Hinrich to start, Smith out for Hawks

After coming off the bench for his first two games, new Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich will make his first start Wednesday night at Philips Arena. He’ll do it against his old team, the Chicago Bulls.

Hinrich won’t have the benefit of having forward Josh Smith in the lineup, however. Smith, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee against Denver Monday, tried to practice at the Wednesday morning shootaround but was in too much pain.

Since acquiring Hinrich in a trade that sent Mike Bibby to Washington last Wednesday, coach Larry Drew had been starting Jeff Teague to give Hinrich time to acclimate. Drew said he felt Hinrich had learned enough of the team’s plays and defensive schemes to start.

“I want him to get acclimated as fast as he can,” Drew said. “He’s going to be my starting point, so I kind of want to throw him not the fire and get him into a role that he’s going to be in for the remainder of the season.”

Hinrich missed the Denver game with a sore right calf, but practiced Wednesday and said he will play against the Bulls, for whom he played his first seven seasons in the NBA before getting traded to Washington last summer.

“We’ve got a tough schedule coming up this month but we have a lot of home games,” Hinrich said. “Hopefully we can take care of business. If we hang our hat on our defense like we did there the last three games of the trip, we should be O.K.”

Drew did not have a timeline for Smith’s return. He is considered day-to-day. Drew said he actually thought Smith would be able to play Wednesday prior to the shootaround.

“He said some of the swelling has gone down from [Tuesday], but he went out there and shot a little bit and it didn’t feel right,” Drew said.

Not having Smith in the lineup complicates matters against Chicago, which has a formidable front line with center Joakim Noah and forwards Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng. The Hawks will start Jason Collins at center, Al Horford and Marvin Williams at forward and Joe Johnson and Hinrich at guard.

218 comments Add your comment

sam'l

March 2nd, 2011
12:13 pm

Now how are we supposed to win a game against Chicago without Smith?

Use every player on the bench……two platoon…..go all friggin out every second of the game and keep subbing. Hit the Bulls with so much defensive energy they can’t stand it. Put Crawford in the starting lineup and run up a 25-15 first quarter with Johnson Horford and Crawford bombing away inside out and with 2 man screens.

Go Hawks!

Go Hawks.

sam'l

March 2nd, 2011
12:16 pm

Better yet….take Marvin Williams aside and tell him this is his game……and the ball will be coming to him. Take an extra hour practice and be prepared for a 20-point game.

I’m done…anyway those are a couple of things I’d do…….A team prayer might help……

doc

March 2nd, 2011
12:23 pm

@northcyde:

No way should Collins or Etan start tonight.

ummmm WAY!

as granville once said, nfl … not for long.

K.W.

March 2nd, 2011
12:23 pm

I just hope Josh isn’t out for that long. I wonder if LD will play the other new guy Hilton Armstrong tonight.

According to Mike Bibby he didn’t have the ball in his hands when with the Hawks. What makes him think with two guys named Dwyane Wade & LeBron James on the Heat he will get the ball more???

AtWork

March 2nd, 2011
12:27 pm

I just wish LD would have said that about Teague. Its a shame. His defense is good and his floor presence is getting better. I could see a difference from the first game he started to Denver. I think he can do it…escpeically if he learns that he CAN score and not to defer to Jamal or Joe every time. Take it to the basket and make a play. That is what this team needs. A driver. Force the issue and both sides of the floor. Teague can do it…just give him a chance!

Section 303

March 2nd, 2011
12:28 pm

At some point these injuries have to stop, right? Hawks have to be near the top on the list of teams dealing with the most injuries this season. It’s been one problem after another this year.

niremetal

March 2nd, 2011
12:30 pm

Will Smoove be getting an MRI??

northcyde

March 2nd, 2011
12:35 pm

@ doc

LOL . . just watch and see what happens. Noah will be all over the boards, and Drew will have to take Collins out the game. It’s a recipe for disaster, especially with Smith not being to help on the boards. We need a good rebounding game out of Zaza, or a great one out of Horford.

*****

People won’t say this, but Teague played himself out of the starting lineup with that performance @ Denver. That was a golden opportunity to really shine, but he couldn’t take advantage of it.

Now that we know that he’ll be the backup PG from now on, I want that kid to play with the same defensive intensity as he did when he was a starter. It shouldn’t matter whom he plays with. Just come with the same amount of effort.

The Truth

March 2nd, 2011
12:35 pm

Josh being out, I’m not optimistic about this game. Scoring will be the biggest problem.

J from the A

March 2nd, 2011
12:39 pm

Worth reposting from the previous blog (from ChicagoNow blog):

tl;dr version: The Hawks are the easiest of the tough teams & the Hawks have the worst home crowd of any team in the NBA.

“[The Bulls] start off with the easiest of those tough games tonight in Atlanta. The Hawks are 2-1 after trading for Kirk Hinrich while playing all three games on the road. They’re well rested as they are coming off two days off from a Sunday tilt against the Nuggets and returning home from a long road trip.

The Bulls aren’t a great road team, but the Hawks have the worst home crowds in the NBA even when playing well. Don’t be surprised if the makeup of the crowd is 25% Bulls fans and if those fans don’t combine to make more noise than the actual Hawks fans. Expect some road MVP chants again tonight.”

Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/2011/03/bulls-at-hawks-at-6pm-on-wciu.html#ixzz1FSstjwES

J from the A

March 2nd, 2011
12:40 pm

J from the A

March 2nd, 2011
12:43 pm

Bold Prediction of the Day: Marvin is going to go off tonight (maybe more defensively than offensively, but still, he will have a very solid game).

[Bold prediction = wishful thinking; Marvin go off? Yeah, right! Well, maybe.]

O'Brien

March 2nd, 2011
12:43 pm

303,

Last year, the Hawks were the healthiest team in the NBA. So its no surprise that the injury bug is biting them over and over again this season. Overall, LD and the team have done well playing through injuries. Tonight will be tough w/o Josh however.

northcyde,

Agreed on Teague. We know that he defers to Jamal too much on offense, but he has no excuses for not getting after it on defense. And this is a game he should be pumped up for.

northcyde

March 2nd, 2011
12:46 pm

@ At Work

If he could do it, why do you think Drew brought in Van Exel just to work with him? People want to hold out hope for him, but ignore GLARING red flags about his game.

And the biggest red flag is that he’s just not a floor leader. He’s played well defensively, but he’s had major problems offensively.

He wasn’t asked to run his team in college, so the transition for him to be a floor leader in the NBA is going to take longer.

He just needs to be a solid player with that 2nd unit. Provide the defense he was playing with the starters, and take advantage of any open court opportunities he has to score the basketball.

Marcus

March 2nd, 2011
12:51 pm

yeesh. No Smoove and kinda underwhelming backups. Tough HOME stretch just got tougher.

lewis

March 2nd, 2011
12:54 pm

Josh Smith was playing great basketball, I don’t think we have a shot without him. He gives us too much. Kirk probably playing hurt. Hope all goes well, but i’m not optimistic.

Ra'mon

March 2nd, 2011
12:54 pm

Rick Sund is a practical joker. The entire blog asks for Brewer, Kapono, Thornton, or Butler, and he gives us Pape Sy, lol. That’s hilarious. But I must admit I am curious to see him play. I actually believe Sy will turn out to be as good as Pietrus, but able to guard the PG position.

Geemack

March 2nd, 2011
12:54 pm

The East has improved…lets see Miami goes out and get CBosh, LBJ, & Mike Bibby. Now they jump from a 6th seed last year to a top 2 seed.

Chicago added Boozer and a stellar defense, and now they are a top 3 seed.

Orlando is still ahead of the Hawks eventhough we’ve beaten them twice.

NY bring in Melo, Amare and Chauncy and now look like threats in the playoffs.

Hinrich was an excellent pick up, but we are still behind the other teams in the league.

Ra'mon

March 2nd, 2011
12:55 pm

By the way, Pape already has a better jumper than Teague.

rusty

March 2nd, 2011
12:56 pm

Yea nortcycyde sit jt azz on the bench where he belongs feed your boy iso joe

O'Brien

March 2nd, 2011
12:56 pm

How many minutes will Jeff Teague play tonight?

Over/Under 13.

I’m thinking over.

J from the A

March 2nd, 2011
12:58 pm

It’s the little things

I, for one, have been a critic of Teague, but I am glad to see his game looking a bit more consistent over the last couple games … but Teague is still far from ready to lead this team as a starting PG.

Among many little things that should tip off anyone that Teague is just not ready is his peculiar inability to make certain passes. Now, I am not saying he makes many bad passes. Rather the claim here is that he fails to make the obvious pass because he doesn’t have the confidence that he can make the pass effectively.

Case in point: In the game against Denver, I counted three times that Teague had the ball, the Hawks had a mismatch in the post, Teague clearly recognized the mismatch, Teague had a good angle to get the pass into the man in the post, but Teague failed to make the pass. These are passes that any point guard in the league need to be able to make (practically) every time. Hell, these are passes that come easy to many non-PGs (see our own Josh Smith for example). But Teague either didn’t feel confident in his ability to make these (relatively) simple passes into the post, or worst yet, decided not to take advantage of the obvious mismatch.

steven a smith

March 2nd, 2011
12:58 pm

As i said before, Josh Smith is the MVP of the Atlanta Hawks; Stevie Wonder can see that. They will not win a game without “Smoove.”

Daniel

March 2nd, 2011
1:00 pm

Geemack- I hear you, but don’t despair. It appears that new ownership is on the horizon.
Why aren’t the Hawks targeting any of the free agents that are available? Or are they and no one is reporting it?

tony

March 2nd, 2011
1:01 pm

Teague(sg) is not a pg. The sooner you realize that the better off you will be.

Hire BILL LAIMBEER!

STRETCH

March 2nd, 2011
1:01 pm

Does anybody have the scoop on Pape Sy? He is back from the D-league.

AtWork

March 2nd, 2011
1:06 pm

@Northcyde

JT’s offense is pretty reluctant at times for sure. Comparing Jeff’s defense to Jamal’s on Felton or Lawson is noticably differnt. What i really want is LD to put him in the fire like he said he was going to do with Kirk. I think that kind of game time would help him develop a lot faster. Plus you are going to know pretty quick if he is going to figure out his game or not.

I guess i am wishing that Teague would wake up this morning thinking about being the aggressor on offense and score 15 points tonight even in limited time. I would even take 10 pts with 3 or 4 steals and 3 assits.

northcyde

March 2nd, 2011
1:07 pm

It is what it is Rusty. Now that I know that Hinrich is starting, we may not need 30+ from JJ. Probably 25+. But we also need 20+ out of both Jamal and Horford..

Inefficient offensive role players do not need to be taking a lot of shots this game. And that includes guys like Marvin ( if he’s cold ), and JJ and Jamal ( if they’re settling for 3s and missing ).

The Bulls are the best defensive team in the league. Our main guys need to lead the way offensively. First team to 90 wins this game tonight.

J from the A

March 2nd, 2011
1:07 pm

Who has the highest basketball IQ on the Hawks?

If you ask Coach Drew, he will tell you without hesitation JOSH SMITH.

Drew has said more than once that Josh has really picked up on the new offense at a much higher level than anyone else. Not only does he know what he is supposed to be doing and where he is supposed to being doing it at, he also knows everyone else’s role for every single play. During offensive sets, look to see who is barking at their teammates trying to get them into the proper position. It is not the PG (though this may change with Hinrich). It is not the supposed team leader Al Horford. It is not Joe Johnson. It is Josh Smith.

I am the first to admit that Josh doesn’t come across as being the brightest bulb of the bunch, but, you know, he just might be. Yes, I know he takes some bad timed jump shots here and there (not nearly as many as you guys make it to be), but he knows his role — and everyone else’s for that matter. That’s more than you can say for anyone else on the team.

KC

March 2nd, 2011
1:14 pm

@tony

well, if Teague isn’t a PG then he sure isn’t a 2 guard. he cannot score. 3-18 in the last 3 games he has started.

northcyde

March 2nd, 2011
1:17 pm

@ J from the A

And don’t think that for one minute that Drew didn’t notice what you noticed. And it’s conceivable to believe that he’s seen that the past 1.5 years in practice.

But people would rather believe that Drew is holding him back, rather than Teague just not being able to do the job competently. Which is why Van Exel was brought in to work with him.

The easiest thing for him to do, is to just go out and play hard all the time. Use his athletic ability to try to affect the game any way possible.

O'Brien

March 2nd, 2011
1:21 pm

northcyde,

Did Rick and his team miss the red flags on Teague, or did they just ignore them?

JeJe

March 2nd, 2011
1:22 pm

Why exactly did we trade for Hilton Armstrong?

JeJe

March 2nd, 2011
1:23 pm


Jeje,

Believe me it matters if you say someone is “satisfied” when they never said that.

Anyone who saw your post and had not heard his quote would be given an incorrect perception.

Would you want someone attributing things to you that you never said? I don’t think so. I know you are frustrated with the team and the organization, but perhaps putting out half-truths is not the best way to express that frustration.”

RealGM puts word in peoples’ mouths all the time.

FIRE SUND

O'Brien

March 2nd, 2011
1:23 pm

J from the A,

Josh might have the highest basketball IQ on the team. The problem is, he can be strong willed and stubborn at times, not to mention he loses his focus more than he should, and needs to cut down on his whining.

Judson

March 2nd, 2011
1:23 pm

Knicks just released Corey Brewer. He’d look GREAT in Atlanta. PLUS he and Horford are buddies, and had great chemistry at Fla.

jfreak13713

March 2nd, 2011
1:23 pm

Hawk will lose by double digits. This is a soft team with no true leader and when that are defended they resort to taking long jumpshots instead of driving the basketball. Chicago will pound them inside on offense and defense and the Hawks will fade the in the second half.

Who will stop Rose? Who will stop Boozier? Who will stop Dang? Horford can’t do it all!

steve brown

March 2nd, 2011
1:28 pm

I am still in shock over Teague’s performance in Denver. Who scouted this guy. Whoever it was can not judge talent. A guard without a jump shot in this day and age. Unbelievable.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 2nd, 2011
1:29 pm

Al Horford is more than capable of handling Boozer in the post one on one, and I would think Hinrich and Teague can do at least a reasonable job making Derrick Rose work for his buckets. The problem for the Hawks is going to come on offense. Smoove is too often the catalyst for ball movement on this team, and getting shots near the rim is not going to happen easily with Noah in the lane. Without Smoove, the Hawks have to make a concerted effort to get the ball inside to Al and not let the offense bog down on the perimeter.

If they can consistently move the ball, they have a chance to win in this game.

J from the A

March 2nd, 2011
1:29 pm

@ northcyde:

co-sign 100 %. I think you and I have been the only two posters that have been willing to recognize Teague’s flaws, while most of everyone else has been screaming “FREE TEAGUE!” Teague has a ways to improve before anyone in their right mind goes around “freeing Teague.”

(For example, earlier in the year, most people on this blog were drooling over his “defensive abilities,” but all I saw was a young man that had the talent to be a strong defensive guard but clearly lacked the fundamentals to even be considered a defensive upgrade over Bibby. Of course, I think he has looked better defensively over the last couple of games, but this is a very recent development …)

Now with that said, I think I might be a little bit more optimistic concerning Teague’s potential. I think he really has the ability to be a solid contributor, possibly even a solid contributor on a really good team. However, he is far from ready to be a leader, even a leader on a bad team.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 2nd, 2011
1:30 pm

I’d also like to see the Hawks making an effort to exploit Korver and Boozer, who are the weakest members of the Bulls’ rotation defensively. Get Joe backing down Korver and get Al driving on Boozer consistently, and watch things open up for everyone else.

lewis

March 2nd, 2011
1:32 pm

Carlos,how can you say that?

You either have selective vision or absolutely no clue what you’re talking about… Josh Smith the defensive anchor of this team. He defends 1-5. He blocks shots. He is an efficient rebounder. He runs the break extremely well. He’s been our energy guy all year. Was doing a great job shutting down Lamarcus Aldridge too before he got injured. Was looking forward to him shutting down Booz. He’s long, he leaps, closes passing lanes, he’s a pest, and I don’t see us winning a game without him. What’s your beef, that he’s an average jumpshooter? That he complained a lot in the past? Dude has grown up and improved every season.

Relying on inconsistent guys like Joe, Jamal and Bibby is why we lose games. Al and Josh are a borderline elite defensive duo with Teague/Hinrich at the point.

Freshfromatl

March 2nd, 2011
1:33 pm

I would still have confidence in this game if I knew someone would step up in Josh absence (such as Marvin Williams). But I doubt it will happen.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 2nd, 2011
1:33 pm

“A guard without a jump shot in this day and age. Unbelievable.”

Rajon Rondo can’t shoot. Derrick Rose was an inconsistent shooter when he came in the league. John Wall is an inconsistent shooter. There are several ways Teague can make up for not having a consistent jumper, and he’s already displayed one — his defense. I am more interested in seeing him penetrate defenses and get fouled, since nobody else on the Hawks can do that. He can work on his jumper in the offseason. For the rest of this season, he needs to get in the lane aggressively and put the pressure on opposing defenses.

JeJe

March 2nd, 2011
1:34 pm

WE COULD’VE SIGNED AL FREAKING THORNTON. A TRUE ATLIEN BASKETBALL STUD WHO WOULD’VE ROUNDED OUT THE SF ROTATION WITH MARVIN

GOOD JOB, SUND AND ASG. YOU SAVED ALL THAT MONEY LAST SUMMER FOR A REASON. WE HAVE THE FREAKING MLE TO SPEND. THROW SOME DAMN MONEY OUT THERE AND GET COREY BREWER SINCE U ALREADY FAILED ON THORNTON

F

J from the A

March 2nd, 2011
1:34 pm

@ O’Brien

Re: 1:23 post. I don’t disagree with your point here. My comment was more directed toward those that are constantly filling these boards with the “josh has a low BB IQ” trash.

Yes, Josh is a little bit stubborn at times, a bit too whiny for my tastes, and his focus can be a little less than consistent sometimes, but he is far from being a basketball dummy!

On the basketball court, he is like that bright but somewhat stubborn leader who has serious flashes of ADHD. :) j/k … well, kind of …

Grandad

March 2nd, 2011
1:37 pm

Goodness gracious sakes alive:

northcyde —- Teaguer did not play himself out of starting line-up.
When Hawks trade for KH everyone knew he was to be the starter.

J from the A —- 1st of all I like Josh so don’t get your drawers
all puckered up. But his decision making:
[basketball IQ or otherwise] leaves alot to be desired.
We will miss him tonight regardless.

* J.Collins will account for himself nicely.

* Pape Sy did not [statitically] show much in D-league.
Let us hope that he is a defensive stopper.
My hope is that Sy takes Marvin’s job away;
[along with his lunch money].

Grandad

March 2nd, 2011
1:42 pm

J from the A

By the way:
Joe has the lowest B-ball IQ on the team.

Tremaine

March 2nd, 2011
1:42 pm

Am I missing something because Teague wasn’t on the floor when Raymond Felton was lighting the hawks up. People look at the boxscore and assume. This is his second year in the league. He has been playing pretty good defense and gets to the foul line. His job isn’t to score. We have plenty of scorers on this team. “GIVE TEAGUE A CHANCE!”

J from the A

March 2nd, 2011
1:43 pm

What’s going on, grandad? No puckered-up drawers here! Just real talk. ;)