Shootaround: vs. Hawks

By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Updates from Tuesday morning’s shootaround in the New Orleans Arena:

• Atlanta (19-10) may lack the cache of some of the NBA’s more glamorous teams, but as one of the biggest surprises of the early season, the Hawks are a formidable opponent. New Orleans head coach Monty Williams on Atlanta: “They’re third in the East, really playing well, moving the ball, good in transition, shooting threes and attacking the basket. Their bigs are really good at pushing the ball, which is something you don’t see in the West a lot. Lou Williams is a really good guard who can score the ball and pass. (Jeff) Teague is about as fast as any guard in the league. (Kyle) Korver can shoot it. The kid (John) Jenkins off the bench is going to be one of the better shooters in the league. They have a number of things you have to take care of. If you turn the ball over, you’re going to be in trouble, because they score off turnovers. They’re fourth in the league in steals. That’s a tough thing to overcome if you’re not making good passes and running sound offense.”

• For the first time in 2012-13, the Hornets have earned a Player of the Week award. Point guard Greivis Vasquez picked up the honor after New Orleans went 2-1 during the period from Dec. 24-30, with road wins at Orlando and Charlotte. Williams: “It is (a nice honor) for the organization and Greivis. I’m sure they threw a parade for Greivis somewhere in Venezuela – he’s such a hero down there. We’re proud of him. He’s worked his butt off. I’m harder on him than I am on anyone else on the team – it’s not even close. To see this kind of recognition is good for the team and good for our young guys, to see that we’ve been through a tough time, but the league recognizes that he’s playing well.”

• After a superb season debut Saturday at Charlotte, Eric Gordon will make his first appearance in a game at the New Orleans Arena on Tuesday. Gordon: “It’s going to be very exciting coming back home, after a good win in Charlotte. We definitely want to have a good crowd and feed off their energy tonight.” Gordon felt some soreness after Saturday’s game, but said this morning that it has dissipated. “I’m ready to go for tonight, ready to help this team and try to get a win tonight,” the shooting guard said.

• In a much-welcomed development, the Hornets finally have “None” listed on their injury report. All 14 New Orleans players are available, with Darius Miller having been assigned to the D-League on Monday.