It appears that Al Horford is less than a sure thing to return to the lineup on Saturday night against the Bobcats. Ken Sugiura reports from practice today that "as of Thursday, Horford isn't planning on playing Saturday". That is a stark difference than what was originally reported prior to Tuesday's game. Sugiura reports that Al tried to shoot today but was still sore and would try again tomorrow. It is probably wise to be cautious because the Hawks will desperately need a healthy Horford once they depart on the road trip at the end of this month.
In an added development it now appears that there won't be any lineup changes due to Horford likely being absent from the lineup.
"It is definitely still weighing on my mind," Drew said. "The decision has not been made yet." The team scrimmaged but didn’t have any out-of-the-ordinary lineups, Mo Evans said.
So are the lineup changes just on hold or are now not happening at all? In this post, I wondered out loud if Drew's comments to Michael Cunningham were made in an effort to get his team's attention. According to Sugiura if that was the goal then it doesn't appear that it was entirely successful.
If Drew was using his public comments about making lineup changes or considering a trade to get his team’s attention, it apparently wasn’t entirely effective. When the topic was broached with Evans and Horford, it was the first both had heard of it. Said Horford, "If Coach Drew needs to shake something up to make us better, I’m for it, and I hope everybody on this team is for it and understands it."
While this team seems to do a pretty good job of keeping issues behind closed doors you can draw what you want from the above statement. Perhaps Drew stays to his word and shakes the team up as soon as everyone is healthy again. Then again there is the chance that it was a failed effort to get their attention. Today even a trade sounds unlikely.
Drew said the team is not actively pursuing a trade but is in a stance of keeping its ears open. Said Drew, "We’ll continue to talk about different things, look if there’s something that could potentially make us even a better ballclub."
The above doesn't sound like anything is imminent and brings back standing pat into the equation. So the latest development in this story is a series of mixed messages. It also appears now that the Hawks aren't really close to getting things sorted out.