Acie Law IV knows he has to seize whatever opportunities come his way this season.That's why he's quick off the bench when his name is called and eager as ever to get in the mix on a team that's played pretty good basketball without huge contributions from the second-year point guard.
"Whatever opportunity I get I'm going to take advantage of it and go from there and do whatever I can to help my team out," Law said with the Hawks set to play in Washington Saturday night. "Our team is playing so well right now that I know the situation might change from night to night, so I have to be ready every night for whatever comes my way."
The minutes have been hard to come by this season with starting point guard Mike Bibby at full strength and veteran guard Flip Murray swinging between both backcourt spots behind Bibby and Joe Johnson. For Law, that's meant fewer opportunities than anticipated. He's averaging just 11.5 minutes per game, down from the 15.4 he played during his injury-plagued rookie season, but it's been a learning experience his veteran teammates insist that's sure to pay dividends in the long run.
"I always tell Acie to be ready, because I've been in that position before, playing behind someone," Johnson said. "I played behind Steph [Marbury], Penny [Hardaway] and Shawn [Marion] in Phoenix. I had a chance to sit back and learn the game. I didn't really start playing until my third year, midway through my third year when we made a big trade. And that was a big step for me.
"It doesn't happen just like that for a lot of guys, when you come into the league and start from the jump. So I had to earn every minute. And it's tough. You have to stay ready, regardless of how many minutes you play and when your number is called. When they call you, you better be ready."
Law's said he's become a student of Bibby's game, trying to learn everything he can from an older teammate seasoned by a decade's worth of experience in the league. They even locker close to each other at home, with Law making sure to watch Bibby at all times to see how he's handling things.
"I'm a sponge," Law said. "I'm soaking it all up and trying to get make sure I'm right when I get out there."
RAPTORS 93, HAWKS 88: The last time the Hawks saw the Toronto Raptors, they were able to contain Chris Bosh with the likes of Solomon Jones and Randolph Morris. They had no such luck Friday night at Air Canada Centre, losing because of a 30-point, 10-rebound showcase performance by Bosh, who got plenty of help from Jason Kapono (16 points), Joey Graham (11) and Jamario Moon (10).
A 15-point third quarter doomed the Hawks after halftime, when they led 50-46. They could not find the right mix on defense to slow down Bosh, an All-Star starting to generate serious buzz as one of the players in line for a huge payday down the line.
Mike Bibby led the Hawks with 24 points and Joe Johnson added 18 while Mo Evans added 17 and Zaza Pachulia collected 17 rebounds.