--For purely selfish reasons, C Zaza Pachulia loves when Hawks coach Mike Woodson deploys his "big boy" lineup and starts Pachulia, Al Horford and Josh Smith along the frontline.With Boston in town Friday night, Woodson said he decided to go big to combat the Celtics' size advantage. But Celtics All-Star power forward Kevin Garnett sat out the game with soreness in his right knee.
It didn't matter to Woodson, who stuck with his big lineup anyway, much to the liking of Pachulia.
"I'm very comfortable playing with Al and Josh," Pachulia said. "We should be able to dominate most nights with our athleticism, strength and power. It's interesting, though. Because this isn't something we've worked on a whole lot this season."
They hadn't worked with that trio as a starting unit at all prior to Friday night. Still, there were no reservations for Woodson on the players. And with F Marvin Williams out indefinitely with a lower back injury and teams with taller frontlines on the schedule, Pachulia might be inserted into the starting group for Mo Evans more often between now and the April 15 regular season finale.
"We've all been together for a couple of years or more," Pachulia said. "We're more than comfortable playing alongside each other. Like I said, it should be interesting to see how much we can control inside like this."
--Celtics G Stephon Marbury's time in Atlanta predates Philips Arena. But he played just about everywhere else during his one year at Georgia Tech, averaging 18.9 points, 4.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds during the 1995-96 season.
"At Tech we played at the (old) Omni and the (Georgia) Dome, all the venues," Marbury said. "This is where I was able to launch everything. They gave me an opportunity to come to the school and perform at a high level. It was a great experience."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We had two glaring opportunities and we didn't take advantage. Now we have to go up against a team that once again is one of the best in the NBA. These games are turning into must-wins if we want to secure that fourth spot in the playoff race. And everybody behind us is not going to keep bailing us out by losing and making it easy for us to maintain our position." -- G/F Mo Evans, on the slippery slope the Hawks are on these days.