Atlanta Hawks practice report: Tolliver out with scratched cornea

Vivlamore reporting from Hawks practice.

Sorry for the latest of the blog. Traffic accident on 75 and I just completed a video interview.

We’ll start with the injury report. Anthony Tolliver did not practice after he suffered a  scratched cornea in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Heat. I spoke with Tolliver and he only expects to miss a few days.

DeShawn Stevenson also did not practice in the non-contact workout, although he took part in free-throw shooting drills. Coach Larry Drew said Stevenson was sore after Sunday’s game. Zaza Pachulia (groin) and Devin Harris participated in the non-contact drills.

* Drew called Monday’s workout a “mental” day with a lot of film study of the win over the Heat.

“We haven’t a day off from the very beginning,” Drew said. “We’ve been going at it every day, and had some two-a-days. After last night game, we really wanted to make this a mental day.”

* In the film study, Drew and his staff kept on eye toward how well the team executed the principles being installed this training camp. He said he saw some good and some bad.

I asked if he looked more closely at the film during the times the Heat had LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen on the floor (Dwyane Wade did not play.) Each played just over 20 minutes. Drew said he did use the game as a measuring stick.

“You can use measuring stick if you want to because they are good,” Drew said. “They are real good. That team is as good as they are. Defensively they are all on the same page. You hope to get your defense as good as theirs is.

“We watch a lot of film on different teams and how different teams do things. Miami ranks as one of the top teams defensively and you have to give credit where credit is due. When we do play them, we look at when they are on the floor and we look at how we defend, making sure everybody is in their right spots. Obviously with LeBron on the floor, he is not just one person’s responsibility. He is the whole team’s responsibility. The same with Wade. You have to be prepared for Bosh. That’s a really good team. We try to work as hard as we can so we can be mentioned in the same breath as some of these teams.”

* Drew also saw some new things from the Heat. At one point, James played power forward and Bosh played center and the two ran a side-screen pick-and-roll.

“You don’t see a whole lot of 4-5 pick-and-rolls,” Drew said. “How you defend it, you have to make sure everybody is in the right spot.”

* Drew said he “definitely” plans for draft picks John Jenkins and Mike Scott would play in Wednesday’s exhibition game at the Spurs. Both did not play against the Heat.

* With 19 players in training camp, I asked Drew if he anticipated trimming the roster before the deadline of Oct. 29.

“That is something we are going to be discussing in the next day or so,” Drew said.” We knew we would have a lot of bodies in here. I really wanted to give guys a serious look. We’ll talk about that.”

* Finally, I spoke to Drew about Ivan Johnson for a story I’m writing later in the week. The coach said he made two visits to California to speak to Johnson about his expectations once it became clear the forward would be back this season.

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

* Exhibition season opens with win over Heat

* Starting lineup for exhibition opener

* Practice report: Starting lineup preview?

* Korver had eventful journey to Atlanta

* All 19 won’t dress for exhibition opener

* Morrow and Muhammad reunited

* Hawks react to NBA’s anti-flopping rule

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

37 comments Add your comment

AG

October 8th, 2012
3:37 pm

MsDee

October 8th, 2012
3:54 pm

Ken Strickland

October 8th, 2012
4:23 pm

Someone mentioned it in the last blog, but Drew’s decision not to play certain players in the 1st exhibition gm could be an example of him evaluating certain players that are most likely to be cut when cuts are made. I’m sure he wanted to see how they would perform with our 3 returning starters(Josh, Teague, Horford).

I know this is only our 1st exhibition gm, but based on the reports on how Anderson and James played, plus our desperate need for at least 2 capable SFs, it looks like they’ll both have excellent chances of making the team. With a choice of Teague, Harris, and even Williams at PG, Jenkins, Williams, Morrow, Korver, and Stevenson at SG, Horford, Pachulia, Petro, Benson at C, Smith, Johnson, Tolliver and Scott at PF, and James and Anderson at SF to choose from, this roster will be both talented and deep at every position.

Buddy Grizzard

October 8th, 2012
4:24 pm

Good stuff, thanks for the update C-Viv.

Buddy Grizzard

October 8th, 2012
4:29 pm

Ken S. you mention only one player at SF, and that player is unlikely to make the team, and yet you say we are deep at every position? As I wrote on my blog, Damion James looks like a keeper at small forward. He has a lot of upside and is a perfect candidate for Atkinson to develop.

But Anderson can barely keep possession of the ball, not something you want in a wing player. The only way the Hawks have depth at small forward is because of the number of players that can play out of position there.

Astro Joe

October 8th, 2012
4:32 pm

Strickland, the Hawks have 13 players with fully guaranteed contracts and I think Mike Scott has at least a “gentlemen’s agreement” from Ferry that he will minimally be on the 15 man roster (even if that means he is in the D League). So I wouldn’t expect but 1 guy to make the team. Tolliver, James or Anderson. I wouldn’t expect Ferry to try and eat the $3M plus salaries of Petro, Morrow or Korver. Drew (I assume) is looking to see who will earn that one and final roster spot as well as who will be in the 11-15 roster slots (and therefore only earn token playing time). 3 players-1 open roster spot.

Chris Vivlamore

October 8th, 2012
4:42 pm

Forgot to mention in the blog, but with Stevenson not participating in practice that John Jenkins joined the team of Teague, Smith, Horford and Korver. I know, details.

MsDee

October 8th, 2012
4:53 pm

Yeah!! Hopefully we will see Mr. Jenkins at work this Wednesday!!

The Truth

October 8th, 2012
4:53 pm

I’m not sure where LD is going with this but (f true) some smells funny or bad depending on whose getting cooked.

It sounds like based on this interview with Lou Williams after the Heat victory that he considers himself one of the team captains

http://www.nba.com/hawks/video/2012/10/08/LOUWILLIAMSMEDIADAY5mov-2241795/index.html

That piece of news hadn’t been reported. If he is (indeed) a captain, means he is not a 6th man. It means he is a starter. Captains don’t come off the bench.

I’m not sure where LD is going with this but (if true) something smells funny or bad depending on whose getting cooked. (LoL)

glw

October 8th, 2012
4:55 pm

I agree that in the first game out and so many new faces, LD wanted to see how they all blended.

He wants to see which would be his most ideal starting lineup and what combos play best together, Getting rookies minutes wasnt his priority in this game because they arent likely to be in the regular rotation. Anderson, Tolliver and a few others needed to be closely scrutinized and see what role they might fit here.

As it stands, I would say 11 guys are locks to make the roster.

pg Teague sg- Stevenson sf- Korver pf- Josh c- Al

The bench looks like:

pg-Devin sg-Lou sg- Morrow sg- Jenkins pf- Ivan c- Zaza

That leaves 4 slots to be determined by most likely 6 guys

c Petro, Benson f- Tolliver,Anderson, James, and Scott

Petro is guaranteed at 3 million, so will definitely be hard to cut.
Scott is partially guaranteed so if he shows anything he will probably make it too. I must admit I like the idea of James making it, especially when we need a guy with some muscle to give us quality minutes against Lebrons and Carmelos of the league. Tolliver I see making it because of his ability to hit the outside shot.

At this point, would say K Benson and Anderson are the long shots to make it from that group.

The Truth

October 8th, 2012
4:58 pm

*Disregard the 1st line

MsDee

October 8th, 2012
4:58 pm

Atlanta Hawks ‏@ATLHawks
Lou Williams talks about his first game in a Hawks uniform: http://www.nba.com/hawks/video/2012/10/08/LOUWILLIAMSMEDIADAY5mov-2241795/index.html … #ATLHawks

ntrigue

October 8th, 2012
5:01 pm

Benson makes the team with either Anderson, damion, or tolliver. I expect petro to be waived or traded in the next few weeks if Benson plays like he did in summer league.

The Truth

October 8th, 2012
5:08 pm

If Scott is half-way decent, Tolliver becames a redundant long-shot

The Truth

October 8th, 2012
5:13 pm

If Jenkins delivers and if James becomes a lock, than Anderson becomes expendable

Ken Strickland

October 8th, 2012
5:15 pm

ASTRO JOE-Only $500K of Korver’s contract is guaranteed. With the high cap space we now have, which will drastically increase after the season, we can consider cutting anyone with a guaranteed contract that’s not named Josh, Zaza, Teague, Ivan, Jenkins, Scott, Williams, or Horford.

BUDDY GRIZZARD-Your OPINIONS of James Anderson is almost the complete opposite of the scouting report of him that I posted a couple of weeks ago. Where did you get your info on him, because I doubt if you saw him play in college or with the Spurs. Before seriously injuring his ankle, he was very highly rated and thought of by the Spurs.

The Spurs felt they had acquired enough promising talent during his recovery period that there was no need to take a risk on a player coming off a major injury. I don’t think you can find a single scouting report or evaluation that includes any of the negative stuff you’re saying about him.

Astro Joe

October 8th, 2012
5:17 pm

The Truth, so you don’t think that Jason Terry could have been a captain during his tenure with the Mavs? And even if Terry didn’t have the title of captain, no one can dispute that he was at least the 2nd most influential player on the Mavs in the past 3-5 years (including their championship run). I think finishing the game is far more important than starting it… and LouWill figures to be finishing every non-blowout game for the Hawks for the next 3 seasons.

The Truth

October 8th, 2012
5:20 pm

If Benson plays like he did this summer, he’s a lock, but the casualty from his addition is uncertain. Casualty candidates are:

Anderson
Tolliver
James
Petro

Astro Joe

October 8th, 2012
5:22 pm

Strickland, I need a source on your statement that 90% of Korver’s contract isn’t guaranteed. That doesn’t sound right to me. Chicago was thinking of buying him out, but then Ferry opted to trade for him. Source, please.

Oh and the Hawks have virtually NO cap space right now. It all happens in June, 2013… but for the ‘12-13 season, we have pennies worth of cap space.

Ken Strickland

October 8th, 2012
5:27 pm

The Truth

October 8th, 2012
5:39 pm

“The Truth, so you don’t think that Jason Terry could have been a captain during his tenure with the Mavs?” – AJ

IDK, was he? Normally most captains start. The message behind this move (if true). Teague has been thrown under the bus by LD given his longer tenure with the team. The age difference between Teague and Lou is 1 year, so experience is not a big factor. Within one preseason game, this move was made. Confirms longstanding notions that LD never liked Teagues game or him. After this season, either LD goes or Teague is traded (if this move is true), unless Teague is also named a captain which I doubt.

glw

October 8th, 2012
5:54 pm

@Ken Strickland

Yeah I remember that Korver contract was only partially guaranteed for this season, not sure if there was a deadline on him being waved. Usually buyouts/partially guaranteed have a time limit set on them (usually in the summer), as so a player can find a new team.

but even if they could still cut him for $500K, I just dont see the Hawks cutting him loose. He seems a good bit to end up starting some games and at the very least will be a rotational players and seems like a good team guy. So I cant see him being cut to make room for a James Anderson, Damian James or Anthony Tolliver.

Buddy Grizzard

October 8th, 2012
6:07 pm

“Captains don’t come off the bench.”

Why not? If that is the role LD is asking him to play and he goes out and does his job, that’s leadership.

Buddy Grizzard

October 8th, 2012
6:10 pm

“Your OPINIONS of James Anderson is almost the complete opposite of the scouting report of him that I posted a couple of weeks ago. Where did you get your info on him.”

I got my info about Anderson from sitting inside Phillips Arena on Sunday and watching the game turn into high school basketball every time Anderson touched the ball. He has no handle whatsoever. Not a good look for a two guard and he’s too small to be a three. Won’t make the team. Next question.

Buddy Grizzard

October 8th, 2012
6:13 pm

“I wouldn’t expect Ferry to try and eat the $3M plus salaries of Petro, Morrow or Korver.”

I wish Ferry would cut Petro now to open a roster spot for Benson, who is obviously a more talented and athletic player. Petro has hands of stone. His shooting percentage near the basket is a complete joke for a front court player. Naturally this means LD will give him 20 mins a night. Petro has zero upside. Benson could help this team. But Ferry won’t eat the contract because he may need the expiring contract to make the numbers work on a trade later this season.

High-sider

October 8th, 2012
6:24 pm

@Buddy Grizzard

“…Whoever said Lou is LD’s new Jamal Crawford, just say no! Lou is more talented on offense and actually tries on defense. There is no comparison between Lou and JC1. Lou is a better player in every facet of the game…” – Buddy Grizzard, 10/8/2012 @11:35am [FTPB]

“…Get off the pipe fool; stop crackin’. Be like Short Dog; start mackin’…” – Too Short [rap/hip hop artist] from “Hard on the Boulevard”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt53ho_HnOs @1:43 – 1:50

Buddy Grizzard,

So you’re telling me Lou Williams is a better offensive player than a guy [Jamal Crawford] who has scored 50+ points [in a game] for three different NBA franchises [CHI, NYK and GSW] and scored 23+ points off the bench in four consecutive playoff games? It’s WAY TOO early in the (pre)season for you, Buddy Grizzard, to start TRIPPIN’ [sic]. Get real [SMH].

Buddy Grizzard

October 8th, 2012
6:31 pm

“Getting rookies minutes wasnt his priority in this game because they arent likely to be in the regular rotation. ”

Getting Jenkins minutes isn’t a priority because he already made the team. LD needs to look at the guys he actually has to make descisions about.

“Only $500K of Korver’s contract is guaranteed.”

According to ShamSports, Korver’s final year has no guarantee date. I believe this means he can be cut at any time and if he’s made at least $500,000 by the time he’s cut, he’s not owed anything else. If that’s true, it makes sense why Ferry wanted that contract. If he needs to suddenly clear cap space, he can cut Korver.

After seeing him in a Hawks uniform, I have to say Korver looks like an NBA player. Yes, he’s going to be a defensive liability, but he has the ability to make the extra pass that makes him a fit with the post-iso Hawks. He is trade bait, but if the right offer doesn’t come along he will be in a Hawks uniform until his contract expires, hopefully after hitting some big shots in the playoffs.

“If Benson plays like he did this summer, he’s a lock.”

I wish this was true. From your list, I think James is the lock. He is the ONLY small forward presently on the roster, and he’s pretty good. So what if LeBron James didn’t guard him when the Hawks were on offense. Did anyone guard Marvin Williams? He did at least as good a job defensively against LeBron as Marvin ever did, and he pulled down 8 boards. LeBron shot 5-for-12 for 10 points. I believe Damion spent more minutes guarding him than anybody else.

Buddy Grizzard

October 8th, 2012
6:47 pm

“So you’re telling me Lou Williams is a better offensive player than a guy [Jamal Crawford] who has scored 50+ points [in a game] for three different NBA franchises.”

I didn’t say Lou is a better offensive player than Jamal was in his prime. But right now, there is zero question. They had roughly the same scoring average last season. Lou Williams was one of the most efficient offensive players in the NBA last year. JC1 was not. There’s no comparison. Today, right now, Lou Williams is a better offensive player than JC1. Thanks for the soundtrack while I got these posts together!

“Oh and the Hawks have virtually NO cap space right now.”

Not true. Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld told me the Hawks are up against a hard cap of $74.3m since they used the midlevel on Lou. The Hawks presently have $70,585,992 committed, according to Hoopsworld’s Hawks salary page:

http://www.hoopsworld.com/atlanta-hawks-team-salary

Astro Joe

October 8th, 2012
7:12 pm

Strickland, good find on the Korver deal.

Buddy, I think you are confusing the luxury tax line with the salary cap. I’m pretty sure that the Hawks can only use their biannual exemption (less than $2M) at this point. The salary cap is closer to around $58M. The reason the Hawks used their MLE to sign LouWill was because they had exceeded the salary cap. And a team only has so many options for adding players via free agency after exceeding the salary cap. Even if they cut Korver, the $4.5M in savings won’t allow them to simply sign a player for ~$4M because they will still be over the salary cap.

Astro Joe

October 8th, 2012
7:28 pm

The Truth, the personalities of Teague and LouWill are compltely different. Lou is clearly a more vocal guy while Teague is super quiet. And when discussing experience, consider the number of games each have played and NOT their age. They may be comparably experienced in some things, but not when it comes to playing NBA basketball. Teague is the starting PG… but Lou was ALWAYS going to be the guard most likely to be a team leader… from the moment he signed the contract.

Lisa S.

October 8th, 2012
7:31 pm

Can’t wait for the regular season. Hope to catch a few games at Phillips. I hope Danny fixes our center problem and fix it fast. If i were the coach, i would start Zsa Zsa at center. Zsa Zsa has more street cred than Al.

Grandad

October 8th, 2012
7:58 pm

“You don’t see a whole lot of 4-5 pick-and-rolls,” Drew said.
-Okay-
So, conceptually – if LBJ & Bosh had been playing the [3] & the [4]
it would have made a difference ?

I know, I know;
he said – ” side pick & roll ” …
-so-
Is he saying you don`t see the side P & R, or, the [3] [4] P & R.
-Yes-
I`m picking at a nit … intentionally.

Miami is playing five man basketball.
Yes, LBJ is playing the [4]. *(in order to get him in the post)
Bosh is playing the [5] / yet, realistically, he`s still a stretch [4].

-point being-

Numbers [positions] no longer matter so much.

I know yawl are sick of me preaching this point;
-but-
LD needs to understand this concept as well.

You have to teach concepts to all your players.
One cannot, `anymore’, teach situational basketball
to position players !

Once again;
I see a failing of LD being a step slow to understand
the progression of the game.
He knows X`s and 0`s, however;
does he understand trends, progressions, innovation and nuance.
____________________________________________

C-Viv – You are terrific !

Do not take exception to my critique of LD;
in any way shape or form as negative reporting on your behalf.

You are doin` great.

My thoughts and comments may or may not be positive
from time to time.

You`re not influencing my thoughts in a negative way.
You will learn eventually – I`m just a natural Jack-Ass.
____________________________________________

LD = 30 games

High-sider

October 8th, 2012
8:20 pm

@Buddy Grizzard

“I didn’t say Lou is a better offensive player than Jamal was in his prime. But right now, there is zero question. They had roughly the same scoring average last season. Lou Williams was one of the most efficient offensive players in the NBA last year. JC1 was not. There’s no comparison. Today, right now, Lou Williams is a better offensive player than JC1. Thanks for the soundtrack while I got these posts together!” – Buddy Grizzard, 10/8/2012 @6:47pm

Partial NBA Regular Season Stats from 2008-2012:

Lou Williams:

08-09: 38.9% fg%, 28.6% 3pfg%, 79.0% ft%, 12.8ppg
09-10: 47.0% fg%, 34.0% 3pfg%, 82.4% ft%, 14.0ppg
10-11: 40.6% fg%, 34.8% 3pfg%, 82.3% ft%, 13.7ppg
11-12: 40.7% fg%, 36.2% 3pfg%, 81.2% ft%, 14.9ppg

Jamal Crawford:

08-09: 41.0% fg%, 36.0% 3pfg%, 87.2% ft%, 19.7ppg
09-10: 44.9% fg%, 38.2% 3pfg%, 85.7% ft%, 18.0ppg [SMOY season]
10-11: 42.1% fg%, 34.1% 3pfg%, 85.4% ft%, 14.2ppg
11-12: 38.4% fg%, 30.8% 3pfg%, 92.7% ft%, 14.0ppg [led NBA in FT%]

When did Lou Willliams’ “prime” begin and when did Jamal Crawford’s “prime” end?

High-sider

October 8th, 2012
8:25 pm

should be: “When did Lou [Williams’]* “prime” begin and when did Jamal Crawford’s “prime” end?”

High-sider

October 8th, 2012
8:32 pm

Buddy Grizzard,

So you call shooting 40.7% from the field “efficient”? Really?!?!

Bertie

October 8th, 2012
9:43 pm

Josh and Al should run some of those 4-5 pick-and-rolls. I have a very good feeling about this team. They should be fun to watch!!

jocrazy

October 8th, 2012
11:55 pm

us white folks dont get it dont 41% sound bad?