Game thread: Morrow out vs. T’Wolves with back stiffness

Vivlamore reporting from Minneapolis.

The Hawks will definitely be without Anthony Morrow and likely without Devin Harris tonight against the Timberwolves although the injured guards accompanied the team on the two-game road trip.

Morrow, who has missed the past five games with a right hip strain, is now experiencing lower back stiffness. He did not practice Tuesday’s morning and coach Larry Drew ruled him out against the T’Wolves.

Harris, who has missed the past 10 games with a sore left foot, took part in Tuesday’s shootaround. However, Drew said he is inclined to hold Harris out in favor of Wednesday’s game at the Cavaliers.

“We don’t want it to flare up a little bit so we are being cautious,” said Drew, who added that the game in Cleveland was the original target date for Harris’ return.

* Drew will stay with the same starting lineup of Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford. Much of the reason for staying with the unit is the absence of Kevin Love for the T’Wolves. Love is out after breaking his right hand for the second time this season.

“I kind of like it against this team,” Drew said of the lineup. “It’s a situation of whether matchups are good. The matchups are OK. From their perimeter, which is I think a big strength for them, their guards can really score the basketball. With our matchups with Lou in the lineup, I think we are able to match up pretty good with them. On the other end, we are playing two point guards and it may force them to make some decisions with us.”

* Drew said the key to the game will be how the Hawks respond to the Love-less T’Wolves.

“Will we have a mental letdown coming into this game knowing that their other guys are really going to step their games up?” Drew said. “How will we respond with Love not playing? Will we be up for the challenge or will we come out and think this is one of those games where we can turn it on at any time? That’s going to be the biggest challenge.”

* From a technical standpoint, Drew is concerned with the T’Wolves guards, including Ricky Rubio who could return tonight.

“Their guards are a big part of what they do,” Drew said. “They run a lot of pick-and-rolls for (Luke) Ridnour; Rubio is back tonight; the kid (Alexey) Shved, I really like. And once that ball goes up on the glass can we keep (Nikola) Pekovic off that glass. He’s a big-time offensive rebounder. A lot of that is because you are put into certain actions based on what they do. We are going to have to do a good job on their guards.”

Drew also pointed to forwards Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham as players the Hawks will have to watch.

* In other news, it appears that former Hawks player Marvin Williams will miss Friday’s game, his first trip to Atlanta with the Jazz after being traded in the offseason.

Williams is expected to miss the next three Jazz games with right knee inflammation. According to a report, Williams will travel but not play.

- Chris Vivlamore

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476 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

January 8th, 2013
3:57 pm

LD: On the other end, we are playing two point guards.

Umm…Lou is not a PG

O'Brien

January 8th, 2013
3:57 pm

High-sider,

Where you at? You’ve had 1st, 2nd and 3rd locked up for a while :smile:

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2013
4:00 pm

OB called it right FTPB. LD, “Will we have a mental letdown coming into this game knowing that their other guys are really going to step their games up?” Drew said. “How will we respond with Love not playing? Will we be up for the challenge or will we come out and think this is one of those games where we can turn it on at any time? That’s going to be the biggest challenge.”

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2013
4:03 pm

So if Harris isn’t playing tonight, I wonder if he plays DeShawn tonight and rests DeShawn tomorrow and plays Harris then. LD may have to play one or the other during back-to-back games. Duct tape roster management.

doc

January 8th, 2013
4:06 pm

nailed that landing ob

ten babee

Just Joe

January 8th, 2013
4:06 pm

Is there a better matchup in the NBA than Pekovic & Pachulia? Those two are made for each other. LD, please reconsider and start ZaZa tonight. That’s a heavy weight fight I don’t want to miss. Pekovic vs. Horford just isn’t the same.

Marcus

January 8th, 2013
4:12 pm

man, I guess these injuries to A. Morrow and D. Harris diminish their trade-bait worthiness … but I guess it depends if D. Ferry is looking at expiring contracts for the end of the season to clear cap room, instead of mid-season acquisitions.

hfc95

January 8th, 2013
4:15 pm

Bad timing by myself, wanted to repost as i found it hilarious others were not aware of marvin williams magic tricks..
Hawks made Grantland
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8823509/the-houston-rockets-indiana-pacers-golden-state-warriors-more-nba-best-lineup

Read Zachs 10 things I like and dont like #9 in particular
I think everyone agrees on this besides that one ajc hawks blogger, what was the handle??…#2 not a bust? something like that

O'Brien

January 8th, 2013
4:19 pm

From SI.com;

Cousins says he understands that in his third year, he is at a crossroads. The Kings are not going to trade him. After his most recent suspension, Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington and Dallas expressed interest in acquiring Cousins, only to be rebuffed. Cousins is too young, too talented and plays too important a position to give up on now..

hfc95

January 8th, 2013
4:21 pm

just joe

I agree with you 100% about ZaZa vs Pekovich. That should be a battle

I hope we get to see rubio play, and we need to contain shved, Rubio and Shved in the backcourt together will be a very dangerous duo for years to come.

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2013
4:31 pm

I think Rubio is still on a minutes restriction as part of his rehab. I think he only plays around 18-20 minutes/game.

MattP

January 8th, 2013
4:31 pm

Should be starting Smith at SF, Horford at PF and Zaza at C. Pek and Kirilenko are going to love their matchups at the start.

Duluth Joe

January 8th, 2013
4:34 pm

“The Kings are not going to trade him. After his most recent suspension, Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington and Dallas expressed interest in acquiring Cousins, only to be rebuffed”

Clearly our GM is a smart man. Why else would Atlanta be expressing interest in Cousins? Keep at it Danny. You know talent when you see it, you played the game. Trading Cousins is a matter of time only, and we have the best options (either Josh or Al) to give to Kings.

Samurai Squirrel

January 8th, 2013
4:37 pm

I think it is time to start trying to move Jeff Teague. There won’t be a better time than now. Teams would be interested since he has one more year left on his current contract. Nothing is more irritating than a player who is incredibly streaky. The Hawks need consistency from the PG position. They may not be stars, but you know on a nightly basis what you are going to get out of players like Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton. Heck, I’d even be interested in Mo Williams from the Jazz (I don’t know what his contract looks like, I am saying that from a play level).

Rusty

January 8th, 2013
4:45 pm

LD. The outcome of this game will depend on what you do as much as what the players do.

Just Joe

January 8th, 2013
4:46 pm

Sam Squirrel…What teams do you think need a young PG like Teague, and are prepared to give him a new contract in the offseason?

Orlando? New Orleans? Sacramento?

Rusty

January 8th, 2013
4:50 pm

Samurai squirrel do you want Lou playing pg. I blame much of JT’ s. inconsistent play on LD. He lets Lou play pg with JT in the lineup & often let’s the game go through Josh.

O'Brien

January 8th, 2013
4:52 pm

Squirrel,

How many Utah games have you watched this year (with Mo)? Because looking at the numbers, Mo WIlliams is averaging 13 pts, 7 assists in 31 mpg. Teague is averaging 13 pts, 7 assists in 32 mpg.

O'Brien

January 8th, 2013
4:53 pm

doc, AJ,

LD is very predictable with his quotes (just like his energy comments).

doc

January 8th, 2013
5:00 pm

yeah, when he has his pre or post game face on ld is very predictable. away from that je can be pretty candid though.

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2013
5:07 pm

OB, LD is as predictable as Rusty blaming LD for anything Teague does imperfectly. If Teague sneezes, its LD’s fault.

keith

January 8th, 2013
5:28 pm

“WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED SO FAR”

Just turned the televsion onto ESPN and observed Carmelo Anthony getting in the face of one “wanna be bully” Kevin Big Ticket Garnett.

Courage, fire, and passion. This is larger than just “Basketball” Boys and Girls!!!

Can you imagine anyone of our “LEADERS” doing what Melo did last night, going after KG.
Those are the traits of “LEADERS.”

