News and notes . . .
Zaza is sick and won’t make the trip to San Antonio. I refuse to be blamed for this. My theory is he caught something from the Magic players because they banged with Zaza in the post, not me.
Anyway, L.D. said he plans to stick with the Bibby, Marvin, Smoove, Al, Twin lineup. So far the results of the big lineup have been good, particularly on defense.
Not sure how the look would do long term but right now L.D. is deploying Collins in situations where his bulk is a plus and his relative lack of mobility and rebounding are masked. The Hawks benefit because they don’t have to scramble all the time.
“We are able to play straight up and not have to run around trying to get to shooters,” Drew said.
But now the Hawks run into the Parker-Ginobili-Duncan pick-and-roll-a-rama. They caught a break when Jameer was out for the Magic and defending the screen-rolls wasn’t much of an issue against the Nets since the Hawks were scoring whenever they felt like it.
So this is the first big test for the big lineup against an opponent that can carve the Hawks up.
“If one of my big guys get into trouble I will look to the bench,” L.D. said.
– Collins has already played more minutes this season than he did all of last year. The possibility of more playing time was motivation for him to get in shape over the summer.
“Either way, I’m ready,” Collins said. “I’m a professional. Whenever my name and number is called, I am ready to go out there and help my team win. It doesn’t make a difference to me. As a professional, you have to always be ready.
“I really worked hard this offseason to put myself in a position to help my team. Whenever my name and number is called, I am ready to go out there and play.”
That’s a true vet answer. There’s a reason he’s stuck around this long.
– The theme for the Hawks before they left for San Antonio was transition D. That’s always a point of emphasis for L.D., especially on the road, but Parker is a menace in the open court and the Spurs rank 10th in pace factor and fourth in fastbreak points per game.
They are also seventh in defensive efficiency and second in offensive efficiency. That’s why they are 18-3 with Ws against OKC, Utah, Chicago, Orlando, and New Orleans (twice).
“A typical Spurs team,” L.D. said. “Just solid in every aspect of the game.”
That’s how it figures to be as long as Duncan and Gregg Popovich are around. Pop was a coach for the the 2003 U.S. National Team, which Bibby helped to a 10-0 finish at the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico.
Bibby said his experience with Pop is why he’s not surprised by San Antonio’s amazing consistency
“Good guy, but he makes you work,” Bibby said. “I can see it. Ever since I’ve been playing they’ve had the best defensive teams in the league. I remember first coming in they were the hardest team for me to play against because of their help defense. They are just great defensively.”
– After slumping a bit amid his very public marital problems Parker has found his groove again. From Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News:
Parker has endured the public scrutiny associated with the breakup of his marriage to actress Eva Longoria. Both have filed divorce petitions, with the accompanying tabloid publicity.
The effect on Parker’s game was most pronounced in Los Angeles, where he scored only two points in a loss to the Clippers after reportedly meeting with Longoria at the team hotel before the game.
After scoring 19 points and handing out six assists in just 26 minutes and 46 seconds of the Spurs’ 109-84 victory over the New Orleans Hornets at the AT&T Center on Sunday, Parker said he believes he has returned to the productive level of play that characterized the first weeks of the season.