— This one basically was over once the Hawks cranked up their defensive energy. The Grizzlies scored just 39 points after halftime.
– “It was a little heated in the locker room at halftime,” Woody told FSN South/SportSouth sideline reporter James Verrett. “I just thought we were trading buckets. We were lucky to be down two coming in at halftime. The third quarter we came out to play and it carried over into the fourth. We’ve got to defend like that.”
– Man, the Hawks really look good when they decide they are going to make opponents play their game. They were ahead only 73-71 late in the third. Next thing you knew it was 106-86. You could see the Grizzlies sag in the face of all that talent unleashed.
– “It feels good to know when you got Josh and Al and those guys back there,” Jamal told Verrett. “It makes things a whole lot easier. You can put pressure up front and you know you have support back there.”
– The Hawks fed off of that defense and Jamal’s 3-point daggers. Everyone assumed Smoove would be fired up by the All-Star snub but maybe it’s actually Jamal. I wouldn’t have thunk it but he really seemed bummed about not getting serious consideration after Kendrick Perkins and Paul Pierce pubbed him for a spot after the fact.
– Jamal craftily used the Reggie Miller move to draw a foul on a 3-pointer. “He would have landed all right if he hadn’t kicked his legs out,” Grizz coach Lionel Hollins complained loudly enough for the mics to pick up.
– Maybe J.J. should be sick more often because . . . simma down, I’m just clowning.
– J.J. looked winded in the third quarter. His teammates supplied most of the energy while he mostly stood around. He barely played in the fourth and put in just 26 minutes total.
– He was efficient in those minutes, though. Five assists, no turnovers and 5 of 9 from the field.
– J.J. did show some life when he slapped his hands and then barked and scowled at official Rodney Mott for a bad foul call against him. One thing about J.J. rarely having outbursts like that is he tends to gets away with more when he does complain. Maybe he’s on to something there.
– What got into Marvin? He was assertive from the start. Loved that coast-to-coast dunk in the first quarter because you could tell he was going to do it no matter if any Grizzlies got in his way. None of them did but maybe that’s why. He even crossed over Sam Young in the open court on that play.
– “He was active,” Woody told Verrett. “He went to the boards, got a couple of putbacks and made a couple open-court plays where he was able to push the ball and make a play at the rim. We need him to do that when he has the opportunity.”
– Woody used his bench liberally. Of course that’s not hard to do when the Grizzlies don’t really have one. Not that it mattered but the Hawks’ reserves managed just two points over the final 3-plus minutes
– Rudy Gay made a lot of tough shots, especially in the first half. Zach Randolph had 20 empty points. O.J.showed flashes. That was about it for the Grizzlies.
–Turnovers were a problem for the Hawks before they pulled away. It just doesn’t work if they don’t take care of the ball because they are vulnerable to easy buckets the other way against athletic opponents, which seems to cover pretty much 80 percent of the league nowadays.
– Bibby earned a technical for arguing about that breakaway foul on Gay. Woody was hot about it, too. I didn’t see their beef: J.J. grabbed Gay trying to get a foul call, and he got it before Bibby reached in.
– Saw at halftime that 83 percent of respondents to SportSouth poll for first half coach of the year picked Woody, and figured they either juked the stats or no one around here voted.
– I didn’t see any Iso-Joes in the fourth quarter because he wasn’t really out there. The Iso-Joe count so far in the fourth quarter of four games: seven possessions, nine points, one turnover, two missed shots by teammates (both by Bibby on drive-and-kicks vs. Bulls) with one offensive rebound (by Smoove).
– I’m out, Hawks fans.