Atlanta Hawks: Intense practices have injuries adding up

The open practice at Philips Arena today was a relatively light affair for the Hawks. The way things are going, L.D. might have to start sprinkling in more sessions like that to keep his team in one piece.

Six guys were left behind when the Hawks flew out today for games at Detroit and D.C.: Teague (ankle), Marvin (ill), Twin (leg), Pape Sy (back), Mo (knee) and Jamal (back).

Al, Etan and Josh Powell also have missed time with injuries since camp opened.

“It’s a different preseason for us this year,” Teague said. “It is a lot more intense in practice. Injuries happen in the game. Last year it was a little more laid back and we didn’t have a lot of serious injuries at this time. It is really intense, guys are going really hard and things happen.”

For some of the injuries, it’s hard to know how much of it is just vet players taking it easy so they can be healthy for the long season. And with Mo and Pape, the issues were there before the Hawks started practice.

Still, L.D. said his long, intense practices have been a factor in the assorted nagging injuries but that he doesn’t want to let up too much.

“It is going to be like that, especially when we are preaching being more a physical team and playing with more of a physicality,” he said. “We are going to have our nicks and our bruises. The thing I have to gauge is the fact we are not beating up on each other too much.

“Some days will be a little bit more intense and tougher than others. I won’t wear them down from playing like that every day in practice. Some days we will have to gauge it to where we are not banging as much. But for the most part I want them to bring that energy and intensity every day because that’s who we have to be when we play.”

Teague rolled his ankle when he landed on Jamal’s foot in practice Saturday. He said he thinks he will be back on the court by Tuesday.

Mo said he pushed the knee too early a week ago and had to have it drained. Now he’s backing off a bit while he continues to build strength.

“I don’t want to start that type process,” he said. “If you rush back from injury put yourself at a disadvantage. When I come back I want to be as close to 100 percent as I can. I see Kobe is out there limping around and not really having his full range of motion. I think he came back a little too early. I don’t want to be put in that situation.”

The Hawks will take 11 players on the trip. L.D. said Smoove (hand) would be a gametime decision Monday at Detroit. Josh said he would be out a week after cutting his hand on the rim Thursday but it looks like he could return sooner.

L.D. said he would wait until the Hawks got some guys back before adding more elements of his motion offense. Expect to see some weird lineups in the two games since L.D. still wants to limit the minutes for some of his regulars.

“Injuries are a part of it,” he said. “You hope to get through training camp where it’s an injury-free camp but that’s a not reality. There are bumps, there are bruises.”

MC

115 comments Add your comment

DirtyBraveHawk

October 10th, 2010
5:29 pm

Didn’t make it to the open practice. Can anyone tell me how it went? How was LD on the guys and did you guys pick up on anything? I know it was a light affair but you can still come away with some revelations.

DirtyBraveHawk

October 10th, 2010
5:29 pm

BTW am I supposed to say first? I never got that anyway

ray lewis

October 10th, 2010
5:30 pm

Section 303

October 10th, 2010
5:32 pm

Michael, I watched the practice today. Does Josh Smith always hit jumpers in practice? I don’t think I saw him miss one the entire time. After years of wishing he would stop shooting jumpers, I’m wondering if he has developed a decent shot. I’m not talking about 3’s, but 19-ft in, maybe? He was knocking them down today.

Section 303

October 10th, 2010
5:38 pm

DirtyBraveHawk,

The practice was OK. It was interesting watching the guys run Coach Drew’s version of the Princeton offense. It is still a work in progress. Some of the guys seemed unsure of where to go…I noticed Josh Smith asking questions, which is good. At one point, the guys were working on setting up and going through the offense on a break/after a miss by the other team. The starter group (Bibby, Joe, Josh, Al, can’t remember the 5th) had to run something again. Coach Drew, who had been patient, said “It isn’t that hard fellas.”

I liked the movement. Kind of reminds me of a “Flex offense”, if you are familer with that. Lots of movement. Lots of screening. I noticed a few times where Bibby and Horford would set a double screen for Joe as he was running from the base line to the L.

Another thing that has stood out to me, both at this practice and at the question/answer with Coach Drew and Rick Sund on Thursday, is the attitude. The coaches and Rick Sund all talk about this team winning a title. Rick Sund even said on Thursday that the goal, for sure, is the Conference Finals. I like it. Regardless of what anyone thinks about that, you have to like it.

DirtyBraveHawk

October 10th, 2010
5:47 pm

Thanks Sec 303. That all sounds good to hear. I know it’s gonna take some time and reps for the guys to get this new system down and get Woody’s ISO heave system out of THEIR system. Like you, I’m glad to hear about Smoove asking questions and wanting to get more knowledge. This can be a career year for him if he sets his mind to it and eliminates some of the mental mistakes. Also glad to hear the word “Championship” come out of these guys mouth. Yes I know, they need to get out of round 2 first but I was getting concerned that this franchise was just content with just making the playoffs and winning a round. It’s time to have bigger goals.

STEEL(Formerly VenomSpitter)

October 10th, 2010
6:00 pm

I hope they get the filth of Woody’s “OFFENSE” OFF SO THEY FULL GET THE NEW OFFENSE.

STEEL(Formerly VenomSpitter)

October 10th, 2010
6:01 pm

I hope they get the filth of Woody’s “OFFENSE” off so they fully get the new offense.

Michael Cunningham

October 10th, 2010
6:27 pm

@Sec 303: “Michael, I watched the practice today. Does Josh Smith always hit jumpers in practice?”

he makes them all the time. i mentioned this in a blog post last season and some people piled on me because they said there’s a difference in making them in practices and games. of course there is, i just think it’s remarkable he is so accurate in practice. then again, Shaq used to make free throws all the time in practice but we see what he does in games.

northcyde

October 10th, 2010
6:29 pm

Drew needs to be careful. We’re not even a week into the preseason, and he already has 1/2 of the team out or knicked up. Going hard in practice is great, but you only hurt yourself as a team if some of your main rotation guys can’t practice.

This is a youg, but veteran team. So if Drew needs to scale back the intensity of practices so that the young guys can learn more, then that’s what he has to do.

I know the old saying is “you play like you practice”, but if you’re unable to practice, you can’t play.

The NBA is a long season. Don’t kill your guys during this time of year.

SCALE IT DOWN LD.

Hmmm

October 10th, 2010
6:32 pm

“I hope they get the filth of Woody’s “OFFENSE” off so they fully get the new offense.”

Co-sign

I just hope everyone is healthy before the first regular season game. Honestly, I would Tank that Miami pre-season game on ESPN and rest all of the starters.

Sara

October 10th, 2010
6:37 pm

I hope these injuries don’t spill into the regular season.

northcyde

October 10th, 2010
6:45 pm

I use to joke with people during High School, that I was a “warm-up All American”. I kid you not, I probably knocked down 75% of my 3 point attempts during warm-ups before the game. I used to practice them a game speed too, not just standing still and shooting them.

Of course when the lights came on, I hit a respectable 40% from three . . not quite the video game like 75% I shot in warm-ups.

Smoove’s mechanics as a shooter will prevent him from becoming a decent midrange shooter. His wind-up takes longer than Sam Perkins old flatfooted jumper. He does have to shoot it to keep people honest, but I’ll never can envision him being even a 37% shooter from that 16 – 23 ft range.

I’d much rather for him to be practicing post moves, than jumpers.

northcyde

October 10th, 2010
7:01 pm

The one positive thing about Smoove’s jumper, is that during games, he seems to knock that shot down more often, if he is around the FT line to the top of the key.

To me, the straightaway shot is the easiest jumper to make, because the backboard gives you the proper depth perception. Plus you still get a chance to make the shot if you shoot it too long.

Some people may disagree, and say the baseline/corner jumper is the easiest to make, because you have to concentrate a little more to make the shot.

Section 303

October 10th, 2010
7:09 pm

northcyde, that’s the thing…to me, Josh’s mechanics looked better. He seemed to get the shot off quicker. Not only was he knocking down jumpers in practice, he hit a good share in Thursday’s exhibition game, too.

I think he can hit that 19-foot shot. Just keep him away from the 3-point line.

The Truth

October 10th, 2010
7:38 pm

“For some of the injuries, it’s hard to know how much of it is just vet players taking it easy so they can be healthy for the long season.”

MC in this a comtradiction? From this statement, it sound like guys got injured taking it easy.

“But for the most part I want them to bring that energy and intensity every day because that’s who we have to be when we play”

I totally agree. This is necessary in order to change the culture of the team. This may sound awkward, but the more they lose in pre-season, the better they maybe prepared when the regular season starts based on LD prospective. Because this is a veteran team that has pride themselves with past winning records, they will not lack an incentive to getting it right. Perhaps this explains why they are beating each other up. They seem be motivated to win.

The Truth

October 10th, 2010
7:39 pm

“MC is this a comtradiction?”

GT Alum

October 10th, 2010
8:00 pm

Well, the fact that he’s hit them so consistently in practice is probably a good part of the reason he had trouble laying off of shooting them. Even if he’s not hitting them in games, there’s got to be a nagging feeling of “I know I can hit this shot”, especially when he’s left wide open.

ant banks

October 10th, 2010
8:12 pm

CONGRATS DIRTYBRAVEHAWK,

you were first!! 20 other people couldn’t make that title. be proud!! i have had 6 FIRSTS in a year. lol

ant banks

October 10th, 2010
8:19 pm

CUNNINGHAM,

2 years ago, the team got together weeks before trainin’ camp and ran around ga. tech’s track. do you know if they did any preconditionin’ before this years camp? football players generally stay in shape year round and they come into camp ready.

also, what do you think about the nba goin’ into an OTA type deal, like the nfl, to gauge the players readiness, etc. and go over plays.

Section 303

October 10th, 2010
8:21 pm

GT Alum, that’s probably true.

I was thinking another thing that may help him with his jumper is the fact that he is not as ripped as he has been the last 3-years. Josh is still in great shape, but not so cut. Could help with his shot.

drmaryb (*_*)

October 10th, 2010
8:25 pm

Tuffin’ Up!

You play how you practice!

Practice Tuff’
Play Tuff’

I commented earlier this week about the ‘Pat-Riley’ type hard
practices, which caused Shaq to rebel and rift with the Miami
Heat, when the won that Championship!

Today’s players are greedy and lazy!

northcyde

October 10th, 2010
8:52 pm

@ Truth . . . the problem with that philosophy you kicked in the last paragraph of your 7:38 post, is that the group that really needs to gel, is the bench. They’re the group that needs the floor time with other, not the starters.

I’m not really concerned about Jamal playing wise, only mental wise. Mo, on the other hand, needs to be practicing and playing, to make sure the decline we saw last year wasn’t an indication that his game is in decline.

This could very well be our starting lineup against Detroit and Washington

PG – Bibby
G – Jordan
F – JJ
PF – Horford
C – Zaza

Then all we can do, is throw the scrubs out there. Heck, Jordan may play 35+ minutes and maybe play some at the 1, due to the lack of bodies.

If Smoove’s hand is hurt, I definitely don’t want him out there playing in meaningless preseason games.

niremetal

October 10th, 2010
9:04 pm

MC,

I’m mostly with northcyde on the reason Josh is accurate in practice from midrange but terrible during the season. I think in large part, his slow and hitched release explains it. When you’re in practice and you have all the time in the world and the shots don’t count, he can relax and release it at his own pace. In a game, he has to release it a bit quicker. Even if he’s wide open (which he often is – teams dare him to shoot long jumpers), he probably pressures himself to release it a bit faster before an opponent starts to close out on him. As anyone who’s shot a basketball knows, rushing your shot by even a millisecond can throw it off, and Josh’s slow release means that he probably feels the need to shave a few milliseconds off his release more than most players.

So unlike with his free throws, I don’t think it’s a mental block. I actually think it’s a mechanical issue, but the mechanical differences are probably too subtle too see on tape. We might not be able to tell the difference between a shot that takes 1.5 seconds to release and one that takes 1.4 seconds, but it can make a difference anyway. That’s my theory, anyway.

The Truth

October 10th, 2010
9:35 pm

northcyde

I think when LD makes reference to “energy and intensity every day” he’s talking about the whole team not just the bench. It’s hard to argue though that the bench needs to gel as well, but since everything LD is installing is “new”, I would expect “all hands on deck” is required. I’m sure LD knows the vets have the fortitude to work hard based on their accomplishments, but with the new installations, working smarter is the issue. Whether you are a starter or a role player, you must know and correct the errors of your ways. Rule number 1, drill baby drill! Rule number 2, never forget rule number 1.

Michael Cunningham

October 10th, 2010
9:39 pm

@ The Truth: “For some of the injuries, it’s hard to know how much of it is just vet players taking it easy so they can be healthy for the long season.” “MC in this a comtradiction? From this statement, it sound like guys got injured taking it easy.”

by that, i mean that in some cases guys may not be pushing it when they get minor injuries because it’s still preseason.

Michael Cunningham

October 10th, 2010
9:40 pm

@ ant banks: “2 years ago, the team got together weeks before trainin’ camp and ran around ga. tech’s track. do you know if they did any preconditionin’ before this years camp?”

yes some of the players did. Teague, J. Crawford, Marvin, and Zaza i know did for sure. i think i wrote about it in one of the Teague blog posts.

Michael Cunningham

October 10th, 2010
9:50 pm

@niremetal: “So unlike with his free throws, I don’t think it’s a mental block. I actually think it’s a mechanical issue, but the mechanical differences are probably too subtle too see on tape. We might not be able to tell the difference between a shot that takes 1.5 seconds to release and one that takes 1.4 seconds, but it can make a difference anyway. That’s my theory, anyway.”

it’s a good theory. perhaps Josh feels like he has to rush because of the flow of the game and sometimes he literally had to rush because he catches it in bad position with a short shot clock. but on many of those jumpers he has plenty of time because the defense basically gives him the shot.

this reminds me: the other day reporters were waiting for players to finish shooting at the end of practice. Josh goes around to several spots around the 3-point line and makes probably 10/15 attempts. as he’s making the last few he looks over at us (or maybe just me) and says: “yeah, you see me making all of these. you write that i take the [blankety blankers] make sure you write i’m making them.”

it’s the kind of bravado you hear a lot when you are around a team. but i think GT Alum is on to something in regards to Josh’s nagging feeling that he knows he can make them.

truthspitter

October 10th, 2010
10:08 pm

Soft team. If u ever watched football the team that starts to get guys injured because they can not take the physicality is the losing team most of the time. Hawks are too soft. Nothing has changed but a new stupid offense. The softness shows when u let people come back from 20 + points in your gym and when this many guys are injured. Everyone that tries to say Joe running the best mile means nothing you are very lost. There is a reason why Joe is not getting hurt so-far and has never really been injury prone. They guy is the most professional guy on our team.

northcyde

October 10th, 2010
10:12 pm

LOL @ MC.

Tell Josh that if he stopped taking jumpers, and tried to dunk on more people while driving to the hole, that he’ll be a shoo-in for the All-Star game.

SMH . . . he wants to be Rasheed Wallace so bad, instead of Shawn Kemp.

Rev in Tampa

October 10th, 2010
10:12 pm

**Movie Review**

The Hawks are in the movie, “Life As We Know It”. Its a chick flick (I went as a loving husband). But it is not as bad as most chick flicks. It wasn’t a ‘romantic comedy’.

Anyway, the guy in the movie who ‘presumably’ will fall in love with Katherine Hegel works in the TV production team that televises the Hawks. So several real scenes from the Hawks playing good basketball were featured in the movie. Also a lot of beautiful scenes from around Atlanta (mostly Buckhead, etc.).

My recommendation: guys if you have to go see a chick flick from time to time with your lady, you could do worse. And the Hawks offer a brief reprieve at different times during the movie.

Fundamentals

October 10th, 2010
10:58 pm

northcyde – a new Kemp would be awesome! I agree on Josh, but let him grow into his game. I think he has a mixture of both guys talent. It’ll just take time to build the confidence in his game. Evan Jordan took years to perfect his craft. He learned the fading jumpers later in his career. Josh too will follow, but for now “let it rain” Kemp style. Is Teague the new glove?

Fundamentals

October 10th, 2010
11:04 pm

The dents and dings will come till the team hardens up a bit. They’re young, they’ll rebound and respond. It’s time to change the culture. LD’s doing that. Let them nurse their injuries, but keep pushing hard. It might cost us some games early, but who cares. We need to grow, get tougher, gel and be ready for Mar-Apr. We don’t need homecourt. We need a new identity – a meaner, faster, tougher metality that LD and his staff are implementing.

Get hungry Hawks. You’re gonna need the groceries to fill the shoes LD’s laid out for you. Total committment gets rewarded with cash, respect and potentially some jewelry. Work hard! You’ve got the talent. It’ll pay!

