--Evidence of the Hawks' improved bench power was on full display against Orlando at Amway Arena.While the Hawks were busy building their lead to as many as 18 points before halftime, reserves Flip Murray, Zaza Pachulia, Acie Law IV and Solomon Jones were busy getting in on the action.
Murray scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in just 14 minutes of action. Pachulia added four points and two rebounds and Law three rebounds and two assists.
They outscored their Orlando counterparts 14-5 in the first half and 27-11 in the game. They also out-rebounded the Magic reserves 16-9.
"I wasn't surprised to see them show so well," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "I wasn't surprised at all. They carried us throughout all of our exhibition season. When we made runs in the exhibition season, it was our bench that was doing it. So I feel very comfortable with playing those guys off the bench now. Zaza Pachulia is a year older, he's playing like he played when we first got him. Having Mo (Evans) and Flip (Murray) is huge, because they are veteran guys who have played in a number of systems. And that really helps us across the board, because they can score and defend."
--Hawks coach Mike Woodson went with Mo Evans in the starting lineup for Marvin Williams, who did not travel with the team while serving a one-game suspension for the flagrant foul penalty he received in the Hawks' Game 7 loss to Boston in the playoffs.
A 47-game starter for the Magic last season, Evans chuckled at the irony of literally starting the season where he finished the last one.
"That's just the way it goes in this league," he said. "I guess if you play in this league long enough, you'll have some of those moments."
Starting Evans was actually a move Woodson planned to deal with the Magic's use of All-Star center Dwight Howard and on their pick-and-roll sets with point Jameer Nelson.
Evans started the game guarding Rashard Lewis, allowing Woodson to put a bigger guard (Joe Johnson) on Nelson and Mike Bibby on Magic shooting guard Mickael Pietrus.
"I've never heard of a bad win," said a smiling Hawks forward Mo Evans, a starter for the Magic last season and joked about his departure leading to the Magic's long night. "But this is the perfect way to open a season, on the road and sending all those people home with a nasty taste in their mouths. It's even better when you can send a message to the team that won the division last year."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Sure, it's just one game. But you want people to know that you're going to be in the mix from the start. So I'm happy we played the way we did." -- Forward Mo Evans.