last two picks — San Jose State offensive guard Wes Schweitzer in the sixth round and UCLA wide receiver Devin Fuller in the seventh round.
Dimitroff said there was balance in the team's draft, thanks to the late picks on offense.
PEYTON MANNING-LEADERSHIP FORUM
Peyton Manning to headline leadership forum in September
COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Super Bowl champion quarterback Peyton Manning will headline a leadership forum in Columbus in September.
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that Manning will take part in the annual Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum scheduled Sept. 12-13 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. Former NFL running back Warrick Dunn will also participate in the forum, which launched in 2006.
The forum has attracted a steady stream of political leaders, business giants, authors, celebrities, athletes, coaches and other well-known speakers to the city for the two-day event, which is named in honor of retired Synovus Financial Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Blanchard.
Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush were the headline attractions on the opening evening, with billionaire Mark Cuban as the top speaker in 2014.
Braves at Cubs postponed because of rain
CHICAGO (AP) — The scheduled game Saturday between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves has been postponed because of rain.
Rain was forecast all day in Chicago. The game was called about two hours before the scheduled first pitch at 1:20 p.m. No makeup date was immediately announced.
John Lackey had been scheduled to start for the Cubs, while the Braves planned to send Julio Teheran to the mound.
At 17-5, the Cubs have the best record in baseball. They are on their best 22-game start since the 1907 team was 18-4.
The Braves are 5-18 after losing to the Cubs 6-1 on Friday night.