It was just preseason, but dare I say the Hawks looked “impressive”
The 2018 preseason drew to a close Friday evening with a hard fought 119-113 loss to the Miami Heat. Atlanta ended the five game slate with a 2-3 record while scoring 112.6 PPG and giving up 116.2 PPG.
Under the direction of new Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, the team appeared to employ and loose, fun brand of basketball. The guys appeared already to had developed a lot of chemistry which is important in what will likely be a dismal season record wise.
Game by Game Headlines
W 116-102 vs NOP
Strong 2nd half propels the Hawks to victory.
L 120-110 @ MEM
3rd quarters like the one in Memphis will likely be the norm for a young team like the Hawks. The Grizzlies outscored Atlanta 35-20 in the frame but the team did not fold, cutting a 29 point deficit into a 10 point defeat.
L 113-94 @ OKC
Dennis Schroder turned in a masterful performance as the 3rd quarter once again did the Hawks in.
W 130-127 vs SAS
One of the most entertaining preseason games I’ve ever seen brought the arrival of Trae Young. We all know what he did in college, but to see him do it in the NBA, albeit preseason is impressive. Having the confidence to even shoot that shot should make Hawks fans excited for the future. Also, shoutout Tauren Prince for also balling out Wednesday night.
L 119-113 @ MIA
At the half the Hawks were dominating. Lloyd Pierce decided to give the bench pieces some time to shine. Naturally Miami came back but the reserves didn’t fold and still made it a competition toward the end.
Not bad for the person people declared a bust after one Summer League game I’d say. Trae ended up leading the team in points and assists (15.0/5.4) per game in just 24.6 minutes per game. His flashy passes and court vision was also on full display and he was able to turnovers down to just 2.0 per game. There will be times of struggle but his performance thus far should really give fans goosebumps.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 11, 2018
Poythress left little doubt as to if he was worth a two-way contract. His hustle was felt on both ends of the floor throughout the preseason and when he’s not with the Hawks in Atlanta he’ll likely reek havok on the G-League. Remember, he can only spend 45 days with the Hawks.
I have a feeling that we’ll look back at Phoenix and shake our heads. Alex Len looks like he will finally be able to unlock his potential here in Atlanta. We may need to have a discussion as to who will start at Center when Dewayne Dedmon comes back. Len is even shooting three’s and ending careers now (sorry, Pau Gasol).
With absolute authority. pic.twitter.com/fpCuD2J07O
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 11, 2018
Taurean’s 16 points in the first six minutes of the Spurs game was enough to get him on this list. But overall Prince played a fine preseason. His shot looked improved from last season as well as his decision making.
Please stay healthy Dre, please. Bembry looked like an entirely new player in the preseason. Slashing and dashing all over the court and even hitting threes at a 46% clip. I’ve always believed that he has what it takes to succeed in this league, he just needs the injury bug to stay away.
Before we sound any alarms, this was to be expected. Kevin Huerter missed the entire summer due to injury and was pretty much playing catch up in camp. Expect him to see some time with Erie early on and eventually work his way into the rotation towards the end of the season.
John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon are expected to miss the opening road trips but neither of their injuries appear too serious and both should be back by November 1st. Daniel Hamilton and Justin Anderson also remain on the injury report.
Upon the departure of Coach Bud I said the Hawks would win no more than 18 games this coming season. With the mix of veteran leadership and young talent I’m going to increase that just a tad to 25-57.
Check out my full stats prediction from before the preseason here: Hawks Stats Prediction
It should be a fun season, Hawks fans. Here at ATLSportsHQ.com we have you covered. So be sure to head to the site daily for up to date information for all things Atlanta Sports.
Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil Twitter/IG
Be sure to tune into GameTime Radio Sunday Evenings at 6PM to hear E-Dub, Ty and myself discuss all things sports! GameTime Radio can be heard live in Atlanta on 1100 AM, on Facebook Live, iHeartRadio or TuneIn. Also available OnDemand in the iTunes Podcasts App.