--News of Sam Vincent's firing in Charlotte early Saturday put both coaches in sour moods."We're a big fraternity, coaches," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "You don't wish that on anybody. They had a lot of injuries in Charlotte this year, something we dealt with last year. It has a major impact on your team that I don't think a lot of people outside of the team can fully comprehend.
"So for him to be gone after just one season ... that's tough."
Boston coach Doc Rivers was stunned that Vincent got just one season on the sideline in Charlotte.
"That's our profession, I'll tell you," Rivers said before the shootaround Saturday morning at Philips Arena. "There are good days and bad days. That's bad days.
"I'm flabbergasted that Sam's not there. I'm not going to comment on that because I might say something wrong. Those guys (have) been there one year with all the freaking injuries they have. I don't get that."
--The first playoff game in Philips Arena was a moment Hawks forward and Atlanta native Josh Smith said he didn't want to miss.
"I've been thinking about what the arena was going to be like since we left Boston the other night," he said. "... We (wanted) the fans amped up.
"This is the first of what we hope will be many more playoff games here, but you never forget the first one."
Smith played like he meant it, leading all scorers with 13 first-quarter points, including three dunks that sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy.
And there was no shortage of big names in the building, a diverse and colorful "Who's Who?" of Atlanta's past, present and future.
Andrew Young sat courtside, as did Jermaine Dupri, T.I., Young Jeezy, Akon, Polow Da Don and Jazzy Pha. Also spotted in the crowd were former Hawks Al Harrington, Royal Ivey, Anthony Johnson and Glenn Robinson.
--What would a playoff game be without a Philips Arena technical snafu? With 5 minutes and 40 seconds to play, the shot-clock operator discovered a short in the shot clock's cord.
That wasn't the only snafu, though. After halftime, the shot clock over the basket nearest the Hawks' bench went out, delaying the start of the second half for a few minutes.
The game officials finally decided to use air horns to signal the end of the shot clock rather than hold up the game any longer waiting for someone to fix the electronic malfunction.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I told my guys if we win Monday then we make this a series." -- Hawks coach Mike Woodson on the importance of Game 4.