Hawksquawk

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  1. Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks will face the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday evening in what will be the first game of the new NBA season for both sides. Trae Young and Luka Doncic will face off yet again, as the two are always linked after being traded for one another during the 2018 NBA Draft. Each player has obviously went on to have great success with the franchise that traded for them, as Doncic has put up near MVP numbers since entering the league, while Young’s numbers aren’t to shabby either. Young was the first of the two to win a playoff series, as a strong Hawks team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020-21. Atlanta will look to find their form early in the season against a tough Dallas team, with hopes of another deep postseason run down the line in a few months. The Hawks will no longer catch teams off guard, as their 2021 postseason push put them firmly on the map as a team opponents better take seriously. The Hawks only improved their roster over the offseason with additions like Delon Wright and Gorgui Dieng. De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish will each look to have a healthy third season, while Young, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Clint Capela look to continue to prove they are worthy of the substantial contract extensions they received from the Hawks this offseason. The biggest change for the Mavericks this offseason was at head coach. Longtime Dallas coach Rick Carlisle chose to move on and take the Indiana Pacers head coach job, with Dallas hiring Jason Kidd to replace him. Injuries For the Hawks, Jalen Johnson (right ankle soreness) is probable. Danilo Gallinari (left shoulder soreness) and Lou Williams (left hip soreness) are questionable. Onyeka Okongwu (right shoulder surgery rehabilitation) is out. Dallas does not have any players on NBA contracts listed on their injury report heading into Thursday’s game, though both players they have signed to Two-Way contracts are listed as out for the season opener. The Line Atlanta sits as a 2.5-point favorite over the Mavericks as of early Thursday morning. Game Info Location: State Farm Arena TV: TNT Radio: 92.9 The Game Streaming: Watch TNT View the full article
  2. Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsTaking a look at where the Hawks rank in the first week of NBA power ranking roundups The wait is over and we are finally here for the first week of NBA power rankings. Following a deep playoff run, the Hawks are looking to build on that and show the league that they deserve to be part of the upper teams in the conference. The season finally starts this week so let’s take a look at where the Hawks fall in the first week of the NBA power rankings. NBA.com — No. 7 Preseason numbers get thrown out on Tuesday, but Trae Young’s preseason (37 field goal attempts, just five free throw attempts) was emblematic of a big, league-wide drop in free throw rate. No team was fueled by freebies last season more than Hawks (top five in both free throw rate and free throw percentage), so they will be a team to watch in regard to that trend, even if it’s about more than just the points of education regarding Non-Basketball Moves. Onyeka Okongwu (shoulder surgery) won’t be back until December at the earliest, but the Hawks enter the season healthy on the perimeter, with Delon Wright having joined an already deep group of guards and wings. So Nate McMillan will have some interesting lineup decisions to make in fourth quarters. The last time that both De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish were available for a game that counted was Jan. 29, more than a month before McMillan took over for Lloyd Pierce. ESPN — No. 8 When we last saw them ... The Hawks made believers out of many in the NBA last postseason with their run to the conference finals. After taking out the Knicks in five games, they defeated the Sixers in seven and were tied 2-2 with the eventual NBA champion Bucks before bowing out in six games. Win-loss projections ESPN Forecast: 47-35 FiveThirtyEight: 51-31 Caesars: 47.5 wins | Title odds: +4000 Hawks in NBArank Trae Young (17) John Collins (54) Clint Capela (55) Bogdan Bogdanovic (64) Kevin Huerter (95) Danilo Gallinari (99) Most impactful offseason move: Removing the interim tag on Nate McMillan Atlanta’s biggest offseason move was securing their coach to a long-term deal after he led them on a playoff run many didn’t see coming. Once McMillan took over as the interim coach in March, the Hawks finished the regular season with a 27-11 mark. It was a no-brainer for Atlanta to secure McMillan for the near future, especially after he connected with superstar point guard Trae Young. Breakout candidate: De’Andre Hunter Hunter only played 23 games in last year’s regular season and made it through the five-game Knicks series before having to sit for the rest of the playoffs. Hunter’s field goal percentage jumped from 41.0% to 48.4% last season because his 2-point percentage shot up from 45.4% to 58.2%. He improved at the rim, in the paint and in the midrange. If his 3-point percentage climbs back up, he could be a nightly 20-point threat. Is John Collins’ preseason slam already the dunk of the year?The Debatable crew is impressed by John Collins climbing Jarrett Allen for a poster, and one panelist already is calling it the dunk of the year. Pivot