Woody didn’t give the expected “win this one for momentum going into the All-Star break” spiel. Instead, he’s more concerned about what the Hawks do when they return to work on Feb. 15 in LA.
“After tonight’s game we really to make a serious push,” he said. “We need to be committed after the All-Star game. Guys will get a chance to rest their bodies over the break but they’ve really got to be more committed when they come back. Not that they haven’t done that so far, but the mental focus has really got to be there.”
Not surprisingly, Woody wants to see better defense and rebounding.
“We have so much slippage in those areas because we are not committed to the scheme,” he said.
Offensively, he said the Hawks need to be sharper in the halfcourt because that’s how opponents are trying to force them to play.
“The teams we play know we are much better when we are up and down” he said.
– Jamal was a late scratch. The Hawks said he aggravated his left shoulder in his sleep last night. He’s had trouble with the shoulder in the past. Tough break for the Hawks under any circumstances, but especially because Jamal usually lights up the Heat.
– Zaza (hip) is out. His MRI showed no significant damage but the Hawks decided to sit him until after the All-Star break. After tonight they next play on Feb. 17 at the Clippers, giving Zaza a total of 12 days of rest.
– USA Basketball released its roster for this summer’s world championships and the 2012 London Olympics. No Hawks are on it. J.J. played in the 2006 FIBA World Championships, when the U.S. won bronze.
– After the Heat lost to the Bulls on Saturday for its fifth straight defeat, Dwyane Wade said coach Erik Spoelstra’s offense is too predictable and questioned whether Spo is willing to be flexible. The two later tried to downplay his comments but no one was really buying it.
Wade of course can become a free agent this summer. So the whole thing set off speculation that he wants Spoelstra out at the same time Heat prez Pat Riley appears to be doing everything he can to trade for Amare Stoudemire.
Sounds like Wade is frustrated to be on a bad team but he had to know it would be like this. He also knows Riley isn’t one to let his team struggle for too long before making a move, so help should be on the way.
– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.