Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
The Hawks returned to the practice court after taking Sunday off. Atlanta is currently on a five-game winning streak and the focus of practice today was to continue improving on their sets.
The Hawks went through a light practice with no contact Monday morning with the intent of working through their sets and continue to improve their sharpness offensively. Devin Harris did not participate in practice as he continues to recover from turf toe, and as Larry Drew said, "the toe was a little bit sore, and there was no reason really to have him out there." The rest of the Hawks took part in practice, as they worked through all of their offensive plays.
The goal of the practice was to work on going through all of the options in their sets. Almost all of the Hawks plays have an off-ball cutter option and corner three option along with the main play (whether it's pick-and-roll, post-up, etc.). Drew had not been particularly happy with half-court execution of sets of late, and part of that, he felt, came from the team not taking advantage of all the options available in a given play (missing cutters/open shooters). They finished the practice going through inbound plays and end-of-clock plays, something they have executed well early in the season and they introduced some new plays today.
The five game win-streak has picked the spirits of the team up, and the group was very loose and having fun during practice. When asking about the reasons for the five-game streak, the Hawks pointed to a few different things. Larry Drew thought it was from an improvement in their transition game, while Josh Smith simply said, "we're gellin." It seems that the two go hand-in-hand as the transition game is being created by an improved team defense.
Atlanta will start preparing for their matchup against the Bobcats tomorrow, but after beating them Friday Drew said, "the gameplan won't change much." Al Horford expects the same type of game as Friday saying, "They play hard for 48 minutes no matter if they'r up or down," and Zaza Pachulia says this Charlotte team is, "the best Bobcats team ever." The Bobcats will be the second game of the five game homestand that started Saturday and continues through next Friday (Dec. 7), and features four very winnable games.
(While the Hawks didn't practice with contact, John Jenkins, Johan Petro, and Anthony Tolliver played a three on three game against Anthony Morrow, Ivan Johnson, and Mike Scott. It was very entertaining, JJ/Petro/Tolliver won for what it's worth.)