Updated: Atlanta Hawks at Cavaliers: Game thread

Vivlamore reporting from Cleveland. Just arrived at Quicken Loans Arena.

We start with the Hawks ever-growing injury report. Add Jannero Pargo to the list of injured who will not play Sunday against the Cavs. Pargo has a stomach virus, according to coach Larry Drew. UPDATE: Pargo was sent to the Cleveland Clinic for further tests and will have surgery for appendicitis Sunday night. Will miss at least several games. The Hawks will also be without Willie Green (hamstring), Marvin Williams (hip flexor) and Vladimir Radmanovic (back) versus the Cavs. That’s the bad news.

The loss of Pargo leaves the Hawks thin at guard and Drew must continue to monitor the minutes he gives Joe Johnson, who missed six games with left knee tendinitis.

“I will keep an eye on it,” Drew said. “We have to continue to monitor Joe as far as his knee is concerned. He hasn’t said anything about it as far as experiencing any more discomfort. I will have to pay particular attention to that. We have a back-to-back and play again tomorrow. I can’t pile the minutes on him given the schedule.”

Johnson said following Friday’s win over the Wizards that is knee “feels 15 times better.”

Jason Collins, who missed the past 21 games with a sprained left elbow, will return today. That’s some good news, although Drew is not sure how much he will use the center.

Collins said he is looking forward to returning to the lineup but needed to let the injury fully heal. He was told by doctors that if he did further damage to the elbow surgery could have been required and that would mean a 6-9 month recovery time.

“It’s a ligament tear and you have to let scar tissue form in there and really let it heal,” Collins said.

The Hawks will see a familiar face with the Cavaliers as they have signed  Donald Sloan. The guard who broke camp with the Hawks before being waived on Jan. 26. The Cavs signed Sloan on Friday for the remainder of the season.

141 comments Add your comment

Buddy Grizzard

March 18th, 2012
12:53 pm

Jason Collins returning isn’t actually good news. Among players with at least 10 games played averaging at least 10 minutes per game, Collins has the second-worst PER in the league according to John Hollinger’s player statistics.

Buddy Grizzard

March 18th, 2012
12:58 pm

That tells you two things:

1. Jason Collins is one of the worst players in the NBA.

2. Larry Drew is using him too much.

KevinA

March 18th, 2012
1:01 pm

inspite of injuries the next 21 games look good. 15/6 is possible. a 4th seed is possible. life is good in Hawk land

Buddy Grizzard

March 18th, 2012
1:04 pm

Agree KevinA, I just hope we see a lot of Ivan Johnson. Putting Collins on the floor is like playing 4-on-5.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 18th, 2012
1:08 pm

Having season tickets should be a requirement to post here. Real fans only. GO HAWKS!

Buddy Grizzard

March 18th, 2012
1:16 pm

Troll checks in early?

Sautee

March 18th, 2012
1:20 pm

No doubt, Buddy.

kevkat

March 18th, 2012
1:32 pm

Just bring on the playoffs ..no excitement left in the regular season for the Hawks.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 18th, 2012
1:43 pm

That wasn’t me at 1:08. Can’t watch today’s game.

Melvin

March 18th, 2012
1:51 pm

Najeh,

Did you see my post to you on the last blog?

Mac-Town (#maconchevyrider)

March 18th, 2012
2:01 pm

our team isnt young any more….lets just hope we dont go into the playoffs with 2-4 guys out per game with injuries as it seems is the case every game lately.

doc

March 18th, 2012
2:02 pm

buddy twin had the worst per in the league in 06 with the wolves so he is aging well.

ntrigue

March 18th, 2012
2:05 pm

Lets go hawks! We gotta try and catch Orlando!

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
2:05 pm

drmaryb, yeah I was lucky to check the programming schedule, looking at what time Walking Dead was on.

Fundamentals

March 18th, 2012
2:06 pm

Collins fit a situational need at one time for this team. ZaZa has improved his footwork & defense, plus he enjoys the spotlight of starting so he plays better.

Damp, Collins, Stack, McGrady are all wasted slots on our roster.

Teague/ Pargo
Kirk/Green
Joe/Marvin
Josh/Ivan
ZaZa/?

We actually have a great bench, but those 4 role player slots after could’ve been used to help this team. Maybe Stack and TMac had a niche as mentors, but I honestly think that the growth of Josh & ZaZa comes from them being in the spotlight instead. They are now the feature at their position, no more questioning that. Joe is getting his now, which bodes well for chemistry, but what happens when Al’s back in the mix? Can they mesh? They’ve proven not to in 4-6 years.

Melvin

March 18th, 2012
2:06 pm

Can we really say Collins coming back is good news? He’s only effective playing against several teams anyway.

Buddy Grizzard

March 18th, 2012
2:06 pm

Here’s an article titled “The NBA’s 10 Worst Players in the Last 10 Years:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AnjL2LUlmakTN8.WsRcrpjqaPKB4?slug=ycn-11075352

Jason Collins, ranked #1.

Ole Hawks Fan

March 18th, 2012
2:22 pm

How will this team play today is the question. Will they come out and bury the calves or will they let Cleveland hang around and take this game? There is no ball movement with iso JJ back . JJ=Carmelo Anthony. Both are killers to TEAM Basketball.

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
2:41 pm

No Pargo? It’s a trap!!!!!

Kirk better step up.

Admirable Snackbar

March 18th, 2012
2:50 pm

some bench guys time to step up. how about a big game from Ivan and Tmac. Green better be ready cause we are thin today. I hope it’s not a TRAP!

Blast

March 18th, 2012
2:53 pm

Pargo out is big, but Hawks should have enough weapons to get the job done.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 18th, 2012
2:55 pm

“Did you see my post to you on the last blog?”

Yeah, just saw it. Kirk does help ball movement more than Marvin, but the only thing that worries me is whether this can work against bigger teams. They may not lose much on D going with this small lineup, but against bigger teams I think rebounding might start being a problem.

Sautee

March 18th, 2012
2:57 pm

Plus, with Pargo out, they probably need Joe’s minutes at guard.

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
2:59 pm

Oh, oh, sometimes, I get a good feeling, yeah – I get a feeling that I never never never never had before, no no I get a good feeling, yeah!

Joe and Josh should have another good night. Wild Cards: Ivan and Kirk.

Snackbar, Green is out today.

It’s a TRAP!!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

March 18th, 2012
3:02 pm

“Here’s an article titled “The NBA’s 10 Worst Players in the Last 10 Years:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AnjL2LUlmakTN8.WsRcrpjqaPKB4?slug=ycn-11075352

Jason Collins, ranked #1.”

That article is a perfect example of why judging players solely based on PER is stupid. Notice Bruce Bowen, one of the league’s premier perimeter defenders over the last 10 years, ranked on that list. Just because you are not putting up fantasy stats doesn’t mean you are not contributing. PER thinks Marvin is a far better player than Bowen. Enough said.

I should also add that Yahoo Contributor Network articles are written by fans like me and you, like Bleacher Report, and have no more credibility than anything written on this blog

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
3:02 pm

Why does it take injuries to start Kirk in the right spot? Bueler? Stupid LD. HIRE WOODY!

Melvin

March 18th, 2012
3:05 pm

Najeh,

We do give up length with Kirk in the lineup but I’m not sure we will give up that many more rebounds. I will take a few less rebounds for more efficiency on offense….

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
3:15 pm

Joe Johnson has to do big today. Cavs look good.

City Of Atlanta Still Recovering From William Tecumseh Sherman

March 18th, 2012
3:16 pm

damn najeh lives on ajc blogs…smh

Najeh Davenpoop

March 18th, 2012
3:16 pm

One good thing about the small lineup is it forces LD to play Kirk and Marvin at SG and backup SF/PF where they belong, instead of at positions where they are not as effective, which also means Pargo plays backup PG and Teague gets more PG minutes. That ripple effect of players playing roles to which they are better suited probably has something to do with the improved efficiency too.

TMACfan

March 18th, 2012
3:19 pm

JJ is ballin

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
3:20 pm

Kirk always getting jump balls. Lol

drmaryb.[*_*].

March 18th, 2012
3:22 pm

Biggie Lou, sweet cheeks … The Marathon is on now, ’bout to see Herschels family of walkers go down in a minute.

Josh and Teague for 3!!!!!!!!!!

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
3:22 pm

Cavs defense is horrid.

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
3:24 pm

drmaryb, honey thighs, T-minus 4 1/2 hours till awesomeness.

Buddy Grizzard

March 18th, 2012
3:26 pm

So Najeh do you contend that Collins has a Bowen-like defensive impact that his numbers can’t account for?

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
3:26 pm

MattP

March 18th, 2012
3:26 pm

Zaza is so tall but can’t dunk with an open lane…

tyger

March 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

Shortened rotation by happenstance?….

No Pargo, Vladi, Marvin or Green…
Certainly not planned but blessing in disguise…
20+ games to playoffs, time to shorten rotation…
Certainly, those guys could contribute but…

Teague – speedy defender, steals, loose balls, layups…
Hinrich – ballhandler, tough defender, good shooter…
JJohnson – spot up more at SF, use size, rebound…
JSmoove – continues his stellar play, team MVP…
ZaZa – logging too many minutes, but doing great job…
TMac – time to put up or shut up, what’s the point…
Ivan – proving to be gritty inspirational tough guy…
Dampier – true BIG w intangibles, i.e. elbow in mouth…
Collins – ditto

Marvin – adds utility off bench…
Vladi – capable of hitting some 3’s…
Green – was in fuego b4 injury…
Pargo – in funk, but sparkplug..

Key going into playoffs is health, but also chemistry…
Key players need to fine tune their roles…
Big Al would be a blessing, but rust is an issue…

If we could get Tmac and Green going again…
could be interesting.

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

Joe is feeding on these scrubs.

bigdave

March 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

Josh might be our best passer.

TMACfan

March 18th, 2012
3:30 pm

Josh is not our best passer

Big Lou

March 18th, 2012
3:31 pm

Debo spotting!

bigdave

March 18th, 2012
3:32 pm

this does look alot like phx Joe.. he’s killing from deep

bigdave

March 18th, 2012
3:33 pm

bigdave

March 18th, 2012
3:34 pm

“Josh is not our best passer”

let me guess… Mac?

Blast

March 18th, 2012
3:34 pm

Quicken Arena is dead silent……..

Melvin

March 18th, 2012
3:35 pm

My goodness Joe, I take back every bad thing I said about you this season….LOL

TMACfan

March 18th, 2012
3:37 pm

No this team doesn’t really have a true passer, it’s all a tie Between multiple guys.

Blast

March 18th, 2012
3:39 pm

Josh piling up assists, rebounds…