Pachulia out, no word on Horford

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.

Just a quick couple of notes following the Hawks morning shoot-around before tonight’s game against the Clippers.

* Zaza Pachulia is definitely out with a sprained left foot. It will be the sixth straight game he has missed with the injury. Coach Larry Drew continues to term Pachulia as “day-to-day” and would not say if the center will play in the regular-season finale against the Mavs on Thursday.

* The Hawks will go back to their regular starting lineup against the Clippers, according to Drew. Jeff Teague and Kirk Hinrich will start at the guards, Joe Johnson and Josh Smith will start at the forwards and Jason Collins at center.

* Drew would not say whether Al Horford who play against the Mavs in an attempt to play in the postseason. “We don’t know,” Drew said. “It’s still a day-to-day evaluation. He’ll make a decision to see how he’s feeling.”

* The Hawks will announce this year’s winner of the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy before tonight’s game. The award is named after the late Hawks center who passed away Oct. 15, 2005, and is presented annually to the individual who best exemplifies the characteristics Collier displayed off the court as a community ambassador. Marvin Williams won the award last season.

I will report back before tipoff with a game thread.

71 comments Add your comment

tom

April 24th, 2012
11:56 am

doc

April 24th, 2012
11:56 am

seems like ld is doing a belichek

Marcus

April 24th, 2012
11:58 am

egads.
The spectre of facing BOS w/o a true or near approximation of a NBA center is frightening. J. Collins will get a steady diet of pick and rolls and face-up jumpers from KG until he fouls out, cries ‘Uncle’ or Coach Drew goes small to change tempo or attempt to exploit a matchup (whichever comes first)

doc

April 24th, 2012
12:06 pm

o’b, you got any feelings on the way certain teams have slumped a bit and others have gotten stronger. the bulls and thunder faded a bit and the spurs, celts and knicks got stronger. i wonder if it is going to mean anything down the road? yup, rose was injured but who is to say he will be back to himself? they held on pretty good in his absence for a while.

spurs are the healthiest they have been in years it seems with a bench pretty deep, playing pops ball. it is kind of hard to discount them. also really like the celts and what they have done and the mental toughness they have. it is like a prize fight and older prize fighters were hard to beat all things even conditioning wise and just like in a prize fight the refs will be there with the influence, too.

what is going to be the most entertaining finals? nba playoffs have supplanted march madness for me. love tnt’s coverage and am looking forward to the upcoming nba month.

thus far nothing about the hawks have caused me to think i need to raise my cap and go out and buy tix, anyone else?

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
12:23 pm

(From last blog)

Robbie,

“They may create their own shots easier, but so do Jordan Crawford and Nick Young. Means nothing. Offense is about high pct shots and unselfish play – and that is what’s holding this team back right now. Josh and Joe don’t shoot a higher pct than Al and both hurt the offense because those two love to pound the bball for no real reason, resulting in a bad shot, likely a long 2pt jumper. Have you guys actually looked at their stats or are you just blind loyalists? I mean, they aren’t leading you to a ring, why are you all so quick to defend them? lol”

Horford aint leading us to a ring either. Horford shoots a higher percentage than Josh and Joe, so what. David Lee shoots a higher percentage than Kobe Bryant, that don’t make him better than Kobe. It’s a function of his position, and where his shots come from. Al shoots a higher percentage than Josh and Joe because of Josh and Joe. His gets wide open looks because teams defend Josh and Joe, and he is left open when he plays center, because the other teams center does not want to be out guarding a guy on the perimeter. Al shot 55% during the regular season last year, and then in the playoffs shot 42%. The reason is percentage dropped so much was because in the playoffs they stopped leaving him open, and guarded him with PF’s, instead of centers. FG’s should not be taken literally. Lot of things determine FG%.

“The problem here is you guys have been watching awful offense so long you have no clue what REAL offense looks like, lol. Watch the Spurs – they RARELY take bad shots and no one player dominates the bball. Because of the way they play, Horford would start on that team, Josh would be a 6th man.”

