One cause for Atlanta's sluggish start in Saturday night's loss to the Jazz — one in which the Hawks found themselves trailing the Jazz by as many as 19 points in the second quarter — may be travel-related.

Blame the fog.

The Hawks' charter flight tried to leave California for Utah shortly after Friday's win over Golden State in Oakland, but it was not allowed to take off because of fog-related weather conditions in Salt Lake City.

As a result, the team did not arrive in town until almost noon Saturday — throwing off their usual back-to-back schedule.

Curiously, the Jazz played in Los Angeles on Friday and left California on their own charter about the same time the Hawks were trying to get out of the state.

Yet the Jazz, despite the fog, landed without incident.

BECAUSE OF BOOZER: Point guard Mike Bibby, recently acquired by the Hawks from Sacramento, was asked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before Saturday's game why he was putting on beneath his game shorts what looked like football pads.

"Carlos Boozer," Bibby said, referencing picks set by the Jazz's All-Star power forward. "He always gets somebody."

HE SAID IT: Hawks head coach Mike Woodson, on the Northwest Division-leading Jazz: "This team will bang you up. They play very physical, and if you don't match their energy and effort, then they'll run you out of the gym."

SPECIAL DELIVERY: He is no Karl Malone.

But an inadvertent elbow delivered Friday by ex-Jazz big man Mikki Moore of Sacramento did prove rather Mailmanesque, knocking Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace unconscious.

Wallace went to a hospital with not only a concussion, but also — according to the Bobcats — "a slight case of amnesia."

He since has been released from the hospital.

SNYDER'S REGRETS: After moving from Houston to Minnesota in a trade deadline-deal for young guard Gerald Green last Thursday, ex-Jazz swingman Kirk Snyder — a University of Nevada-Reno product who was one of Utah's two first-round draft choices in 2004, along with current Toronto Raptor Kris Humphries — acknowledged some regrets over the start of his career.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Utah was a place Snyder, a young man out of Los Angeles, didn't want to be. And he was playing for coach Jerry Sloan, a strict man whose basketball knowledge Snyder, at the time, didn't fully appreciate."

"Now that I'm mature, I have kids and a family, everything has changed," Snyder, 24, told the newspaper. "If you'd have seen me in Utah, you'd have said, 'This kid, what is he doing?' It wasn't the right place at the right time for my career. (Sloan) told guys, he said, 'When you get down the road, you'll look back and say, 'Jerry told me that.' I'm thankful to have had him coach me."

Snyder, now with his fourth team in four seasons, will play mostly small forward in Minnesota, which the Jazz visit Tuesday night. His stay with the Timberwolves will amount mostly to an audition, as he has no guaranteed contract for next season.


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