Atlanta Hawks: Injury update, Petro frustrated

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

LATEST NEWS

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* Teague out versus Mavericks

* Rookies getting noticed

* Hawks overcome slow start to beat Hornets

* Preseason more about evaluation

* Practice report: Time for regular rotation to take shape

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

61 comments Add your comment

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
9:16 am

HAHA, Petro frustrated?? Oh really, we are too!!

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
9:16 am

Oh and 1st!!

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
9:20 am

Sam

October 22nd, 2012
9:35 am

I may be the last one to the party on him, but what is the big lovefest with all the bloggers and Damion James? Everyone is acting like he is that other James in our division. There is a reason his previous team did not resign him and we were able to get him off the free agent scrap list.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
9:39 am

Sam,

Have u not been watching his hustle? His defense? His rebounds?? If u answer Yes, to all three, then u must be blind..

Damion James is doing something that most of our present and past players just didnt want to do, AND THATS HUSTLE! Both James and Ivan are the ONLY 2 guys that loves it and we do need it desperately.

vava74

October 22nd, 2012
9:40 am

Petro had a couple of very interesting questions/sentences which really anyone with a pair of decent eyes can answer:

“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.”

OK. You place is at the end of the bench, in a suit and hopefully, as far away from anyone important during practices since you, with your size and complete lack of ability to play basketball, could hurt someone.

“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…”

I could not resist interrupting here. A guy who is 7′+ and, does not rebound well, does not have a hint of a back to the basket game, only blocks shots who accidentally hit him, loves shooting bricks from the top of the key and… wants to stick to his game??

Please go ahead, but do it whilst playing for Limoges or Pau, will you? And do it as soon as possible.

PS: Have a nice break C-Viv, you deserve it. We have been doing a very good job.

doc

October 22nd, 2012
9:47 am

brig, here is the tmi version of amar’e’s popliteal cyst rupture but well written:

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/popliteal-bakers-cyst

bottom line there is a frequency of 30% in general population increasing with age. it is usually due to pathology in the joint space with fluid being trapped in space within the surrounding muscles and tendons. it works like a valve as the knee flexes and extends to push a little more fluid into the cyst than the knee to keep the knee from having a problem due to the fluid and to keep it contained.

problems arise if other structures like nerves, arteries and veins get involved either due to the compression, rupture and inflammation. as a doc you treat them expectantly and watch telling pts what to look for. most are asymptomatic and simply watched for the duration. i saw then because as a vascular surgeon a popliteal artery aneurysm, that also present as swelling in the back of the leg but pulsatile, needed to be ruled out. the aneurysms are quite dangerous due to rupture, occlusion or emboli that can cause ischemia and limb loss but a different problem.

for amar’e, it is not so simple as it has ruptured and is directly related to his previous surgeries and injuries is my guess, a prognosis in a way. right now, i presume it is all about steroid injections and rest to allow whatever damage due to the contents and rupture to die down then to watch to see where it takes him. i doubt there is risk of vascular issues since they project three weeks long enough for swelling to go down. also they talked about a bone bruise so that also enters into the equation on his return. that is my guess but considered secondarily.

vava74

October 22nd, 2012
9:49 am

But I have a eerie feeling that dumb dimwit LD will advocate cutting him for Tolliver.

doc

October 22nd, 2012
9:53 am

speaking of injuries. zaza is not starting this year very well having ended the season with an injury, lost time in the olympic team efforts due to limb issues and now has a very severe sprain of his ankle. what mobility zaza has and elevation is going to be severely compromised and if he comes bac too soon at high risk of recurrence.

keep the misses happy cv.

Sam

October 22nd, 2012
9:53 am

I love big Ivan’s hussle and his tenacity, but I don’t know that Damion James will be able to bring that on a day to day basis. With Ivan, he can’t help but be mean looking and intimidating. I don’t know that James will be able to stay healthy enough to contribute on a regular basis. I say “regular” like he has done it before, let me correct myself, “any kind of basis”.

You are what you are in the NBA after 2 seasons. He may be a good kid, but James has been a nothing so far in his career.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
9:54 am

vava74

Cut who for Tolliver? Damion James?

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
9:54 am

If so, why do I have the same eering feeling?

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
9:56 am

He’s been hurt, Sam. Its only so much u can do when u are hurt for the past 2 season in the league. Now that he is healthy, we can see that he WILL be able to do this on a day-to-day basis.

vava74

October 22nd, 2012
9:57 am

Because LD will privilege Tolliver due to his shooting.

