Vivlamore reporting before Hawks practice this afternoon.
Here are a couple of items and updates left over from Sunday.
* On the injury front, Jeff Teague (sprained left ankle), Zaza Pachulia (sprained left ankle), John Jenkins (left hand contusion) were held out of the open practice. Al Horford (right calf) was limited. We’ll check on them today.
Horford said he experienced tightness behind his right knee prior to Saturday’s exhibition game against the Mavericks. When it didn’t loosen up, he came out of the game for precautionary reasons for treatment. He said he is confident that he will return to full-contact practice today or Tuesday and play in Friday’s exhibition season finale in Detroit.
“I don’t want any little thing holding me back for the regular season,” Horford said.
Pachulia’s sprained ankle is also progressing. He said when he first was injured last week against the Hornets he feared it was very bad. However, he was able to continue. Overnight the ankle became very swollen.
“The next day I was sore,” Pachulia said. “I had to walk downstairs and I didn’t know how I was going to get there.”
While there is no exact timetable for Pachulia to return, it appears he won’t play Friday but should be ready for the regular-season opener on Nov. 2.
Teague and Jenkins remain day-to-day.
* One benefit the Hawks have is time to get players healthy, finish installing schemes and fix reoccurring mistakes.
The Hawks have five days between their final two exhibition games and another six days until the regular-season opener. It’s time coach Larry Drew has big plans for.
“This week is going to be a very, very important week,” Drew said. “We have an opportunity to put some more things in and really work on them and try to get good at them. That time is going to be very valuable. … We got some time to throw a lot of things in and we’ve got some time to really learn.
“I don’t want to keep playing games and make the same mistakes and the only time I get to brush up on them is during games. I would rather brush up on them in practice where we can really sink our teeth into it and try to get better at it.”
* I caught up with center Johan Petro who expressed some frustration about finding his role with the Hawks. The veteran, who has played with the Sonics, Nuggets and Nets, has seen limited action during the preseason. He has appeared in only three of the six exhibition games and logged a total of 35 minutes.
“I don’t know,” Petro said when I asked how training camp was going so far. “To be honest with you I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out what my place is with this team. I’m still trying to figure out my role. I’m still trying to figure out a lot of stuff.
“Not difficult, but more frustrating more than anything else. It’s part of the business I understand. I’m new coming in to the team. Personally, I just have to stick to what I know how to do, stick to my principles and try to give to the team as much as possible. You have to adjust. I really trying to work on the differences that this team has compared to where I was before.”
* A zone defense is one scheme the Hawks are slowly working on from the playbook. Drew said they used it a lot against the Pacers but did not use it against the Hornets and in only one possession against the Mavericks.
“It’s not going to shut people down,” Drew said. “It’s not going to completely take them out of what they want to do but it can serve as something to disrupt the rhythm of the game. That’s why we put it in. … It needs more work.”
* As a final note, I had a couple of vacations scheduled before taking over the Hawks beat. I will be taking a few days off this week. I’ve convinced Mrs. C-Viv to let me work Monday but past that and I would be in big trouble. I have a story or two saved that will appear and MC will be filling in a couple of days. Thanks for understanding my absence.
- Chris Vivlamore
Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks