Sunday Practice Report

Sunday, May 1, 2011
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks are in the Windy City, but before they headed north today they held one final practice at Philips Arena and briefly spoke to the media.

“Everybody’s upbeat, confident,” commented Joe Johnson.

The team’s mental health is good, but the physical health of one of their key players remains “doubtful”.

Kirk Hinrich traveled with the team to Chicago, but it is looking more and more like Atlanta will have to find a way to contain Derrick Rose without their defensive specialist. Coach Drew and his staff continue to break down film and explore all of the options when it comes to devising a strategy for this series.

“We’re looking at different things,” LD responded when asked what his starting line-up would be for Game 1. “We have not decided yet.”

The uncertainty in the starting line-up surrounds two variables. The first is Hinrich’s replacement at point guard, and the other is whether to go with the BIG line-up or the traditional line-up with Marvin at the three-spot.

One thing that is certain, Jeff Teague will have an opportunity to play a much bigger role in this series than he did in the first round.

“His opportunity has arrived,” said Johnson. “We look forward to him stepping up.”

The other question of going BIG is important because it effects the rotation off the bench. Marvin, Jamal, Zaza and Teague should all see plenty of minutes in this series. Most likely, two of them will start, and two of them will come off the bench. At this point LD has made it clear that he is taking a long look at all of his options.

Kirk’s Timetable
It is still extremely early to speculate, but Coach Drew is proceeding with his game plan without factoring Kirk Hinrich into the equation. When asked about the possibility of Kirk returning at some point in the series, this is what LD had to say:
“Hearing how the injury was… me personally, I’m not looking for him to come back this series. I mean, Kirk’s a tough guy. I never say never, but right now it doesn’t look like it.”