Going around the web from the Philadelphia and Washington victories.
First a couple of leftovers from the Memphis victory:
I think we did very well as a collective unit, and it was balanced out. Seems like I couldn’t keep myself out of foul trouble but i’ll do better tonight. Zaza and Bibby stepped up big for us and we also did better defensively. Great 1st win for Coach Drew in his 1st game and we gave him the ball afterwards.
I was watching a little of the Hawks-Grizzlies game last night before the World Series, and it sunk in just how much we've all written off the Hawks after last season's embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Magic. The prevailing logic is that Atlanta will still win their 45-50 games this year, finish with a decent seed in the East, and maybe even win another 1st-round series, but the sweep meant that they cannot truly contend with the conference's big guns.
Links from the victory over Philadelphia:
Al rediscovered his jump shot plus some. He pushed around Spencer Hawes, controlled the defensive glass and played big around the basket. Al was 6 for 6 with four rebounds in the first quarter, but then you sort of always expect him to have a good game after a bad one.
The Philadelphia 76ers seized the momentum against a tiring Atlanta Hawks team. Not to fear, Josh Smith was here. Smith drained a big 3-pointer to give Atlanta a five-point lead and blocked Andres Nocioni's late bid to tie it in the game's final seconds as the Hawks survived with a 104-101 win over the Sixers on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
In the first game, Larry Drew seemed like a breath of fresh air when compared to Mike Woodson from the previous years. The Hawks were actually running set plays on offense, showing a lot of player movement as well as ball movement, and creating easy shot attempts. Everything looked good, right down to the substitution patterns that were exhibited by Larry Drew.
Philadunkia : What are your thoughts on new head coach Larry Drew and his style of play?
Bret LaGree@ hoopinionblog.com : Larry Drew hasn’t said a single thing with which a reasonable person could disagree. It remains to be seen if he can mold the team’s behavior to his style of play. Some things (perimeter defense, most prominently) may not be completely fixable given the personnel.
Home Opening Victory Links
"I told him I am going to stay on him about it," L.D. said. "He can’t put himself in those type situations. He’s got to learn from it. The one thing I want him to do going into every game is I want him to establish himself inside first. He’s got the script flipped. I will continue to work with him on it."
The Hawks are 3-0. Whatever their flaws, they can can take comfort in the fact that they have J.J. and Jamal to make something happen when all else fails.
After scoring 25 points and making the shots that counted, Johnson offered his thanks to those in attendance. (The game was announced as a sellout. In truth, it was rather less.) You’ll recall that the same Johnson said after Game 3 against Orlando that he cared not a whit what the fans thought. But here were his words Saturday: "It’s great to see everyone come out and show us support."
Joe Johnson looked as bad as ever in the first three quarters. But much like a superstar, he shook off his bad night and came up huge down the stretch. Johnson poured in 25 points and Horford added 21, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 99-95 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night in their home opener at Philips Arena.
So Joe Johnson plays 43-and-a-half minutes, uses 23 shots and 4 free throw attempts to score 25 points while turning the ball over 4 times and earning 3 assists. On the other hand, Al Horford is limited to 25-and-a-half minutes because he committed two fouls in the first eight minutes and four seconds of the game.
On the positive side, Josh Smith only shot 2 of his 8 shot attempts outside the 15 foot range. Of course, he was 0 for 2 on those shots which brings his season total to 2 for 13 on shots in the 16-23 foot range.
While this wasn't a game that the Wizards were expected to win, particularly after how they played against Orlando. However, this is the type of game that the Wizards could have stolen on the road. The Wizards were close enough at the end that with a little more scoring this game could have ended differently. This is the type of game though that a young team can build upon. It was far from perfect, but the effort was closer to what you would expect from this team.