Washington–When the Hawks are at home L.D. is fine with them running the floor and feeding off the energy of the Highlight Factory. But he’s got a different philosophy on the road.
That’s why one of the offensive keys on the team’s board before the game tonight against the Wizards said: “Play slow.”
“On the road, you want to run at the opportune times,” L.D. said. “But you can’t play at a pace that you play at home, especially when you are short-handed, too. With the home team they want to get their fans involved. They want you to quick shoot so they can get it and run it back at you.
“You have got to pick and choose your spots to keep the fans out of it and control the tempo, force that team to play your pace. The faster you play it opens more opportunities for turnovers. We want to be athletic and get up and down the floor but we don’t want to play at a speed that leads to turnovers, especially on the road.”
The Hawks are averaging 23.5 turnovers through two exhibition games. That’s fourth-worst in the league entering tonight’s game.
There are lots of caveats to that, of course–preseason, wacky lineups, etc.–but now is the time to develop good habits. Lester Conner wrote the turnover figure on the board as a reminder.
– Big defensive test tonight for JC2 , who is cross-matched against Wiz rookie point guard John Wall while Bibby draws Kirk Hinrich. Wall is as fast as they come and Crawford is a tough competitor so it should be an interesting duel.
– Etan is back in the city where he made his NBA name. He still has a house here.
“It was a good time,” he said of his time with the Wiz. “I have a lot of good memories here. I got to play with MJ. How many guys can say they got to play with MJ?”
– Arenas (knee) is out for the Wizards. Nick Young starts in his place. L.D. considered changing his lineup, too, but stuck with Bibby, Crawford, J.J., Smoove and Al.