Undefeated head coach Larry Drew:
"It's huge. I've been thinking about this for a long time. This is my first win. I've got to enjoy it."Congratulations.
"I got a lot of wide open looks. I just didn’t make a lot of shots. At times I was a little too excited. For me to not have a great shooting night and for us to win big like this tonight, it’s perfect."A couple of tidbits gleaned from the Hoopdata boxscore underline how Johnson had a better game than the traditional boxscore might indicate: 1) 3 of his 7 assists led to three-point baskets and 2) he didn't attempt a single shot between the free throw line and the three-point line.
Larry Drew on the perimeter defense:
"We had a few problems with Conley on the high pick-and-roll but we made a few minor adjustments."Those adjustments contributed to Rudy Gay and Sam Young combining for 19 points in the third quarter before Lionel Hollins ran his deep bench out there for the final two-and-a-half minutes and lost the game for good. There was a cost to slowing Mike Conley (1-5 FGA, 1 assist, 2 turnovers in the third quarter), but it's not like Larry Drew has bountiful defensive options* so the Hawks will almost always be giving something up when they focus on stopping someone. Let's hope that, in the future, the someone they have to stop is better than Mike Conley.
*I suspect it's a sign of how entrenched Jeff Teague is as the backup point guard at this point in time that he didn't get brought in specifically to stay in front of Conley. Teague and Conley shared the court for just 5 minutes and 25 seconds last night. Though, to be fair, Conley was 2-2 from the field for 5 points with an assist when Teague was on the court.
Larry Drew on Teague:
"One thing I have been trying to instill in Jeff is the fact that with him on the floor, his speed, his quickness and his ability to push the ball. He can guard. We need that type of energy and he’s the only guy on our team who has it."Josh Smith:
"Preseason is preseason. That’s what people have got to realize."Johnson:
"There are going to be games where the bench has to pick us up, like tonight. They did that, and we were able to come in and finish them off."Drew on playing Pachulia for 20 straight minutes in the first half:
"I didn’t want to put him in for the second quarter especially when Zaza was going well. I spoke to Al on the bench about that and he was fine with it."Horford:
"I think coach felt like I didn’t have to play in the second quarter. It was one of those games where I couldn’t get it going. I just have to get back focused and get ready for Friday."Lionel Hollins on Zaza Pachulia:
"Pachulia just killed us on the glass all night long. That was a huge factor."The Human Highlight Blog tabbed Zaza as the star of the game because he, among other things:
Singlehandedly disproved any notion that Hasheem Thabeet was going to make his mark this season in the NBA.Kris Willis on offensive diversity at Peachtree Hoops:
It is important to point out that the Hawks didn't run the motion offense exclusively. They still called some high pick and roll plays and a few isolation sets in certain instances. I was critical in the comments section of Jamal bogging down the offense but in looking at the situation again it appeared that the Hawks probably had a high pick and roll called instead. There were two instances in the fourth quarter where Memphis rookie Xavier Henry was matched up on Joe Johnson. Joe immediately backed him down into the post scoring on the first opportunity and passing out for a Mike Bibby three after the Grizzlies were forced to double team on the second.
The fact is set plays and isolations are a part of basketball at all levels. You just don't want it as the backbone of your offense as it was last year.