32 games into the season, we seem to have plateaued, or leveled off. Other teams have figured us out. Where do we go from here???

Melvin

January 8th, 2013
5:42 pm

It’s only a matter of time before the Kings trade Cousins. I like the fact that DF inquired about him. I wonder which player DF envision trading for Cousins. My guess would be Horford. Their salaries doesn’t match, so the Kings would need to add a player or two to the trade work. Since the Kings are under the cap, I dont think they would need the salaries to be equal. The Kings have stress interest in Teaguein the passed so maybe any package would have to include him as well. Without looking at the trade machine, I would say. Cousins,Evans,Brooks for Horford, Teague and maybe a pick.

EmirS.

January 8th, 2013
5:42 pm

I see us blowing the T-Wolves out tonight by 15+ points.

Luke Cage

January 8th, 2013
6:05 pm

Just read that good ole Marv will be out when the jazz visit the Hawks lol, dude wanted to avoid the 2nd biggest BOOING of all time, (Joe will get 1st)

Luke Cage

January 8th, 2013
6:05 pm

Oh yeah,

SWEET CHRISTMAS!!!

Buddy Grizzard

January 8th, 2013
6:07 pm

EmirS. don’t go all Bob Rathbun on us.

W.R.Terrell

January 8th, 2013
6:39 pm

What will we learn tonight? The team had a meeting the other day, will they learn from that? The answer is a resounding NO! Here’s what you will see (1) The”Smoove” jacking up jumpers (2) The “Smoove” and Al playing a lil point (3) At least 3 TO’s from the “Smoove”, (4) The “Smoove” camping at the 3 pt line (5) JT yielding to the “Smoove” (6) Bad rotation of personnel by LD (7) Highlight reels (8) ISO “Smoove” (9) A lot of missed defensive assignments (10) Inability of LD to put folks in check (11) That’s just the beginning

Who Me?

January 8th, 2013
6:41 pm

If we could just play some solid defense for 4 quarters we could beat the teams we’re losing too. Nobody wants to defend on the edge. Hey, it works when you’re playing teams you’re supposed to beat, but the GSW’s/Celtics of the world don’t play that game….

Mookie Blaylock

January 8th, 2013
6:41 pm

W.R.Terrell with the facts as usual

Mookie Blaylock

January 8th, 2013
6:49 pm

SG – Horford
SG – Josh
SG – Korver
SG – Lou Williams
SG – Teague

you’re going to have problems when everybody is shooting guards

Mookie Blaylock

January 8th, 2013
6:54 pm

So one of our “leaders” calls himself “mid-range shawty” yet hasnt shown ANY signs of a mid-range game all year? More like Brick Squad member, J-Airball

Nate ArchiBALL

January 8th, 2013
7:15 pm

Luke Cage — Joe and Marvin will have a long way to go to beat out Stan Kasten, who was booed during his entire introduction of Dominique Wilkins at his retirement. (This piece was written by the late Jeffery Denberg, former AJC beat writer for the Hawks).

“The crowds may be small in Atlanta, but they neither forgive nor forget. During Dominique Wilkins’ retirement ceremony Saturday, Hawks president Stan Kasten stood to introduce the franchise’s all-time scorer, but was booed mercilessly. Game to the end, Kasten continued but the boo-birds kept right on coming. This was, in part, a protest against the trade that sent Wilkins to the Clippers, but that was in 1994.”

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2013
7:38 pm

Melvin, we should be so lucky. I doubt the Kings would send us 2 expiring contracts (Evans and Brooks). More likely they would want us to take on 1-2 bad contracts, like maybe John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, Travis Outlaw and/or Marcus Thornton. Assuming that Cousins and Tyreke are their two best players, I wouldn’t expect them to trade both for any one of our players. Cousins, Salmons, Thornton & Hayes for Horford, Harris and Morrow I think works in terms of salaries.

Buddy Grizzard

January 8th, 2013
7:55 pm

Any conversation about Cousins had to involve Horford. Josh would not re-sign with a lottery team if traded there so they’d have to be getting a player under contract for a number of years. Obviously, therefore, there was no interest in Horford for Cousins.