Knuckles

October 10th, 2010
11:21 pm

Doesnt matter the hawks arent going anywhere any way.

Ken Strickland

October 11th, 2010
12:07 am

TRUTHSH!TTER-It doesn’t how hard you try, and no matter how many names you post your redundant negative anti Hawk BS under, there’s no way the Hawks will become losers like you.

MsDee

October 11th, 2010
12:10 am

Way to think positive again, Knuckles, way to think positive!!

Big Ray

October 11th, 2010
12:10 am

LOL.

Mo Evans using himself and Kobe Bryant in the same sentence while talking about injury and performance ability affected by injury. What a jokester that Mo Evans is. Or did I mean to say what a joke?

Grandad

October 11th, 2010
12:30 am

I agree with ‘truthspitter’…..seriously.

“Soft team”
If u ever watched football the team that starts to get guys injured because they can not take the physicality is the losing team most of the time.”

I was about to use UGA as an example.
Coach Richt had “boody Monday” last week & look what happened.
He even admitted to being too soft in pre-season,
for fear of injuries.

drmaryb said –> “Tuffin’ Up!” I agree!

northcyde said: “SCALE IT DOWN LD” I disagree!

nc – If we want to win a championship, then it starts right now.
The tone LD sets, the habits the players form, the intensity with
which he wants them to play, all those traits are being formed now.

A [Wise] man once said:
“You only get one chance to make a 1st impression”

Grandad

October 11th, 2010
12:34 am

*[bloody] Monday not [boody] Monday.

Rashard

October 11th, 2010
2:03 am

Booty Monday? Grandad, what has gotten into you? lol =P

truthspitter

October 11th, 2010
3:01 am

Ken Strickland

October 11th, 2010
12:07 am

TRUTHSH!TTER-It doesn’t how hard you try, and no matter how many names you post your redundant negative anti Hawk BS under, there’s no way the Hawks will become losers like you.

Ken I post under one name and I don’t care for your posts either but I don’t reply directly to you because you are like a penny on the ground with manure on it, not worth the time.

Clyde Jr.

October 11th, 2010
3:42 am

dap01

October 11th, 2010
6:26 am

Is Jamal really hurt?

drmaryb (*_*)

October 11th, 2010
8:26 am

Hard Hats!

MJ was the hardest working man that ever
played in th NBA. When he had a hang-nail
he cut the toe out his shoe and just did it!

When he had the Flu? He played &
Just Did the Damned Thang!

Kobe works hard today. There’s no crying
in Basketball.

These million dollar babies? Get on my nerves.

JoJo the Godfather

October 11th, 2010
8:32 am

Mo & Jamal need to be moved soon…Both are thinking more about contracts than playing basketball…I was really hoping for the Crawford & Crawford combo off the bench, but its becoming more and more obvious that he’s not going to get past this contract thing…Mo’s pretty transparent as well…He won’t push that knee because he knows he’s a free agent at the end of the year.

drmaryb (*_*)

October 11th, 2010
8:33 am

Yo Money! Its’ the Shoes!
- spike lee -

MJ sells as many shoes now as he did then.
Even today’s players wear “Jordans”

MJ was not the best player when he came to the league,
But, he was the hardest working player to ever play the Game!

That’s why he has the ICONIC logo and Shoes still.
There is no substitute for hard work!

drmaryb (*_*)

October 11th, 2010
8:40 am

JoJo I know – right?

Why didn’t Month get that knee scoped after that last series?
Sounds Shaq-a-licious to me.

drmaryb (*_*)

October 11th, 2010
8:41 am

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 11th, 2010
9:10 am

Run run run. “You soft punks want a ring? You want fame? Well fame cost and right is were you start paying, in sweat and pulled muscles.”
Big Ray,
Man I was thinking the SAME thing about Month Evans and his continued delusions of grandeur. He is conceited lil scrub. Last year when he bulked up, he was comparing himself to Dwade and Kobe again – only to stink it up in limited minutes.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 11th, 2010
9:23 am

@ Dap01,
I question the integrity of Jamal now and Month Evans. Don’t think their injuries are that serious. To me, these to don’t luxury to sit out games like Wade due to minor nicks and muscle tweaks os ankles or knees. Sure you gotta get paid but you are under contract and you better leave it on the court to earn a bigger one. We need a sucka free team so that means JC1 and Mo need to be shown the door.