Doing the Dirty Work

Friday, November 19, 2010
By Jon Newberry

The last time the Hawks took the floor they hit 8-of-15 shots from behind the arc. It was a “pretty” win because it featured made jump shots and offensive efficiencies. Listening to Coach Drew it has become apparent that he is looking more for the “ugly” win.

“I won’t count on that every night,” Drew said of the sharp-shooting in Indiana. “As I told our players, there are going to be some nights where we won’t be able to put it in the ocean. We can’t go out, game in and game out, and rely on perimeter shots. We have to be solid defensively every night we step out. Hopefully we will have nights where we shoot the ball really well or we will do a great job with our execution, but our staple has to be our defense every single night.”

Historically, defense, hustle and playing “blue collar” basketball seem to be more of instinctive skills than skills that are taught. It is tough to imagine Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford playing like Mario West, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come up with loose balls and fight for the 50/50 rebounds.

How does Coach Drew plan on getting his players to play scrappy?

“We are going to go straight to the tape,” said Drew. “Who is blocking out? Who is not blocking out? Look at all of our loose balls. Could we have gotten on the floor and got it, or could you not have? All those things have to be pointed out, but they are something that I have to keep talking about every day. They have to be ingrained. Rebounding and coming up with loose balls is dirty work. You gotta be willing to do that. We’ll talk about it every day until it is ingrained. It may not get ingrained, but they’re gonna hear that from this day until the end of the season.”

All of this becomes more important as the Hawks look to get some quality wins against some of the elite teams from around the league.