New Orleans–It’s been a long time . . . I shouldn’t have left you . . . without a strong blog to step to. . . .
Season’s Greetings, blog people. Hope you are having a good Christmas weekend. I had some of my people come down from The Ville to stay with me for a few days. In case they read this, let me just say it was a delightful time and at no point did I contemplate the advantages of living alone. Ain’t family great?
The Hawks are back in action (and Jamal is back in the lineup) but not before taking some time for inaction. L.D. let them loose after the W against Cleveland Wednesday, canceling an early Thursday practice because “it would have been beating a dead horse to death,” or at the very least beating down a tired team.
So the players were free from postgame Wednesday to shootaround today. Everyone showed up and they seemed to have a bit more pep.
“I noticed at shootaround today they seemed really rejuvenated,” L.D. said. “I hope it carries over to the game tonight. They seemed to be a lot spunkier. They looked to be a little fresher, there was a little vibe there. I know that was really needed because the way the schedule was the first 31. Hopefully the little break did them some good and they can come back rejuevenated.”
(The Hornets also haven’t played since Wednesday but coach Monty Williams had them practice twice since then: “I didn’t want to go into the game [after] taking two days off. It’s a long season and you have to take advantage of the breaks but at the same time you’ve got to work.”)
Jamal, Marvin, Joe, Al and Bibby all got some time to rest their nagging nicks and pains.
Jamal said he would have no physical limitations after missing five games with a sore back.
“Now it’s just going to be about getting my timing and getting my game shape back,” he said. “I am just happy to get back out there.”
Al said the swelling has gone down in his shooting hand. It’s “better” but not quite back to feeling normal.
L.D. is starting his regular lineup: Bibby, J.J., Marvin, Smoove and Al.
“We’ll start that way but we will play a lot of big lineup tonight,” L.D. said. “I want to play Al a lot at the four and just go big with Okafor at the five.”
See Pape in Utah
Pape Sy will soon join the D-League’s Utah Flash. They don’t play a game until the end of the week so it’s possible Sy will continue to practice with the Hawks until then . . .
Monty Williams on J.J.: “He plays the point from the post. He’s one of my favorite players, always has been, because he does a number of things. He draws so many double teams and he can kick it around to the open guy.”