Auburn Hills, Mich.–It’s not like rookie gunner Jordan Crawford needs extra incentive to get his shots up. But considering he’s back home in the Detroit area with about 40 family and friends in attendance at The Palace tonight, L.D. figures he knows what’s coming.
“I am going to let him get one out of his system,” Drew said. “As soon as he touches it, he is probably going to let it go. I don’t know where he is going to be on the floor, but I am sure he is going to let one go. He’s got one mulligan.”
Does Crawford plan to take advantage?
“He didn’t tell me that,” Crawford said, “because he knows I will do it.”
Crawford had planned to return to Detroit’s Communication and Media Arts High School but that didn’t happen. Instead, he spent some time with family Sunday and at breakfast this morning.
While at IU, Crawford played at Ann Arbor and East Lansing but this is his first game at The Palace. He said he’s come here for a handful of Pistons games.
Crawford said he always gets nervous before games.
“It’s the same nervousness,” he said. “But I am excited, too.”
L.D. had a sit-down with Crawford after his 5-for-15 shooting night against the Grizzlies Thursday.
“He was very receptive,” L.D. said. “This is just a growing process with him moving to this level. In college he was the man and they really relied on his offense and he had a free hand to shoot it anytime, anywhere. Here it is a little different because he is coming to a team we have a lot of offensive weapons. I am not looking for that type of production out of him.
“I want him to learn the system first and learn how to play with his teammates and learn to find where his shot will come from within the system. He wants to learn. He is eager to learn. He will be fine.”
Smoove is back
Josh will play with a protective glove on his right hand to protect the stitches for the cut he suffered Thursday. L.D. said he would play limited minutes.
“Ain’t nobody playing so I’ve got to thug it out, you know what I’m saying?” Josh joked.
With Jamal and Teague back in Atlanta with injuries, Bibby is the only true point guard available tonight. L.D. said Jordan, J.J. and Richard Delk would back him up.
“This offense doesn’t necessarily call for a point guard, per se,” Drew said. “Anybody can initiate it.”
Josh’s availability gives the Hawks 11 players. That’s not so bad if the Hawks were playing a normal rotation in a game that counts but the lack of bodies puts a crimp in L.D.’s plan to spread the minutes around.
Regardless, L.D. said he doesn’t want to see a drop off in effort or progress due to the missing guys.
“For us to go out and compete as if our regular guys are here,” he said of his expectations. “This is a situation that happens to a lot of teams. You don’t use that for an excuse. You go out there and be competitive and work on things you’ve done in training camp. I’m expecting guys to play at a high level, high intensity and high energy.”
No see, no hear
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