Ready for Tip-Off – Tuesday's Practice Report
The Hawks flew into Memphis yesterday afternoon, but before they left they had a lengthy practice session at Philips Arena. Hawks.com caught up with Coach Drew and some of the players to see how they felt about the opener, and there seemed to be a focus on keeping the Grizzlies off the boards.
“They were number one in the whole entire NBA in offensive rebounds last year,” said J-Smoove. “We gotta put a body on people and be ready to box out and hopefully get some transition points from them being a little off balance.”
The Hawks might catch a break if Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies starting center, is forced to sit out. Gasol led the NBA with 4.1 offensive rebounds per game last season, and, at 7’1″ and 265 lbs, is a load inside. He is currently listed as day-to-day with a right ankle sprain and will probably be a gametime decision.
Outside of the specific game plan for Memphis the Hawks are genuinely excited to get the regular season underway.
“I’m very excited,” said Coach Drew. “This is what we have been working for through the summer and through the preseason.”
He went on to discuss the importance of getting off to a good start on the road. “Preseason is preseason. This is where it all counts. If we’re looking to take that next step, then you have to be a good road team.”
Be sure to tune in to SportSouth tonight to see the 2010-11 Hawks debut. Hawks LIVE begins at 7:30pm and the game starts at 8.