Jeff Teague enjoys the game out there. After that steal and dunk, the kid was uncontrollably smiling. Wake Forrest fans might not agree or want to hear it, but the way he hustled around last night, maybe Jeff just has an NBA game or at least an attitude that the NBA game inspires. Don't know if the energy will last, but I plan to enjoy it while it is around.
A Kings fan once came on here and said Mike Bibby was so clutch for the those Sacramento Kings teams because he could coast through a lot of the game and be full bore for the fourth quarter. It is exactly what Bibby did last night.
The Human Highlight Blog, unbeknown to me when I started writing, already said this.
Game One also showed some of how Woodson may plan to deploy his bench and not use Mike Bibby so much. In what was not a settled game until the fourth quarter wound down, Bibby still logged just (30) minutes. He used that rest to make three big fourth quarter shots that gave the Hawks the lead and then put it out of reach.
Josh Smith continues his odd streak of self aware comments in the AJC today.
"You're going to have nights like this, when the other team is shooting lights out and you're forced to play outside of your comfort zone a little bit," Smith said. "We wanted to clamp down on the defensive end and put the onus ourselves to get stops when it mattered and I think we did that. Joe got it going late and Al was playing well, so I wanted to be the guy that was on the defensive end making plays. And I was able to get a couple of steals and late block at the end that helped us finish them off. I know it wasn’t the sort of defensive masterpiece coach loves to see, but it turned out positive for us in the end."
Hoopinion makes the subtle but important point that Josh too.
"[Josh] was credited with 8 assists against a single turnover, almost all a result of attacking the basket."
It may not seem like much but Josh Smith driving to the basket is not quite good enough. The guy does not have the moves inside to dominate. Josh Smith driving to the basket controlled enough to finish or dish to the open man is plenty, plenty good enough.
Sekou is not happy with the bench minutes.
Did you see enough of Jamal Crawford and Joe Smith Wednesday night?
How about Jeff Teague and Mo Evans?
Zaza Pachulia and Jason Collins?
I didn't think so.
Sure, the Hawks did what they had to do in dispatching the Indiana Pacers in their season opener. But I expected more, namely in minutes for the reserves.
We've heard for weeks about all this improved depth and how much deeper this team is going to be this season. We saw it in the preseason.
But it wasn't on display against the Pacers.
I actually don't want to see more of Jason Collins. It is true I could have see some Jamal Crawford. Maybe a little Teague with the first unit, but that was more out of curiosity than strategy. Joe's 39 is too much but expected.
Truth of the matter, if you are going to have a bench that goes 10 deep your not going to get everyone minutes. I thought Woody did a good job of balance last night to be honest.
Final victory bullets
- Last night, Zaza Pachulia looked like Zaza Pachulia if no one liked him.
- The crowd was pretty sub par last night. Not sure how many tickets were sold but there were probably only about 13,000 people there. Pacers on a Wednesday is still not must see in Atlanta, home opener or not.
- Josh Smith did have a bad rebound night. On occasions he held back on the offensive glass, he got back to defend the Pacers from pushing the pace, and the dude was working defensively. You want more than 3 rebounds, but it was a good 3 rebound performance.
- I don't know if it is Joe Johnson passing it or Marvin Williams getting position but that combo attempting to run a play for Marvin in the post is a serious work in progress.
- Joe Smith is much better than Solomon Jones.
Comment of the game thread (since no one rec'd any I am picking three winner).
Duff Man: "I vote Zaza for the next snickers commerical, ZAZA PACHEWLIA."
Mr. Sanchez: "Rathbun in true 720p"...the hair. It’s real, and it’s magnificent."
Bonhoffer (mostly because it was his only comment): "Larry Bird looks old."