Vivlamore with your Hawks report.
Before I head to the Hawks first practice of the new season, I wanted to give folks something more from media day. Sometimes it’s hard when you have a digital recorder full of interviews to figure out the best way to share an abundance of information (and I spent a lot of time transcribing it all!). I thought I would select some quotes from a few of the players I spoke with Monday (in no particular order).
Devin Harris: “This is the first time I’ve been traded but been able to get a full summer to get settled, working out, getting a good feel for the coaches and how they want me to play. I’ve been picking their brains a little bit. It’s been a fairly easy transition for me. … We’ve had talks about me playing some 1, playing some 2. I think training camp we’ll find out a lot more of that and where we all fit in.”
Keith Benson: “I’ve been a lot more aggressive. I’ve worked on my overall game, my shooting, my defense. I think I’m stronger and am an improved player from last year. I came in for some workouts and they were impressed with my workouts. They liked what I did in summer league. I’m just trying to build on that.”
Anthony Morrow: “There were a lot of mixed feelings, mixed emotions, especially coming from Brooklyn at that time knowing they were about to go to a new place, a new arena. As soon as I heard Atlanta was the team it was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I’m familiar with their coaching staff. I know a lot of guys on the team, a lot of guys who signed. I was excited to be back home, really. It’s like a fresh start. We have a great chance to go to the playoffs. We have great leadership. I’m just ready to bring what I bring to the team and contribute in any way I can.”
Lou Williams: “No, I don’t have a preference [to start or come off bench]. I just want to be in the rotation. That’s my main things. As long as I’m on the court, I just try to maximize the minutes I get and make everything happen that I can.”
Isma’il Muhammad: “They expect me to do what I have been doing the last few years – defend my butt off, play hard, play with energy, attack the glass and rebound and when I get the opportunity finish above the rim.”
Jeff Teague: “They told me I’m still going to play my role, I’m still going to be the starting point guard. It’s going to be an exciting team, get up and down and play a lot faster. In college, I moved to the 2 [guard] and played off the ball. I’m a team guy. Bring in Lou and Devin, I’m excited. It’s going to bring a lot of pressure off me. They can bring up the ball. I can slide to the wing. They are fast. I’m fast. We are going to score a lot of fast-break points.”
Kyle Korver: “Shooters should be able to swing the ball and pass the ball too. It’s not just the person driving and finding the one open guy. Ball movement is going to be really important for us. We are not going to play isolation basketball very much, I don’t think. That’s not going to be our strength. We need ball movement. We need to get out and run. If we can do that, I think it will be fun to play, fun to watch. We are going to have to defend on the other end for sure.”
Ivan Johnson: “[The summer] was a good time to think some things through about what I did last year, what I could do to make things better. It was a thinking offseason on how I could make my second year a better year. [Conclusiong?] Keep my hands to my side and just play.”
Al Horford: “You know what happened to me? I was playing with my national team in the Dominican Republic and I was in South America and I didn’t have any internet for three weeks. What was happening was my dad would call and be like ‘This and that happened.’ I was ‘What? Joe got traded? All this stuff kept happening. Then my name was up on the board. For me it was a good time to be away from everything. The changes they felt needed to be made and this is the end result of it. We are actually pretty excited the guys who still remain here.”
Josh Smith: “Playing up-tempo is always fun but you have to remember the main thing and that’s don’t forgot to play defense first. In order for us to be an up-tempo team we have to get stops.”
Carldell Johnson: “There is a window. Whether it is a big window or a small window you still have to perform. As long as there is an opportunity, that’s good enough for me.”
- Chris Vivlamore
THE LATEST NEWS
Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks