Last night against the Pacers, Al Horford went down with a left shoulder strain. He'll be reevaluated today, but adding him to the list of injuries sucks. Horford, Marvin Williams and Trac McGrady are hurt and Kirk Hinrich still hasn't played this season. How can the Hawks keep soaring despite these injuries? What moves can be made to help the Hawks deal with these injuries?
The Hawks wing play needs to be perfect. Joe Johnson, Jeff Teague and crew need to bring it. They can't get complacent, hold the ball too much, or not sprint back on D. They need to give everyone a touch on offense, really be engaged and mix it up defensively. With Horford questionable, there's less offense on the Hawks frontline. Wing players will pickup the slack. Jeff Teague's aggression on offense should pickup. Teague should really look to finish at the basket in semi-transition.
Role players will be key to keeping the team afloat. Ivan Johnson, Willie Green, Jannero Pargo and crew need to bring their best games. They'll be depended on more. Now's their time to prove they can play and take on bigger responsibilities. Playing great now could lead to an expanded role the rest of the season. That's the incentive for them to get after it.
Atlanta has long been a team with a weak frontline. Al Horford's injury further brings that out. They don't have a banging type of big man and Horford is an undersized big to begin with. Horford is nice on both ends, but adding a banger and a big that can score would help. If a guy like Carl Landry or Chuck Hayes were available, they could fit those roles. The Hawks may wanna go after bigs with more size, but the same skill set.
Can the Hawks fight through this stretch? Yeah, luckily their next three games are against mediocre competition (Charlotte, Minnesota, Toronto). They can compete with teams like that, but the sooner their guys return, the sooner we can expect the Atlanta Hawks to take flight!
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