Storm left Hawks with cabin fever, too

A couple of days off because of the winter storm were nice, but there came a point when Josh Smith, like a lot of other people, was ready to get back to work.

Smith plays forward for the Hawks, which isn't exactly a regular job, but his sense of cabin fever was universal.

"Maybe like one or two days," Smith said. "But [then] I was like, ‘Man, dang.' You start twiddling your fingers. You start getting antsy and you definitely want to get out of the house."

Center Al Horford didn't see it that way, though. He noted the Hawks have had a busy schedule, playing the most games in the Eastern Conference (40) through Thursday.

"It was actually kind of nice just to have a couple days to regroup," Horford said.

The Hawks finally got back to their routine Friday when they had a full practice session for the first time in a week.

"It feels good, it really does," coach Larry Drew said. "These last few days have been very eventful and tough at the same time because we had not spent a lot of court time in preparation."

The Hawks canceled a practice Monday because of the weather. They had a light workout Tuesday morning in anticipation of playing Milwaukee on Tuesday at Philips Arena, but the NBA later decided to postpone the game.

The Hawks managed to fly on their charter out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Toronto on Tuesday night. Reserve center Etan Thomas didn't make it, though, because of icy roads in his neighborhood.

The Hawks won 104-101 at Toronto on Wednesday and then didn't practice Thursday. For players accustomed to a rigid routine, the sudden changes can be jarring.

"This is our profession; this is what we do," Hawks guard Joe Johnson said. "You are going to have your ups and downs. When Mother Nature comes, we have all got to kind of respond. We were able to take those days [to] get some rest and bounce back."

Drew made up for lost time with a long, intense practice. The Hawks play host to Houston on Saturday night.

"Even though this was a pretty hard practice today, it was well worth it," Smith said. "We definitely needed to get that rust off."

Not an option

The Hawks inquired with the NBA about moving up the start time of the game Saturday from 7 p.m. The team wanted to avoid a conflict with the Falcons' 8 p.m. NFL playoff game against Green Bay at the Georgia Dome.

But the final call is with the Rockets, who didn't want to play the game earlier since they played at home vs. New Orleans on Friday night. The Hawks are offering $10 upper-level tickets for the Rockets game and also Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday game vs. Sacramento.

Williams still out

Hawks forward Marvin Williams (back) has done some work on the side, but still hasn't been able to participate in practice. He has missed the past six games.

"I haven't gotten any indication of when to expect him back," Drew said.


Hawks guard Jamal Crawford's 36 points at Toronto were the most scored by an NBA reserve this season. ... Fans at voted for NBA TV to show the Hawks at Heat game Tuesday as part of its "Tuesday Fan Night" promotion. The game will air at 7:30.