--While the traffic in and around downtown Atlanta is even thicker than usual because of the ACC Tournament, Hawks assistant coach Larry Drew doesn't mind one bit.Having the ACC Tournament in town allows him to cater his schedule to see his son, Larry Drew II, play for North Carolina while the Hawks enjoy the fruits of their current seven-game homestand.
"I was over there (Friday afternoon for the Tar Heels' win over Virginia Tech) and I'll be back over there today for the semifinals," Drew said before the Hawks' played the Pacers Friday. "Being able to see him play in person makes this time remarkable for me."
Drew's son, a freshman and backup point guard for the Tar Heels, sat courtside for the Hawks' game Friday night. Father and son rarely got a chance to share the same space the past four years.
The father has been an assistant with the Hawks since the 2004-05 season. The son was in high school. He was the Los Angeles Times' City Player of the Year as a senior at Taft High School.
Only by a few hundred miles, and either a short flight or a half a day's drive, separates them now.
"I was at their game last week in Chapel Hill against Duke," the elder Drew said. "And now they're here for the Tournament. It's always a gratifying feeling to watch your own son play, especially in a program like Carolina's."
--The Hawks found themselves on the wrong end of a 29-22 score at the end of the first quarter. They can thank their hapless shooting effort in the first 12 minutes for that deficit. The Hawks started a respectable 5-for-8 from the floor before finishing the quarter on a 3-for-17 slide. They went nearly six minutes (5:48 to be exact) without a field goal.
As their shooting woes mounted, their defense sagged, as they allowed the Pacers to rally from an early seven-point deficit to take that seven-point cushion of their own.
The Pacers started the game 2-for-7 but rebounded to go 10-for-15 to take the lead.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Obviously, everybody has to step up. It takes a complete team effort. And (Friday night), we had a lot of different guys stepping up. And it's going to continue to take that kind of effort with the caliber of teams we have coming in here during this home stretch. I thought we came out really flat and lethargic in the first half. We knew we had to bring better intensity in the second half." -- F Mo Evans, on the group effort it took to overcome the Pacers.