Friday, February 8, 2008

Stack back, Damp maybe & Gana needed

Jerry Stackhouse returns after a seven-game absence with a sore hamstring. Avery Johnson won’t push the much-needed swingman too hard in his first time out.

“He will hopefully do his thing in whatever minutes we give him,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if he’ll get his normal minutes, but he’s ready to go now and hopefully we can have this little tweak behind us.”

Erick Dampier went through most of shootaround this morning and remains a game-time decision. If he can’t go, Gana Diop will be called on to pick up the slack. A starter to open the season, Diop hasn’t played much lately.

“He’s going to have to be ready to play and when he gets out there he’s going to have to make his presence felt, especially with blocking shots,” Johnson said. “We can’t afford to have teams come down the middle on us, especially when he’s in the game.

“He has to hard foul, he has to block the shot, really contest the shot, hopefully they’ll miss it, and rebound for us. That’s his primary job. I think sometimes he puts a little too much pressure on himself finishing offensively inside rather than defending the paint.”

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