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News » Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2008-11-11

Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2008-11-11

Atlanta Hawks Notes, Quotes 2008-11-11
--Zaza Pachulia got the starting call in place of Josh Smith for the Hawks Sunday night against Oklahoma City. But he didn't last long, going to the bench with two fouls after just two minutes and 40 seconds of action.

Depending on the matchups, Hawks coach Mike Woodson said, either Pachulia or fellow reserve Mo Evans will get the starting call while Smith recovers from the high ankle sprain he suffered in Friday's win over Toronto. Smith is expected to miss anywhere from two to four weeks.

Evans started the season opener against Orlando, when Marvin Williams sat out serving a one-game suspension. Woodson said his team needed more size Sunday night.

"With Zaza in there we can move Al (Horford) to power forward and keep Marvin at small forward," Woodson said. "I don't think it would be fair to Marvin to play him at power forward."

--The Hawks missed at least a dozen wide-open shots in the first half Sunday, shots that they made routinely in the first four games.

A half-dozen of those misses came at the rim, where Joe Johnson (4-for-12) and Flip Murray (2-for-5) were victims of the unkind bounces.

The Hawks shot just 37 percent (14-for-38) from the floor in the half and held the Thunder to just 37 percent (18-for-48) but trailed at halftime 41-38 for the first time this season.

The Hawks had a particularly rough time in the second quarter, making just 5 of their 18 shot attempts to squander an early 11-point lead. The Thunder also got a huge boost off the bench from rookie Russell Westbrook (11 points).

--Even without starting power forward Josh Smith, who is out for at least two to four weeks with a high ankle sprain, the Hawks were able to impose their defensive will on yet another opponent.

Al Horford picked up the slack in the blocked shots department, finishing with five to go along with his eight points and 12 rebounds.

Solomon Jones grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds, helping fill another void left by Smith's absence.

And Marvin Williams scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to give the Hawks a potent second scorer without Smith in tow -- he stayed back in Atlanta for treatment.

--Nothing could make up for the Hawks' miserable shooting night -- they made 37 percent (29-for-78) of their shots from the floor, including a 7-for-17 showing from beyond the 3-point line.

But they hung tough on the boards against a bigger Thunder team and they drilled the Thunder on fast-break points, 23-9.

"We knew we had to defend and rebound no matter what," Al Horford said. "I think we're starting to figure out that's what will always keep us in the game. We didn't shoot the best tonight. But I think our defense and rebounding carried us through."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I've played on teams like that, where people think it's an automatic win when you show up. I don't think we thought like that. The shots just weren't falling. The good thing is, you know you're getting better when you win games like this. And it helps having a guy like Flip (Murray). He caught fire at just the right time." -- Mike Bibby on the lesson the Hawks learned Sunday night.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 11, 2008


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