Charlotte provides a good opportunity for the Hawks to bounce back from the disappointing loss Sunday. (Here's hoping the crowd contributes to the home court advantage and that Sunday's sparse, lifeless attendance remains an aberration.) The Bobcats beat Miami 91-76 in Charlotte last night to move to 4-3 on the season.
I wouldn't expect much in the way of scoring tonight. The Hawks enter the game playing at the 6th slowest pace and are 21st most efficient offense in the NBA. Charlotte has played at the 2nd slowest pace and are just the 26th most efficient offense. The Bobcats have scored 83 or fewer points in three of their seven games. In the second game of their only previous back-to-back of the young season, they scored 63 points in Philadelphia.
Fans of Shelden Williams (by which I mean fans of defensive rebounding and bumping into things) will be disappointed to learn that Zaza Pachulia ("I don't feel any soreness anymore. I feel 100 percent.") is expected back tonight.
Back-to-back losses dropped the Hawks into the second division of everyone's power rankings this week. They're 17th at DIME Magazine, 18th at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/marty_burns/11/12/power.rankings/1.html (Marty Burns), 19th at ESPN.com (Marc Stein), and 21st at NBA.com (John Schuhmann).
SI.com's Drew Packham ranks Al Horford 2nd and Acie Law IV 5th among NBA rookies 10 days into the season.
Tom Ziller writes about Chris McCosky reporting what the voices in his head are saying at the FanHouse. Matt from Atlanta Hawks Blog makes an appearance in the comments there.
As do I, attempting to create a grass-roots movement to give Josh Smith what Hoopinion commenter Pooh has already dubbed "a crap nickname." Early returns on my attempt at a little blog-based judo on McCosky's baseless insult are not promising but I make no promises regarding what I shout the next time Josh Smith attacks the basket and finishes explosively.