L.D. is using the same lineup as Saturday vs. the Blazers except Al (who still says he’s good to go) subs for Zaza. Remember that Drew sent out the Twin lineup against the Bucks in the previous three meetings, so I have to think that going with this new alignment mean he’s considering making it permanent (though you never can tell).
Drew said he could always go big if Bogut gives the Hawks problems. The hope is that the Hawks can give opponents problems by running.
“I like the speed, I like the quickness of it,” Drew said. “We have been struggling scoring points and we have not been a team that has played out in the open court. We have mostly been playing in the half court. By going with this lineup it gives us speed. What I really like is we have two guys who can get the ball off the glass and initiate the break. It puts such pressure on the defense.
“We have both Kirk and Jeff who can handle the ball, and Joe. Having all five guys running and racing the lanes, it makes us more effective. We’ve always put emphasis on it but I think we have kind of gotten away from it. I am just trying to get back to really putting an emphasis on all five guys running.”
Drew said not much changes for J.J. when he shifts to small forward.
“Usually at the two and the three it’s going to be very similar,” Drew said. “He will be defending the same type of actions. At the one it’s just totally different. One thing is that at the two and the three he will probably be in more switchable situations, which should help in defending some of the stagger screens and misdirection stuff. He is pretty much used to that. When you have the same size guys–Joe, Marvin, Damien, and depending on the matchup Josh Smith–usually those are switchable situations and he doesn’t have to do a lot of chasing.”
L.D. said the Hawks have been switching more on D lately but only in such “switchable situations.” The goal is to avoid ending up big vs. small.
J.J. wore a large bandage around his head during shootaround. There was a spot of blood bleeding through an area on the right side over his ear. The Hawks said J.J. has an infected wound that was cleaned out.
“Just a little mishap. Nothing major,” J.J. said. “I will be all right.”
He said the wound didn’t happen on the court but wouldn’t elaborate.
Does it hurt?
“A little bit,” he said. “I will be all right.”
Joe said he probably would wear a headband tonight to protect the wound.
L.D. has a theory on Jamal’s recent shooting struggles:
“One thing I am trying to get him away from is trying to bait officials into calls and trying to be yourself. He has a tendency to try to draw fouls, especially at the three-point line, and it throws his shot off. He’s leaning one way and the ball is going another way. He’s got to just step up and shoot the ball and just be aggressive, be Jamal.”
After at first expressing skepticism about that take, Jamal said there might be something to it.
“All it takes is a second or a hitch or anything and it changes the way the shot is supposed to go,” he said. “I’ve shot 50 percent the last two games, though.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat