Zaza Pachulia and Jamal Crawford return for Hawks

Los AngelesZaza Pachulia and Jamal Crawford were back at practice Monday and expect to play Wednesday night against the Clippers.

Pachulia has missed the last two games with left hip pain. Crawford sat out the last game before the All-Star break with a sore left shoulder.

Pachulia had been inactive since playing five minutes in the Hawks’ 91-81 victory over Chicago on Feb. 5. He’s had trouble with the hip twice this season but said he hopes to avoid further problems by better managing the injury.

“I feel better after the medicine,” he said. “I feel good. The rest was good. I just need to keep it in good shape. The last time it happened once there was no pain, I kind of let it go.”

Crawford missed the Hawks’ loss to the Heat on Wednesday with a sore left shoulder. He said the pain was related to an injury he suffered in 2008 with the Knicks but that he’s over it now.

“Everything is good,” he said.

MC

120 comments Add your comment

RA

February 16th, 2010
5:43 am

Up a little early aren’t you MC?

RA

February 16th, 2010
5:48 am

I’ve said it many times, Jamal Crawford is the perfectly tailored suite on a really bad body. As long as he’s healthy, the flaws in the Hawks bench become much less profound, but if he goes down for any stretch of time at all, well, the Miami game will play itself out again, and again…

Bill

February 16th, 2010
5:56 am

What would happen to Zaza’s game if he put on about 20 pounds in the weight room? He doesn’t rely on speed/quickness anyway.

Marcus

February 16th, 2010
6:41 am

coming out ready to rock.

rob

February 16th, 2010
6:52 am

i wanted first! oh well. Michael, if Joe left in Free agency would the hawks try to go after a top free agent? my hope is that they keep Joe, but what about Wade, i know Lebron isnt coming here. What about Tracey Mcgrady? he could be a last second thing just to toy around with? just an option. We need to take this one with the Clippers to start off the second half right

vava74

February 16th, 2010
7:05 am

Well, we desperately need Crawford healthy for this west trip and an healthy Zaza wouldn’t hurt us either.

I hope Zaza comes back re-energized since he has not been consistently playing up to last year’s level.

Tracy McGrady? Good grief… Why do you think the Rockets don’t want him? It’s for a good reason: he has no heart, no defense, no drive, … he is basically a perennial loser.

vava74

February 16th, 2010
7:10 am

GeeMack,

Carrying it from the previous blog: Nocioni would definitively be a good fit for us, however, we don’t have any trading chips to snatch him.

He is the target of many teams since he plays 2 positions SG/SF, is a warrior on both ends of the court, has some post game and is a legitimate 3 point threat.

He is all that we would like Mo to be and unfortunately isn’t: a consistent contributor off the bench who does not need shots called for him and is always ready for battle.

Mo has some motivation issues making him a lot less effective than when he does not get starter minutes.

When Mo starts and plays 28/32 minutes he produces, when he comes out of the bench and plays 18/20 minutes he doesn’t produce proportionally (most of the time he produces close to nothing on the offensive end).

O'Brien

February 16th, 2010
7:29 am

I wonder if ZaZa’s injury has contributed to his inconsistencies this year?

vava74,

And TMac is always injured too.

If Crawford goes down for an extended period, Hawks are in trouble. Thats why it would be nice to see Sund make a move to upgrade the bench. Unfortunately, we just dont have any trade pieces, so we’ll be going to battle with the troops we have now.

I hope Woody gets them refocused, because we can’t afford to have any letdowns. We need some blowout wins so that our bench can get major minutes, and hopefully get them going.

Lets start by putting a beatdown on the Clippers tomorrow night.

tjhook

February 16th, 2010
7:50 am

Yes, ZaZa needs to go Gaga down low and start putting points on the board to draw defensive attention while he’s on the floor

MannyT

February 16th, 2010
8:11 am

@RA…if MC is on the road trip., maybe he stayed up late and posted this blog.

@rob…the funky rules of the NBA salary cap will not allow the Hawks to go after any new max player as a free agent. If the free agent were so excited about the Hawks and able to force a sign & trade, then you could get a big name. Otherwise, no JJ means someone who gets a little more than MLE money, not max money.

The best thing about T-Mac is his $23 mil expiring contract that gives you cap relief (or possibly a chance to go after a big time free agent.)

BWAF

Fundamentals

February 16th, 2010
8:11 am

Definitely agree – we can’t go w/o Crawford, Mo pouts, ZaZa has been injured or distracted all year, Nocioni would be great, T-Mac is a bad idea. Kid doesn’t care about anything but the $$. No heart, no D, no real effort when it matters.

No matter who signs with Cleveland we have to believe we can beat them. We need a sense of urgency and the confidence to believe in each other. If we can find both nobody can beat us. Right now it’s about growing mentally. There’s nothing Sund can really do w/o disrupting the team potentially in a bad way.

I think we’re ready. Let’s enjoy the stretch run regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen by Thursday.

The biggest trade aquisition our team needs between now and Thursday is a trade for real fans who support their team down the stretch. Let’em hear you at the games!

Slo-Mo

February 16th, 2010
8:27 am

The Hawks need to go after a ligit Big down low. A real 12-10 guy who can bang down low. Let Al play the 4 spot.Its not rocket science to figure this out.

Daniel

February 16th, 2010
8:40 am

Hey MC,
Is it just me or is there something fishy about Crawford’s shoulder injury? I mean it kinda came out of nowhere, right before the All Star break, then we get a cryptic explanation. I am not speculating about what it really could be, but I have to be honest there seems to be more to the story. If it is as simple as a “private” matter, I can live with that, but tell me what do you think is going on?

Fundamentals- Love your post, but I would say it is not unreasonable to think the Hawks could add a player to the bench who is bought out of their current contract. i.e. a Mike Miller, Drew Gooden(not real interested here). Theoretically an adjusted salary for 30 or so games for a vet would only be a few hundred thousand. (I know easy for me to say right?)

Slo-Mo: Please, please, please….. We really don’t need more theoretical, hypothetical trade scenario’s. OK, I mean why not just say… We need Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and Lebron James? It is not Rocket Science.

MsDee

February 16th, 2010
9:16 am

Daniel,

As always, I enjoy reading your posts cause u ask the same questions I have. I wondered the same thing about Crawford’s “mysterious” shoulder injury. I believe Sund had something to do with it. It would have solved 3 things for Sund. 1) Could Joe Johnson carry the load for a win against an under 500 team in Miami w/o Crawford to see if we really need to overpay Joe this off season, 2) Is Crawford really our ‘bench’ and not just a sixth man candidate, or 3) is Woodson not using the bench that Sund provided him this past off season correctly enough for an extention. Sund would have killed 3 birds with 1 stone if this is the case.

MsDee

February 16th, 2010
9:18 am

I believe if the table was turned and Joe Johnson was out with a “shoulder injury” and Crawford played, The Hawks would have won. Hands Down!!

Daniel

February 16th, 2010
9:21 am

Ms Dee- I always like a good conspiracy theory, but that would suggest that Sund could make all those judgements on just one game and that he actually has that kind of player control. I think it has more to do with Jamal personally, needed some extra time off, family issue(?), etc. I certainly don’t think anything sinister about Jamal, though. But, it is weird. C’mon MC enquiring minds want to know.

Melvin

February 16th, 2010
9:22 am

Daniel,

I posted the following comment on the Fan Nest blog on 2/13. It was a cut and paste from an article on Hoopsworld.

Melvin

February 13th, 2010
11:09 pm
“The losing situation might motivate Howard, Gooden or Singleton to accept a buy-out at a slightly reduced rate while Ross still has some value on the trade market if Washington wants to go younger. Ross, however, can veto any trade since he signed a qualifying offer over the summer. Mike Miller, Mike James and Fabricio Oberto are three more Wizards who might be candidates for a buyout.” – Hoopsworld

I wouldn’t mind seeing the Hawks persue Mike Miller and/or Drew Gooden if they are bought out…

MsDee

February 16th, 2010
9:28 am

My point #2 would be if Sund needs to truly upgrade the bench a little more if Crawford is all we really have in a bench. And point #3 is if Sund need to really look for another coach to take the Hawks to the Promise Land because Woodson refuses to use the pieces we already have in a team. Sund may feel insulted b/c Woodson doesnt use what has been provided for him properly. Sund than may want him gone just like BKnight did.

Daniel

February 16th, 2010
9:33 am

Ms. Dee- I hear you.
Melvin- I would love to be able to pick up Mike Miller if he were bought out, but now that the Wizards have unloaded with the Mavs will they still be willing to buy them out? Or would Miller be packaged with Jaimison to make a trade work or sweeten the pot?

MsDee

February 16th, 2010
9:34 am

Daniel,

I hear what u are saying but I dont think the judgement is based on 1 game but many cause Jamal has outscored Joe in serveral games coming off the bench. This 1 game just may have proved a point to Sund, Joe Johnson, & Woodson in a nut shell.

But you may be right also if Jamal have personal reasons to miss the game, but why lie that its an injury if it was truly family reasons?? This is why I find it hard to believe. I guess we will never know.

Melvin

February 16th, 2010
9:58 am

Daniel,

That article was after the Wiz/Mavs trade. Not sure if they would buy Miller out but if they do, I hope we would be in heavy pursuit of him. We could really use his outside shooting in Woody’s jumpshot offense.

terrell

February 16th, 2010
10:01 am

From last blog: Tony said “trade Joe for Bosh the enforcer”. Lol! And he actually had the nerve to start Bibby and Crawford in the backcourt. Wtf? It wouldn’t matter if we had Oakley and Laimbeer in the post with those two trying to guard the perimeter. And btw, where in the hell is Acie Law? No wonder Woody went with T “dribble, dribble” Lue and Anthony “I’m old enough for social security” Johnson. lol! And for the zillionth time, Josh Smith is not a sf.

Tony

February 16th, 2010
10:02 am

Everyone is yapping about the Hawks need for another shooter. They have plenty. The problem is that they are doubled up (Joe, sometimes tripled) by opponents. Without the benefit of a true Big, the shooters can’t get loose. We are fortunate to have the 3rd best record in the East. With a Big, we could be first.

terrell

February 16th, 2010
10:07 am

Fundamentals, people said the same thing about Jamal Crawford before he came to Atlanta. He had no heart, only cared about the $, played no defense, and no real effort when it mattered. Now he’s one of our best players. Get off McGrady’s ….!

terrell

February 16th, 2010
10:09 am

The Hawks have plenty of shooters? We’ve got plenty of guys who like to shoot. But shooters?

O'Brien

February 16th, 2010
10:15 am

I don’t know why, but I have very little confidence in Sund and the ASG that they will spend the extra money needed to bring in a veteran who gets bought out somewhere else. And if they do bring somebody in, I have very little confidence that Woody will utilize them correctly.

Melvin,

Mike Miller would be a good pickup. The irony is Marvin was supposed to be able to knock down the jumpers more consistently, but he’s been inconsistent this year. Hopefully Marvin gets it going, because he might have to be our shooter for the rest of the season.

vava74

February 16th, 2010
10:15 am

Daniel, MsDee,

That conspiracy theory does not make any sense and the answer is in your own posts:

If someone needed an excuse to get Crawford a day off, the simplest thing would be to invoke… personal reasons and not an injury.

Lingering shoulder injuries can easily flare up if you sleep in the wrong position and in order for it to get back to “normal” (which is usually only 95% normal) and avoid aggravating the problem you need to REST.

Right now, I would even consider Mike James as a nice pick up if he still had something in the tank (he’s 35):

He is not a real PG but he can(could) score in bunches and people tend to forget that he was FUNDAMENTAL during a couple of games Pistons championship run doing a “mini-me” impersonation of Vinnie “Microwave” Johnson.

This could be a “deja vu all over again” :-)

I’m delirious… forgive me…

Daniel

February 16th, 2010
10:16 am

terrell- Crawford had a rap for being a poor defensive player and a streaky scorer, but he always had a great rep as a teammate and person in the community. He also has had no significant injuries. T-Mac on the other hand has been oft injured, critical of teammates, considered soft and expendable by the team that signed him to “superstar” money. Very different reps and players and situations. Not a fair comparison.

Tony

February 16th, 2010
10:20 am

Yes T, they have enough shooters…the Hawks avg. the second amount of pts per game in the East. Scoring is not the issue.

Melvin

February 16th, 2010
10:26 am

Let me be more specific. We need a shooter at the backup SF spot with size and capable of scoring off the dribble. Mike Miller anyone…

Tony

February 16th, 2010
10:37 am

The Hawks cant shoot their way to the Finals without defense. Defense wins championships!

MsDee

February 16th, 2010
10:55 am

vava74,

I hear what u are saying also, but never be fooled to believe the impossible. You would be surprise what people (in business) would do to get something done or to prove a point.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2010
10:57 am

Anyone remember the discussion herre last January/February about Josh’s trade kicker in his contract? Remember why that was even being discussed? Because several were disappointed in his performance after signing a $58M contract and were trying to figurte out if we should trade him.

MsDee

February 16th, 2010
10:59 am

I played basketball in my prime in college against the elite women basketball teams..business deals went on that was not right but it happened.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 16th, 2010
11:07 am

I constantly change my opinion about this Hawks team and what they should do, from trying to look at things from different angles.

I was a guy a constantly saying we should make a move too, maybe we should? But I think now I can see a way the Hawks can seriously contend with the team we have now…with adjustments

1) Play with heart and intensity the entire game…..I’m so tired of hearing them say “we just didnt play with energy tonight” in post game interviews.

2) Woodson needs to learn how to use his bench bigs more effectively. When we seem to be getting bullied in the paint, bring in Randmo and Collins. Perhaps they can solve or atleast slow down the problem by putting a big body on whoever the person is that is causing us problems down low. Atleast use those 12 Fouls.

3) Crawford and Joe need to go strong to the hoop more when the jumpers arent working. They both are gifted offensively and can get to the rack, but both rely heavily on jumpers. When crawford does drive to the rack, he goes strong and thats cool. He just needs to do it more when the jumpers arent falling. Joe can also get to the rim but strays away from contact and sometimes forces those floaters at bad angles. He needs to take it up strong sometimes and get to the rim for 2 freebies or an AND-1. This particularly needs to be done when the Js arent falling and the other teams seems to be picking up momentum to build a big lead on us or greatly chop into one of our leads. This would also be useful in the 4th quarter, or any spot when the Hawks desperately need buckets.

Make these adjustments and we should be a contender.

jlewis

February 16th, 2010
11:12 am

MsDee and others, do you not realize JJ had the flu and should not have been playing in Memphis and against Miami anyway? That man plays with heart, and plays sick or hurt, give a guy a break.

Teague

February 16th, 2010
11:12 am

Dammit Woody, put me in the game…

Woody

February 16th, 2010
11:17 am

Dammit Teague, hit a jumper in practice at least once a week. And can you learn the plays, too? Did you go to Wake Forest Community College?

MsDee

February 16th, 2010
11:22 am

Jlewis,

What about those game when he is healthy and Jamal is scoring more than him from the bench?? What about last year when he was healthy and he never showed up for us in the playoffs?? Yes, Joe is a great player to have on our ball club, but dont make him to be a saint on this team cause he is not. Joe needs others to out-do him 1st b4 he shows up in a game. Jamal had to put fire under his butt to perform, Al Horford also put fire under his butt in the All-Star game b4 he showed up. Joe is not a self-motivater, therefore he shouldnt get paid like one.

jlewis

February 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Ok Ms. Dee, how many double and triple teams has JJ faced in the playoffs? How many did he score in game 7 against Miami last year and who carried the Boston Series the year before that? Jamal scores more because he has the ball in his hands and does not play against a double team, just watch for next year, players tend to revert back to what they really are.

jlewis

February 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Also, check the record from last year MsDee, Joe, Marvin and Al were not healthy.

#1 GT FAN

February 16th, 2010
11:41 am

This is what I think the hawks should do………….

Re-sign Joe. Get ride of Marvin and Bibby for as much money as you can. With the money they get from those two, get D WADE.

This would be your starting 5……..

1. D WADE
2. Jamal Crawford
3. Joe Johnson
4. Josh Smith
5. Al Horford

Then you have there backups………..
1. Jeff Teague (you have to give him time to make him better)
2.Moe Evans (or get read of him to, and sign a new younf player
3.??????????? (this is the only one i am not sure about
4. Joe smith (just intil the draft, then you get a new player)
5. ZaZa Pachulia

All in all, it is not going to matter who every body wants, if the owners of the Hawks (or the people with all the money for the Hawks) dont take a chance, and spend some extra money, they will never be any better.

Am I the only one that noticed, but whats up with all the sports owners in Atlanta. They never want to spend any money to have a better team. You would think after so many years of being so bad, they would do any thing to be better. Oh well………..

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

dap01

February 16th, 2010
11:41 am

A normal tactic against a dominating big man is to use the people on a bench to but a body against the opposing big guy to hopefully wear him down physically. You can do that by using the big men on the bench and the 6 fouls that each has.

When was the last time the Hawks used that tactic?

J.J.M.

February 16th, 2010
11:44 am

#1 GT FAN

lets be real now

#1 GT FAN

February 16th, 2010
11:47 am

J.J.M. ………….whats not real about it?

GeeMack

February 16th, 2010
11:47 am

Fundamentals

I think that’s the problem with the Hawks. The organizations focus is not the championship.

The Hawks players, coaches, GM and ownership are more concerned with doing enough to be competitive, and not to win the championship.

Even if Cle, Bos, or Orl didn’t add a soul to their rosters they would give the Hawks fits in a 7 game series because the are more concerned about winning it all.

GeeMack

February 16th, 2010
11:51 am

#1 GT FAN

Marvin can’t be traded until next season, and who would give a quality player for an aging point guard that just signed a new 3 year deal.

Your option sounds good in theory, but does not make good basketball sense.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2010
11:54 am

Some of you are well-rested from your ASG break and are once again sounding like fans of the Nets as opposed to fans of the #3 seeded team in the East (and one game behind 32). Seriously, take a breath and remember that we are 3 seasons removed from scouting lottery-level picks.

Ramon

February 16th, 2010
12:00 pm

MsDee, Joe was injured in the playoffs last season. And Joe did do a pretty good job on Wade (or as good as can be done) when he was called upon. Is JJ worth max? No, but I do think he’s worth $16-17 mil a season. But at the same time I would ask him would he rather make 17 a season, or make 15.5 and have Sund able to get one or two more veterans for the team.

Daniel

February 16th, 2010
12:04 pm

Astro, astro, astro- I keep reminding you that there is no place on this blog for patience, big picture thinking or reasonableness. You must panic, you must come up with crazy unworkable trade scenario’s, you must state the obvious to try and look smarter, and you must have an agenda (besides just rooting for the Hawks) something like, it’s all….(woodson, joe, bibby, marvin) fault or its all about MINUTES!! or well you get the point.