clear
Monday August 3rd, 2015 11:14AM

Hawks not expecting 1 player to replace Johnson

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Larry Drew smiled Wednesday as he talked about the fun he has had with his coaching staff drawing up different lineup combinations for the Atlanta Hawks.

Drew's long list of newcomers includes Anthony Morrow, Lou Williams, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson and rookie John Jenkins.

That makes for a lot of combinations.

All Drew knows for sure is it will take a combination of those players to replace Joe Johnson, a six-time All-Star.

The Hawks traded Johnson, who averaged more than 20 points in five of his seven seasons in Atlanta, to the Brooklyn Nets in July for five players and a draft pick.

When healthy, Johnson was a lock as the starting shooting guard. Now Drew has to figure out who will join three returning starters - center Al Horford, forward Josh Smith and point guard Jeff Teague - in the new-look lineup.

"Every morning before we come out on the floor, my staff and I meet and we talk about the different combinations," Drew said. "That was one thing we wanted to do in training camp, throw out a lot of different combinations to get a good feel for some of these guys and how they play with others."

First-year general manager Danny Ferry also traded small forward Marvin Williams to the Jazz for Harris.

The Hawks could be much smaller - and quicker - if Drew replaces Johnson and Marvin Williams with a three-guard lineup.

Teague said he's expecting to play at times with another point guard, Harris or Lou Williams. Teague said the Celtics had success last season playing small but quick guards Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley together.

"That was the whole idea, having me and Devin out there on the floor or me and Lou," Teague said. "That's a tough combination, kind of like Rondo and Bradley last year. They had two guys able to pick up guys full-court and cause havoc. I think we can do the same thing."

It's no surprise Teague referred to the defensive implications of a small lineup. Drew has made an impression on his newcomers early in training camp that defense comes first.

"I've never done so much defensively off the bat in training camp in my career," said Morrow, who played the last two years with the Nets after two seasons with Golden State.

Harris is 6-3, Teague is 6-2 and Williams is 6-foot-1. Teague's size wasn't an issue when he was paired with Johnson, who is 6-7.

Williams said speed can make up for lack of height.

"It's a speed league anyway," Williams said. "It's all about quickness and obviously we have a lot of guys that can fly around.

"It's going to be fun to see how everything works out and how we put this team together. I don't think teams are going to have a break when they play us, because we have three guards capable of playing that position."

Williams played both guard positions with Philadelphia. He averaged a career-high 14.9 points per game with the Sixers last season when he was runner-up to Oklahoma City's James Harden for NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Morrow has made more than 40 percent of his 3-point shots in three of the last four years. Korver has topped 40 percent on 3s in six of his last eight years. Jenkins, from Vanderbilt, was rated as perhaps the top shooter in the draft. Harris has averaged 13.1 points in his career.

"We definitely can put points on the board," Teague said. "That's not going to be a problem. Everybody can put the ball in the bucket when they need to. That's a great thing to have."

Drew said the main problem now is getting the newcomers trained in his system.

"The guys who have been here, they know what they're supposed to do out there," Drew said. "We've still got guys who are a little bit lost. When you mix in the guys who know what they're doing with the guys who are a little lost, it can get a little bit scattered at times.

"I'm really just trying to make sure what we put in and the combinations we try really do make sense so they can see the big picture."

Atlanta waived two of the players it received for Johnson - forward Jordan Williams and Jordan Farmar- before training camp. Morrow, guard DeShawn Stevenson and center Johan Petro also came to Atlanta in the trade.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Top 10 sports stories of the year: 2012 one for the history books
2012 has been all things to all people in the sports world. The last 12 months have run the gamut of emotions and given fans and spectators much to awe, rue and everything in between.
2:33PM ( 2 years ago )
College Football Hall to break ground in Atlanta
Groundbreaking for the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta will be Jan. 28 and the museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
2:15PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
Williams, Horford pace Hawks past Indiana
Lou Williams had 21 points and a career-high 12 assists, Al Horford added 20 points and the Atlanta Hawks won their fourth straight, 109-100 over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
10:19PM ( 2 years ago )
Gwinnett wallops Greenville, 6-2
Five different Gladiators racked up multiple points, as Gwinnett dominated the Greenville Road Warriors 6-2 Saturday night at the BI-LO Center to move into a tie atop the South Division with Greenville.
10:05PM ( 2 years ago )
Teague leads Hawks past Cavaliers, 102-94
Jeff Teague scored a career-high 27 points and the Atlanta Hawks scored the game's final nine points to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-94 on Friday night.
10:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Professional Sports
Matt Ryan feeling as young as ever in new scheme
Now in his eighth training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan says he has never felt better physically before the start of the season.
12:04PM ( 49 minutes from now )
Peterson, Teheran lead Braves past Phillies 6-2
Jace Peterson had three hits, including a three-run home run, and Julio Teheran pitched seven strong innings to lead Atlanta to a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
9:59AM ( 1 hour ago )
Post Race Notes: More heartbreak for Joey Logano
Joey Logano had the dominant car at Pocono, leading 97 of 160 laps, but the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford ran out of fuel and ran out of luck at the same time on Sunday afternoon.
By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 3 hours ago )
John Isner wins Atlanta Open for 3rd straight year
John Isner won the Atlanta Open for the third straight year, beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday at Atlantic Station.
6:02AM ( 5 hours ago )
Matt Kenseth wins at Pocono
Matt Kenseth, the unexpected winner of Sunday’s Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway, had to do a double take.
By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
8:26PM ( 14 hours ago )