L.D. , as I suspected, didn’t see (or didn’t want to see) any of Josh’s antics at the end of the bench during last night’s game.
He ignored Josh when he scowled and yelled as he came off the court after L.D. yanked him. He didn’t pay attention to Smoove’s griping to teammates or staying away from the timeout huddles.
“I was coaching the game,” L.D. said.
Lots of other people saw Josh’s behavior, though, and it wasn’t a good look for one of Atlanta’s captains. They’ve seen this before but my sense was that this was worse because Smoove has been playing so well and for the most part had kept his emotions under check.
What we didn’t see,m though, is what happened in the Atlanta locker room after the game.
“First thing he did after the game, I came in to address the team and he said, ‘Hey, coach, I just want to apologize to everyone for how I handled the situation,’” L.D. said. “He didn’t have to do that but he did. I think he knows in his heart he didn’t handle that the right way, especially if I am looking at him being one of my captains.
“He was man enough to address it after the game. Even before I could address the team, he apologized to everyone. As far as I am concerned, it is water under the bridge. We move forward.”
So L.D. said there will be no fines or any other kind of discipline for what L.D. described as a “father-son spat.”
And if Smoove or anyone else is going to get mad because they get pulled from a game, then they might just have to be mad.
“It was coach’s decision on who was playing well at that time,” Drew said. “I am going to put the guys out there who gives us the chance to win.”
Damien Wilkins is active and could play despite signing just yesterday.
“He seems to pick things up pretty fast,” L.D. said.
“I am going to have to learn on the fly,” Wilkins said.
His first assignment out of the gate could be checking LeBron or D-Wade.
“My mindset is the same as against anyone else,” he said. “Be aggressive as you legally can without sending them to the free-throw line. You try your best to challenge their shots, keep a body on them. And you can’t let them rest when they are on the defensive end. You have to be active offensively. That is not to say you are in position to get the ball to be iso’d or anything like that. Just move, set screens, make sure they are running into screens, and then it takes away their energy on the offensive end.”
As Wilkins was about to put on his No. 3 Hawks jersey, he looked to be genuinely excited.
“Looking at this jersey, any time I looked at a Hawks jersey and saw ‘Wilkins’ on the back it was my uncle,” he said. “Now looking at it and seeing my name it is a dream come true. I am ecstatic. I am super excited and I can’t wait to get started. Can’t wait to get this game started because my stomach is about to jump out of my body.”
Nervous? But you’ve played in 390 career games?
“This is different, though,” he said.
By the way, he picked No. 3 because it’s two plus one.
“My uncle is not going to let anyone have his number,” he said. “He wouldn’t let my grandmother have that number.”