Atlanta Hawks game thread: Rebound and run against Cavs

Vivlamore reporting.

Rebound and then run. That will be the Hawks game plan against the Cavaliers Friday night at Philips Arena.

The Cavs featured Anderson Varejao, who leads the NBA in rebounding. The Hawks must contain the center, especially from keeping possessions alive on the Cavs’ offensive end.

“We just have to make sure we put on body on him as much as we can,” coach Larry Drew said. “He is the best rebounder in the league right now. The numbers speak for themselves. We just have to make a conscious effort to make sure we get a body on him every single time. He has a knack for getting to the glass and keeping balls alive. He’s just a guy you have to be concerned with and know where he is at all times. It’s going to be important the our big guys are conscious about putting a body on him.

Varejao leads the NBA with 14.9 rebounds a game.

According to Hawks center Al Horford, his team will also need help from the guards, including starters Jeff Teague and Devin Harris. With Kyle Korver (back spasms) out, the Hawks will be smaller in the backcourt.

“For those two guys it’s going to be a challenge to get those long rebounds,” Horford said. “Kyle is a good rebounder, under-rated. He’s a really good perimeter rebounder.”

Harris told me following the morning shoot-around that the Hawks will look to push the tempo even more with two point guards on the floor at the same time. But first they most control the rebound.

“Instead of leaking out to emphasize the fast break we really have to make sure we secure the ball first,” Harris said. “(Varejao’s) a guy that keeps a lot of balls alive, tips a lot of balls out. Those 50-50 balls, we have to make an emphasis on getting the majority of those.”

Then the Hawks will run. Harris will be making his fourth start of the season. Drew is expecting the Teague-Harris tandem to start the game with the energy that was lacking in Wednesday’s win over the Bobcats.

“It doesn’t change a whole lot,” Harris said of the offense with the point-guard tandem. “We still want to push the ball. Obviously, Kyle is a focal point in transition trying to get him open shots, open looks. We’ll still push the tempo. We might be a little quicker within our transition offense.

“We want to play a little faster. Obviously we want to get as many easy buckets as we can. With two point guards I think that will probably happen a lot more tonight.”

* Drew said his biggest challenge of the night is preventing his team from looking past the struggling Cavs. Without Kyrie Irving, the Cavs are 3-12 and have lost four straight. Coach and players are aware that the Cavs lost a two-point decision at the Heat earlier this week.

“We can’t take their record for granted,” Josh Smith said. “We have to go out there and play aggressive and play up to par or otherwise we’ll lose this game.”

* Anthony Morrow, who suffered a quad contusion is Thursday’s practice, is still a game-time decision.

* Drew said the loss of Korver and the questionable status of Morrow could lead to some minutes for rookie guard John Jenkins.

“We’ll see how the game is going,” Drew said. “We also have to see Anthony Morrow’s status. There is a possibility that (Jenkins) could get some minutes tonight.”

* The Hawks are going for their seventh straight victory tonight. Trivia question. When was the Hawks last eight-game win streak? It’s something they will go for Wednesday against the Nuggets should they defeat the Cavs tonight. The answer – The start of the 1997-98 season (Oct. 31-Nov. 18, 1997) when the team started with 11 straight victories.

- Chris Vivlamore

129 comments Add your comment

vava74

November 30th, 2012
7:09 pm

Apparently the blog monster like Varejao and does not let me say I don’t …

Blast

November 30th, 2012
7:26 pm

Let’s get it!

Blast

November 30th, 2012
7:26 pm

2nd and 3rd!

Points

November 30th, 2012
7:30 pm

8 game streak, maybe during the Mookie days?

Smokey

November 30th, 2012
7:31 pm

hopefully this will be a solid win.. go hawks!

Points

November 30th, 2012
7:32 pm

Haha, I see you already posted the answer. Guess I should have kept reading.

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
7:32 pm

250k Fine? Outrageous act by the godfather!

Funny thing is Miami only won by 5 against the Spurs bench at home? Hmmmm

Pops is no joke! Best coach in the game today..

Slimjr

November 30th, 2012
7:34 pm

Korver will be missed for sure..Morrow too.

Lets see if Jenkins will “D” up..We know he can shoot already….

Jamaaliver

November 30th, 2012
7:40 pm

I’d trade Josh Smith for Varaejao any day of the week.

Smokey

November 30th, 2012
7:44 pm

no real shooters in this lineup..bit of a worry

bigdave

November 30th, 2012
7:51 pm

Rev in Tampa

November 30th, 2012
7:56 pm

First Row Sports is running really slow tonight. Wish I could watch the game.

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:05 pm

Teague coming back in for Devin means we will not see Jenkins tonight….

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:05 pm

Morrow with his 2nd foul. Will we see Jenkins now?

Blast

November 30th, 2012
8:07 pm

Now, these refs will T you for staring them down these days.

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:08 pm

No playing time for Ivan again tonight.

J.J.M.

November 30th, 2012
8:08 pm

Lol my girl said josh is a poor man lebron

bigdave

November 30th, 2012
8:13 pm

Everything that leaves A-Mo hands looks good

Astro Joe

November 30th, 2012
8:17 pm

FUGLY game so far.

bigdave

November 30th, 2012
8:22 pm

Sloa with the young euro step

Jae Evolution

November 30th, 2012
8:22 pm

Please don’t let this bum Waiters go off.

J.J.M.

November 30th, 2012
8:27 pm

Cavs make it look so easy getting to the basket

J.J.M.

November 30th, 2012
8:28 pm

Another drive…and why can’t teague do this again?

Mokeysho

November 30th, 2012
8:29 pm

Astro Joe

November 30th, 2012
8:29 pm

This Waiters guy ain’t no joke.

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:30 pm

Ivan comes in and immediately draws a charge call… Nice

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:33 pm

Beautiful move by Josh

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:36 pm

bigdave

November 30th, 2012
8:37 pm

Liking this scrappy group

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:37 pm

Ivan comes in the game and makes an immediate impact

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:38 pm

Ivan Johnson is a beast….

bigdave

November 30th, 2012
8:39 pm

Check that,
Love this scrappy group..
Hawks playing well.. good team ball.

Blast

November 30th, 2012
8:39 pm

I cannot believe Drew drew up that Ivan 3.

Jae Evolution

November 30th, 2012
8:39 pm

Mokeysho

November 30th, 2012
8:39 pm

Ivan “the hammer” Johnson for 3!!

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
8:40 pm

Ivan 5pts, 1ast, 1stl and 1 charge call drawn(force turnover)…. All in 3mins…

Mr.E

November 30th, 2012
8:40 pm

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

November 30th, 2012
8:40 pm

Big Ivan For President

They started the clock late though.

Blast

November 30th, 2012
8:59 pm

Josh has taken two bad hits tonite.

Blast

November 30th, 2012
9:04 pm

Hawks in a dog fight. Cavs ain’t gonna quit. Hawks miss Korver.

Big Ray

November 30th, 2012
9:16 pm

Devin’s block was nice. Teague with back to back crap plays, but then the trey…

Smokey

November 30th, 2012
9:18 pm

Z was slow giving Jt a screen which mucked up the play

Big Ray

November 30th, 2012
9:21 pm

Varejao is annoying just to look at.

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
9:23 pm

No Morrow in the 2nd half…

Jae Evolution

November 30th, 2012
9:23 pm

Shoot the three Ivan, lol

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
9:23 pm

Ivan was going to take off from the free throw line on that last shot…

Big Ray

November 30th, 2012
9:24 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ivan smile before….

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
9:27 pm

Sometimes Lou will shoot the other team back into the game….

Melvin

November 30th, 2012
9:27 pm

So tired of seeing ZaZa tip the ball instead of grabbing it…

Jae Evolution

November 30th, 2012
9:31 pm

Ivan +18 in only 9 minutes, lol.