MEMPHIS … LAST ROAD STOP BEFORE BREAK
Editor’s Note: The National Basketball Association announced today the rescheduling of the Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards game that was postponed on Saturday, Feb. 6. The Hawks and Wizards will make up that game on Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
The Hawks start off a short week shorthanded. After being snowed out Saturday night, the birds will play only two games this week before the All-Star festivities begin. Joe Johnson and Zaza Pachulia did not practice Monday; Joe will be with the team in Memphis, Zaza will not.
The Hawks get a bad team and a good team to close out the first half of the campaign, but they have to remain focused, as they certainly want to finish up on a good note before the mid-season break. A good start in Memphis will be a key to victory since Joe may not be a go, or 100 percent if he does. Marvin Williams and Joe Smith may be called upon to fill in on scoring and rebounding duties.
The Grizzlies are trying to find their way, and they have a good post presence with Zach Randolph and Marc Gosol. Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo are guys who must be defended. Josh Smith won’t look past the Grizzlies at all, “They are like the Clippers. They have a lot of talented guys on their team if they get it going it could be tough.” The Clippers gave the Hawks a good run for their money last week and Memphis could too.
Memphis is a young team that is struggling, (as they have lost three straight) and are a team that has had several members admit to being fatigued. They should be punished with a good transition game. Zach Randolph’s monstrous numbers (20 points and 11 rebounds per game) are down. During their losing streak, Randolph has not scored 20 points in a game, while his teammates have been struggling with outside shooting. Al Horford says the team is looking forward to some relaxation but notes ,“ we have to handle Memphis before you look ahead in the week. It will be nice to get a few days off and get some rest.”
The Hawks and Wizards will have their game rescheduled as it was postponed do to a snow storm in the D.C. area. Both teams were out of town when the storm hit, and the league determined that both teams staying put was the safest move. Josh Smith would rather be safe than sorry and said, “We will be ready when we do play.” He also said that he got a chance to rest his legs and watched some college basketball. Jeff Teague said, “you always want to get out and play games, but I’m glad the league was being safe.”
… Some of the guys were happy that the Saints won the Super Bowl some were not. Indiana native and Hawks Rookie Jeff Teague has to wear a Saints hat, as his Colts lost in the Super Bowl to New Orleans. He will don the gear when the Hawks head out west.
… Josh Smith and Marvin Williams had a great time at the Morehouse, Clark-Atlanta basketball game at Morehouse College last week. Marvin says, “it will most definitely be on his schedule next year.” Josh had been there before and said, “It was fun it definitely something to see.” Josh has been to see Georgia Tech play as well.
… Marvin Williams did not check his email the day of the snow storm and went to the airport. He was thankful the league was concerned about player safety. He took advantage of the surprise day off by getting rest at home.