Hope you enjoyed the game. Sorry this is a bit late. I felt bad for Moses, the poor soul has to wait for me to leave the media work room before he can go home, and went home to write the blog.
An impressive comeback for the home team, though one necessitated by the Hawks’ lack of interest in playing defense in the first half and to some extent in the third quarter I asked Larry Drew if he was more encouraged by the way the team played in the fourth or discouraged in the first three quarters, particularly given that they fell into the same trip against Houston on Saturday and, not surprisingly, he said the former.
“This could have been a really bad loss going into Miami,” he said. “That’s just not a good feeling.”
More from Drew: “After the way we played against Houston, I really expected us to come out and play with more of a sense of urgency, especially having lost a game, having had a bad performance against Houston. … I told our guys at halftime we came out soft and we played soft across the board.”
He and Joe Johnson both made mention of how the team can’t afford to overlook teams like Sacramento and just turn it on in the fourth. But the fact of the matter, at least Monday, was that they could. I guess the Hawks had some things in their favor, like that the Kings had to be a bit taxed because they’re at the end of a six-game road streak, but I suppose it’s sort of a good sign that the Hawks can play that badly for a half and still win.
- A pretty forgettable night for Zaza Pachulia. He got his first foul as soon as he checked in, on a rebound off a free throw, got his second less than a minute later and got his third the next time he was in. Three minutes, three rebounds. He did have one rebound. And he put a heck of a clothesline on Beno Udrih.
- Jeff Teague was the only Hawk who didn’t get in. If memory serves, I think Drew had put in the whole team besides Teague by the end of the first quarter. He had a DNP the first time the Hawks played Sacramento Jan. 4. His minutes have been kinda skimpy this month. In the five games he’s gotten in, he’s gotten nine, three, five, seven and 11 minutes.
- As you might have seen in the notebook, Drew said the team is going to re-sign Damien Wilkins to a second 10-day deal. The first one ends Tuesday. I talked to Wilkins before I knew what the team was going to do, and he was in the dark. He just said he planned on making the trip to Miami.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen once we land or I wake up in the morning, but we’ll see,” he said.
Drew said the team doesn’t know what it’ll do when this 10-day runs out. The Hawks will have to either sign him for the rest of the year or let him go.
- Udrih was a team-best plus-13 for the Kings. He was the only starter who was the plus side. He was getting to the basket pretty easily, particularly in the first half. While I’ve never seen Udrih play before, I’m going to guess the Hawks’ flimsy defense had a little bit to do with it.
- Josh Smith said he hopes LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh play Tuesday. James has missed the past two games with an ankle injury. Wade is nursing a knee injury, Bosh an ankle.
“You’re trying to get wins, but you definitely want to do it against a full deck on their side because you really can’t measure where you are as a team if you don’t play against the big three,” he said.
- Johnson is turning it on. He’s shooting 52.4 percent and averaging 28.9 points per game in January.
“You can see he had that bounce in his step,” Drew said. “He wasn’t hesitating on his shot, he was getting some good looks. I thought he was aggressive off the dribble. When he did have a chance to isolate, he made some things happen.”