W.R.Terrell

January 8th, 2013
7:56 pm

The HAWKS had a civil meeting, from what I read no one really called anyone out. Here’s the deal, men say what’s on their mind, especially if it will benefit the team which comes first. Until a player or players get in each others face and let it all hang out nothing will change, may be for one or two games but no more. Somebody on this team has to be a leader and say what needs to be said. The coach definitely is not capable. Soft men make soft B. Ball players. I learned a long time ago one must speak their piece, you don’t have to like me but carry your share of the load and responsibility or we got a problem. Things change when folks have heart to hearts if nothing more then realization of the truth and that in itself is a change. When everyone can see the real picture they may or may not buy it but then clarity always bring reality.

Buddy Grizzard

January 8th, 2013
7:58 pm

Unless DF was trying to lowball them.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 8th, 2013
8:00 pm

““Will we have a mental letdown coming into this game knowing that their other guys are really going to step their games up?” Drew said.”

If they have a mental letdown after that Saturday game AND a team meeting where they supposedly aired out their grievances Festivus-style, I think we can officially conclude that team meetings are pointless. If there’s any game they should come out and dominate, it should be this one, after the way that Celtics game ended.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 8th, 2013
8:00 pm

“In other news, it appears that former Hawks player Marvin Williams will miss Friday’s game, his first trip to Atlanta with the Jazz after being traded in the offseason.

Williams is expected to miss the next three Jazz games with right knee inflammation. According to a report, Williams will travel but not play.”

Just like Marvin not to show up.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 8th, 2013
8:04 pm

“Any conversation about Cousins had to involve Horford. Josh would not re-sign with a lottery team if traded there so they’d have to be getting a player under contract for a number of years. Obviously, therefore, there was no interest in Horford for Cousins.”

I think there’s a huge gap between “expressed interest” and actually entering into trade discussions. “Expressed interest” just as well could be Ferry calling up the Kings, asking what they want for Cousins, getting some crazy answer like Josh + Al + 3 first round picks or something, and hanging up the phone.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 8th, 2013
8:05 pm

Josh should be able to post up Dante Cunningham or AK47 all night if he chooses.

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2013
8:05 pm

Buddy, Sacramento is saying that they are not trading Cousins. They have been offered players from across the league (not just Horford) and have said no. Sac has an elite talent who makes less than $4M/year… yeah, I would think that is worth holding onto until you know for certain that there is no future with that dude. And, if they are looking for immediate salary relief, they could consider Josh. At worse, they would get $13M off their books in a few months, at best, they would be the lone team capable of offering him a 5 year deal (which may be worth a gamble for a team that otherwise won’t be able to land a near All Star).

Blast

January 8th, 2013
8:06 pm

If Hawks play like rubbish tonight, I’m switching to the La/Rockets game. That should be a good one!

Buddy Grizzard

January 8th, 2013
8:06 pm

Devin Harris for Marvin kind of a wash… advantage Hawks since Harris is expiring and Utah is on the books for another year of Marvin. Still don’t see what Utah was thinking.

Buddy Grizzard

January 8th, 2013
8:10 pm

Astro Joe, Sacramento doesn’t need salary cap relief, their cap situation looks great long term:

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/sacramento.htm

And they would undoubtedly package one or more of their less-desirable contracts with Cousins in the event of a trade. Sacramento would be looking for a major package of talent and draft picks to improve the prospects of the franchise on the court, not on the books.

Duluth Joe

January 8th, 2013
8:10 pm

Zaza should be startingagainst Pekovic. Al is too small for him.

MattP

January 8th, 2013
8:11 pm

First play Pek scores in post on Horford…

Blast

January 8th, 2013
8:13 pm

Come on Korver!

Najeh Davenpoop

January 8th, 2013
8:14 pm

Agree with everyone who has already said Zaza should be starting.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 8th, 2013
8:15 pm

Nice box out and offensive rebound by Al against Pekovic.