CHARLOTTE – Greeting, all. A pretty satisfying win for all you Hawks fans, I imagine. One night after a complete flop, the Hawks win without Al Horford, Marvin Williams and Josh Powell, on the back end of a back-to-back against a team that is starting to show some life.
– Joe Johnson continues to roll. After a nine-point effort against New Orleans, he goes 12 for 18 for 32 points. While it looked like they did a little more isolation than normal, a lot of it appeared kind easy for him tonight, with the exception of the bump he took near the end of the second half. He says it might be a bruise. He had a leg-length compression sock on the leg after the game. He was glad the team won’t have to play again till Wednesday to let him heal up.
– You all probably know better, but that’s the best I’ve seen Zaza Pachulia play this season, particularly in the second half. He went to the basket better than usual and showed some touch. I must confess, I was dubious when Larry Drew said he was putting Zaza in the lineup to give the team some offensive punch, but he came through.
– Charlotte fell right in the trap when the Hawks went zone in the middle of the third quarter. They went 2-for-9 in the midst of a Hawks’ 17-4 run that put the game away. There were misses from 23 feet, 26, 16, 20 and 17 feet by Gerald Wallace (6-7), Boris Diaw (6-8), Stephen Jackson (6-8) and Gerald Henderson (6-5). They were makeable shots, but I’m going to presume they could have gotten better had they worked at it a little more.
“For the most part our energy was there, but once our shots stopped falling and they started making shots, the energy level and the spirits just kind of dropped a little bit,” Wallace said. “I think that was the turning point of the game and they took over from there.”
– I’ll say this – Charlotte missed a lot of open jump shots. Maybe that’s just what the Bobcats do, but I think the Hawks dodged a bit of a bullet.
– A DNP for Jeff Teague. The team was shorthanded – albeit more with the bigs than with guards – and he didn’t get in. I don’t know if it was a message, but it was a little peculiar that Jordan Crawford got squeezed into the game at the end and Teague did not. Didn’t get a chance to talk to Drew. In January, Teague’’s gotten four DNP’s.
“If you get in there, you’d better do what you can do,” he said. “If he doesn’t put me in, I’ll cheer for my teammates and hopefully they’ll do well.”
– Good night for Mike Bibby. He was 5-for-10 from the floor and showed some spark driving to the basket a few times.
“I’ve been in the league long enough to know that there’s going to be some good nights and there’s going to be some bad nights,” he said. “Last night was a bad night all the way around. It happens, not to that extreme as it did, but it does happen. We followed it up with a good win and now everybody’s back.”
– Hawks are 4-0 in the red uniforms this year. Seventh different starting lineup this year. Despite Johnson missing nine games, Crawford missing six, Horford missing two, Williams missing 15 and Mo Evans missing eight, the Hawks are one game behind their pace from last year, when they had near perfect health.