DeShawn Stevenson tries, and fails, to stop James Harden. (AP photo by John Bazemore)
Let the record reflect that a new Atlanta Hawks’ era — if we can call what could be a six-month experiment an “era” — began with a fast-break basket, which is kind of the idea. Josh Smith blocked James Harden’s shot, and Kyle Korver flipped the rebound ahead to Jeff Teague, whose layup made it 2-nil 44 seconds into the season, and if Opening Night had ended right there, we’d have called it a smashing success.
But NBA games, as you may know, last 48 minutes, not 44 seconds, and the longer this went the less smashing it was. In the course of the final 47:16 we saw the new Hawks for both better and worse, and worse prevailed.
In their Opening Night opponent, the Hawks surely saw a bit of their new selves. The Houston Rockets are likewise new and backcourt-driven. Their guards are the famous Jeremy Lin, imported off a brief-but-scintillating turn in New York, and Harden, who’s the NBA’s reigning
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