Atlanta Hawks: Game thread
- Tracy McGrady (knee) will play. Rip Hamilton (groin) is doubtful and C.J. Watson (elbow) is out for the Bulls.
- Larry Drew on Jeff Teague’s lack of defensive energy lately: “Very noticeable. He’s not playing defense with a sense of urgency. He’s playing against guys that, I don’t think he’s taking the defensive challenge the last few games we’ve played. The reason why, I have no idea. I have to bring him in here and talk to him because I know he’s a much better defensive player than that. I don’t see the energy and even when he’s not involved in the play he’s kind of lackadaisical.”
- Drew on Al Horford shooting less often and less accurately from mid-range: “I don’t think he’s looking for that shot as much as he did last year. I think he’s trying to establish himself more in the low post. He is a really good mid-range shooter and we want to take advantage of that. At the same time, we don’t want to rely on it. We want it to be more of a situation where when he’s open he shoots it, but I want him to establish himself down on the low post and then we will get the perimeter. He’s actually turned down more this year than I’ve seen him turn down where he’s had the shot and didn’t shoot it. I’m sure he will get into a real good rhythm with it so we will be looking to use him more in pick-and-pop situations.”
- Tom Thibodeau on how the Bulls can avoid falling in a hole against the Hawks again: “Wednesday’s game was Wednesday’s game. We are not thinking about Wednesday, we are thinking about what we have to do tonight. Atlanta is a good team. They are deep, balanced, they put a lot of pressure on you. For us, it starts with defense and rebounding. If you do those things, then you can get out in the open floor.”
- Derrick Rose says the Bulls too often pass up open shots. Thibodeau: “That’s a good problem to have. But the thing is you can’t pass up open shots because if you do, a lot of times those end up being contested shots. I want guys to shoot if they are open. But I like the ball movement and that we are willing to share the ball.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat