And yes, I mean this even if Horford and Zaza are available to play.
This doesn’t really even have much to do with Ivan’s performance against the Bobcats. Yes, the 12 points and 15 rebounds were nice, but… it’s the Bobcats. Hakim Warrick and Bismack Biyombo probably couldn’t handle a lightpost; they have no shot against a dude that wears a grill and was banned from the Korean League.
No, this has much more to do with Josh Smith. If you have problems remembering, Smoove has had a lot of trouble with Boston lately, which appears to be a psychological barrier enforced by Kevin Garnett. Josh’s career numbers against the Cs? 13 points, seven boards, and 40% shooting. Not. Good.
So, Horford appears to be good to go, but Zaza may be iffy, which makes this a little more difficult, but I believe the Hawks should start with a lineup of Jeff, Devin or Korver, Josh, Al, and then Ivan. Why? To keep Josh the hell away from KG.
Oh, and Josh being at the three works. According to 82games.com, it’s his best position. According to the NBA’s Media Stats site, the best lineups for the Hawks are when Josh is playing small forward. I don’t see how putting Josh on Pierce, and then getting Horford on either Bass, Green, or Garnett wouldn’t be the most advantageous thing for Atlanta.
The only thing that could throw a wrench into this plan is if Zaza isn’t able to go. In that case, I could see why Larry Drew wouldn’t want to put his best three frontcourt options out there at once, with no real option to back up off the bench. However, if Zaza can play, I see no reason for the Hawks to not give heavy minutes to that frontcourt lineup that I listed above.