Atlanta Hawks: Practice report
Pausing during a ‘Nique-heavy day for some late afternoon notes . . .
- The Hawks had a light practice session today.
- J.J. on the thumb: “A little sore but for the most part it feels OK. I shot well [today], actually. It’s going to be one of those things that pretty much lingers. I am never going to have enough time to rest it for it to heal up.”
- Smoove on the knee: “It feels good. I just need to rest it whenever I can and try to keep taking care of it.”
- Al says the hamstring isn’t an issue. He said he gets “maintenance” treatment for the ankle: “The ankle is the one that is still real sore, especially last night [after] I played a lot of minutes. Besides the ankle, I feel fine.”
- L.D. said Twin got treatment for some swelling in his knee.
- After three consecutive solid outings, do the Hawks think they’ve turned the corner and can keep this roll going?
- Drew: “I still want some more. I’m not ready to say that yet. I see signs but I am waiting on us to put together a series of wins against teams like the Orlandos, the Bostons, and the San Antonios. See if we can play with that consistency.”
- Smoove: “I think so. There’s really no turning back now for this ball club. We’ve been playing hard for the past three games and there is no excuse as to why we can’t do that for every game here on out and through the postseason.”
- Al: “I think we are getting there. I don’t think we are there yet. I feel like we have had better outings. We are starting to stick together more out there. It is encouraging to see.”
- J.J.: “Our defense has been the difference. That’s been it. Defensively we have been hitting on all cylinders regardless of what our offense is doing. We’ve brought it defensively and we need to continue to get better and carry that over to the playoffs.”
- Much of the chatter about the Nique incident among players centered on the police mugshot of the accused assailant posted at ajc.com. “The results wasn’t pretty,” J.J. said.
- Al: “It’s unfortunate that something would go down here [at the arena]. We just have to be aware of things like that, I guess. It’s a good thing we have team security, I know that much.”
- TMZ.com posted a (shaky, low-quality) video of the incident.
- The Hawks have told ‘Nique not to comment.
- Josh on lobbying L.D. to send Twin back in vs. Dwight in the fourth quarter: “Al does a pretty good job on bigs in this league but we really wasn’t double teaming because we didn’t want to give up the open jump shot. The way [Dwight] was scoring down and the play [Twin] was giving us the whole game we needed him in the lineup to give us a little bit more resistance”
- Dwight thought Twin should have been called for a flagrant when he wrapped him around the shoulders.
- Twin disagreed: “I’ve committed plenty of flagrant fouls in my career but I don’t think any of those were flagrant. I think a couple of them definitely were hard fouls. The one where I wrapped his shoulders, he’s so strong you just don’t want to give up an and-1. On that one, he hadn’t even jumped yet so it’s not like I snatched him out of the air.”
- SI.com’s Rob Mahoney, filling in for Zach Lowe, warns against getting too carried away by Hawks’ success vs. Magic with big lineup.
- But John Hollinger, writing for ESPN.com’s Daily Dime, calls Twin the “Superman Stopper” and thinks his work against Dwight means “we’re looking at a genuinely competitive series” between the Hawks and Magic.
- Shaq won’t play tomorrow and may not be back until the playoffs.
- L.D. said he most likely would go back to the “regular” lineup vs. the C’s: “At the five spot, Krstic is good but I think we can match up pretty good with him with our regular lineup. I haven’t made a decision yet but I’m leaning that way.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat