Atlanta Hawks at Bobcats: Game thread
Charlotte–Tracy McGrady (knee) is out. “He wanted to play [last night] and give it a shot,” Larry Drew said. “We thought it would be best to keep him out tonight.” Donald Sloan is active.
- Corey Maggette (hamstring) is out for the Bobcats.
- During pregame there was little sign of the frustration and finger-pointing that followed the poor effort against the Heat last night. Hawks players were in good spirits.
- Josh Smith: “I think with two previous disappointing losses, we need to have some kind of sense of being mad and wanting to take it out on somebody else. This will be the game to do it. We have to leave it all out on the court. If these two losses don’t piss you off, then I don’t know what’s going to get you mad. I know I am frustrated and angry. So I am just trying to walk around with a smile, but I know when I step in between those lines I’m going to play ba— out.”
- Drew said he’s not concerned about the locker room coming apart amid the tough losses. The Hawks came over to the arena early for a team meeting.
- Drew’s message: “There is no reason to hang their head. They were in two tough ballgames that could have gone either way. We had some miscues offensively and defensively down the stretch. In both games, if we make our free throws we win the game. Even with the miscues, if we make our free throws we win both games. It’s too early season to let something like this totally affect us. Most important thing is we learn from both games.”
- Smith: “With the amount of games we have in so little time, everybody around here has to create a short memory. Obviously we have to play with some type of sense of urgency. But we can’t let the past affect us, because the past is the past and we have to look to the present and the future. And the present and the future is playing against a solid, blue-collar Bobcats team. We have always had problems in this building.”
- Drew on what seems to be Teague’s declining confidence: “I don’t know what it is. I’ve got to stay in his ear. When he is aggressive, it makes us a totally different team. He’s got to understand he is going to have good ones, he is going to have bad ones. The secret is not to let the bad ones affect you. I think he has done that. I think he is letting some of the stuff get to his head a little bit. He missed a couple free throws in Chicago and then he came back and missed a couple free throws last night and mentally, he’s got to get tougher and push through that. He’s got to continue to be himself.”
- Teague: “I’m fine. There’s been a lid on the basket the last couple days but it happens. It’s a long season.”
- Zaza Pachulia said his calf is fine. So that’s not the reason for declining playing time lately.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat