ROTATION: Starters -- Point guard Mike Bibby, Shooting guard Joe Johnson, Small forward Marvin Williams, Power forward Josh Smith, Center Al Horford. Bench -- Guard Flip Murray, Guard Acie Law IV, Guard Mario West, Guard Mo Evans, Guard Speedy Claxton, Forward Thomas Gardner, Forward Othello Hunter, Forward Solomon Jones, Forward-Center Zaza Pachulia, Center Randolph Morris.PLAYER NOTES:
--C Zaza Pachulia didn't look like a guy bothered by not being in the starting lineup. He made a number of huge plays on the night, finishing with eight points and eight rebounds. But no play was bigger than the elbow to the face he took from Dwight Howard. Pachulia was floored by a Howard elbow to the head with 6:13 to play in the third quarter, drawing Howard's fourth foul and probably a headache in the morning.
--F Josh Smith took a lot of heat for not playing like himself during the preseason, insisting that he would crank up his game for Wednesday's opener. Next time, coach Mike Woodson might want to listen to him, because Smith was nothing short of remarkable Wednesday. His stat line was ridiculous (17 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, four steals, no turnovers). His best plays, however, didn't make the sheet. Smith was the first man on the floor for every loose ball while he was in the game. And nothing makes Woodson happier than to see his best athlete all over the floor.
--G Mike Bibby continued to struggle with his shooting touch. He made just four of his 15 shots from the floor, even though he sank 4-of-5 from the free throw line, en route to a 12-point night. The Hawks will need much better performances from Bibby to justify keeping him around all season.