Trae Young (Hawks.com)
The Hawks get things started with a trip to Madison Square Garden.
For the first time in over a decade, the Atlanta Hawks are starting a season not coming off a playoff appearance. The 2017-18 Hawks finished a lousy 24-58 and landed the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft. After a slew of moves which included Coach Bud deciding to depart for greener pastures, trading down for Trae Young, trading Dennis Schroder and hiring Lloyd Pierce to roam the sidelines, we have finally reached opening night.
What better place to get the Trae Young era started than the world’s most famous arena Madison Square Garden. MSG is known to bring the best out of big name players. If preseason and college was any indication, Trae has the confidence to have one of those big nights.
Trae Young led the preseason Hawks in scoring and assists with Taurean Prince not far behind. To fully catch up on everything that transpired in the preseason check out my synopsis here.
Unfortunately, the Hawks will start the season a bit banged up with starters John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon sidelined for at least the first week. Reserves Daniel Hamilton and Justin Anderson join the two on the injury report. None of the injuries are considered too serious.
As for the Knicks, they are coming off a very disappointing 29-53 year which saw their star Kristaps Porzingis go down with an ACL injury. KP will not be ready to start the season but is expected back soon.
Trae Young vs Trey Burke
More often than not, Trae Young will be part of my key matchup spotlight this season. I truly believe that how he performs nightly will be an indicator of how the team does.
Dewayne Dedmon: OUT
John Collins: OUT
Alex Len: Probable
Daniel Hamilton: OUT
Justin Anderson: OUT
Courtney Lee: OUT
Tyler Dorsey (MyAJC,com)
Three Keys to the Game
1. The third quarter
The third quarter was the big problem area for the Hawks during the three preseason losses.
2. Trae Young
If Trae can find his shot early that will really open up the game not only for himself, but for the rest of the team because it will change how the Knicks defend.
3. Keep fighting
During the preseason the team did a great job fighting even when down big. They will find themselves down big a lot this season but it will be all about how they respond.
Guard – Trae Young
Guard – Kent Bazemore
Forward – Taurean Prince
Forward – Vince Carter
Center – Alex Len
For more on how I see the Hawks rotation shaking out check out my full breakdown here.
Guard- Trey Burke
Guard- Tim Hardaway JR
Forward- Frank Ntilikina
Forward- Lance Thomas
Center- Enes Kanter
Tip Off: 7:30 PM ET
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Prediction: Hawks 101 Knicks 96
Next Five Games
Friday 10/19 @ Memphis | 8:00 PM
Sunday 10/21 @ Cleveland | 6:00 PM
Wednesday 10/24 Vs Dallas | 7:00 PM | ESPN
Saturday 10/27 Vs Chicago | 7:30 PM
Monday 10/29 @ Philadelphia | 7:00 PM
Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil
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.