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NBA notebook: London game chance for coach to review 

Associated Press

The Atlanta Hawks’ first regular-season game in London provides first-year coach Mike Budenholzer the opportunity for a midseason review of his team.

Budenholzer, the former longtime Spurs top assistant, says the Hawks have impressed him as “very, very smart” players.

The Hawks (20-18) are third in the Eastern Conference despite losing Josh Smith to free agency and Al Horford to a season-ending injury in December. Horford was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.

The Hawks flew Monday night to London, where they will play the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.

Mike Scott is emerging as a consistent scorer off the bench and complement to starter Paul Millsap at the power forward position formerly held by Smith. Point guard Jeff Teague also has seen his scoring rise under Budenholzer.

MUHAMMAD RECALLED — The Minnesota Timberwolves recalled rookie Shabazz Muhammad from their NBA Development League affiliate.

The move was made on Monday.

Muhammad played in four games for the Iowa Energy, averaging 24.5 points on 57.1 percent shooting and 9.8 rebounds. The 14th overall pick in last year’s draft, Muhammad has barely played at all for the Timberwolves, scoring 12 points in 11 games and a total of just 42 minutes. The swingman from UCLA averaged 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Pac-12 regular-season champion Bruins in 2012-13.

Muhammad was initially resistant to playing in the NBADL, but the Wolves insisted the stint was best for his development.

ROSE OFF CRUTCHES — Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is off crutches, the next step as he recovers from his season-ending knee injury.

Coach Tom Thibodeau says he will probably start traveling with the team in the next few weeks. Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee at Portland in November and was ruled out for the rest of the season by the Bulls.


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