Mind that I don’t dislike Tolliver, I think he is also an energy guy who can fill in and contribute in limited minutes in all 3 frontcourt positions – depending on the opposition – but I am ABSOLUTELY LOVING James’ game.

Sam

October 22nd, 2012
10:06 am

I’m still gonna have to see it for a whole season outta James before I’m gonna buy in. Lots of people have the potential to do well, but whether it is injuries, self-confidence, drugs, being on the Hawks, or other issues, we don’t always get to see it. I hate to be a negative-nancy, but we (the Hawks fans) are always going to be let down by this team.

Sam

October 22nd, 2012
10:06 am

Doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to support them though!

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
10:09 am

I feel ya, Sam, but for me, its something different about James’ game that makes me be optimitic about his desire to WANT to play defense and to out rebound everyone on the court because he ACTUALLY goes after the ball vs it just falling into his lap.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
10:11 am

The same goes for Ivan as well. He ACTUALLY goes for the ball in all out hustle. Hustle is nothing u can teach a player, its either in you or not, and both those guys HAS IT!

i_am_soulstar

October 22nd, 2012
10:12 am

Sam
October 22nd, 2012
9:53 am

I love big Ivan’s hussle and his tenacity, but I don’t know that Damion James will be able to bring that on a day to day basis. With Ivan, he can’t help but be mean looking and intimidating. I don’t know that James will be able to stay healthy enough to contribute on a regular basis. I say “regular” like he has done it before, let me correct myself, “any kind of basis”.

You are what you are in the NBA after 2 seasons. He may be a good kid, but James has been a nothing so far in his career.
***************************************************************************************************************
He’s been injured the entire time, and he’s rebounded well, something we are pretty weak outside of our 4 and 5 position. If he can stay healthy, they should let he and Tolliver stay on non-guaranteed contracts.

Sam

October 22nd, 2012
10:18 am

The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum.
~Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923

Hawks 2012-2013

Melvin

October 22nd, 2012
10:20 am

Petro please. It should be a crime that you are getting an NBA paycheck and It should be the death penalty that you are making more than the vet min… Here’s to hoping that the Hawks could package you (as a filler to make the salary match) in a trade.

Big Ray

October 22nd, 2012
10:33 am

Petro is a stiff, and a non-working one at that. I don’t want to hear about his frustrations. I’m frustrated that somebody can make millions and be that dang useless…

I’ll take Tolliver over Petro. And I’m no fan of Tolliver.

Astro Joe

October 22nd, 2012
10:39 am

At the same time, do you really want a player to say “I’m thrilled just to be on a team and to earn a paycheck. They can use me to assist the water boy, who cares? And if injuries happen and I need to get on the court, I will use up my six fouls quicker than you can count 100 Jeff Teague jerseys at the arena”.

No, I think you want a player who actually thinks he can serve a greater good on the team.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
10:41 am

vava74,

Would be very foolish if Drew lets James walk just because Tolliver is a better shooter. Heck, last I chk, Tolliver is a PF and his butt should be posting and rebounding, not yet another shooter hosting up more jumpers, WE HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH SHOOTERS! But if Drew MUST have Tolliver, I say go ahead and keep both, making it a 15 man roster. But if one must go, it HAS to be Tolliver cause again, WE HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH SHOOTERS ON THE TEAM ALREADY BUT NOT ENOUGH REBOUNDERS NOR HUSTLERS!

Ken Strickland

October 22nd, 2012
10:53 am

SAM-The reason he was available off the scrap heap, as you put it, is because he was coming off a serious foot or ankle injury and his team wanted to clear cap space to sign DHoward, and resign DWill and KHumphries. They whiffed on DHoward and ended up resigning BLopez to a max contract and trading for JJohnson.

What’s this love affair all about with MPetrius? Boston didn’t want him back and he’s still available. Doesn’t that tell you something? If you look at his age(30) and very low production, especially FG%(38%), you can see why he’s still available. He’s didn’t do much as a scorer or rebounder in about 22MPG, his DEF has fallen way off, and he’s become a 3pt shooting specialist, and we already have our share of them.

Isn’t if funny how a number of players that played with DHoward and the Magic seem to have regressed after leaving the team?

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2012
11:01 am

CUT PETRO PLEASE

Supreme Grand Poobah

October 22nd, 2012
11:05 am

With all the posts referrring to choosing either Tolliver or James, I assume you guys think we’ll only carry a 14 man roster? If we have a 15 man roster, there is no issue.

brigadierjerry

October 22nd, 2012
11:06 am

if ld cuts james to keep toliver, it just shows ld enjoys outside shooting more than defense

grandad made a good point in previous blogs. why hasnt ld designated someone on the team as the defensive stopper or who he looks for to make stops. he puts the onus on certain players for offense but doesnt do the same for defense.

doc thanks for the link. i read cyst i result of microfracture surgery.

