The Hawks will be back at full strength tonight as they return from the All Star Break. Both Jamal Crawford and ZaZa Pachulia returned to practice and have announced themselves ready to go. Tonight the team kicks off a four game western trip in Los Angeles against the Clippers in a game that the Hawks need to grab.
The Clippers look a lot different than they did two short weeks ago. Mike Dunleavy is no longer on the bench and is now the full time General Manager. Kim Hughes is now on the bench guiding the ship. One of Dunleavy’s first acts was to ship out Marcus Camby yesterday to Portland for Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw. The Hawks won’t miss Camby much as the center grabbed 20 rebounds against the Hawks during the last meeting. Still this Clipper team isn’t one that should be overlooked despite the changes. For the most part of the game in Atlanta they beat the Hawks up inside with Chris Kamen and Camby. Only a late Joe Johnson explosion helped to pull out that victory.
That said the Clippers could come into the game in complete disarray. It is no secret that their season was going no where and yesterday’s trade of Camby is basically the white flag going up. The Hawks have to smell blood in the water tonight and look to take the Clippers out of this game early. Due to being on the road they need to snatch control of this one early and hold on. With tough games coming up in Phoenix and Utah, they can not afford to drop one to the Clippers.