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Atlanta Hawks Vs. Memphis Grizzlies Update: First Half Thoughts From The Season Opener

1) Zaza is a player we can all get behind. He doesn’t get nearly enough credit around the league and perhaps even in his own organization. With Al Horford sitting with early foul trouble (we’ll get to that), Zaza nearly put up a double-double in just the first half, coming off the bench with 13 and 9. I’m invariably a fan of players who fly under the radar, and Zaza rewarded me by being as instrumental to the Hawks’ lead as anyone else on the floor.

2) Is the two foul sit rule back? One of the most frustrating things about Mike Woodson, especially in the early years, was his tendency to sit almost anyone who accrued two first half fouls until halftime. Al Horford got to two fouls inside of four minutes, and he never returned to the floor. The same thing happened to Smith, albeit with just 3:31 left in the half. Mo Evans was also subbed out immediately after his second foul, though that isn’t really important since he has a ton of defensive limitations at the three. For now, I’ll give Larry Drew the benefit of the doubt and say that he was riding his hot player (Zaza) and that the other two cases are more coincidental.

3) Inexplicable Musical Selections:During one Grizzlies’ possession, they had the organist playing “Sunglasses at Night.” Seriously Memphis? I don’t even get it.

4) Josh Smith is a defensive impact player. Last year’s runner up for defensive player of the year got started early, with three first half blocks, all of those coming against Zach Randolf. He may have gotten a piece of another shot on which he wasn’t credited for a block. If he’s giving that kind of effort on the defensive of the floor, I can and will live with the four jumpshots he took (making two). I won’t be happy, but I’ll live with it.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.