BIG DOG

October 22nd, 2012
11:07 am

Petro is frustrated, JUST DAM

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2012
11:07 am

“I may be the last one to the party on him, but what is the big lovefest with all the bloggers and Damion James? Everyone is acting like he is that other James in our division. There is a reason his previous team did not resign him and we were able to get him off the free agent scrap list.”

Look at his competition for SF on this team. All the Hawks have at that position is either one-dimensional shooters like Korver and Morrow, tweeners like Tolliver, or Josh, whose ideal position is not SF. There is nobody else on the roster who can play D, grab boards, and provide energy at that spot other than James. Nobody is calling him an All Star, but he provides something at the SF spot that is necessary and that no other SF on the team can provide.

brigadierjerry

October 22nd, 2012
11:08 am

Enter your comments here

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2012
11:09 am

If they can find a way to dump Petro on someone, they can keep both Tolliver and James with no problem. Offer him to some sucker team for the right to swap 2nd round draft picks in 2060 or something. Who cares. Just get him out. Esteban Batista is a better option for 4th string center than him.

BIG DOG

October 22nd, 2012
11:12 am

Chris Vivlamore, worried about Petro who making 4mill a year riding the bench, I BE DAM

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Ken Strickland

October 22nd, 2012
11:15 am

You all know I’m not a fan of bash our players, but I’d much rather have Benson than Petro. If we can buy out a players contract, we can certainly afford to eat his contract and pay a just a little more to retain Benson. We’ll have to pay Petro whether we keep or release him. At least if we release him we stand a chance of someone else picking him up and assuming a portion of his contract.

Actually, it might be even better to keep Petro and Benson. Scott does everything that Tolliver does well, and he seems to do those things a bit better, and we also have Ivan at PF. I’d definitely sacrifice Tolliver for Benson and Petro. Benson added to Petro would give us more depth at center whenever we start Zaza and move Josh to SF and Horford to PF.

We also need more depth in the middle to hedge our bets against Zaza or Horford getting injured, especially with Zaza’s repeated injury concerns.

Ken Strickland

October 22nd, 2012
11:28 am

After thinking about it, HAS ANYONE HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT BENSON SINCE HE WAS CUT? Has he signed with anyone yet? Does anyone think he’d refuse to sign with us on a 1yr min contract. If we can carry 4 way over the hill players like Dampier, Collins, Stackhouse and TMac for an entire season on min contracts, we can certainly afford to commit to a minimum contract for a young, energetic, developing 6′11″ prospect that could certainly help this team, especially longterm.

I’ve heard some say that Benson wouldn’t have been a difference maker, and that’s true. But do you really think Petro will be a difference maker. Were any of the above mentioned players difference makers. Players that are signed to min contracts aren’t expected to be difference makers, although it does happen sometimes. Case in point, Ivan Johnson, who definitely became a difference maker after the loss of Horford.

BIG DOG

October 22nd, 2012
11:29 am

Teague is the Hawks leader this year, he must show it.

LD just let Teague run the show.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2012
11:32 am

Not that it means much with zero games in the books, but David Aldridge has the Hawks ranked higher than Brooklyn in his power rankings.

brigadierjerry

October 22nd, 2012
11:34 am

strickland,

good point about benson. i wonder if he is in the d-league somewhere. to keep,benson and petro and cut tolliver would have made more sense. not to make it a woody vs ld thing but if woody was here i think benson would be too alhough woody prob wouldnt play him

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2012
11:35 am

Aldridge’s comments:

Atlanta is still a playoff team, Nicholas. But I don’t think they’re top four in the east any more. I believe Miami, Boston and Indiana are the top three teams in the conference at the moment, and Chicago will be when Derrick Rose returns. A Philly team with Andrew Bynum is, to me, better than the Hawks as well, leaving the Hawks to fend for the remaining spots with the Knicks, Nets, Bucks, maybe Detroit. But that’s what the season is for.

Sounds about right to me.

BIG DOG

October 22nd, 2012
11:46 am

1.Teague is the Hawks leader this year starte at PG.

2. Lou Replace Joe who plays with in the system better than Joe but not a better defender, this will be a challenge for him starting at SG.

3. Josh will be a big time score at SF giving him a chance to run the floor with Teague, also will make this Hawks team better with him posting up smaller player at SF, also a better defender than Marvin so this will make Hawks much tougher on defense.

