Marvin turned an ankle at Washington and may not play tonight. I remember Marvin limping a bit during the game but he ended up playing 29 minutes and I don’t recall him getting treatment after the game.
In any event, Marvin’s injury provides a (admittedly after-the-fact) counterargument to the notion that the Hawks need to use these games to get ready for the playoffs.
“You are hoping your team looks at is an opportunity to gain momentum going into the playoffs,” L.D. said. “Looking at the last couple games, that’s not the case and I am concerned about that. But at the same time, keeping things in their proper perspective, we want to try to get to the playoffs as healthy as we can. What happened to Marvin the other night is the one thing you don’t want to happen where you get a starter or key guy hurt in a game that has very little meaning.”
Josh will return to the lineup tonight. L.D. said Josh will play limited minutes with the main goal of getting him some work after sitting out a week.
“I feel good,” Smoove said. “The swelling is down. I am going to play tonight and see how it feels in game action.”
Even after the injury to Marvin, J.J. still says the starters need minutes before the playoffs.
“It’s just a gamble you have to take when you are trying to get some chemistry and rhythm,” he said. “It happens, man. Guys are going to get injuries and nick nacks. You hope it doesn’t happen but it does.”
The Hawks mailed it in against a marginal playoff team and a lottery squad that played three D-League refugees. Maybe they will find some inspiration in playing the Heat.
“Especially the way they beat us here last time,” Jamal said. “They have a lot of momentum [after] beating Boston. We feel like we can get the momentum going towards the playoffs. I think we will be fired up for tonight.”
J.J. said he’s not sure about that.
“I have no clue. I don’t know,” he said. “The last few games we have played have been unacceptable. With us being back home maybe we will come out and play better.”
The Heat are trying to finish a game ahead of Boston to earn the No. 2 seed in the East. The Hawks could help prevent that, which would have no effect on their path through the playoffs but it would be something.
“No question there’s that,” Al said. “But at the same time we have to come out and play for ourselves.”
At Washington on Saturday there were several possessions in which Hinrich dribbled to every area of the half court while the rest of the Hawks stood and watched. He would make a move, dribble through traffic and then look up to see his teammates still standing.
It was unclear exactly what Hinrich and Hawks were trying to accomplish.
“There’s times when offensively we get a little stagnant,” Hinrich said. “It’s just one of those things we have to guard [against]. I think it all comes back to defense. If we are getting stops, the game is so much easier for us. We have got so many energy who can make plays and I think that is where our strength lies. So we will focus on that.”
Is Hinrich still learning his teammates’ games?
“I feel more and more comfortable every day,” he said. “I’ve very excited about what lies ahead of us. I think we still can be a very dangerous team and I think every guy in here believes that.”
Jameer takes a jab
It seems there is some buzz in Hawks fandom about Jameer’s comment to D-Rose that he would “catch you in the second round.” AJC wise guy Jeff Schultz asks: “Is it wise for the starting point guard on the Orlando Magic to just be assuming victory over Atlanta in the first round?”
I guess the Hawks can put that quote on the bulletin board. Come to think of it, they don’t really have a bulletin board as far as I can tell. Does any team, really? I see lots of grease boards, no bulletin boards.
Anyway, the Hawks do have a bunch of signs with inspirational slogans hanging in the locker room and hallways. Those didn’t inspire them to avoid taking a historic L from the Magic last spring or three 30-point beat downs at home and one to the Wiz this season so excuse me if I’m skeptical that something like Jameer’s quotes will have much effect on this group.
The league awarded Al the the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for March after he donated $23,000 to Direct Relief International to assist Japan and the Pacific region following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. I ran into a Japanese reporter friend while I was in Houston and he says the people in his country are very appreciative of Al’s gesture.
Hawks sign Rolle
The Hawks today signed forward Magnum Rolle.
The Thunder selected Rolle, 25, with the 51st overall pick in the NBA draft before trading his rights to Indiana. The 6-foot-11 forward was in training camp with the Pacers last summer but ended up playing 15 games this season with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League.
Rolle, a native of the Bahamas, played at LSU and Louisiana Tech.
Atlanta now has 15 players on its roster.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat