Twenty-four hours before Joe Johnson donned his Brooklyn whites to properly introduce the NBA to Kings County, Devin Harris stood in his stead, name in bold, Hawks uniform neatly tucked.
It was a curious situation, one that will endure throughout the 2012-13 season in Atlanta: The new quietly filling the voids of the old.
On Friday night against the Houston Rockets, it was the transient veteran Harris who jogged out during introductions for the two-guard role. Lights shifted from side to side, music blared and the public address announcer elongated the vowels in the guard's name like PA announcers are wont to do.
But he said Devin Harris instead of Joe Johnson, and that turned out to be an issue for the first time. For when the lights came on and the new-look Hawks stared down the barrel of a bearded shotgun, they had no one to prevent him from pulling the trigger. Rockets guard James Harden began scoring at will.
With Johnson and the remaining 89.3 million remaining on his...