Hawks captain Joe Johnson was thankful for the sneak preview the NBA provided by having his team's opener Wednesday rather than Tuesday. It allowed Johnson to get a good look at Cleveland and Boston, two teams the Hawks are chasing in the East, as well as an upstart Washington team.
"Everybody looks good on paper when you read about all the improvements that teams make," Johnson said. "But you really get to see what you're made of on opening night. When that popcorn starts popping and those lights come on, it all comes out. Last night I got a chance to sit and watch and size up the competition, and we've got our work cut out for us. There's no doubt about that."
Still in place
Mike Woodson was on the sidelines for his sixth consecutive season opener with the Hawks . He has the second-longest tenure of any coach in the Eastern Conference, behind New Jersey's Lawrence Frank (by a few months).
"I'm happy. I'm blessed," Woodson said. "Billy [Knight] and I had a vision when he called me to come here and interview, we both had a vision for what could be done here. I was coming off of winning a title in Detroit, so my expectations were sky-high because it was fresh on my mind. The fact that ownership has given me an opportunity to extend that and continue the growth of this team means a great deal to me. I don't know how long I'll be here. But as long as I'm here I'm trying to make the most of it."
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