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  1. Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports The last dress-up before the real thing next Thursday... Coming off of an entertaining game in New York the night before, the Atlanta Hawks were in action again on Thursday night as they wrapped up their preseason proceedings with a 111-93 defeat to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Jabari Parker led the Hawks in scoring with 15 points — including a flurry of activity in the second quarter that saw him score 11 second quarter points — while Jordan Sibert added 14 points off of the bench. Parker himself was a positive on this game and it felt like at times he was the only Hawk capable of scoring on the interior, especially with the absence of Collins in this game. Earlier in the preseason, I (and many others, I’m sure) wondered ‘Where, and how, does Jabari Parker fit with this team?’ Well, perhaps interior scoring could be an aspect where Parker can contribute a little more consistently. With the majority of this roster being perimeter based, especially amongst the bigs — Alex Len, who is not an elite interior player to begin with, likes to be on the perimeter, Damian Jones trying to extend his game and John Collins amalgamating inside and outside — this could be an area Parker can contribute to: being able to drive, spin and score, getting to the rim. Without Collins on the floor last night — and of course when Young isn’t on the floor to play pick-and-roll and get to the rim — Parker seemed to be the only player to be able to do it last night consistently, particularly in the second quarter where the Hawks, other than Parker, struggled for baskets inside as the Bulls began to bring the clamps. For the Bulls in their final preseason outing, rookie Coby White’s second half burst led to a 29 point showing while Zach LaVine added 23 points. Putting into perspective... Realistically speaking for the game itself, there’s not a ton to say about this game. The Hawks arrived into Chicago on the second night of a back-to-back and the third road game in four nights — the NBA earning an A+ in bizarre preseason scheduling — having had their two ‘rehearsals’ so to speak in Miami and, probably to a greater extent, New York. Trae Young played 35 minutes in New York and, to be honest, it was a surprise he featured at all on Thursday night but that didn’t stop him scoring 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting in 17 minutes before sitting for the second half. While De’Andre Hunter also featured predominately in the first half exclusively, he also would sit in the second half (more on Hunter later). John Collins did not play in this one due to flu-like symptoms (and probably would’ve only played the first half similar to Young anyways). Cam Reddish did not feature in this one either while Kevin Huerter missed his fifth straight game as he continues to rehab ahead of the Hawks’ regular season opener next week. On the Chicago side of things, they did treat this like a regular season rehearsal, perhaps not so much in minutes for the key members but certainly in rotation, running with a 10-man rotation themselves before garbage time in the fourth quarter — as the Bulls galloped away (pun intended, sorry) — allowed the likes of Adam Mokoka (shouts to Adam Mokoka), Denzel Valentine and company to see some court time. In many ways, it was similar to the Hawks’ rehearsal against the Heat on Monday where they ran a 10-man rotation before garbage time/the blowout nature of the game allowed Pierce to go deeper to his bench. But we’ll chat about the game itself briefly before breaking down some of finer points of this game (as always, if you missed the game, the post-game recap here at Peachtree Hoops is a great place to start and one I’d recommend if you want an overview of how the game actually unfolded). As mentioned above, Jabari Parker’s second quarter burst (11 points) was a factor in this game, helping the Hawks stick around in the second quarter, a quarter where things began to unravel as the second unit of the Bulls took it to the Hawks’ second unit defensively. Without Trae Young, as it has been at times during the preseason, the second unit offense has been poor but this time around there’s a few factors to consider. Obviously the Hawks were down on personnel: Kevin Huerter as mentioned was out, obviously, as well as Collins and Reddish — the result of that from a big-man perspective is that both Bruno Fernando and Damian Jones both featured together, which you will not see regularly. Evan Turner is still limited, playing just another 10 minutes which led to more minutes for Brandon Goodwin (more on him later). A lineup of Brandon Goodwin, Evan Turner, Vince Carter, Bruno Fernando and Damian Jones is always going to struggle on offense and the Bulls’ second unit, to their credit, began to turn the screw defensively and forced the Hawks into turnovers in the first half, such as this one on Goodwin: The Hawks did not shoot the ball amazingly in this game (just under 42% from the field) but matters scoring the ball are only compounded by the Hawks’ very poor free throw shooting in Chicago. The Hawks shot just 15-of-34 from the line for a whopping 44% — the lowest percentage output of any team from the free throw line in the preseason so far, and unless something dramatic occurs tonight in the final night of the preseason, it’s going to be the worst percentage from the line from this year’s preseason. Jabari Parker shot 2-of-7 from the line to lead the way in that department, Brandon Goodwin shot 3-of-6 while Alex Len, DeAndre’ Bembry and Trae Young all missed their few free throw attempts. Obviously a blip, you wouldn’t expect nor see this kind of shooting night from the line too often — nor would you want to. The second half was largely unwatchable and not really relevant to anything, especially the fourth quarter. I say it was irrelevant because, even though the Exhibit 10 guys got to see extended time, it would be a surprise if any of the Exhibit 10 guys (Jordan Sibert, Armoni Brooks, Tahjere McCall and Marcus Derrickson) are signed to the Hawks’ free roster spot. Yeah... Not a lot else to say on the game itself. Just a formality the Hawks had to go through — they probably