Thoughts from the Hawks Preseason Opener

Phil Veasley | CEO ATLSportsHQ

John Collins (

It’s just preseason, but the Hawks went out and had fun Monday evening. 

The Atlanta Hawks took to the court for the first time Monday after a long off season which saw many changes. For the most part, the Hawks played with energy and cohesion that more so resembled a regular season game than a glorified scrimmage.

While the final score doesn’t really matter in preseason, the 116-102 win and 37-14 3rd quarter showed a glimpse of what can happen on nights when things go “right”.

Here are a few things that stood out to me.

John Collins

John Collins is GOOD. We already knew that of course but Collins appears poised to take his game to the next level this season. He can do much more than dunk but lets just appreciate this dunk for a minute.

Miles Plumlee

Miles is Miles, still fumbling and bumbling passes. However, he does appear to be more toned up and in shape than last season. Even with his massive contract, it may be hard for him to touch the floor this season outside of major injury circumstances.

Alex Len

Hopefully the change of scenery and diminished expectations for Alex Len will do him good. While the stat line wasn’t impressive, (3 Points, 8 Rebounds, 4 Blocks) his energy was impressive especially on the defensive end.

Alex Poythress

Alex had himself an impressive showing. While he is a long shot to make the squad, putting up another 13-5-2 line may raise a few eyebrows. Even if we end up cutting him look for him to catch on with another NBA team or Erie. Hey Alex, we saw that postgame greeting of Hawks’ Owner Tony Ressler after the final buzzer.

Tyler Dorsey

Dorsey surprisingly found himself glued to the bench until the 4th quarter. He made the most of the late game minutes, driving to the whole with ease and snatching rebounds.

Jeremy Lin and Vince Carter

The two vets will bring much needed leadership on and off the court for our very young squad. Throughout the game the two could be seen chatting with various members of the team offering words of encouragement and advice. Leadership is something the Hawks have really lacked since 2014-15.

Trae Young

It wasn’t the best shooting night (5-16 1-6 from 3) but Trae had several impressive drives and dished out 8 flashy assists while only committing 2 turnovers. The shooting percentage likely won’t be pretty this year, but Young is in the perfect scenario to learn and grow.

DeAndre’ Bembry

Dre turned in a masterful performance Monday night. Everyone say it with me right now: Please stay healthy, please stay healthy.

What to watch for Friday:

Can Dre do it again?

Can Trae find his shot?

Is Poythress for real?


Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil Twitter/IG



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