4. Horford Finally get play PF, instead of all the wear and tear on his body at center, him playing his normall position will make Hawks better on defense, now he also have a big body in the paint to help him bang against big boys.

5. Zaza this is his year to finally be able starte a full year at center.

Teague, Lou, Josh, Horford, Zaza.

Hawks will finish 50 wins and 32 loss

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

October 22nd, 2012
11:48 am

Petro Frustrated

Just when you think you heard it all.

Ken Strickland

October 22nd, 2012
11:52 am

As bad as we might think Petro is, he was more productive last yr than Dampier and Collins combined. So I’ll take him over any 3rd string center we’ve had the past several yrs. I was pretty sure that James had won the starting SF battle until LD failed to even mention him as an option in his comments. Other than James Josh is the only other SF candidate that brings DEF and rebounding.

If James doesn’t start at SF, it will look like LDrew is giving everyone the same lip service we got from Woodson all those yrs. Woodson repeatedly talked about DEF, while he kept giving major mins and depended on OFF players that were DEF liabilities(Bibby/Jamal). To keep them on the floor he even went as far as to radically modify his entire DEF approach to mask their DEF liabilities.

This switching defensive approach made it much easier on them, but much harder on everyone else. Drew has been talking a lot about DEF, and has talked about rebounding as a key to running a fastbreaking OFF. If he believes his own talk and is really committed to those principles, then James or Josh is his only SF option.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
12:03 pm

KenS,

If Drew doesnt start James, let alone, cut him, then I will be looking for Ferry to give Drew his walking papers cause there will be NO WAY IN THE WORLD we will look our best w/o a rebounding and/or hustling SF on the court every game night..NO WAY IN THE WORLD!!

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2012
12:03 pm

“As bad as we might think Petro is, he was more productive last yr than Dampier and Collins combined. ”

This statement encompasses everything wrong with judging players solely on stats. I’d rather have Dampier when he’s 60 years old than Petro now.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2012
12:14 pm

If Drew doesnt start James, then it has to be because Drew doesnt want an unproven guy to start over Stevenson, a seasoned vet with a ring on top of that! But I will still look for James to get quality min on the court. But now thats only if James doesnt get cut and I will so hate that if he does cause I was looking forward to seeing his hustle every night on the court. I was at the preseason game against Dallas and man o man, I was so happy to see him enter the game in the 2nd half. I was starting to worry he might get a DNP. He had one play where in went in for a rebound under the basket, fake up and made the basket for an AND1. A very exciting play that got me out of my seat cheering for him. Those that were around me was like, “who does she think this guy is, the other James??” LOL, I didnt care, tho. James was out there WORKING!!

O'Brien

October 22nd, 2012
12:18 pm

FTPB,

I talk a lot about defense but in some instances a good defense is a solid offense,” Drew said..

Drew finally admitted what us fans knew all along. He talks a lot about defense, but when it comes down to it, he always goes for more offense.

Ken S,

I would take Dampier over Petro. In limited minutes last year, I thought Dampier looked better than Petro (regardless of what the stats say).

Astro Joe

October 22nd, 2012
12:26 pm

Expect LD to use a platoon at PG, SG and SF this year. he may change his starting line-up more often than he changes his facial expression.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2012
12:35 pm

The always interesting NBA GM survey was released today. Some highlights:

-One GM picked the Hawks to win the division (over Miami)
-Joe Johnson did not receive votes for the best SG poll, while the Hawks received votes for best offseason moves
-John Jenkins receives votes as a possible sleeper rookie
-The Lou Williams acquisition is apparently one of the most underrated of the offseason
-No votes for Josh as one of the league’s premier defenders, although he gets votes as one of the best finishers
-Kenny Atkinson gets votes as one of the league’s best assistant coaches
-Kyle Korver gets votes as one of the league’s best pure shooters and one of the best at moving without the ball
-The question about who gets most out of limited natural ability is a laundry list of white guys/players Grandad would like
-Zaza gets votes as one of the league’s toughest players

Sam

October 22nd, 2012
12:37 pm

Ken Strickland,

Your argument makes no sense. If James was so good, why did they not re-sign him after the Joe Johnson trade? Instead, they signed Jerry Stackhouse. Former Hawk Jerry Stackhouse.

If James is equal to Stackhouse as a player, we’re in trouble.

brigadierjerry

October 22nd, 2012
12:38 pm

msdee,

i can see drew cutting james or not starting. drew would rather win a shootout looking pretty high scoring games than win a grindout low 90’s game. the fact he didnt mention james as a sf option is a red flag for me.
watch he will cut james to keep tolliver

james and ivan type of players u need as far as role players to get under opponents skin.