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.”