When we took the assignment of heading to Philips Arena for the game between the Good Guys (that would be the Hawks) and the Pretty Good but not as Good Guys (that would be the Magic), we knew we had to ask Coach Woodson about one player.
These are the results of our quest.
First of all, Acie was out for family reasons, and Woodson reports that he’s fine and they hope that he is back tomorrow.
So even with knowing that nothing that was said tonight could be quickly addressed after the game since Law would be inactive for the game, we wanted to know why Law hadn’t been playing and if he fit into the long term (and short term for that matter) Hawks plans.
“Right now I’m just looking at what’s happening now,” said Woodson. “He’s a part of the team. He just hasn’t seen a lot of action in our rotation. We’ve elected to go with Flip.”
“It’s no knock against Acie,” Woodson continued. “I still expect him to be ready to play. I thought the other night he stepped right in and did a great job—for a guy who hasn’t played in a while—he did some nice things---and I expect that.”
When asked by the HHB if he would be playing more as the season wore on the Coach replied, “My thing is that I know as the season goes on I’ve got to get back to trying to play 9-10 guys consistently.”
The question has been has Acie done anything wrong to keep him off the floor and if there was anything that Law was doing well. Says Woodson, “His job is to run our basketball team---and that’s what I expect him to do and I expect him to be sharp defensively when guards are bringing the ball up the court. I've got to keep working with him and keep finding minutes for him.”
“(Being a scorer) is what he’s done in college. He was a scorer in college and here he doesn’t have to score a whole lot. If he’s a position to make plays, I do expect him to do that. And he’s doing that---I have no complaints about Acie Law—he’s doing excellent when he gets a chance to play.”
Without Law there, we couldn’t know for sure, because we couldn't ask him as planned, but we asked Woodson if Law understands that the defensive end and running the team effectively are the key notes for him to get on the floor for more time.
“He gets that---he really has no choice (laughter)---and if he’s called upon to play, that’s the way I expect him to play. I’ve just been going with a different rotation and he’ll be back in there ready to play.”
There it is---no bones for Law in the Woodson doghouse---hopefully the only bones thrown will be the minutes for Law on the court.
More Game Notes:
Zaza Pachulia was sick—so sick in fact that he was not even at the arena and is day-to-day.
We can appreciate Zaza not bringing his illness to work and exposing the HHB to even more sicknesses (see our Out Sick post from last month to catch a photo of us incapacitated by the last illness we had), but the Hawks missed his energy and toughness badly in the game.
The Official Spouse of the HHB sent along that we got a Comment from The Vent's CoCo regarding asking about Speedy Claxton, about whom we wrote last season to cancel plans to hold your breath for his return.
As Casey Kasem would say, CoCo---Here is Your Long Distance Dedication:
Claxton’s knee injury recovery timeline is still officially a mystery, but we are known to speculate that it’s awful hard to risk a player playing when insurance money is on the line. We hear that Claxton may want to be out there in heart these days, but his body and circumstances seem to be conspiring to make that a non-reality.
One more quote from Josh Smith tonight and this one goes out to Peachtree Hoops, who has documented that the Hawks are consistently one of the Top 5-10 slowest paced teams in the league, especially when winning.
“We played their style of basketball---half court---we opened up more and started to play our pace and cut the lead down---but you can’t wait to play your basketball what late against a team like Orlando.”
The HHB thanks all the fine people who came around to chat tonight at the arena---and of course the Hawks for having us---Comments and further Salutations are Welcome at the Comments Section.
Dec. 10: Thunder vs Hawks
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