The Atlanta Hawks should have all 14 players on its roster available for tonight's game against the Indiana Pacers. Josh Smith took part in the team's shootaround this morning and will return to the starting lineup tonight after sitting out Sunday's game with an ankle injury.
Good news. Josh Smith will return to the lineup for the Hawks tonight against the Pacers. #ATLHawks— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) November 7, 2012
Smith took part in a portion of the team's practice on Tuesday. Joining Smith at practice was Johan Petro who has been inactive during the first two games of the season with a sore back. Petro is expected to be in uniform tonight as well for the Hawks.
With a full compliment of players, this could be the first time this season that Larry Drew elects to go with a big lineup. In an effort to matchup with the Pacers' Roy Hibbert, Drew could insert Zaza Pachulia into the starting lineup at center and slide Al Horford and Josh Smith to the power forward and small forward slots. The edition of Petro adds to the team's depth up front and may make Drew a little more comfortable in going big from the outset.
Rebounding will be a huge concern with the Pacers coming into the game as the No. 1 rebounding team in the league averaging over 53 boards per game. Atlanta on the other hand is ranked 27th out of 30 teams averaging just 37 rebounds per contest. Those stats provide even more incentive with going to the bigger lineup.