LOL. who would he start over, Tim Duncan? Pop has started starting Diaw, at PF as opposed to Bonner. Both of the guys are more stretch 4’s than power 4’s, which is what Horford would probably be. I think you would be more than surprised to see what Pop could do with Josh. I think he would no doubt start at the 4 on this Spurs team. Can’t say the same for Horford. I guess we have a difference of opinion. The Spurs not taking bad shots is a function of the coach not letting them take bad shots, not the players.

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
12:25 pm

This is the problem. I like Al. He is way overhyped, but he is solid. The problems are:

1. LD seems to have problems when he has more options. His substitution patterns are already horrible, and adding Al now will simply complicate things for him more.

2. Al coming back will mean little or no time for Ivan. Ivan is not on Al’s level as a player yet, but is is much more physical, and rebounds the ball just as well. Against the Celtics, I think we need more physicality, and less jump shot shooting.

3. Al states he will provide scoring. Al is not a scorer. He scores because teams were leaving him open for that 15 to 20 foot jump shot. In the playoffs he will not be left open (See last year). We need him more for rebounding and banging down low than scoring. Will he be able to provide that?

Astro Joe

April 24th, 2012
12:27 pm

Stackhouse may win the Collier Award tonight.

Seems that with Zaza out with no clear sign of a return, that Dampier would get something close to 5 seconds on the floor at some point in these next two games. Ask Stack to wear the suit and activate Damp to break a sweat (walking to the table to check-in the ballgame).

Section 303

April 24th, 2012
12:54 pm

Rod, I don’t agree that Horford was never open in last year’s playoffs. He was solid against Orlando, but struggled against Chicago. The struggles were not for lack of open shots, though. He just could not get anything to drop.

Not sure how he is overhyped, either….makes no sense.

Astro, I think that is a good pick. I was trying to think of this year’s winner of the Collier Award. I with you. Stackhouse is my pick.

BIG DOG

April 24th, 2012
12:56 pm

Rod From College Park- If AL comeback it would be a beautiful thing, but there is one problem LD have no clue.
BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

April 24th, 2012
1:01 pm

Teague, Joe, Josh, Ivan, Zaza

Pargo, Green, Tmac, Marvin, Horford

would sweep the Celtics, but there is 1 problem coach LD have no clue, JUST DAM.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

O'brien

April 24th, 2012
1:02 pm

C-Viv,

Any word on Dampier? Wasn’t he hurt sometime ago?

Doc,

If we had signed Gadzuric, we would have to sell 2 second round picks 

Section 303

April 24th, 2012
1:03 pm

The game of the night may be at Philips tonight. There are playoff implications for both teams. Cippers want home court for their upcoming Memphis series, the Hawks want it for the Celtic series.

Sunday’s loss was a big one. Had the Hawks won that game, home court would be nearly locked up. Hate to say this, but I am rooting for Miami tonight. Would be nice if the Hawks win and Celtics lose. Home court would be locked up before the Mavs game.

KCG

April 24th, 2012
1:04 pm

Did Rod just say teams were leaving Al open because they were defending Josh? Joe maybe, Josh no way. For Josh’s entire career except for the last couple of week he has always been the one left open. You have to run a play to get Al open. Team just leave Josh open regardless of what play is being ran just to bait him into the jump shot because they know he will take it and most times brick it. Even with being left open all the time he still shoots a lot lower percentage than Al. That being said, Josh has been the MVP for the Hawks this season but it’s obsurd to say Al was being left open because they were concerned about Josh’s scoring.

O'brien

April 24th, 2012
1:04 pm

Doc,

The last time the NBA had a lockout, the Spurs won the title. I think Pop has done a very good job managing the minutes for his star players. And I think the players follow his lead and pace themselves, because they know how to get the job done. And even if they lose the battle, their goal is to win the war.

With the Celtics, I don’t know what happened over the all-star break. They got rested, and were probably motivated by the fact that everybody was writing them off as being old, and whether or not Danny Ainge was going to make trades.

Remember in the movie “Major League” (with Charlie Sheen) when the owner thought his team was terrible, and wanted them to lose? The manager was able to use it as a motivational ploy. Maybe doc rivers is doing something along those lines.

I think the other teams are just tired, and are not used to sustaining the pace they were on for such a crazy schedule. And that’s why I think we will have some good playoff series, because teams will get a day off in-between games.

Dawg

April 24th, 2012
1:16 pm

This shocking and sudden lack of depth at center is surprising. I know that Sund had no idea this was coming. After all, the roster was so well constructed.

northcyde

April 24th, 2012
1:20 pm

doc

April 24th, 2012
12:06 pm

thus far nothing about the hawks have caused me to think i need to raise my cap and go out and buy tix, anyone else?

*******

Don’t buy tickets Doc. That’ll give me a better chance to get some tickets on the cheap.

SMH @ some of you fans in ATL. Despite what you may think about this team, this is the PLAYOFFS that we’re talking about here. If there is any time Hawk fans should go to a game, it is now.

Why even follow the team, if you’re not willing to go to a playoff game? Heck, even Philly fans will go to a playoff game, despite the Bulls being heavy favorites.

doc

April 24th, 2012
1:24 pm

lol art the dawg sarcasm.

yo o’b. i think woody might press somebody and the pacers, who i didnt mention and meant to, should be well rested going into round two against whomever

celts got coached up a bit there o’b as well as healthy. they are the dark horse to me in the east as they have performed well with a difficult schedule the last six weeks.

Eric

April 24th, 2012
1:32 pm

What’s up with Al Horford just yesterday Yahoo Sports reported that Al said he wasn’t going to play in the postseason.”I don’t feel like it is realistic that I can play for the playoffs,” I’m thinking someone is telling him to shut it down don’t risk it.

DawgNole

April 24th, 2012
1:41 pm

Section 303
April 24th, 2012
1:03 pm

The game of the night may be at Philips tonight. There are playoff implications for both teams. Cippers want home court for their upcoming Memphis series, the Hawks want it for the Celtic series.

Sunday’s loss was a big one. Had the Hawks won that game, home court would be nearly locked up. Hate to say this, but I am rooting for Miami tonight. Would be nice if the Hawks win and Celtics lose. Home court would be locked up before the Mavs game.
________________________

“Sunday’s loss was a big one.” Glad somebody realizes that. Many on here were shrugging it off postgame. It also was the second straight game on national TV–not a recipe for success for ATL teams.

terrell

April 24th, 2012
1:45 pm

So whos starting tonight LD?? Collins or Damp on Deandre? lol. Start Ivan fool.
Id go with Teague/Joe/TMac/Josh/Ivan
Pargo/Green/Marvin

Kirk/Collins/Damp tonight myself.

Ne'er-do-wells

April 24th, 2012
1:46 pm

Wouldn’t it be great if the Hawks went to NJ? I hear there’s a big ol’ stadium up there looking for some more trouble-makers, thieves and felons – you know, NBA types.
Move, Hawks. Go away. This is a class city and you really don’t fit in
And don’t let that pneumatic door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.

terrell

April 24th, 2012
1:47 pm

Teague/Joe/Josh/Ivan/Pachulia should be the playoff starting 5. PERIOD!

terrell

April 24th, 2012
1:49 pm

Ne’er-do-wells must be bored. lol

Mr. Phil

April 24th, 2012
1:49 pm

” Marc J. Spears

Marc J. Spears
Also In All Sports

Al Horford changes mind telling Yahoo! he will return to action in limited fashion 4/26 vs DAL after doc meeting. The Hawks forward-center told Y! Sports in the morning he didn’t expect to return from the postseason due to pectoral injury suffered earlier this season. But doctor told him some pectoral weakness is normal and not to be fearful of it, which led Horford to changing his mind and becoming more confident for return. He will play about 15 minutes per game in 1st round. ”

Can you just stop playing with my emotions!

