The Hawks will continue with their normal lineup tonight against the Warriors with Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson, Josh Smith and Al Horford.
The Hawks will be a little short-handed as guard Anthony Morrow is out with back soreness. Morrow began experiencing back pain last week against the Grizzlies and the team has been managing the issue since. Morrow missed significant time with a stress fracture in his back during his junior year at Georgia Tech in 2006.
For the Hawks (14-6), they will be looking to avenge one of their losses this season after falling to the Warriors 92-88 in Oakland on Nov. 14. The Hawks were without center Al Horford and guard Devin Harris as they suffered from a stomach illness that hit the team hard during that West coast trip.
Coach Larry Drew welcomes another chance at the Warriors (15-8) with Horford.
“He is a big part of what we do,” Drew said. “I went back and looked at that game. It was kind of a weird game for us, everything that we were going through at that point. We’ll go into with a little bit more of a defined game plan, similar to what we’ve done in the past with him. He’s a big part of what we do. We run things through him. He is an anchor defensively.”
One of the issues for the Hawks is slowing Warriors rookie forward Harrison Barnes, who had 19 points and 13 rebounds in that game. David Lee also had a double-double in that game.
“He played well,” Drew said of Barnes. “A few of their guys played well. I did not think we played well defensively against him the last time we played them. I think he’s going to be a terrific rookie. He has size. He has speed. He’s athletic. He can make shots. We have to do a better job on him defensively, without a doubt. We have to take the challenge and from a team standpoint we have to be solid defensively.”
Smith said the key will be slowing the Warriors’ perimeter players.
“We have to do a better job of containing the ball on the perimeter,” Smith said. “(Warriors coach) Mark Jackson is one that likes to milk plays if they are successful. We have to be able to do the job of sitting down and taking the challenge defensively.”
- Chris Vivlamore
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