already got everything they were going to get from the preseason before this game and the scheduling was a joke. De’Andre Hunter continues to impress As mentioned, Hunter did not feature in the second half (well, NBA dot com has Hunter listed for three glorious seconds of the second half) but in the 16 minutes that he did feature in, Hunter continued to impress and capped off his preseason in a positive manner. Offensively, again, Hunter showed solid prowess as he scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting and 2-of-2 from three. Perhaps more impressively, the two threes Hunter made came off of contests/closeouts: From the, to be fair, smaller, defender in Coby White in the corner: And from the opposite corner: Hunter seems to be a level-headed person by nature and personality and his composure on these two plays certainly reflects that coolness — both impressive three-pointers. For the preseason, Hunter shot 39% from three (7-of-18 in total) and that can only be taken as an encouraging sign heading into the preseason. Hunter also continued to impress with his ability to pass, dropping some solid dimes for Alex Len in this game. In the pick-and-roll, Hunter probes before finding Len with his weaker left hand and Len finishes with the dunk: Again in the pick-and-roll with Len, Hunter is able to find Len over-the-top, with Len having to do a little bit more this time to finish at the rim: Defensively, there’s a lot you expect from Hunter and he comes in with that reputation, but you have to remember that he is an NBA rookie: generally speaking, rookies aren’t good defenders but Hunter still continues to impress in this regard. Here, he showcases his ability to switch: from LaVine (blink and you might miss it), to Lauri Markkanen, banging with Markkanen and back onto LaVine, who steps out of bounds: On this possession, Hunter does a good job cutting off LaVine’s drive, forcing the pass: Again, some good defense on Zach LaVine, showing good footwork to stick with LaVine before reaching in and committing the foul: A reach-in wasn’t needed from Hunter here, he was doing a fine job sticking with anything LaVine was trying in an effort to shake Hunter. Hunter, I think, has surprised many with his offensive showing so far but also his ability to pass the ball too. The Hawks paid a high price to acquire the rights to Hunter but you have to love the early returns so far, but also bear in mind that it is exactly that: early. Alex Len’s struggles continue There surely can’t be many others as delighted to see the end of the preseason as Alex Len, because, whoo-boy, it’s been a struggle. Len produced another poor showing (a very poor one last night) as he scored four points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field, 0-of-3 from three, 0-of-2 from the line to go along with four turnovers. Honestly, you can pick out so many things wrong with Len’s game last night, it would almost be cruel to do it, because there’s so much to choose from. To put it simply, Len has to be better in the regular season. He can’t shoot 27% from the field as he did in the preseason (and he won’t, but yikes...) and he needs to shoot higher than 20% from three. One of the few good things Len did do last night was grab 11 rebounds, but still comes away from preseason with an average of 5.4 rebounds per game — that needs to be higher. Len has to finish at the rim at a higher level of efficiency: Obviously, a small sample size (it’s only five games of preseason after all) but the overall performance from Len in the preseason has been thoroughly disappointing. It’s a big year for Alex Len, not only is he heading into a contract year but the Hawks need him to produce: Damian Jones can’t stretch the floor like Len can and Bruno Fernando is still very raw and, realistically, isn’t ready for a consistent role right now in the NBA (but with the Hawks’ situation, he’ll find one). The Hawks already miss Dewayne Dedmon enough already, the last thing they need is a regression from Len this season. To be fair to Len, he was coming off of two injuries (which he talked about on media day) and that may be part of the reason he has struggled and, honestly, I hope it’s still bothering him, because at least it would give a logical reason as to why he has been as poor as he has been in this preseason and now he has a week to try and recover. But given the fact he hasn’t been listed on the Hawks’ injury report, health may not be an explicit factor. Again, Len is an important player for the Hawks — the Hawks are better when Len is firing from the outside and when he is, simply put, not awful as he was last night. Brandon Goodwin’s strong effort One of the few bright spots from this game came from two-way player Brandon Goodwin, who enjoyed his best game with the Hawks so far — 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting and 2-of-3 from three in just over 22 minutes. Goodwin has seen some boosted minutes in games where Young has been rested (in Miami and Chicago, for example) but also because Evan Turner is still restricted in his playing time. Once Turner has hit his criteria of minutes, the backup point guard role is passed about between various players (such as DeAndre’ Bembry, Cam Reddish at times) but last night it was Goodwin. Offensively, Goodwin impressed and had some good plays, even if he couldn’t score, so that 4-of-10 shooting mark doesn’t fully reflect his game. I liked the drive by Goodwin on this play, even though he is blocked by Wendell Carter Jr. at the rim: On this play, Goodwin rejects the screen, drives and beautifully gets to the rim only to blow the layup: Goodwin did everything beautifully on that play, other than the easy part: the finish. Again, Goodwin is able to use his handle to get into promising positions but is deterred by length on this play near the rim, but loving how he got there to begin with: In garbage time, Goodwin almost goes full-court, weaving by the defense as if it wasn’t there en-route to the rim: On the drive, Goodwin switches hands, is slowed down in the paint before going to his right hand hitting the tough runner in traffic: And lastly, one of the two three-pointers Goodwin hit, hitting this one after having to quickly set his feet and fire before the shot was contested effectively: Overall, I was really impressed by Goodwin last night, and he may have a role to play early in the season. Backup point guard Evan Turner has played on a minutes restriction in every game he has participated in during the preseason and it remains unclear if this will still be the case as the regular season starts as Turner recovers from the pain in his Achilles, and we (collectively speaking) have absolutely no idea of the status of Kevin Huerter ahead of the regular season having now missed the entirety of the preseason. There’s a week between now and the Hawks’ regular season opener in Detroit: if Turner is still limited and Huerter still out/limited in what he can do, the Hawks may need Brandon Goodwin to supply some early-season minutes at point guard and last night can only have helped his case in that regard. We’ll see what the story is and how the Hawks recover in their time-off before the regular season tips-off, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Goodwin with the Hawks to start the season. The Hawks finish 1-4 on the preseason with plenty to work on before they begin their 2019-20 NBA regular season on the road in Detroit next Thursday (October 24th). It’s almost time... View the full article
  2. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images On to the regular season. The Atlanta Hawks found themselves in Chicago on Thursday night, completing the second half of a preseason back to back. As a result, Lloyd Pierce and company made the decision to sit a couple of their main guys, with John Collins (flu-like symptoms) and Cam Reddish (right hip tension) joining Kevin Huerter, Allen Crabbe and Chandler Parsons on the shelf. The Hawks supplemented their starting lineup with DeAndre’ Bembry in favor of Reddish and Parker instead of Collins. The opening action was predictably slow, but the Hawks got some great minutes out of rookie stud De’Andre Hunter who made a couple nifty passes early. The first half of the third quarter was not particularly pretty for either team, as the Hawks unloaded the bench and the Bulls struggled to make shots. Charlie Brown found his way onto the court and hit a little jumper for his first points of the night and, in short order, he was joined by the likes of Armoni Brooks. Chicago finally pulled away in the latter half of the third quarter as Zach LaVine took over against the Hawks fourth string point guards and began scoring at will. The final quarter of the pre-season (and, really, most of the game) was some pretty bad basketball. The Hawks ran with their G Leaguers for most of the quarter with some Alex Len mixed in for depth. Len had a game that he would soon like to forget as he went 2-of-10 from the field with just four points and four turnovers. Jabari Parker led the Hawks in scoring with 15 points on 60% shooting in 22 minutes of action. Trae Young added 11 of his own on 50% shooting in 17 minutes, while not playing in the second half at all. The Hawks were outscored 20-5 in the opening 4:23 of the fourth as the deficit eventually swelled to 30 points. Atlanta would go on to lose by a final score of 111-93 to conclude their pre-season with a (meaningless) record of 1-4. The Hawks will travel to Detroit on Thursday, Oct. 24 for the regular season opener at Little Caesars Arena with the Pistons. Set your schedule accordingly. View the full article
  3. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports One more. The Atlanta Hawks found the win column on Wednesday evening, outlasting the New York Knicks behind an inspired effort. Less than 24 hours later, Lloyd Pierce’s team will be taking the floor in Chicago against the Bulls on Thursday evening in what is the final preseason tilt for Atlanta. With the odd circumstance of a preseason back-to-back, there is plenty of uncertainty as to how the Hawks will approach things from a rotation perspective. The team’s official injury report, released on Thursday afternoon, included only two new additions, with Cam Reddish (right hip tension) listed as probable and John Collins (flu-like symptoms) ruled out. The absence of Collins isn’t a surprise but, as of the time of this post, players like Trae Young, De’Andre Hunter and Alex Len were not actively included on the pre-game report. On the Chicago side, only Chandler Hutchison and Shaq Harrison are ruled out for Thursday and, while this is also the final preseason tilt for the Bulls, the home team hasn’t had three days off before this particular contest. The Hawks have a full week before the regular season opener and, with a big-time workload for a few key pieces on Wednesday, this game could have a distinct feel of preseason basketball. Alas, there is plenty to monitor and fun should be had by all. Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action. Game Info Game Date/Time: Thursday, Oct. 17, 8:00 pm ET Location: United Center TV: NBA TV Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network Streaming: NBA League Pass View the full article
  4. We need your help. SB Nation wants to tap into the passion of Atlanta Hawks fans — and to that end, the Peachtree Hoops community — with a new weekly poll. You can sign up right here for what is called SB Nation Fan Pulse. It’s quick and anonymous. You will be able to answer this week’s questions right on the form, and in future weeks you will have a survey emailed to you. We’ll publish results every week here, and hopefully get some interesting data from fans across the league to discuss. This week, we’re looking wide-lens and asking about the champion and MVP for the upcoming season. We’d appreciate your participation in SB Nation Fan Pulse. View the full article
  5. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Good morning, friends. The Atlanta Hawks picked up a victory on Wednesday evening at Madison Square Garden and the ATL and 29 podcast is here to break it all down. Kevin Chouinard of Hawks.com hosts the program and topics include the following: Handing out letter grades to each and every player after the Knicks game An update on Kevin Huerter’s injury status Audio from Lloyd Pierce on on-ball, off-hand contact that seems relevant to the work of Trae Young Much, much more ‘ATL and 29: A Peachtree Hoops Podcast’ is hosted on Megaphone and you can subscribe via a number of platforms. Please do us a solid and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, PlayerFM, or Stitcher, as well as any podcast player you might prefer. Tell your friends about the show and be sure to bookmark our dedicated section. View the full article
