NEW YORK — Much of the news of the day was reported earlier with the news that Joe Johnson is out of the All-Star Game because of his ailing left knee and Marvin Williams response to a report he wants out.
As the game thread, here is coach Larry Drew’s take on the adversity affecting the Hawks as the limp home from another 10-day, five-game road trip and the loss, at least temporarily, of their second all-star.
* “I want to see us respond to the fact that we have two all-stars who won’t be here. … I want to see our guys respond in a positive way and that means playing consistently from start to finish, four solid quarters.”
* “I just personally feel that this is a true test to see what our team is made of, where we are at this point. We said all along in bringing in help off the bench, veteran guys, can come in and help us in these types of situations. You lose key guys and it opens up opportunities for other guys to play. It’s a matter of us responding to the challenge.”
* “We can’t allow any adversity to step in to the fact where we fragment when the situations are what they are, given our schedule, that we have key players out. We have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep marching on.”
Drew said his team will not get caught up in the Jeremy Lin hype that is sweeping New York. In the Knicks’ last 10 games – nine with Lin as a starter – the guard has averaged 24.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 9.2 assists, 2.9 steals and 5.6 turnovers.
“The one thing that I won’t allow to happen as we prepare for New York, or any team, we don’t focus on just one guy,” Drew said. “Too much focus, too much attention on one guy and then you leave these other guys open. Our approach to the game tonight will not be to stop Jeremy Lin. It will not be that. We know what we have to do against him. We know what we have to do against the rest of their team but we will not just focus on one guy.”
As a final note, former Hawk Mike Bibby paid a pre-game visit to his old team’s locker room before the game.