--Seeing Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Mike Bibby and Al Horford on the NBA All-Star ballot earlier this was no big deal. Seeing Jamal Crawford's name on the list, however, stunned at least one person. Crawford said that was the last thing on his mind when he was traded to the Hawks on draft night. "I think it's a testament to the talent we have on this team," Crawford said. "We've just got so much talent that you're bound to get some shine because the team is just that good."
Crawford is averaging 18.5 points per game off the bench, serving as the Hawks' second-leading scorer this season, a role Hawks coach Mike Woodson envisioned all along.
"Jamal's doing exactly what we thought he would do," Woodson said, doing his best Denny Green impersonation. "He's exactly what we thought he was."
--Guards Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby are learning how easy life can be when someone else can tote the load. The Hawks' primary scoring options a year ago, these two veterans can actually back off and allow Smith, Horford, Crawford and others to serve as catalysts without the Hawks missing a step. It's a new dynamic that neither Bibby nor Johnson expected.
"We don't need to do things the way we did in the past," Bibby said. "We're deeper than that. We're a better team than we used to be. That's obvious."
The second half of Wednesday's win over the Knicks was proof. The Hawks scored 67 points after halftime behind the monster effort of Horford and Smith. Bibby and Johnson finished with 19 points each.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We grinded the second half. Right before the half our bench came in and really gave us a lift to get back in the game. As ugly as we played the first half we were only down seven at halftime." -- Hawks coach Mike Woodson, on his team's resilience after an ugly first half against the Knicks.
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