COACH LARRY DREW WILL CONTINUE WITH THE HAWKS IN 2012-13
Wed, 23 May 2012 10:58 PM EDT
The Atlanta Hawks have committed to Larry Drew for 1 more season.
The team voiced it is exercising its selection on the coach’s agreement for another season. Asked if apprehension includes the contract not being extended beyond the 2012-13 season, Drew asserted: “What do you think?”
“You know, you can look at it 1 of 2 ways,” Drew claimed. “Certainly, is it the perfect situation? No. I’ve had tons of dialogue with my representative around the scenario and at this point we are just going to go ahead.”
After advancing to the 2nd round of the playoffs for 3 straight years, the Hawks were eliminated in the 1st round by the Celtics.
Drew earned praise from Hawks GM Rick Sund for leading the team to a 40-26 record despite being without All-Star center Al Horford for all but 11 games of the regular season. Horford returned in Game 4 of the Celtics series.
“Larry did an excellent job this season in steering our team to the 4th-best record in the Eastern Conference, notwithstanding a condensed schedule and unfortunate injuries,” Sund expounded.
“The Hawks have reached the postseason in each of his years on the bench, and we feel Larry’s experience, expertise and dedication to the game were an active ingredient to our success.”
Drew recognized the Hawks should no longer use excuses for failing to advance deep in the playoffs.
“We cannot be pleased with every year making it to the playoffs,” recounted Drew, who joined the Hawks staff in 2004 as Mike Woodson’s top assistant before taking over for Woodson as head coach.
“Once on a time, that was the feeling, having gone from a team that my 1st year won thirteen games to every year making an attempt to improve to finally make the playoffs,” Drew said. “We’re beyond that now. We have to ask ourselves, with what we have now can we get to the next level?”
The Hawks have an experienced nucleus of Horford, 6-time All-Star Johnson and Josh Smith, who is entering the last year of his deal. Marvin Williams, point guard Jeff Teague and backup center Pachulia also are under contract.
The other 9 players are independent agents.
“We are going to finally get over the hump,” Drew said.
“I do think it is time we take that next step, but to do that we do need some assistance in here.”
Drew said his team at full effectiveness may battle with any team still playing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
“The unlucky part about this thing is the injuries we had to encounter, but we need to come back certainly a much more confident team,” he revealed. “If you look round, all the teams that are there in the playoffs, with us being healthy, certainly we will be able to contend with any team there at an especially high level.”
Drew is 84-64 in two regular seasons and 8-10 in the playoffs. The Hawks were 17-16 on the road this season, the teams’ 1st winning record away from Atlanta in 13 years.
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