: Terry is a SG stuck at the point. Payton shouldn't have to really worry about JT getting 35 (like Arenas did), he hasn't gotten more than around 20 points since the trades. I think Gary will love tomorrow night's game and play big for us, he very well might be one of the biggest reasons we will win. We know he will play more minutes tomorrow, closer to the minutes he wants (35+), since we will be short Kobe. I expect Payton to get a double-double, the assists will be just off Shaq should be enough for him to get this. Phil needs to give GP more freedom tomorrow, they were supposed to talk about thing today or tomorrow, well I think we will see a little more of Payton running and doing things like he wants to. He will look to post up against Terry, since he is small and weaker than Gary. I think Gary will really take advantage of JT, since he isn't very good at defense. Take a look at what Terry has allowed: Kidd-15 points, 13 rebounds, & 10 assists (2/18). Snow-17 points, 6 dimes, & 5 boards (2/24). Billups-20 points, 8 assists, & 7 rebounds; Mike James-13 points & 7 assists (2/27). Lue-19 points & 7 assists (2/28). So I don't think Gary has to worry about Jason Terry becoming a Gary stopper or a Gary slower downer.
: Anyone remember what Rush did last time he started. Well, in case you don't recall, he scored 30 points...on the Kings. The Kings have defenders and play defense, a concept that completely boggles the mind of all 8 Hawks. Rush will have a good game against the rook. Boris Diaw is only averaging 4 ppg in 25 minutes a game. Now tell me, how do you think he plans on doing better than that against an actual team, not no Magic or some sorry team, no he is going against the Lakers. Even if he brings his A game, he would still flunk. The past 5 games his defenders have scored an average of 19 points on this kid (Jones, Mobley, Hamilton, Stevenson, and McKie). I expect Rush to at least score 19, if not more. Rush is a very strong an effective offensive weapon for us and I don't see the Hawks able to stop him from getting shots. Rush should be able to keep Diaw to his average of 4 points. If Kobe can make it back for this game, then that would be huge. He doesn't need or have to play in this one, but he wants to and he said if he can make it in time, then he will play. I think if Kobe plays, the Hawks may just quit, after getting beat by Rush, they won't have much left to guard the true shooting guard in this league-Kobe. I think he will be able to at least score 15 points if he comes in at halftime. I doubt he would play much, probably just a quarter. The fans would go crazy if Kobe came and he, as well as the rest of the Lakers, would use this energy to push them the rest of the way to a win.
: Stephen will probably be the Hawks' leading scorer. He is their best player, sad, but true statement. Fox will be able to do a good job on him but, I think Jackson will still get 15-20 points. The duck will look for the ball more, since JT won't be able to get anything against Payton and they have no more options. Our defense should prevent him from shooting many 3's (even though he has a low %), and Shaq will prevent him from getting anything on the inside, this leaves Fox guarding him and forcing him to settle for outside J's. I doubt Fox will contribute much offensively; but him drawing charges, passing, and getting rebounds should be enough and all we will need from him.
Slava & Grant/Crawford
: Slava is currently located in Phil's doghouse. He has been less than impressed with Slava's play recently and the reason why he has given Grant the bulk of the minutes at the PF. Slava will probably start and get into early foul trouble (his usually routine) and then Grant will come in for him and have another solid game. Grant had a big game against the Nets (K-Mart & Rodgers), all he has to face in ATL is Crawford, not Jamal, but Chris. Chris has had a few decent games recently, but those were against teams without a decent big man or against an injured team. He won't even be a factor against us, because he will have to say hello to Shaq whenever he wants to try to get off a shot in the paint. Crawford starting at PF is an embarrassment to the league. He is a SF, not a PF, but due to injuries he has to play it. If we get him into foul trouble, they are screwed, they only have 1 player to back up 2 positions...have fun N'diaye. Also, they play again Wednesday, and Crawford will have to play at least 35+ minutes and he is going to get tired, our big men are going to have fun. I think Luke could even do very well against Crawford and will probably get some time against the "PF"
Shaq/Przybilla & N'diaye
: This will be a great game for Shaq. I think he will easily go for 40 points and 15 rebounds. Most of us haven't even heard of his competition and if we have, then it's because they are usually the only 2 big men left in the free agent pool in NBA Live 2004. Shaq knows these guys couldn't guard an inflatable dummy. They will get killed by Shaq. Shaq weights like 100 lbs more than each of them, so he can move them around in the paint and get easy position whenever he wants it. If Shaq can get either one of these guys in foul trouble, then they will be in trouble, since they have 3 guys for 2 positions, that means only 1 backup for the PF/C positions, unless they want to put Jackson on Shaq
. The Hawks lack depth and size, which means there is nothing in the paint stopping Shaq. They can't go to a hack a Shaq, because their big men will foul out. So get ready to see a big game from the big fella....can you dig it!!!!!