Game 1 Shootaround Report

Monday, May 2, 2011
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks are ready. With the final shootaround behind them, the team is done with its on-court preparations for tonight’s Game 1 at the United Center in Chicago.

As for the decisions about the line-up that have been a main topic of discussion the last few days, Coach Drew has chosen (at least at the moment) to go with Teague, Johnson, Williams, Smith and Horford in the starting line-up.

LD’s decision means that Jamal Crawford (scoring) and Zaza Pachulia (size and energy) will continue to be key contributors off the bench for the Hawks. Also look for Damien Wilkins to get decent minutes in Game 1 as the Hawks try different schemes to slow down Derrick Rose.

The “traditional” starting line-up also creates some intriguing match-ups to start the game outside of the point-guard position (MVP Candidate vs. Young Bench Player). With Marvin Williams as a starter, he is saddled with the task of keeping Luol Deng in check on the defensive end. At four-spot, Josh Smith should have the advantage over Carlos Boozer with his speed and athleticism, especially with Boozer’s current toe injury.

Finally, at center you have two former college teammates and friends doing battle inside. Al Horford and Joakim Noah know each other’s game inside and out, and they each provide a unique skill set. Horford will look to draw Noah out of the paint and score with his mid-range jump shot on offense, while his primary task on defense will be to keep Joakim off the boards.

Check out the following links for more details on the match-ups:
- Hawks.com Scouting Report
- Michael Cunningham’s Blog on AJC.com
- Change in Priorities from NBA.com
- Hawks Turn to Teague from the Chicago Tribune
- Hawks Insist Second Round Will Be Different from AJC.com

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