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Instant Analysis: Hawks 119, Memphis 104

More after the jump

Quick thought: 82-0 is still in play. 

Hawks went on the road, after an uneven preseason that was spotted with injuries, and won their opener against the Grizzlies, 119-104.

They did this despite Al Horford getting his first points of the game with less than five minutes left in the game.

The did it by rebounding, getting to the line, moving the ball offensively, and lots of Zaza Pachulia,

Three Stars:

1. Zaza

Came off the bench when Horford left early in the first quarter with foul trouble and went on to record a double-double (17-11). Singlehandedly disproved any notion that Hasheem Thabeet was going to make his mark this season in the NBA.

2. Joe Johnson

Started slow shooting, but got to the line early and often, going 9-11 from there to mix in a steady 7 assists with his game high 22 points.

3. Mike Bibby

Was shocked to see he missed 2 of his 9 shots because it seemed he killed the Grizz with every flick of his wrist. Bibby calmed a couple of Memphis rallies by getting the team back into the new offense and then making the home team pay for leaving him open. 19 points and 4 assists in an effective (well, offensively) 27 minutes.


The Hawks outrebounded the Grizzlies 44-39, taking advantage of Marc Gasol missing the game and Zach Randolph getting hurt early after Al Horford stumbled under him and Randolph came crashing down on his own back.

Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford made nobody forget they struggle defending the perimeter. Mike Conley (game high 23 points) is sending chocolates after this game.

Josh Smith was his usual maddening self: Shooting jump shots, taking his mind off the game long enough to create three turnovers, and being absolutely disruptive on defense, blocking 5 shots and disturbing others. 

No Hawks played more than Marvin Williams' 31:20 tonight. And Marvin was a major part of the rebounding brigade, nabbing seven and shooting 5-6 from both the field and the line (15 points).

Nice start, Hawks fans!