Atlanta Hawks at Pacers: Game thread
Indianapolis–At shootaround Tracy McGrady said he was feeling good. Not so much tonight: He’s a late scratch with back spasms. It wasn’t announced until after the locker room was closed to media types so don’t have details.
- Danny Granger (ill) and George Hill (back) are active for the Pacers after missing Monday’s 96-86 loss at Philly.
- Yes, Larry Drew showed the players clips of Charles Barkley’s criticisms of the Hawks during the loss to Miami. I’ve never liked reacting to what Barkley says because smack talking is his schtick and I don’t think it makes much of a difference. Plus, while the loss to the Heat was a bad one it wasn’t enough to draw a conclusion about this team. Don’t get me wrong: I love Barkley. He’s fun and entertaining. His act is good for fans and talk radio (and Web hits, apparently) but has no real bearing on basketball so I tend to just laugh it off.
- And, sure enough, word is Hawks players aren’t going around talking or thinking about sticking it to Barkley. Nevertheless, Drew thought it might do some good for players to hear Barkley’s barbs, so he replayed some of them before the Hawks played at Charlotte Friday. “I wanted them to know, wanted them to hear what the perception is. Most guys take it for what it’s worth and say that’s what he gets paid to say. Those that want to change the perception, they will step up.”
- However, L.D. extended the lesson beyond Sir Charles’ smack talk into areas I think are relevant: “With the officials, if you whine a lot then people will start to say you are a soft team. If you don’t play through adversity, then you will get the label of a soft team. I want guys to play through adversity, when things aren’t going good. I’ve always said it’s easy when things are going good.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat