Washington–I honestly don’t know the right answer to this health vs. momentum dilemma faced by L.D. There is some inherent contradiction in his declaration that health is most important and his desire to finish the season with momentum but, in my view at least, both have merit.
Several Hawks players are banged up and could probably use some rest but don’t they also have to stay in tune? The team hasn’t played well since February but, at this point, aren’t the Hawks as good as they are going to get and so the “fine tuning” L.D. is looking for is too little, too late?
You can sense that players also aren’t quite sure how to feel about the situation.
J.J. says health is the main concern but in the next breath he says he wants to get his game in gear. “My main concern right now is getting into some kind of rhythm going into the playoffs,” he said.
Al says it’s important for the Hawks to “get better as a team and keep up our shape” but then comes out of the equation favoring time off.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to that, just being honest,” he said. “But I think [L.D.] would rather have us play.”
Drew said he still doesn’t plan to sit any of his regulars. Instead, he’d like for the Hawks’ reserves to play well enough that the starters wouldn’t be required to play extended minutes.
“If I’ve got bench guys out there and they are in a real good rhythm I will leave the starters on the bench as long as I can,” he said. “If it’s not getting anywhere and we’re not playing well or we are not in a good rhythm, I don’t want to finish the season like that. I want to finish feeling good about how we play.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat