Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.
A couple of news items before tonight’s exhibition against the Mavs.
* Jeff Teague (sprained left ankle), Zaza Pachulia (sprained left ankle) and John Jenkins (left hand contusion) will not play tonight. Coach Larry Drew said he did not have a timetable for Teague’s return, calling the point guard day-to-day. Teague said he thought he might be out “a couple of days.” Teague and Pachulia were injured against the Hornets on Thursday. Pachulia returned to the game
“We’ll keep him out for precautionary reasons,” Drew said of Pachulia. “No need to rush him back. There are some other guys I want to get a look at.”
With only one exhibition game remaining following Saturday night, Drew hopes to get a regular lineup in place. However, a lot of that may depend on injuries.
“I really, really hope so but that will depend on how well the guys who are injured come along,” Drew said of putting that lineup together. “Hopefully we can get everybody back so we can start putting this thing together and getting a good rotation. We really won’t know until we get everybody back. The last thing I want to do, hopefully knock on wood, I don’t want to limp into the regular season. I want to be healthy.”
* Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman are not with the Mavs.
* Drew was still undecided about his starting lineup, waiting to base his decision on matchups. A likely lineup, based on practice, will be Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson, Josh Smith and Al Horford.
* Drew said he is undecided on the size of his roster to start the season. The Hawks must trim one more player, down to the NBA-mandated maximum of 15, by Oct. 29. However, there are indications that the team may keep less than 15.
One thing is sure, the 13 players with guaranteed contracts (12 fully, one partial) will be on the team.
“For me, and I’ve done it both ways, where we’ve had 13 and we’ve kept two spots open,” Drew said. “I’ve had 14 and we’ve kept one. Or we’ve kept 15 guys. It’s a matter of looking at what we feel is going to be the best for our club. We’ve got some guys in here who are fighting for a roster spot. Guys I really like. After this is all said and done we’ll sit down with management and make a decision.”
* Drew said he will sit down with each player next week to discuss what their role on the team will be for the upcoming season.
“I want everybody to know exactly what it is that we are doing,” Drew said. “From a role standpoint, I will be setting up a meeting next week to sit each guy down individually and tell them what I’m expected from them. So everybody will be clear. So there won’t be any guess work about ‘What am I supposed to do? What do you want me to do?’ We’ll eliminate that.”
Drew said such meetings are not new and he has had them each year.
Let’s get this posted before the game actually starts.
- Chris Vivlamore
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