Knicks at Atlanta Hawks: Game thread
- Vladimir Radmanovic (back) and Jannero Pargo (appendectomy) are out for the Hawks. Jeremy Lin (knee) is out for the Knicks.
- Al Horford said he lifted weights today for the first time since his pectoral surgery but still expects to miss the balance of the regular season: “Realistically, for me, it would be the playoffs. Two weeks from now I might feel a lot better but, realistically, I’m going to say the playoffs. That’s when I want to come back. I don’t know if I will be there but I hope I will be.”
- Larry Drew said he’s operating as if Horford won’t return so there won’t be a letdown. Horford understands that approach: “That’s good. I don’t want to keep the guys [wondering], ‘Oh, he’s going to come back?’ Right now I’m not feeling where I need to be so I don’t want to hold anybody back. I think if I’m back it would be a great addition. I’m not going to be full strength but at least I would be able to help the team.”
- As for the weightlifting session, Horford said: “I felt OK, didn’t feel too great, but it was the first time. Now we can start getting after that. In the meanwhile I’m going to keep shooting and do all my basketball stuff and try to get back in gear.”
Would my blog people be cool with a playoff bench unit featuring Horford, Pargo, Willie Green, Marvin Williams and Ivan Johnson?
- Drew says Pargo is close to returning: “I think he is. He was out there participating in all our shooting drills. Talking to him, he sounds like he is starting to feel better. Hopefully we will get him back as soon as possible.”
- Drew on the atmosphere tonight: “We are anticipating it will be a New York crowd at home. We have the mentality that it’s a road game.”
- Josh Smith: “It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere. I am sure there will be more Knicks fans than Hawks fans because there are so many New Yorkers that live here. It’s going to be exciting to come into this building and play against a hot New York team. You are definitely going to get some physical play because both teams need to win so much.”
- Josh on matching up with Carmelo Anthony: “He has probably the best offensive package in this league. I definitely am going to have to concentrate on him knowing he’s going to get the ball a majority of the time. It’s not really going to be an individual matchup. A guy of that caliber, it has to be a team aspect in being able to guard a guy like that. We are going to have to come out and be physical with him, match his physicality. He lies to create the contact so I have to be able to absorb it and use my length on him to disrupt his rhythm.”
- Drew on the Knicks: “One thing is we have to do a good job in transition. They get out and run and have a lot of good one-on-one players. They are featuring ‘Melo a lot more. We have to defend their three-point shooters. They have a lot of guys who can shoot it so we can’t let them get started.”
- Mike Woodson: “They’ve got great offensive players. They’ve got guys who can score the basketball. We’ve got to do the things we’ve been doing defensively.”
- Drew on facing Woodson: “It will be a little different but I’ve been in enough of these situations to handle it.”
- Mike Bibby came by the Hawks’ locker room both before shooataround and during pregame.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat