Atlanta Hawks at Nets: Game thread
Newark, N.J.–Marvin Williams (ankle) is not on the trip. Vladimir Radmanovic will replace him at small forward. Brook Lopez (foot), Damion James (foot) and Mehmet Okur (back) are out for the Nets. DeShawn Stevenson (knee) was a late scratch.
- Drew said he didn’t consider replacing Williams in the lineup with Tracy McGrady. Instead, the choice was between starting Vlad Rad or using the “big” lineup with Jason Collins at center.
- Drew on how Vlad Rad fits with the starters: “I think he plays really well with them. I’ve been looking to play him more with the starters’ group. It’s certainly a comfortable fit for him. He seems to just play better when he’s in the lineup with the starters because he does what he does. He’s a 3-point shooter, he stretches the defense. They really do a good job getting him the ball. He’s made the adjustment.”
- According to basketballvalue.com, Vlad Rad has played 14 minutes alongside Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford. His offensive numbers with that group are through the roof after the big shooting night on Saturday.
- Drew on Vlad Rad’s defense at the 3: “He’s got size, he’s got speed and he’s got quickness. Tonight’s matchup [now vs. MarShon Brooks], it’s just a matter of him not losing shooters on the perimeter. He’s a guy who likes to help defensively. He really focuses on playing help defense, sometimes to a fault.”
- Drew on the rotation behind Smith at power forward: “We will play Ivan [Johnson] at some four, move and play Al at more four and go big with Zaza [Pachulia] or Twin. We will see how the game goes.”
- The Hawks are missing some production and efficiency without Marvin. Some of his team ranks, according to Basketball Reference: tied for first in points per 36 minutes, third in rebounds per 36, fourth in steals per 36 among the regulars, lowest turnover rate among the regulars, and fourth in true-shooting percentage among the regulars.
- Johnson has ditched the brace for his right thumb. “I don’t like wearing it,” he said. “It’s a little uncomfortable. It’s been feeling pretty good lately.” He said it feels better after days off or if he can make it through a game without getting it whacked.
- The Hawks still haven’t had a full practice since the season started. They didn’t practice or walk through yesterday. They had a shootaround today. “We got after it a little bit and broke a little sweat,” Horford said.
- “We welcomed that day off,” Drew said. “It seemed like we were playing about every day. That was a very challenging part of our schedule. We certainly welcomed that day off. I am just curious to see how our guys respond after that stretch and after that big win.”
- “For us, the key is to be able to come out with good energy and just make sure we play our game,” Horford said. “It’s going to be tough but every team in the league is going through it.”
- Zaza said Vlad Rad did not eat Georgian food today like he did before his big game Saturday. “I can’t afford to feed him every day. Maybe it will carry over.”
- Thanks to the blog people who wished me well with my illness. I’m at about 75 percent now. Sorry about the troll problem lately. I do what I can to control it.
- During a NyQuil coma last night, I dreamed that Josh came up to me on the sideline during a game and yelled at me to Google Jannero Pargo. When I couldn’t get my computer to work, Josh cussed me out: “How [bleeping] hard is it to Google Pargo?!” Then the fans started yelling at me because the game was being held up while I tried to Google Pargo.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat