Back on the beat (thanks to Ken for holding it down) to find things a bit different than when I left. The Hawks continue to win but they are doing it with consistent contributions from Marvin, Bibby and Zaza. That shouldn’t be a surprise since all three have shown they can play. It’s great timing, though. The Hawks are a much better team if those guys keep answering some of these question marks down the stretch.
Those three also happen to be guys Woody met with individually over the last week or so for candid discussions. His message?
“Pick it up, and quit succumbing and going through the motions like you don’t want to be out there,” Woody said. “They are starting to do that and they are going to have to continue to do it.”
If Bibby scores 10 points tonight it will be the first time since Nov. 29 he’s broken double figures in three straight games. That was back when he was playing heavier minutes.
Marvin says he has his “mojo” back. I knew something was up when he bucked up on Kirk Hinrich.
Zaza was in a bit of a funk for a minute. Now he’s back to being energetic and efficient.
When it comes to criticizing modern players, Woody said: “Some guys can take things you say, some guys can’t, and these are things you learn every day on the job.”
He doesn’t want them to take it personally.
“At the end of the day, it is just coaching,” Woody said. “These guys have got to understand that. I am for every one of those guys in that locker room because they have helped us be 40-21. How can I not be for them?
“But they have to understand, too: I am paid to do a job and when I see things that are not right on the basketball floor, we’ve got to talk about it. We’ve got to address it.”
– J.J. is suiting up after feeling ill last night. Jamal will play on with a sprained thumb on his shooting hand.
“I have to concentrate more,” Jamal said. “I’ve got to focus and just get through it.
– Dorell Wright (knee) is out for the Heat.
– Heat owner Micky Arison is confident Dwyane Wade will be back if he opts out of his contract this summer as expected and hits the free market. “The bottom line is he has publicly and privately said that this is where he wants to be,” Arison told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I believe him. I’m 95-percent sure that he would be here next year. You can never be 100.”
– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.