Johan Petro admits to being frustrated by his role with the Hawks this season. It is especially troublesome for the little-used center considering the way he played Sunday against Dwight Howard and the Lakers.
Petro came off the bench when Zaza Pachulia got in early foul trouble in Los Angeles. In a season-high 24 minutes, he had six points, eight rebounds, four steals, two blocks and helped hold Howard to 11 points.
“It’s been awful,” Petro said before the Hawks lost to the Nuggets Monday. “It’s just tough to be in that position. That’s the business.
“I’ve been in the situation before when I had to fight my way back to a rotation but I always found my way back to a rotation. Now, it’s still not there. It’s a little tough. I just have to do what I have to do every time my name is called.”
Petro has appeared in just 18 of the Hawks’ 59 games this season and played a total of 136 minutes. He has averages of 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds.
Petro said he has spoken to Drew about his desire for more playing time but that he understands his role.
“Yeah, of course (I’ve spoken about an increased role),” Petro said. “Like he told me before, and it’s something that I understood, he has his rotation for bigs and when he calls me he expects me to be ready and perform. That is what I’m trying to do even if I don’t get called for 20 games in a row.
“It’s tough. I’m just trying to do the most in my period of (playing) time so coach can see that I see want it and I still can play. I feel it will lead to something else."
Drew said that when the Hawks obtained Petro from the Nets as part of the Joe Johnson trade, he envisioned using the seven-footer in much the same way he used Jason Collins last season.