Astro Joe

April 24th, 2012
1:49 pm

It also helped that Paul Pierce got in shape. He was moving M.L. Carr in the early part of the season. In fact, you may recall that the Celtics were griping BEFORE the season started after they learned about the compressed schedule. Maybe it took them time to get in shape and get used to tired knees, backs and shoulders.

doc

April 24th, 2012
1:49 pm

northcyde, i have bought tickets for four years for all the playoffs and home games. if i choose to take a break from it i think it is reasonable and if you want to step up cool. i have been suplementing for folks like you a while now.

i dont get the feeling the hawks have prepared themselves well going into it as an organization. i like other discriminating fans have to consider my own pocketbook and time constraints since the owners do theirs to build restaurants. this was an awful season to be ripped off by having standing tickets without a refund anyway. there were too many home games crunched together and too few stars available to show me the entertainment i paid for starting when the heat showed up without wade and queen nursing nicks.

northcyde, there are many reasons not too support it. come on down bro and get your free t-shirt for doing it. i might wander down there, too, just not obligate myself to the whole kit and kaboodle they run on the season ticket holder to buy everything and use the rest for a down payment for the next year if they dont go all the way, ha! once in their pockets they dont give it back as we saw with the way they handled the strike to keep their cash flow going, not mine. ultimately, they gave me and you an inferior product and calledit a season. still reminds me of the movie, “they shoot horses dont they?”

doc

April 24th, 2012
1:54 pm

mr phil, “how is that working for you?”, being a hawks fan and all.

northcyde, love your passion not the rebukes as you have become more ambivalent in your own mind about how this organization runs itself. if you arent a vet minimum guy, you dont get a contract, is about how it adds up.

Woody

April 24th, 2012
2:13 pm

Show some love for Coach Drew, when Al went down I recall every sports entity saying that the Hawks would get left in the dust by the Knicks, Sixers, Bucks and would even make the playoffs. The Hawks are 5th in the NBA in total defense, can’t ever remember a Hawks team that’s been that good defensively. Now here they are currently with the 4th best record in the conference despite all the injuries, and still no love from the home base.

Astro Joe

April 24th, 2012
2:17 pm

Considering the hawks are using the online coupon vendors to sell discounted playoff tickets to the highly probably series with the Boston Celtics (not Bucks but the Celtics), this may be the summer where the ASG has to re-look their business plan. Surely, they weren’t anticipating discounting their primary product (NBA Playoffs) like this.

donte080

April 24th, 2012
2:25 pm

I’m with northcyde on this one…..Hawks have surprised most everyone (including the naysayers here) this season…they can and will beat the aging celtics in playoffs if we have an NBA-caliber starting center ready (ZaZa).

Quit you whining. Hawks are the best ticket in town.

steve brown

April 24th, 2012
2:27 pm

For this years playoffs Pachulia is more important than Horford, please focus on getting him back.

northcyde

April 24th, 2012
2:45 pm

Doc . . despite this team not playing well vs elite competition, this team has played well overall. Better than last year, that’s for sure.

It just irritates the hell out of me that fans who supposedly follow the team all year, would balk at going to a playoff game, for whatever reason. But that explains why the Braves started to not sell out playoff games.

If it makes anybody feel better around here, the Hawks are 12 – 2 at home in the past 4 years in the 1st round of the playoffs

( Swept Boston in 08 going 3 – 0 . . went 3 – 1 vs Miami in 09 . . went 3 – 1 vs Milwaukee in 10 . . went 3 – 0 vs Orlando last year ).

So if you want to see the Hawks win playoff games, you might want to go to the 1st round games.

But it’s cool. Let Boston fans take over Philips Arena, because fans are too apathetic about the on the court product. At some point, blind loyalty has to kick in, and the team needs to be FULLY supported in those first 2 home games.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 24th, 2012
2:46 pm

FTPB

“Josh and Joe don’t shoot a higher pct than Al and both hurt the offense because those two love to pound the bball for no real reason, resulting in a bad shot, likely a long 2pt jumper. Have you guys actually looked at their stats or are you just blind loyalists?”

Tyson Chandler is the current league leader in FG%. He is on pace to set the all time record for FG% in a season. He shoots nearly 30% better than Carmelo Anthony from the field. Should they run the offense through Chandler? Should they be taking the ball out of Melo’s hands and letting Chandler get more shots up?

