"People had us winning the championship last year when we got off to that 6-0 start," Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson said and then laughed. "Everybody needs to calm down and just keep working. It’s a long season, man. Every coach I’ve ever had tells you that [the season] is a marathon and not a sprint. And that’s true. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve got to play with urgency. But you also have to keep the season in perspective."
Hawks down to 16 players with the release of guards Juan Dixon and Mike Wilks.
Jamal Crawford talking to me about Jeff Teague: "Speed kills. I tell him that every day. He's going to be really good."
Hawks trim 2 from roster, request waivers on Aaron Miles and Frank Robinson
Last year, yeah, I burnt guys. I have to try and play Joe differently this year. I look at the Lakers and what they did by getting Ron Artest, and all I can think is that Kobe is going to be a beast this year because he won't have to guard the other team's best player this year. Artest can handle that. Somehow I have to relieve Joe of having to guard point guards. And in that regard hopefully we'll be able to shrink not only his minutes but everybody's minutes and make sure they remain productive and they don't lose anything.
A fantastic piece of news from the Hawks' brilliant Jon Steinberg:
"Ha. Both guys will just have Smith on their backs! No first initials, etc."
"I'm really not worried about the 3-point ball right now. I have no business out there."
Alas, the national cameras were finally on No. 5. (Sure, he got some attention over a couple of spectacular slam dunk contents, but the postseason brings a different caliber of lens.) With Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley’s full attention, how would J-Smooth react? Was he going to force 15-footers like he was prone to do? Would he drive uncontrollably to the hole and lose the ball? Or would he patiently work his defender, shake one way and send the poor chap the other?
In the span of 10 minutes, he wound up doing all three.
Chris Webber can’t understand that. We do.
Jason Collins has agreed to a one year deal with Atlanta, a league source told Yahoo Sports
The Hawks have a fine arena in Atlanta. A move couldn't be pegged to a lack of local financial support ... although I imagine the argument would be tied to Atlanta's lack of fan support. It'd be a trickier argument from an economic standpoint, though.