--Hawks coach Mike Woodson gave his team the day off from practice Tuesday, a travel day between Monday's win in Washington and Wednesday's game in New York. It won't be the last time he does that this season, not with the Hawks' schedule between now and the end of the regular season packed with games."There are really no days to get practices in when you're playing every other day," Woodson said. "For the next month and a half we're going every other night. A lot of those days in between we're going to be getting treatment, lifting weights and shoot. Because you don't have the time to burn them up."
With the playoffs on the horizon, Woodson said there's no way he can run his players into the ground with so much basketball still to be played.
"Before last year we didn't even know what pacing was about," Josh Smith said. "But with the playoff experience we got against Boston, we have a lot better idea this time around. Coach knows how to plan it and we just have to stick with it and get our work in when the time is there."
--The first month of the season the Hawks used their defense and rebounding to control opponents in ways they hadn't been able to in Woodson's previous years on the bench. But they've fighting uphill in that department every since. They are currently averaging 40 rebounds per game to their opponents' 42.6, an unacceptable discrepancy, Woodson said, for a team trying to solidify its hold on a top four playoff spot.
"Everybody has to go after the glass," Woodson said. "We were fine there earlier in the year and then Josh (Smith went down for 12 games with an injury) and we dipped. Then Al went down (for 12 games with an injury) and we took an even bigger dip.
"Those are our two best rebounders. And now it's a matter of getting all our guys back to rebounding at a high level. Josh really has to start thinking about double digits every night. And there is no reason that he can't or shouldn't be grabbing that many rebounds a night."
Horford leads the Hawks with 8.8 rebounds per game and Smith averages 7.0.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We shut it down. That's exactly what we did." -- Hawks coach Mike Woodson, on his team's (lack of) resolve against the Knicks.