Stepping Up Within the System

Thursday, February 23, 2012
By Jon Newberry

There is no use sugar-coating it, the Hawks are shorthanded tonight. They have played the last 21 games without two-time All-Star Al Horford (torn pectoral muscle), and now they will play the next two games without their six-time All-Star Joe Johnson (knee). That is a lot of points and a lot of leadership to make up for.

To make up for missing Joe, the Hawks know that they must step up their game, but it needs to be done collectively, not as individuals. Each player needs to raise their level of play, but they need to do it within the framework of the system designed by Coach Drew and his staff.

Before the game Coach Drew and Willie Green, who will be starting in Joe’s place, each talked about needing a team effort: