Starters rule the floor in Hawks' scrimmage

The Blue team (the starters and several reserves) wore out the White team (the second five and other reserves) 43-30 behind the work of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Mike Bibby. That trio combined for 27 of the Blue team's points in the scrimmage, establishing a dominant presence inside and out on offense.

"It was pretty good," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said of the 20-minute session. "The Blue team was really sharp in terms of getting after it defensively and sharing the ball offensively. And they should be that way. They've been together a while.

"The White team competed, but until they actually learn the system and what they're doing, it's going to be that way."

Well, until Woodson can cajole them into pounding on the Blue team the way last year's White unit did in practice later in the season.

"I've got to get that White team playing at the level the Blue team is right now," Woodson said. "When that happens you're a pretty competitive team. And they're not far away. They just have to figure out what we’re doing a little more. Once that happens they’re going to be in there."

Woodson said the scrimmage portion of practice will increase daily in preparation for Wednesday's exhibition home opener against New Orleans at Philips Arena.

"We only did 20 minutes [Saturday]," he said. "We'll try and go to 30 or 35 minutes [Sunday] and then a full 40 on Monday."

Hard to miss

Smith and Marvin Williams had to battle through injuries last season, but both seem particularly active in camp so far.

"Marvin and Josh both are moving around and flying around and making plays offensively," Woodson said. "It’s kind of nice to see."

Smith isn’t just making plays on offense, he's teamed with Al Horford to provide a dominating presence in the paint on defense.

"We're just trying to be active and make a difference," Smith said. "It's not just me or Al, it's everybody. This is the time to really establish what kind of attitude you're going to play with as a team. We're just trying to play with purpose."

That was obvious Saturday, when the activity of the Hawks' starting frontcourt dictated the pace of the action.

Quiet by nature

Hawks assistant coach Larry Drew is working to change at least one part of Jeff Teague's game. He's trying to get the rookie point guard to be more vocal on the floor with his veteran teammates.

"The one thing all young guys want to do is to fit in," Drew said. "Going through that whole process, the one thing he has to understand is that you have to continue to do the things that got you here. If you are a leader by nature, you have to continue to be a leader, regardless of how young you are. Because those are traits that a point guard, and particularly one like Jeff who is quiet by nature, has to get better at."

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