Take It Out on the Jazz

Friday, November 12, 2010
By Jon Newberry

With an 82 game regular season schedule there are going to be times when things aren’t going smoothly. Even the closest friends don’t get along ALL the time, and losses and not performing well are often the catalysts for bickering. Some might view the jawing from Wednesday’s loss to Milwaukee as a red-flag this early in the season, but Head Coach Larry Drew has been around the league long enough to know that it can be used as a positive.

“Me personally, I embrace that,” said Drew after Thursday’s practice. “I want them mad that they didn’t play well. I want them jarring at one another, but do it in a constructive way. An then allow the frustration to transfer… and take it out on the Jazz.”

Taking it out on the Jazz will probably be the best cure for the Hawks current three-game slide. Players are doing a good job of keeping a level head. Not getting too high during the 6-0 start and not hitting the panic button now, but you can’t just accept losing streaks.

Coach Drew continues to point to defense and rebounding as the biggest problem areas for the Hawks. Thursday’s practice featured zero offensive drills, instead focusing solely on the effort and execution it takes to keep the opposition from putting the ball in the basket.

Other thoughts from Coach Drew from Thursday:

“I saw a lot of fatigue. That is something that they have to learn to push through.”

(On the recent bench play) “They’re subs, coming in off the bench. They’re not playing starters minutes so they should be much more energized. I have to challenge those guys to produce more.”

“In watching the film we have to do a better job rebounding as a team. We put a lot of emphasis on that in our film session, and we also had two segments of rebounding during our practice. It is something that I have to do on a continual basis with our guys because that has become a glaring problem. Not seeking bodies to box out. It is not just our big guys, but our perimeters. We have to keep doing it until it becomes a habit.”

LATER TODAY: Update from shootaround, including the injury status updates for Marvin and Mo.