point for 2021-22: Was their playoff run a fluke? The Hawks shocked the basketball world with their conference finals run, but there’s reason to believe it wasn’t just a one-time appearance. A wiser, hungrier Hawks team returns to try to spoil the Eastern Conference party once again. Things changed last season once the Hawks switched coaches from Lloyd Pierce to McMillan, and the team responded immediately. Young’s scoring dipped by more than four points in the regular season compared to the previous season, but it turned into wins for the Hawks. Young ramped things back up in the playoffs, averaging 28.8 points and becoming a go-to threat when the Hawks needed him. The Hawks return nine of their top 10 and 11 of their top 13 players last in terms of minutes played. They also added Delon Wright and draft picks Jalen Johnson and Sharife Cooper — the latter of whom might be one of the best two-way contracts in the league. One game you can’t miss: Oct. 30 at 76ers While Young made his biggest impact against the Knicks, Atlanta still eliminated the Sixers (and helped set off quite the chain of events for Philadelphia). This is their first trip back to the city of Brotherly Love. — Lopez CBS Sports — No. 6 Atlanta must be brimming with confidence after the way it finished last season, and Trae Young has officially made the leap to superstar status. Beyond him, the Hawks are one of the deepest teams in the league, which can sometimes be a problem if guys start to get unhappy with playing time. It will be Nate McMillan’s job to negotiate that, but the talent is certainly there to finish as a top-four seed in the East. The Hawks seem to be getting love from in the rankings as they are starting within the top 10 at the beginning of the year. Atlanta will be under the microscope as everyone saw the success of the team from the previous post-season. Fans should be excited about this team as they look to build on last season as they begin their quest for homecourt advantage and cement themselves as a top team. View the full article
  3. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty ImagesKevin Chouinard of Hawks.com speaks with Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the Kevin Huerter contract extension, trying to draw the line between the back end of the rotation and players who may not play, and the good teammate vibes of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela. ‘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
  4. Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks have announced their initial roster ahead of the 2021-22 season, the team announced Monday afternoon in a release. Here’s a look at the roster: Bogdan Bogdanovic, G/F Clint Capela, C John Collins, F Sharife Cooper, G (Two-Way) Gorgui Dieng, C Solomon Hill, F Kevin Huerter, G De’Andre Hunter, F Danilo Gallinari, F Jalen Johnson, F Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, G/F Skylay Mays, G (Two-Way) Onyeka Okongwu, C Cam Reddish, F Lou Williams, G Delon Wright, G Trae Young, G Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot makes the final cut, winning the final open spot in camp over Jahlil Okafor and others. New additions: Cooper (draft), Dieng (signed), Johnson (draft), Luwawu-Cabarrot (signed), Wright (acquired via trade) Departures: Bruno Fernando (traded), Kris Dunn (traded), Brandon Goodwin (not re-signed), Tony Snell (not re-signed), Nathan Knight (not re-signed) The Hawks open the regular season Thursday night vs. the Dallas Mavericks from Atlanta. Atlanta will look to pick up where they left off in the regular season last year, when they were one of the best teams in the NBA from Mar. 1 to the end of the regular season. Their regular season run was obviously then followed by lengthy postseason run that resulted in a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. Stay tuned. View the full article
  5. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesThe Hawks lock up another big piece. The Atlanta Hawks have reportedly locked up another key piece from the 2021 run, as they have locked up Kevin Huerter on a four-year, $65 million contract per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The Hawks will look to build off one of the best seasons in franchise history Thursday night when they kickoff the season vs. the Dallas Mavericks from State Farm Arena. Stay tuned. View the full article
  6. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesWhat have we learned about the state of the Hawks in just four preseason games? The NBA Preseason has come and gone, and quite frankly we didn’t learn too much new information about these Atlanta Hawks. The main characters figure to stay the main characters, as there was minimal roster turnover after a wildly successful season a year ago. The Hawks return all seven of the players who saw the most minutes for the club in 2020-21 as well as nine of the top 10. In lieu of wholesale changes, the Hawks penned Trae Young, John Collins, and head coach Nate McMillan to long term contracts and essentially ran the whole thing back, looking to build upon their upward climb from March of last season onward. But what can we glean from the preseason action thus far? The Hawks only had four games to showcase their talents this fall, but from those limited window views, there may have been a few data points to follow into regular season action. More misdirection actions involving Trae Young Through three seasons, Young has put up absolutely gaudy volume numbers for a small guard. In fact, those volume figures may be historic within the current era of NBA play for players listed at 6’3” and below. Young has been compared to players like Steph Curry, Damian Lillard and Steve Nash, but all three of those players entered the league in their 20’s and neither of those players had immediate control over their respective offenses. That trio never led their team in USG% (an average of field goals, free throws and turnovers as a percentage of possessions) in any of their first three seasons in the league. High usage guards like Russell Westbrook and Allen Iverson are known for using a lot of their teams’ offensive possessions. But neither topped a USG% of 30%, save for Iverson’s third year in the league with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1998-99. Young, however, has averaged a USG% of 31.9% through the first three years of his career, topping 33% in the most recent two, and leading the Hawks for three seasons straight. Now that he is firmly established as the focal point of the Hawks’ offense, defenses have tried to key in on him at all moments. McMillan has shown in this preseason a few glimpses at using that attention against opponents. Here, Young sets a screen to free Cam Reddish from the sideline out of bounds inbound position to cut to the basket. Once Trae gets the ball back, the extra attention from Collins’ man allows for an easy assist to Collins for the finish at the rim. I saw multiple of these types of actions in the preseason looking to take pressure of Trae Young, and it will more likely than not result in easy points for the Hawks going forward. Will the real Cam Reddish please stand up? Anyone looking to use the preseason action to get a clearer projection of Reddish’s role and performance for this year probably left the proceedings with a muddied picture instead. Through two seasons, Reddish’s play has lagged the hype that follows the second year player out of Duke. Reddish played the most minutes for the Hawks in this preseason, a clear attempt to establish some rhythm for the young wing. But while he showed some glimpses of solid play, he still remains an inefficient and inconsistent offensive player. Reddish took a team high 52 field goals and only connected on 46 of them while only netting a single assist in 92 minutes of preseason play. For Reddish, it’s the plays that he doesn’t make that truly hold him back. His role for the upcoming season looks to be that of a playmaker and creator on the second unit, but he fails to set his teammates up too often. Take, for example, this play in the preseason matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies. Here Gorgui Dieng is “tagged” by the weakside defender in the paint after Memphis doubles Bogdan Bogdanovic in the corner, leaving Lou Williams in the opposite corner wide open. One skip pass by Reddish should open up an open shot for Williams. Instead, Reddish attempts a long three. Reddish has to see the floor better if he wants to lead the second team offense, let alone break through with the first team. Reddish has shown supreme confidence in getting to his shot, whether off a sidestep or crossover dribble or catching-and-shooting. Whether or not the shooting efficiency follows will determine his success going forward. The next clip is a great example of this. Here, Reddish simply lifts to an “above the break” position once Kevin Huerter relocates to the opposite corner. Solomon Hill penetrates and swings the ball to a ready-to-shoot Reddish. These easy shot opportunities are great for Reddish to get into a rhythm before attempting more difficult off-the-dribble threes. According to NBA stats, Reddish is a career 33% shooter from three on catch-and-shoot attempts versus a 22% shooter from the same range on pull up attempts. There has been too much running before walking in Reddish’s offensive game through the first two seasons of his career. This focus on spot up attempts to begin a game can be a stepping stone into tapping into the self-creation potential he too often looks to showcase. John Collins: part-time center? While John Collins is a newly minted $125 million man, in some respects not much has changed for him on the hardwood court. Collins will continue to be an elite screen and roll player on offense, but his defensive improvement last year has some — this writer included — wondering: could Collins be best utilized as a center in small ball lineups? With teams going small and prioritizing versatility and spacing in crunch time lineups recently, Collins seems to fit the mold as a 5. The Hawks’ best 5-man lineup by net rating with at least 80 minutes togther in 2019-20 featured Collins at center. And it isn’t mere chance that the Hawks best 5-man lineup by net rating with at least 80 minutes in 2020-21 sported Collins and Danilo Gallinari in the frontcourt together, with Collins usually taking on the role as defensive anchor in these lineups. Add to the fact that second year big man Onyeka Okongwu won’t be ready to play by opening day, leaving the Hawks down a big man, and it isn’t inconceivable that Atlanta puts Collins in a similar role in spot minutes. Take this example from the final preseason game against the Miami Heat. With Hunter at the 4, Collins ranges over from his center position to smother a shot at the rim then comes down and drains a top of the key three pointer. It’s rare to have player with this kind of skillset on both ends of the floor, and with the Hawks being thin in the frontcourt most likely minus Okongwu’s contributions until 2022, Atlanta may have to rely on Collins at a center as a stopgap measure. But, in doing so, the Hawks could unlock a yet another hyper efficient 5-man lineup for the third year in a row in 2021-22. View the full article
  7. Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks got through the preseason with no major injuries, and a chance to build more chemistry with the main guys that will be playing this season. It was also time to see the younger players get some playing time, after seeing them for a few games in the Summer League in August. The Hawks roster is already loaded with depth, so unless an injury occurs, some of their youngest talent will spend time in College Park continuing to develop with the Skyhawks. There were some bright spots throughout the preseason with the rookies, especially from rookie guard Sharife Cooper. Cooper showed through the four games (and Summer League) that his poise and control of the game is far ahead of many players his age. His playmaking is his biggest strength, and his ability to get into the lane is a close second. Let’s look at how he did those things, plus more, in a short sample size the past two weeks. Out of the gate, Cooper’s way to find teammates on the floor sticks out more than anything. The awareness and court vision he has on the court shows similar signs of Trae Young, and it looks like it can throw his teammates off if they’re not expecting the pass. On this play, Cooper is already going to grab the rebound in the event the Kevin Huerter misses: He does indeed miss, and with nobody boxing out Cooper, he goes up for the rebound. Instead of tipping it back in himself, he tips it to Gorgui Dieng once he realizes Evan Mobley isn’t focused on him. This is nice awareness from Cooper, and plays like this show how good his IQ is when on the floor. Here’s another play where Cooper’s playmaking is displayed. After coming off a double drag screen, the seconder defender shows and tries to hedge Cooper. Cooper takes his time, spins away from the defender, and shows a quick shot fake: That sequence did two things: for one, it made the defender that was switched on Jahlil Okafor leave him, and two, it made him leave his feet after the pump fake. Cooper then slips a bounce pass to Okafor and he gets an easy dunk at the rim. Cooper’s best performance this preseason was against the Grizzlies, where he took over in the fourth quarter and led the Hawks to a win. He did a little of everything, but it was ability to take defenders off the dribble couldn’t go unnoticed. Cooper sizes up the defender on this play with a quick between-the-legs dribble. Once the defender changes his defensive stance, Cooper does the same move, and drives straight to the rim. He throws up what looks like a difficult floater and drops it in: Later in the game, Cooper sizes up another defender, drives, delivers a stop-and-go move, and gently rolls the ball off the backboard and it goes in: One thing in Cooper’s game that many weren't high on was his jumpshot, but he showed a somewhat consistent stroke in four games. Cooper mentioned during media day that Hawks assistant coach Nick Van Exexl has been helping him get an “arch” in his shot. On what was the game-icing shot, Cooper pump fakes, gets his feet set, and drills the three-pointer: The guard position is deep for the Hawks, with Delon Wright and Lou Williams being options behind Young. Though Cooper showed some positive signs through the preseason, he still does not have the years and experience that Wright and Williams have. With Cooper signing a two-way contract for the Hawks, he’ll be eligible to spend no more than 50 games with the Hawks. The Skyhawks will give him an opportunity to play more and grow his game. From what we saw from Cooper in Summer League and preseason, things are looking up for the young guard. View the full article
  8. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesA handy win for the Hawks against a short-handed Miami Heat side. The Atlanta Hawks wrapped up their preseason campaign with a dominant victory over the Miami Heat, 127-92, at State Farm Arena on Thursday night to finish 2-2 on the preseason. Trae Young put on a storming performance as he scored 27 points and dished out 15 assists while De’Andre Hunter added 19 points. For the visiting Heat, Javonte Smart scored 20 points while Max Strus added 18 points. Heading into this fixture, it was clear what this game was going to be for the Hawks: “dress rehearsal” — the Hawks were going to play as many of their guys as they can and play them for three quarters, with the exception of Clint Capela, who was on a minutes restriction last night. The Hawks looked sharp coming out of the gate and Young and John Collins wasted no time displaying their chemistry on the court, with Young linking up with Collins on a number of occasions. It didn’t always lead to baskets in the opening stages of the first quarter but the link up play was there: For the game itself, the Hawks did play a strong, sharp game where they shot the ball well (48.5% from the field, 41% from three) and moved the ball very well (33 assists). Multiple Hawks played very strong games as Young carved the Heat apart, Hunter looked sharp and the bench was very strong too in their own respective rehearsal (minus Danilo Gallinari, missing with left shoulder soreness). Quite possibly a large part of the Hawks’ dominance was due to the side they fielded but also the side the Heat fielded too. Missing for the Heat were the following: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Markieff Morris, Victor Oladipo, PJ Tucker, Dewayne Dedmon, Marcus Garrett and Omer Yurtseven. 41 year old Udonis Haslem was a starter last night. The Hawks were sharp but probably looked better on the court than perhaps they might have done had the Heat fielded even their B-Team. Even still, Hawks head coach Nate McMillan was also pleased to see Capela sharing the floor with the other starters as well as expressing his satisfaction with how the Hawks played last night on both ends of the floor. “It was really good to get Clint out on the floor and really get that starting group together and allow those guys to play some minutes tonight,” said McMillan postgame. “We did a good job of sharing the ball, we talked about that. We established a tempo we wanted to play right from the start. 33 assists tonight, only 10 turnovers; we’ll take that every night. Really good ball movement. Defensively they did some good things. We cleaned up our defense. We didn’t trail and give up a lot of easy baskets, especially in the halfcourt. I thought it was a connection out there with both groups and that’s what we wanted to see and that’s something we build off of.” The Hawks were able to start Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Hunter, Collins and Capela for the first time in preseason, Capela featuring in his first preseason game albeit on a minutes restriction. There was strong optimism about this starting five last season but, as everyone knows, it did not get to see a lot of time on the court together and McMillan was happy just to see that lineup play together. “It’s always about winning but really in preseason, especially for us this season, it was about getting our guys healthy to play,” said McMillan. “I really wanted all of our guys to play in this last game, it’s kind of like a dress rehearsal for them and for me to work on rotation. The only guy that was missing tonight was Gallo that would’ve been in that second unit. It was good to see ‘Dre and Trae and Bogi and John and Clint play together. This was Clint’s first game and he was restricted to 12-15 minutes. The first half I thought he did a good job of giving us what Clint gives us: defending the basket, rim-running, both he and Trae connected a couple of times. It was good to see that group out there.” “If we’re all on the court together, we’re a pretty good team,” added Young of playing again alongside Bogdanovic, Hunter, Collins and Capela. Speaking of Hunter, he scored 13 of his 19 points in the first quarter as he looked sharp out on the court, shooting 7-of-12 from the field and 4-of-6 from three on the game. Hunter was obviously the Hawk that missed the most time last season and between his own absences and the various other absences amidst a somewhat injury plagued season for the Hawks last year, Hunter needs time to build some on-court chemistry himself still. That might sound a little off but, for example, Hunter only shared 158 minutes on the court with Bogdan Bogdanovic last season (between Hunter’s/Bogdanovic’s absences and Bogdanovic coming off of the bench at times last season). “It was good to see ‘Dre out there but really see that combination of the starting five: ‘Trae, Bogi, ‘Dre, John and Clint,” said McMillan when asked about Hunter. “They didn’t play a lot of minutes together last year, especially towards the end of the year. It’s really important we get those guys out there and allow them to get a feel for each other, build that chemistry, learn each other’s tendencies. That’s good for them as well as for me.” “It’s great,” said Hunter of playing together with the starting lineup. “We barely played with this lineup last year, even for most of training camp it was tough to get all five guys out there. Last few days of practice we were able to do so and we got to do it in a game. Just building that chemistry. We have great talent, I feel we match well. Just all about getting the rhythm and the reps.” “To have our guys back, starting lineup back I think it was really important for us to go out there and get connected together,” added Capela. “Just to have that feeling to be out there together one time before it really starts, officially. I was really happy to be out there with the guys.” McMillan went on to highlight Hunter’s impact on both ends of the floor, describing him as a rare commodity in the NBA in the form of a legitimate two-way player. “He gives it to you on both ends of the floor,” said McMillan of Hunter. “You don’t find in this league very many two-way players and De’Andre is a two-way guy. He’s going to defend just as hard as he’s going to look to score. He plays the game the right way, he’s really unselfish. Tonight was basically ‘Dre just running the floor and making plays. I thought Trae did a good job of finding guys tonight and there wasn’t a lot of play-calling for him. If we can establish that type of tempo and get that type of ball movement, we’ve got guys that can put the ball in the basket. Tonight, ‘Dre was the guy that was receiving a lot of those opportunities early and he was able to finish and be productive.” “Getting ‘Dre back is going to be big for us,” added Young of Hunter. “He’s a really good defender, a really good scorer. He can pretty much do it all. When he’s on the court, he makes our team that much better.” Hunter is, for many, an x-factor for the Hawks this season. It’s unknown what a healthy De’Andre Hunter could’ve helped propel the Hawks to but the encouraging news on that front is that Hunter is confident of his health ahead of the season. “I felt pretty good,” said Hunter of his knee. “I wouldn’t say I’m 100% yet but I’m definitely really close. Just trying to get in game shape and get some rhythm.” Outside of Hunter, there are a number of Hawks rehabbing somewhat during the preseason, Capela being one of them having to sit most of the preseason with ‘left Achilles injury management.’ Capela, as McMillan revealed postgame, was limited to 12-15 minutes and was happy to see Capela back out on the court, as was Capela himself; taking satisfaction of how he was able to stay in shape while he rehabbed. “I feel really good,” said Capela postgame. “Felt pretty good especially on my sprints and lobs. I’m really satisfied about the work I did when I was not practising.” Capela was able to register a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds in his first half of action but it remains to be seen if Capela will begin the regular season on a minutes restriction when the Hawks get their season underway next Thursday. Elsewhere, McMillan also got to take a look at his bench/rotation in addition to the starting lineup. Delon Wright returned to the fray and handled backup point guard responsibilities while supported by Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill and Gorgui Dieng. Dieng enjoyed a solid game; he was active defensively and flashed some positive moments as he steps into the primary backup big role while Onyeka Okongwu continues to rehab from a shoulder injury. This steal in the second half was quite enjoyable to watch too: In the end, Dieng posted six points on 3-of-4 shooting to go along with two rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks. Elsewhere, Reddish produced a solid game as he scored 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting and 2-of-8 from three. The splits perhaps don’t do Reddish justice on what was a decent outing for the third year wing. An amusing sequence from Reddish took place in the fourth quarter where Reddish hit a three-pointer and proceeds to shake his head seemingly at how he was left all alone to shoot that three: Then immediately shoots a brick on the Hawks’ next possession as a nice action from Dieng and Hill gives Reddish a great look at another three: Consistency lacking somewhat from Reddish at this point but that sequence aside, Reddish has enjoyed a solid preseason (perhaps a little erratic at times but it’s been decent overall, despite the poor shooting splits) and McMillan has been able to gauge Reddish’s potential a little more having seen him in action all four games, as well areas of future development to grow Reddish’s game. “We know he’s capable of shooting that basketball,” said McMillan of Reddish. “What I want to develop with him is decision-making and making plays because he has the ability to put the ball on the floor, he can create his own shot. When he learns to develop and make decisions with that basketball he’s going to be another weapon out there. It was good to see him with Delon and Kevin with the second unit, and Gorgui. The only guy that was missing was Gallo. Kevin and Cam and Delon, they haven’t played a lot of minutes in this preseason and we saw what we’re capable of doing with our bench as well.” Huerter enjoyed a strong second half as he finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and 3-of-5 from three and it was encouraging to see Wright out on the floor too. I enjoyed this brief defensive possession between Wright and Dieng on the ball and on the screen before Reddish is called for the foul: Interestingly, McMillan is unsure as of right now what style of play the second unit will be better suited to. “That second unit will establish a tempo the more they play together,” said McMillan. “Maybe they’re a team that runs, it may be a team that is better in the halfcourt. It’s really similar to the guard-play of Sharife. Sharife, when he’s gotten into the game he’s played more up-tempo with his group. Delon is getting used to the guys that he’s playing with. It’s yet to be seen what type of tempo that second group is going to play with.” As McMillan alluded to, I think it will depend on personnel. Reddish isn’t afraid to push the ball in transition, Huerter can pull the trigger quickly in transition when found and Lou Williams won’t be shy in pulling up either, and I’m sure there’ll be options with Gallinari/Dieng in trail situations (obviously Gallinari is much more of a threat from that point of view). Sharife Cooper — when he plays — is someone whose game can work in either but probably more ideally suited to transition opportunities where he can get downhill. On the flip side, Wright can run the offense in the half-court, as can Huerter — and Williams to a lesser extent. Gallinari is probably better suited to a slower pace in the half-court, as is Dieng. Reddish probably isn’t the best ball-handler in the half-court nor the greatest of penetrators but he can make some tough baskets and can get hot from three-point range. It’s going to be interesting how it plays out. My guess would be that the second unit will probably work more efficiently in the half-court but they will certainly be able to get out and run too for some transition threes. Alas, that will conclude the Hawks’ preseason. