Pistons at Atlanta Hawks: Game thread
- Vladimir Radmanovic (back) is still out. He will not travel to Charlotte for tomorrow’s game.
- The Hawks would pull within a half game of Indiana for third in the East with a victory and a Pacers loss to the Thunder.
- Larry Drew doesn’t have to do much convincing for his players to believe the Pistons are a threat. They’ve posted a 17-13 record since a 4-20 start with Ws vs. the Celtics (twice), Lakers, Hawks and Magic. Detroit won the last meeting and the Hawks needed a hero 3 from Joe Johnson to win the first matchup.
- “They’ve been very competitive,” Drew said. “I’ve always thought they were better than what their record indicanted. They’ve got guys who can score the ball. The rookie, [Brandon] Knight, I really like him. Both [Greg] Monroe and [Jason] Maxiell are as good as there is around that basket; they are very rugged, play a physical style. Tayshaun [Prince] is a pro, very steady. They’ve got guys that know how to play. When you are a new coach and come in and put your team together sometimes it takes time for everything to come together.”
- Monroe’s efficient scoring was a problem for the Hawks in both previous meetings. That’s largely because he’s a difficult matchup for Zaza Pachulia, who can’t match Monroe’s nimbleness when Monroe starts his moves away from the basket. “If we need to make adjustments we will, whether we need to chance the matchup or give a different look on him,” Drew said. “He did hurt us up there [last time]. But even considering what he did to us I thought we still had a chance to win the game. We just didn’t make plays down the stretch.”
- Al Horford’s J has looked good when I’ve seen him shoot at practice but he said that’s not the main hurdle to returning to the lineup: “There’s still no full range of motion which is very important as far as grabbing rebounds and playing above the rim.”
- Al has about three more weeks of rehab before his next checkup and still is talking as if he will return for the playoffs: “I don’t know how close I will be to where I was at but I will sure try to bring some energy.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat