--Anyone looking for deeper storylines in the Hawks-Pistons game Wednesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills didn't have to search hard. If the playoff started today, the Hawks and Pistons would be matched up in the first round, with the No. 4 Hawks owning homecourt advantage in the series over the No. 5 Pistons. So there's no question that gave Wednesday's game a little added flair."Just because of where we both are in the standings, it has that kind of buzz," Josh Smith said. "And that's a good thing."
Hawks coach Mike Woodson said he's not looking that far ahead.
"This is a regular-season game and a game that has meaning to it because both teams are chasing that fourth spot," Woodson said. "We happen to be holding it right now. So it means a great deal to me, from a coaching standpoint, that these guys come out and step up and play.
"Because this Detroit squad is a good basketball team. Their personnel is as good as any team in our league."
--Three Hawks -- Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby and Al Horford -- will take part in the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities in Phoenix. The rest, coaches and players, will scatter with four days off before starting the post-All-Star break portion of the schedule.
"You need to get away and spend time with your family," Woodson said. "The break is a time to get lost and play golf or something."
Woodson said he planned on doing all of the above. He's going to spend time with his family and find his way to Phoenix before the weekend is out to not only watch his players compete but also to play a little golf.
"I'll be wherever Eddie Johnson takes me to play in Phoenix," Woodson said. "We'll get back together as a team Monday in Los Angeles, get back on the practice floor and get ready for the Lakers (Tuesday) and the rest of that road trip and just go from there."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "All-Star Weekend takes a toll on you. It's a long weekend with a lot of stuff packed into a short period of time. But you wouldn't trade being a part of it for anything in the world." -- Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson, on the special feeling of NBA All-Star Weekend.