Here is today’s practice report from Day 2 of training camp practices.
* Zaza Pachulia (leg) and Devin Harris (knee) again practiced on a limited basis. They sat out contact drills, including 5-on-5 sets. Coach Larry Drew said the team is being cautious with the veterans.
“They both are moving really well on the floor but we’ll keep an eye on them day-to-day,” Drew said.
* Drew said that players got a little edgy in some of the drills, particularly on the defensive end. The confrontations occurred before the media was allowed in to watch the last half hour of practice but it didn’t sound like anything serious.
“We had some guys starting to go at it a little bit,” Drew said. “I embrace that because I can see they are all being competitive and they are all committed to defending.”
* Not being able to see much of practice, it’s hard to get a real grasp on the players’ conditioning. I did get to see some running and two players stood out. Ivan Johnson easily – and I mean easily – finished ahead of the group of big men. Kyle Korver was tops among the others.
Johnson told me the other day that he spent half his summer in Dallas and the other half in California working out. When I asked what exactly he did, Johnson said “Basketball drills. Weight lifting. A whole bunch of running. Running up mountains. Running on the beach.” It looked it.
Drew said he is pleased with the overall condition of the team.
* It’s hard to say who is leading in the race to join Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague in the starting lineup. I can report that Kyle Korver and DeShawn Stevenson ran with them during 5-on-5 drills. Keep in mind, Harris did not participate in those drills.
* Smith has been extremely vocal during the first two days of practice. I’ve seen him instructing others on the offense, making sure the new players are positioned right and showing a competitive edge during drills.
* Further proof that the Hawks will run an up-tempo offense. The 5-on-5 drills were run with an 18-second shot clock.
* Drew is slowly implementing the new offense. He said players had a better grasp of it this morning than during the second session last night. Drew did admit that rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott were “lost” during the process.
“They’ll get it,” Drew said. “We threw a lot at them yesterday. They’ll pick it up. I’m not concerned about that one little bit.”
* Jenkins has been working at the 2-guard spot.
* With an entire new offensive to install, Drew said it would be some time before it’s all in. In fact, he said it may not be completely installed by the regular-season opener Nov. 2.
“To get everything put it, it would be ludicrous for me to say we’ll get it all in before the first regular-season game,” Drew said. “We will not have it all in. I’m going to gradually put things in mindful of the fact that the things we already have in and the things they are picking up, I can’t give them too much. I want to get good in certain areas first.”
I will post another blog on the NBA’s new no-flopping rule they just released.
- Chris Vivlamore
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