FG% is at least as dependent on role as it is on talent. Al shoots 54% in part because he is a very good mid-range shooter and finisher at the rim, but also in part because nearly every shot he takes is created for him by someone else. Defenses realize this, which is why Al doesn’t get double-teamed. Josh shoots 45% because he not only creates his own shots but (this year) has been responsible for creating shots for others as well. Josh does get double teamed and is a good enough passer to get the ball out of his hands and into the hands of open teammates. If you put Al in the same role as Josh, his FG% is guaranteed to go down, just like if you start running post-ups for Chandler and making him a go-to offensive option, his FG% is guaranteed to go down.

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
2:47 pm

“Rod, I don’t agree that Horford was never open in last year’s playoffs. He was solid against Orlando, but struggled against Chicago. The struggles were not for lack of open shots, though. He just could not get anything to drop.

Not sure how he is overhyped, either….makes no sense.”

Solid against Orlando? He wanted absolutely nothing to do with Dwight Howard last year. He was our CENTER. Josh had to match up on him numerous times. Al could not get anything to drop because teams closed out hard on the jump shot. You don’t drop from a 55%FG to 42%FG for no reason. He’s overhyped because people think he is better than he is. I remember when Barkley called the team out this year, they panned to the bench and Horford, Josh Pachulia and others were standing there, and Barkley said they have Horford, and a bunch of scrubs. He was basically saying Horford was the best big man we have. I disagree. I think that Josh is a better PF than Horford is. That is what I mean by overhyped. People think he is better than he really is.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 24th, 2012
2:49 pm

“The problem here is you guys have been watching awful offense so long you have no clue what REAL offense looks like, lol. Watch the Spurs – they RARELY take bad shots and no one player dominates the bball. Because of the way they play, Horford would start on that team, Josh would be a 6th man.”

You severely underestimate Popovich’s ability to get the most out of his players. Stephen Jackson’s shot selection is far worse than Josh’s, and yet Popovich not only won a championship with him but also traded for him and has made him a key player in his rotation.

If it was all about stats, the 48% shooting Tony Parker wouldn’t be getting more shots up than the 49% Tim Duncan, and the 49% Tim Duncan wouldn’t be getting more shots up than the 53% Manu Ginobili.

FG% doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t even tell the majority of the story.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 24th, 2012
2:52 pm

Twin guarding DeAndre Jordan and having to defend pick and rolls is going to get ugly.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 24th, 2012
2:56 pm

“For Josh’s entire career except for the last couple of week he has always been the one left open. You have to run a play to get Al open. Team just leave Josh open regardless of what play is being ran just to bait him into the jump shot because they know he will take it and most times brick it. Even with being left open all the time he still shoots a lot lower percentage than Al”

All this would be true if the only shots Josh took were jumpers. The Josh haters only see the jumpers and ignore the majority of his shots which he creates out of post-up opportunities. His percentage on jumpers is obviously much lower than Al’s, since Josh is a mediocre jump shooter and Al is one of the best mid-range shooters in the league. The comparison is incomplete, though, without taking into account the difference between Josh and Al on their FG% in situations where they create their own shot, particularly in the post. I don’t know where to find this information but I can guarantee that Josh’s FG% on post up isolations is going to be much higher than Al’s.

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
3:00 pm

“Did Rod just say teams were leaving Al open because they were defending Josh? Joe maybe, Josh no way. For Josh’s entire career except for the last couple of week he has always been the one left open. You have to run a play to get Al open. Team just leave Josh open regardless of what play is being ran just to bait him into the jump shot because they know he will take it and most times brick it. Even with being left open all the time he still shoots a lot lower percentage than Al. That being said, Josh has been the MVP for the Hawks this season but it’s obsurd to say Al was being left open because they were concerned about Josh’s scoring.”

No. Rod said they were leaving Horford open because of Joe and Josh. Contrary to your beliefs, teams do check Josh, and actually double him in the post all the time. They leave him open on the perimeter. Most of the time when they send the double at Josh or Joe, Horford was the one who was wide open at the free throw line for that jump shot. Maybe you need to go back and look at some of the games from last year. Horford’s percentage dropped in the playoffs because teams (Orlando and Chicago) closed out on him hard with PF instead of centers, and his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim was non existent.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 24th, 2012
3:02 pm

I will be at Game 1 and 2 thanks to the nice deal on Livingsocial. My streak is still intact. Still haven’t missed a home playoff game at Philips Arena yet.

