Following Sunday's win over the Heat, Larry Drew was happy with his team's performance given the little time that they had to prepare.
"Let me first off say that I am very happy with the fact that going into our first preseason game our guys came out and played with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity. I am sure they felt good about going against an opponent after having gone through training camp and basically beating up on one another. As I said before the game, we will be using a lot of different lineups as we go through this exhibition season whether it be at the start of the game or after halftime. Tonight I elected to go with a different lineup at the start of the third quarter which was already predetermined. I am sure that will be the case going into the game on Wednesday against San Antonio."
Devin Harris and Zaza Pachulia did not dress for Sunday's game leaving 17 players in uniform for the Hawks. Of that 17 only 12 made it into the game. Drew said that was something that was by design. Among those that didn't get into the game were rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott.
"Some guys did not play and that was also predetermined. We have 19 guys in camp and as I told the guys before the game we won't play everybody. Some guys will play, some guys won't."
Lou Williams sparkled in his debut scoring 18 points on just six shot attempts. Following the game, Williams drew praise from his coach not only for his efficiency but also for his directing of the team as a point guard.
"I thought Lou did a great job. First I was very happy with the way he led the team. He was a point for us tonight. I know in the past he has played off the ball where he has been predominantly a scorer. He's been playing some point guard through training camp and I wanted to use him in that capacity tonight particularly with Devin being out. I thought he did a great job. I thought he was aggressive when he had to be and I thought he got us into an offense when it was need be. I was extremely happy with how well he defended. I thought he did a real good job and I could see that he was really out there working hard defensively."
Josh Smith also had a solid debut scoring a quiet 21 points on 8-17 shooting in just over 26 minutes. Drew made it clear after the game that he is looking for Josh to lead by example. Drew also commented on how much work Smith has put in at the free throw line during camp.
"Josh has really been putting in the time at the free throw line and working on that. You can see he wants to lead by example. I thought he did a good job tonight in setting a tone for us particularly defensively. He was matched up with LeBron a lot. There are times where he is going to be matched up on the perimeter or sometimes inside. The thing about Josh is he takes the challenge I don't care where you put him. He did a great job today, I thought he was good inside, I thought he was good outside, I thought he was good defensively. You can see he didn't treat this game like a preseason game. He played this game with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity and that is the type of veteran leadership I am going to be expecting from him."
Smith went 5-7 from the free throw line in the game and pointed out that he missed two when asked about his stroke after the game.
"I just have to try and stay consistent. Missed two. I still have stuff to work on but I think as long as I stay in the gym and keep working I can improve."
One player Drew didn't mention in the post game scrum was point guard Jeff Teague who finished with five points, five assists, three steals and three turnovers. Teague wasn't very aggressive in the game and Drew sent him back out onto the floor late with nothing but reserves in the game.
"I could tell that he was trying to get me to get the rust off a little bit" said Teague. "It was a rough day at the office tonight but we'll be fine, I will be fine. Hopefully we can continue this roll. Its good defense we are playing and this team unity we are having."
"I think once everybody gets their legs under them, I think everybody is a little banged up from training camp a little bit but once we get that we'll have a lot of steals, play the passing lanes and pressure the point guard. Right now I think guys are a little banged up. Guys legs are tired. Its been a tough training camp."
Kyle Korver didn't have his best shooting day against Miami but showed that he could do more than just shoot by grabbing five rebounds and handing out three assists without committing a turnover. Korver was a little surprised that the Hawks played as well offensively as they did given the amount of time they have had for practice.
I thought we executed on the offensive end and passed the ball pretty well. We had some turnovers late, but I thought our ball movement and execution on the offensive end was better than I thought it was going to be.