Hawks’ Horford, Pachulia out Wednesday against Bobcats

1/23/13 in NBA   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The injury bug has returned again with the Atlanta Hawks sidelining two key frontcourt players, center Al Horford and backup Zaza Pachulia against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. In Al Horford and backup Zaza Pachulia’s absence, Ivan Johnson will debut his first NBA start at center during Wednesday’s game.
Neither Al Horford nor Zaza Pachulia travelled with the Atlanta Hawks to face the Charlotte Bobcats at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Al-Horford initially missed Friday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets due to the sore left half. However, Al Horford did participate in the Atlanta Hawks’ last two games, including Monday’s 104-96 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in which he contributed 28 points and 15 rebounds. But the injury returned on Tuesday when Al Horford missed practice with a sore left hamstring and calf muscle. The two-time All-Star Al Horford will work on his conditioning while staying back at Atlanta in hopes of returning in time for Friday’s home game against the Boston Celtics. Al Horford was leading the franchise with 9.8 rebounds per game and second-best average of 15.6 points while appearing in 39 games this season.
Zaza Pachulia will miss tonight’s game with a sore Achilles tendon after he had it reevaluated by a doctor on Tuesday. The sore Achilles tendon also kept Zaza Pachulia limited to only 16 minutes in Monday’s win. Zaza Pachulia played 41 games, while averaging 6.3 points and 6.7 rebounds this season.
 “We just have to go with what we have,” said Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew. “This Charlotte team always really pounds the boards, which has always been a big concern of mine when we play this team. So we are going to have to do a good job on the glass.”
Regardless of whoever starts, Larry Drew is still expected to give plenty of minutes to Mike Scott, Anthony Tolliver and Johan Petro. However, 7-year veteran Johan Petro is the Atlanta Hawks’ only true center who will be available against the Charlotte Bobcats.
“Ivan will start. (Johan) Petro will be playing minutes tonight. Mike Scott will be playing minutes tonight,” said Larry Drew. “Anthony Tolliver will be playing minutes tonight. We are short-handed but we’ll come out and compete.”
Atlanta Hawks guard Anthony Morrow will also miss tonight’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats dealing with a back injury. Anthony Morrow did not make the trip with the Atlanta Hawks as well.
However, there Atlanta Hawks are getting two players back off the injury list. Atlanta Hawks shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson will be starting at small forward after missing the last three games following cortisone injection in his sore right knee.  Atlanta Hawks point guard Devin Harris, who exited Saturday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs with a sprained left ankle is also expected to be ready for a return.
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