“It just irritates the hell out of me that fans who supposedly follow the team all year, would balk at going to a playoff game, for whatever reason. But that explains why the Braves started to not sell out playoff games.”

I know you are not from ATL, but we want star power in this city. It’s that simple. Get stars and watch them sell out. If people will pack the house to watch LeBron and Melo and KD and Griffin as opposing players, they will pack the house to watch them play for the home team too.

Of course, with the Braves, there’s the added problem that a significant portion of the fan base is terrified of going near Turner Field. Not going to go into the reasons for that but you can probably guess.

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
3:03 pm

I see we are on the same page Najeh. Where do some of the clowns come from?

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
3:04 pm

the should be these

Najeh Davenpoop

April 24th, 2012
3:04 pm

“Horford’s percentage dropped in the playoffs because teams (Orlando and Chicago) closed out on him hard with PF instead of centers, and his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim was non existent.”

The sad thing is he does have that ability. If he would just make quick decisions and move aggressively he could take 90% of the league’s PFs and Cs off the dribble with ease. He has Joeitis, though, where he has to take 5 seconds to make up his mind on what he wants to do.

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
3:07 pm

Yeah ,I jumped on that Living Social deal also. Been to only one game this year, (Oklahoma City), but 50 dollars for a lower level seat at a playoff game anywhere is worth it. Better than paying those season ticket rates. LOL

northcyde

April 24th, 2012
3:10 pm

Wow @ Joe Johnson in the last 2 minutes of games this season, when he has a chance to take a shot to tie a game, or take the lead.

Did not realize he has been that good in the clutch this season. I knew he was good, but not THAT good. No wonder why he was mad on Sunday.

northcyde

April 24th, 2012
3:13 pm

Oops. Wrong one. That was JJ taking a shot at the end of quarters to tie or take the lead. This is JJ taking a shot in the final 2 minutes of the 4th quarter or OT to tie or take the lead.

7 – 10 on threes during that time?

Dang.

doc

April 24th, 2012
3:18 pm

yeah northcyde, the thought of celtic green irks me so much that i might go for that reason alone. ;-)

this years attendance has irked me. it has been awful. upside, no traffic into major games like last friday for the celts, drove right to my parking place in 25 minutes from suburbs. only slowdown was the connector not at the hawks game. but i still walked into an empty arena 15 minutes before the game. there is no energy in this fan base at all and maybe it is because there is so much of the same thing provided for “entertainment”.

oh, and when i am there i get my moneys worth acting about forty years younger. next day, patients are concerned about my cold, allergies or sore throat as i cant speak, i am so hoarse from yelling the night before. sheepishly, i tell them i yelled too much at the game the night before and i am feeling fine.

rod, i may have to use that as bait for my hawks rep.

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
3:19 pm

“Wow @ Joe Johnson in the last 2 minutes of games this season, when he has a chance to take a shot to tie a game, or take the lead.

Did not realize he has been that good in the clutch this season. I knew he was good, but not THAT good. No wonder why he was mad on Sunday.”

Again you psot stats that really mean nothing. Joe post those stats against bad teams. He is a very good player, but he rarely steps up against quality opponents. He does not have those opportunities against the better teams in the league because during the game he has only scored 12 points, and we are already out of it, or he gets shut down by the likes of Deng, Battier, or Peitrus. If you want to look at those stats and think Joe is one of the better players in the league at the end of the game, go ahead. LOL

doc

April 24th, 2012
3:20 pm

NC, against whom?

Rod from College Park

April 24th, 2012
3:23 pm

“rod, i may have to use that as bait for my hawks rep.”

Really. It’s like they are basically giving away tickets. No way I will ever pay that $100 something dollars a ticket I used to pay to see the same thing over and over again.

doc

April 24th, 2012
3:24 pm

look at rod step right into that one leading with a right cross. looks like world peace going after northcyde’s head. heh heh