  6. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images In the closest thing to a regular season game in preseason, the Hawks emerged victorious. In the first preseason game in which head coach Lloyd Pierce pushed his two best players to regular season minutes, the Atlanta Hawks were victorious. Trae Young and John Collins played 35 and 30 minutes, respectively, in what should be a closer approximation of their regular season load than the ~25 minutes each had logged in the previous three games. The result was also closer to what the Hawks can expect to see in the regular season, even as Pierce is still experimenting with the rest of his rotation. Young responded to the regular season warmup with his best game of the preseason. He scored 23 points on 19 shots and 10 trips to the free throw line, continuing a trend of getting to the line consistently. Through four preseason games, Young has averaged 8.0 free throws per 36 minutes, compared to 6.0 FTA/36 in his rookie season. Of course, some of that has to do with the limited competition he’s seen in preseason, but that sort of drastic uptick in free throw attempts bodes well for his all-around offensive game going into his second year. Perhaps most important to Young was the lack of turnovers against the Knicks. After putting up games with eight, eight, and seven turnovers through the first three contests of the preseason schedule, Young didn’t turn the ball over once in his 35 minutes and racked up nine assists and a number of other very good passes that didn’t turn into points for his team. The largest criticism surrounding Young’s game continues to be his defense. It’s in no way a hot take to say that he was one of the five worst defenders in the league last season. The criticism seems to have gotten through to Young, though, as his defense has shown marked improvements through four games of preseason play. With all the caveats that apply to the preseason, the fact that he’s shown a willingness to put in the effort on the defensive end in games that don’t even count is a welcome sign. Collins continued to struggle with his efficiency, as he has throughout the preseason. He finished with 12 points on 14 shooting possessions and generally didn’t have the same athletic advantage he normally enjoys. Say what you will about how the Knicks constructed their roster in the offseason (and you’ll be correct about most of it), but it’s a group that can give Collins some issues – New York has quite a few players who are his size and can match his athleticism. Elsewhere on the floor, De’Andre Hunter continued to look like a player worth trading multiple first-round picks to draft. He’s very comfortable on the NBA floor already and does enough of nearly everything to prove his value in multiple ways. Against the Knicks, it was more about his scoring than creating for teammates, as he finished with 15 points on 10 shooting possessions but didn’t put much into the box score elsewhere. His creation responsibilities have fallen off in the last two games as Evan Turner has made his return to the court and is taking over a lot of the backup point guard action that Hunter was tasked with in the first two games. DeAndre’ Bembry has gotten a lot of run as the team’s primary playmaker when Young is off the floor as well. Alex Len had a game to forget from the field but contributed in every other way he possibly could. Despite scoring no points on 0-for-7 shooting from the field, Len posted nine boards (four of them of the offensive variety), four assists, a steal, and two blocks. As the surefire starting center for the team going into the 2019-20 season, Pierce has let Len do some creation himself, particularly from the elbows, which has had its hits and misses through four preseason games. Jabari Parker continues to impress with his play in preseason. He posted 12 points on ten shooting possessions against New York and pulled down nine rebounds. Five of his ten shots were three-pointers, which was good to see, as Parker has mostly been a mid-range artist throughout his career. He had a few quick-trigger threes in this game, highlighted by this make in the first quarter: Speaking of quick-triggers threes, Collins had a few of his own as well. His release looks to be much, much faster than it was a year ago. It’s strange to say this about a player who shot 2-for-14 from the field, but Bembry was every bit the off-the-bench sparkplug Pierce wants him to be. With nine boards (six offensive), four assists, four steals, and no turnovers, Bembry did just about everything but put the ball in the basket consistently. It’s a lot easier to forgive 12 missed shots when he created six extra possessions with his offensive rebounding, as well. Vince Carter put on a show in the second quarter and ended up 5-for-10 from beyond the three-point line, though his defense left a lot to be desired. New York’s endless supply of power forwards gave Carter fits as players either went through or around him consistently on that end of the floor. Bruno Fernando was the team’s primary backup center behind Len as Damian Jones didn’t appear at all. He played 18 minutes and mostly acquitted himself well, defending his position and finishing around the rim when asked. Fernando showed off his defensive ceiling with a very strong possession against Julius Randle in the fourth quarter: As Randle set up his isolation drive, Fernando was with him every step of the way. When the ball kicked to Marcus Morris on the perimeter and Morris beat his man, Fernando was there to wall him off before he recovered back to Randle and forced a travel. That level of agility at his size is what made Fernando a very intriguing prospect in the draft process earlier in the summer. We’ll see what Young’s and Collins’ heavy minutes do for their availability on Thursday against Chicago. In a rare preseason back-to-back, the Hawks may opt to sit their two stars, though the team does have a full week off between their final preseason tilt and the opening game of the regular season against the Detroit Pistons. View the full article
  7. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images The first victory for Atlanta. The Atlanta Hawks traveled to New York for their fourth preseason contest, a Wednesday night tilt in Madison Square Garden vs. the Knicks. The Hawks used the same starting lineup that they used Monday in Miami in the continued absence of Kevin Huerter. A bad pass from Carter and a reach in call on Hunter put Randle on the line with a chance to tie the game with 19.9 remaining. Randle missed the second, with Young securing the rebound before a quick timeout from Pierce with 19.2 on the clock. Young was fouled on the inbound and hit a pair of free throws to make it 99-96 with 16.0 remaining. Atlanta was able to get a stop on the ensuing New York possession, forcing a severely contested three from Wayne Ellington that missed. The Hawks held on 100-96 after Hunter split a pair of free throws in the final seconds. Young lead all Atlanta scores with 23, filling out the stat sheet with 9 assists, five rebounds and an outstanding zero turnovers. Young also looked much improved again defensively, adding a steal and a block on that end while competing at a much higher level as a defender than he did as a rookie. Hunter impressed again, scoring 14 points (5-for-8 from the field) and playing solid in all phases of the game. Parker came off the bench with 12 points and nine rebounds, providing the type of punch the Hawks envisioned when acquiring him. Collins finished with 12 points (5-for-13 from the floor) and a preseason high 14 rebounds. Carter scored 17 points (6-for-11, 5-for-10 from three) including the go-ahead bucket with 1:30 in the fourth. Randle led all Knick scorers with 20 points. Barrett had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in what was a solid all-around performance from the rookie. The Hawks will complete their preseason journey with a back-to-back, traveling to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Thursday evening. Stay tuned. View the full article
  8. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images The latest on a crucial piece for Atlanta. On Sept. 27, the Atlanta Hawks announced that second-year wing Kevin Huerter underwent an MRI to examine right knee pain. While that evaluation indicated no structural damage, Huerter was limited in the early portion of Atlanta’s training camp — with stated treatment “to reduce inflammation and increase his load tolerance” — and the 21-year-old was sidelined for the team’s first three preseason games. In advance of Atlanta’s road game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, the Hawks announced that Huerter would be sidelined once again and, before tip-off, head coach Lloyd Pierce provided an update on Huerter’s status. “He tweaked his knee, or just felt a little pinge in it, on Saturday in a scrimmage. So that set him back.” Pierce said, via Peachtree Hoops alum and UPROXX Sports senior writer Robby Kalland. “We were aiming to get him to play on Monday. So the setback was from Saturday and he felt better Monday. We just wanted to see him on the court yesterday and today.” Pierce also indicated that Huerter went through a workout after Atlanta’s shootaround on Wednesday, but the head coach did not have a full report as to how that exercise went, nor did he provide an estimated timetable for Huerter’s on-court debut. Huerter, a second team All-Rookie selection for the 2018-19 season, is projected by many as the No. 3 option for the Hawks this season. The former Maryland star converted 38.5 percent of his three-point attempts as a rookie and, in looking ahead, Huerter’s presence will be crucial in providing floor spacing and secondary creation on the wing for the Hawks, while also holding up at a reasonable level defensively. Moreover, Huerter’s absence is compounded, at least to some degree, by Allen Crabbe’s injury, leaving the Hawks without two of their more dynamic three-point weapons. Huerter appeared for more than 2,000 minutes as a rookie but, until he takes the floor for the first time as a “sophomore,” there will be some uneasiness about his timetable for return. After the team’s final preseason game in Chicago on Thursday, the Hawks will open the regular season on Thursday, Oct. 24 on the road against the Detroit Pistons. Stay tuned. View the full article
  9. Welcome to the Peachtree Hoops Hawks FanShop! Here is a collection of things fans love -- our favorite shirts, hats, jerseys, and other fun stuff that show our pride in the Hawks community, our team and our city. Enjoy! View the full article
  10. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports National TV action. The Atlanta Hawks struggled mightily for three quarters on Monday evening, falling to 0-3 in the preseason with a lopsided loss to the Miami Heat. After a one-day hiatus for travel and recovery, Lloyd Pierce’s team will return to exhibition action on Wednesday and, in this particular instance, Atlanta will be taking on the New York Knicks at the world’s most famous arena. In a bizarre circumstance, the Hawks actually face a preseason back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving some uncertainty as to how the team will proceed. Atlanta’s official injury report projects only three absences as of Wednesday morning, with Chandler Parsons (knees) and Allen Crabbe (right knee) joined by Kevin Huerter (right knee) on the shelf. One of the major stories in advance of the regular season is the status of Huerter but, without additional information, it is simply worth noting that the second-year wing will miss his fourth consecutive game. With that as the backdrop, there may be real doubt (at least until the Hawks say otherwise) as to whether he’ll be ready for the regular season opener, though he has ramped up his practice activity during the preseason. Monday’s game saw Pierce deploy something approaching a “dress rehearsal” rotation, with only 10 players appearing in the first three quarters. Something similar could arise on Wednesday and, if that is the case, it will be interesting to see how the team responds to what was a dismal showing in its last outing. In terms of other story lines to monitor, the Knicks project to send No. 3 pick R.J. Barrett on to the floor and he’ll square off with college teammate and No. 10 pick Cam Reddish. Throw in the presence of No. 4 pick De’Andre Hunter and, if nothing else, there will be a bunch of rookie talent in the mix when these two teams tip off in what is a nationally televised (!) match-up. Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action. Game Info Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 8:00 pm ET Location: Madison Square Garden TV: ESPN Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network Streaming: WatchESPN View the full article
  11. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Things got ugly at times on Monday. The Atlanta Hawks dropped their third successive game to begin the preseason, falling short 87-120 against the Miami Heat in South Beach on Monday night. Trae Young scored 23 points on the night while John Collins enjoyed a bounce-back game of sorts, scoring 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. For the Heat, Tyler Herro scored 23 points (including the Heat’s first 14 points in the first quarter) while Meyers Leonard and Bam Adebayo both added 15 points apiece in a convincing Heat victory. Offensive struggles in the second, defensive struggles in the third, general second unit struggles Things were going well for the Atlanta Hawks to begin this game. The Hawks scored 34 first quarter points on 62% shooting from the field with Trae Young scoring 11 first quarter points (which went somewhat under the radar in part due to the Tyler Herro show to begin this game). Sure, the Heat scored 32 points themselves but it was an entertaining first quarter where the Hawks were more than a match for the Heat. And then arrived the second quarter, where things deteriorated rapidly. The Hawks’ rapid offense came to a crashing halt as it took them six minutes to score four points to begin the second quarter and various other foibles allowed the Heat to build a double-digit lead. While the Hawks were able to cut this to single digits by halftime, difficulties in the third quarter meant that the Miami lead quickly ballooned to 19 points and by the end of the quarter it was 21 points and the game well and truly over. So, what happened in this time? How did things unravel as quickly as they did after such a strong showing in the first quarter? Well, the offense — particularly in the second unit — was a huge issue last night and these problems were prevalent particularly in the second quarter, a quarter where the Hawks shot 4-of-22 (22%) while the bench combined for a plus/minus of minus 41 in the second quarter alone. Let’s look at some film. Cam Reddish had a tough night last night (and that is probably an understatement) and his three-point attempt on this play — one of his six missed shots, shooting 1-of-7 on the night — rims out. After the miss, Young gathers the offensive rebound, finds Alex Len, whose behind the back pass attempt to Collins sails out of bounds: Fellow rookie De’Andre Hunter also had a tough night shooting the ball (2-of-8 from the field), and on this play he fakes Goran Dragic off of his feet before stepping inside the three-point line and missing the jump shot: This was a good play from Hunter, he just happened to miss the shot. On this possession, Reddish tries to take it off of the dribble, commits the turnover and that leads to the Miami basket in transition — two of their 27 turnover points: This is one of those ‘You’re going to have to be patient with Reddish’ plays (and games, for that matter). They will happen. The Hawks shot 8-of-31 from three, and matters aren’t helped when one of your shooters, Alex Len, isn’t firing, missing the quick three-pointer on this possession on the find from Evan Turner: Now, those were some of early misses of the second quarter and by the mid-way point of the second quarter, Young is off of the floor and it’s the lineup of Evan Turner (making his preseason debut),Reddish, Hunter, Jabari Parker and Damian Jones where things got messy offensively. Turner played just nine minutes in this game and couldn’t link up successfully for the assist with Damian Jones on this alley-oop: A good dive from Jones but just unable to connect on this one... This next play — and this is not to bash on Reddish, it’s just highlighting the Hawks’ second unit offensive issues in which Reddish was a part of (and before someone says it, yes, Reddish started this game but under normal circumstances where Kevin Huerter would be starting, Reddish would be part of this unit) — Reddish’s quick three-pointer is short: This next play I think really highlights the Hawks’ problem in their second unit. Evan Turner comes off of the pick-and-roll with Jones and gets to the baseline, where he shoots a tough fadeaway that draws air. The rebound is picked up by Jones, who is stripped by Jimmy Butler and the shot clock violation is committed: Notice on that play how many Heat players were in/near the paint: all five of them. With that lineup of Turner, Bembry, Hunter, Parker and Jones there is no shooting for the Hawks to space the floor. Yes, Hunter, Bembry, Parker and Jones can hit jump shots but not consistently. The Heat know this, and it allows them to load up in the paint they’re able swarm to snuff out any danger on this play. Parker is a tough solve... he has just struggled to fit on the offensive end with this side so far, and some of the iso-ness comes out at times, as it did on this play which is thwarted by Derrick Jones Jr.: This was not a good game from Parker — he may have scored nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds but committed six turnovers in the process and was minus-25 in the game. It was just a really rough go of things in the second quarter, particularly for the second unit, who absolutely need some shooting/spacing. Allen Crabbe’s presence is missed, as he is one of the few Hawks players on the bench that is a consistent three-point shooter. Chandler Parsons’ ability to shoot the ball would also be a nice boost but alas... And throwing Vince Carter out there, while he did hit two three-pointers, isn’t a direct solution for a lack of shooting (and you’ll see some of the drawbacks playing Carter later on the defensive end). Without Trae Young on the court, the Hawks were just lost, to a degree. Plus/minus is a subjective stat, one where I think context is key. Despite the blowout nature of this game, despite Young’s seven turnovers, 10 missed shots, he registered a zero on plus/minus — which is hugely impressive given the game itself. Every single Hawk that player, other than Young, registered a minus plus/minus (John Collins, to be fair, was only minus 2). The bench’s plus/minus numbers are...not pretty. Plus/minus numbers of the bench included: minus 14 for Bembry, minus 25 for both Parker and Jones, minus 16 for Turner — in total (not counting the guys who only featured in the fourth quarter like Bruno Fernando, Brandon Goodwin etc.) the bench registered a combined plus/minus of minus 87... In a game that the Hawks treated like a regular season game (more on that soon), that’s concerning... In the third quarter, defense was the issue for the Hawks as the Heat scored 34 points on 11-of-19 shooting while hitting 6-for-7 on threes in the quarter. On this possession, Jimmy Butler comes around Leonard and receives the hand-off before rising into a jump shot: Now, that might not look like much but it’s plays like this where you’d like to see defensive growth: either Hunter goes under Leonard instead of over or, if he goes over as he did, John Collins has to switch onto Butler here. See the position of Collins as Butler turns the corner, he’s in prime position to step in and prevent Butler from an easy shot: Instead, he focuses on Leonard instead of Butler (a classic case of ‘Know Your Personnel,’ you’d rather let Meyers Leonard beat you than Jimmy Butler) and while Hunter manages to get a decent contest up for how far he trails Butler, it’s too easy for a player of Jimmy Butler’s calibre. Here, again, seems a fairly simple play as Justise Winslow finds Herro, who comes off of the Adebayo screen and he hits the three: Adebayo originally sets the screen for Winslow, who gets to the wing. As he does, he’s faced off by Alex Len. Reddish — Winslow’s defender — follows Winslow. Now come the issues: Len has closed off the lane from Winslow and if he rises to take a jumpshot, you live with that because Winslow isn’t the most amazing shooter. So, Len is in a good position here and the weak-side defense is in order. On the top, you can see Herro on the move and Young in pursuit. The second screen from Adebayo is very clearly coming, which is going to take Young out of the play, meaning the next rotation needs to come from Reddish, who has come too far over on a player who isn’t going to the rim and you would be fine with taking a jumper. Herro comes off the screen, Reddish almost gets there but doesn’t get a hand up to contest and there goes another triple for Herro. Know your personnel. On this play, Goran Dragic is going to hit the three-pointer and though it looks as though Young is at fault, it starts with Vince Carter pushing up on Butler instead of going with Adebayo. From there, Parker has to step up to meet Adebayo, Young leaves Dragic to prevent a potential dump to Jones underneath the basket and that leaves Dragic alone in the corner for three. Young, to his credit, hustles out to the corner to try and contest but nothing can be done to prevent this three: Though, Young was very much at fault for Dragic’s next three-pointer a possession later: And lastly, Jimmy Butler out-jinxes Vince Carter, forces the defense to collapse — good rotation from Bembry but Parker is a little later to spot the danger and it leads to another Dragic three: Plenty of issues for the Hawks on both ends of the court but obviously the biggest problems came in those second and third quarters, with the fourth quarter being a write-off. Regular season rehearsal Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce mentioned that in one of these upcoming road games to close the preseason he would use it as more of a rehearsal for the regular season — last night appeared to be that game. Pierce, perhaps tellingly, ran just a 10-man rotation for three quarters of this game as the usual suspects of preseason — the likes of Charlie Brown Jr. and Bruno Fernando — did not feature until the fourth quarter, when the game was well and truly over. We saw Evan Turner for the first time in preseason but no Kevin Huerter once again, so it was as close to a regular season rehearsal as possible without the Hawks’ starting shooting guard. Generally speaking, preseason isn’t a time to overreact too much to things (and that goes both ways, so maybe let’s chill on the Tyler Herro, Rookie of the Year kind of stuff) but Monday night was... not good for the Hawks. It was not good, and there’s cause for a little more concern now — if only because this was a game the Hawks were actively trying to win with something approaching their regular season rotation (again, minus Huerter) on the floor. The second unit’s offense is concerning, their lack of shooting is potentially problematic, their lack of spacing is concerning, how Jabari Parker fits in this offense is concerning, we knew turnovers were probably going to feature again this season (another 26 last night, and another seven for Trae Young though not all of them were directly his fault [but a number of instances where he left his feet]) and the defense is concerning (but again, that was always likely to happen). I use the word ‘concerning’ by design, these are concerns right now in the preseason. We’ll see what happens when the regular season rolls around (and Huerter is back in the fray) but there’s a few causes for concern. There weren’t a ton of positives to take from this game but there were a few. De’Andre Hunter made some encouraging passes throughout this game, such as this assist to Collins for the dunk: Again, a nice feed over the top from Hunter to Collins for the assist: And a nice skip-pass from Hunter to the corner for an Alex Len three-point attempt, which is missed: Elsewhere, DeAndre’ Bembry had some positive moments around the rim en-route to 13 points as he continues to show improvement heading into his fourth season. Young we’ve discussed somewhat already, but it’s worth adding that he got the free throw line on nine occasions, converting eight of those nine free throws and that’s an encouraging sign. He did, however, hoist 17 shots making just seven and was actually the only player to attempt double-digit field goals for the Hawks last night — not saying that’s a bad thing, just an interesting tidbit from the box score that no other Hawks attempted double-digit field goal attempts (though you would like to see a higher percentage from the field than 41% but he had good moments offensively). The Hawks (0-3) are back in action on Wednesday, the first game of a preseason back-to-back takes place in New York as the Hawks face-off against the Knicks at Maddison Square Garden. Until next time... View the full article
  12. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Turnovers plague Hawks in third straight preseason loss. The Atlanta Hawks traveled to Miami to take on the Heat for their third of five preseason contests. The Hawks were looking for their first win of the preseason following home losses to New Orleans and Orlando last week. The trip kicks off a very long stay away from State Farm Arena for Atlanta, who will not appear in front of their home crowd again until October 26. The Hawks started Trae Young, Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, John Collins and Alex Len. Justice Winslow, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Meyers Leonard and Bam Adebayo started for Miami. In the early going, Reddish delivered with a pure jumper. Herro finished with 23 points to lead all Heat scoring. Adebayo added 15 points, ten rebounds, four assists and three blocks while dominating the paint in his 26 minutes. The Hawks will be back in action Wednesday night from Madison Square Garden for a matchup with the Knicks, before finishing their preseason schedule Thursday night in Chicago against the Bulls. View the full article
  13. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images On the road for the first time. The Atlanta Hawks continue their preseason journey on Monday evening and, for the first time, Lloyd Pierce’s team will be taking the floor in the venue of an opposing team. This time around, the Hawks will take on the Miami Heat on the road and there are plenty of interesting things to monitor. On the injury report, Kevin Huerter (right knee pain) is scheduled to miss his third straight preseason outing and his absence has been felt to this point. While there will be intrigue as to when the second-year wing will return, Evan Turner (left Achilles pain) is seemingly on track to make his preseason debut in Miami. Turner missed the first two games but he has been upgraded to probable and, with Atlanta poised to deploy the veteran as the “backup point guard,” Turner’s role will be of great note. Prior to leaving Atlanta, Pierce indicated that one of the team’s three games this week will be a dress rehearsal of sorts. Monday’s game and Wednesday’s game (in New York) would appear to be the most likely candidates but, even if this isn’t a “regular season rotation,” it is a safe bet that there will be takeaways from intriguing players. Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action. Game Info Game Date/Time: Monday, Oct. 14, 7:30 pm ET Location: American Airlines Arena TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market only) Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market only) View the full article
  14. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Good morning, friends. The ATL and 29 podcast is back and Tyler Jones joins Kevin Chouinard of Hawks.com for a new episode to start your week. Episode 110 includes the following topics: Trying to figure out Atlanta’s bench and how Lloyd Pierce’s rotation might function this season How will things look with Kevin Huerter and Evan Turner in the lineup? De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish look good in the early going Other preseason takeaways through only two games Much, much more ‘ATL and 29: A Peachtree Hoops Podcast’ is hosted on Megaphone and you can subscribe via a number of platforms. Please do us a solid and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, PlayerFM, or Stitcher, as well as any podcast player you might prefer. Tell your friends about the show and be sure to bookmark our dedicated section. View the full article
  15. Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images The new Hawks backup scoring machine has a different relationship with hip-hop than most NBA players his age. Here are a couple of his most intriguing stories in the genre. ATLANTA — Jabari Parker is a Hawk. The 24-year-old, five-year NBA veteran has found himself in the fourth NBA city and the modern-day capital of hip-hop. “Music is very big [to me],” Parker said at Media Day on Sept. 30. “It’s the thing that I listen to every day and it pretty much revolves around everything I do. I have to listen to music.” The Mac Miller story Although he’s all-but-gone completely off of the radar on social media in the past year, Parker made an emotional Instagram post following the death of Malcolm McCormick, better known as Pittsburgh-based rapper Mac Miller. ‘Balling like Jabari Parker, they say I look like him’ Parker has been tabbed basketball’s six-foot-eight Donald Glover doppelgänger for years now. “I got that actually in my junior year of high school,” Parker said. “He was doing comedy and acting at that time. That was super early on, but I’m a huge Childish Gambino fan. I watch his TV show, I listen to all of his music. I’m proud that I look like him, you know?” In 2014, Glover escalated the online comparisons by acknowledging them on the 2014 track “Late Night in Kaui” featuring Jaden Smith. Balling like Jabari Parker, they say I look like him If we met, bet it would be awkward break out the Sudafed “Yeah, my boy actually told me,” Parker said of when he found out about the shout out. “I was like, ‘man. He’s doing that?’ The album before that was big, ‘Because the Internet,’ so it was huge.” Glover and Parker have never actually met, but now playing in the same city his award-winning show “Atlanta” films in, Parker said that he wouldn’t be opposed to receiving an invite to join the likes of Michael Vick, Katt Williams and Migos to make an uncanny cameo on the series. “If he did give me the chance and opportunity, I’d take it,” Parker said. “I’m not some superstar, I’m really low-key, but stuff like that I don’t take for granted.” View the full article