L.D. is using the same lineup today as he did at Minnesota: Bibby, J.J., Josh, Al and Collins.
That alignment “worked out better than I thought it would” against the T-Wolves, Drew said, but he considered changing it today for one reason: “Their strength is they have one of the best pick-and-roll players in the game.”
That would be Steve Nash, of course. Remember that Woody’s switches worked pretty well on Nash because Josh and Al could contain him on the dribble and make him take challenged jumpers.
Nash’s numbers against the Hawks in two games last season: 9 points, 8.5 assists, 33.3% FG, 0% 3FG, 29 min. His numbers overall: 16.5 points, 11 assists, 51% FG, 43% 3FG, 33 min.
L.D. said the Suns run so many pick-and-rolls the Hawks will get caught in switches whether they want to our not. If it turns out the bigs can’t handle them then he said he would go smaller.
“I don’t want to put them in bad situations,” he said.
As for Smoove at small forward, L.D. said he “did a good job picking and choosing his spots” to take jumpers against the T-Wolves. There were a few times in that game where you could see Josh think about taking an early jumper before passing back out to set up the offense. That a sign of Smith “getting a better feel for the game and the flow.”
So far Drew said he’s not concerned about Josh’s ability to guard small forwards.
“Smoove at the three is just as effective defensively as he is at the four,” he said. “I will stay with [the lineup] for now, until we run up against a team where it gives them a clear advantage.”
And what about Twin’s increased role?
“He’s a solid low-post defender,” L.D. said. “You really don’t have to be concerned about helping him down there.”
Mo (knee) is out. L.D. ruled him out for Monday at Orlando, too. Marvin will be reevaluated later this week. There’s a chance he will miss more time.
Chills is back
Josh Childress said he he never thought there was no way a return to the Hawks couldn’t happen: “You never know.”
The way it ended up is he’s in Phoenix and the Hawks got a trade exception that they still hold.
“I’m definitely happy with the result,” he said. “I had a great time in Atlanta. For those two years they did well, and I did well. It worked out for both parties.”
Did he feel like there was never much enthusiasm from Hawks GM Rick Sund to bring him back?
“It’s part of the business,” he said. “It’s something you learn playing in the NBA. They made a business decision, just as players do. I’ve just got to roll with it.”
Childress is playing with a splint on the index finger of his right hand. He will wear it for another 3 1/2 weeks.
“I’m just trying to get out there and contribute until it heals,” he said.