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
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AJCHAWKS