I thought I would post a quick blog before Hawks practices opens. I will update with injury news, etc. following practice.
As promised, I did catch up with DeShawn Stevenson to get his side of playing in back-to-backs. I will give you his full quote, but the short answer is he wants to play but understands he needs to listen to the medical staff.
Q. How are your knees?
A. The knees are holding up. It’s a sensitive subject because sometimes I feel like I can play. Your body feels good and you end up hurting it more. I think the staff has been doing a great job with me conditioning wise, eating wise and the back-to-back thing.
Q. Are you OK with not playing in back-to-back games?
A. I’m not OK because I love to play. I’m a warrior. Everybody knows that about me. I love basketball. Just to sit on the bench and see situations, like in Detroit, where I can feel like I can go out there and have an effect and it doesn’t happen. At the same, I think they (team officials) know what to do and I have to take their (advice).”
Guards Devin Harris and Anthony Morrow were medically cleared to return to contact practice and will travel with the Hawks for their two-game road trip. The Hawks play at the Timberwolves Tuesday and the Cavaliers Wednesday.
The Hawks have played short-handed at the position as Harris has missed the past 10 games with a sore left foot and Morrow the past five with a right hip strain.
Coach Larry Drew said he will wait to see how each player responds to Monday’s workout before determining their availability.
“It has been tough trying to move people around,” Drew said. “Some guys are playing more minutes at this stage of the season than I was hoping. Injury put us in that position. Now, we can get in a more familiar rotation.”
The Hawks have started Lou Williams at shooting guard the past seven games. Drew said he was determined to stick with a good thing as the Hawks won the first four games after moving Williams from the bench.
However, the Hawks have lost three of their past games.
“Yeah, I’m always thinking about that,” Drew said when asked about a possible change. “That’s always in the back of my mind whether it’s time to change some things up. We may need a jolt at this point with our lineup. I don’t know yet. I will keep thinking about it. Maybe something will happen, maybe not.”
Drew said he was pleased with how the team practiced Monday following Sunday’s team meeting to air issues that have affected their recent play.
“I didn’t feel good going into the meeting, particularly because we lost the (Celtics) game,” Drew said. “After the meeting I felt so, so much better than I did after the game because it was very productive meeting. … Had we won the Boston game, that meeting might not have taken place. We do meet as a team but that meeting was different. It was a little bit more personalized.”
Forward Josh Smith the mood of the team has remained the same.
“We’ve lost two games in a row,” Smith said. “We are not going to panic. There are a lot of professionals on this team. We had a good practice and we are ready to get after it (Tuesday) against Minnesota.”
- Chris Vivlamore
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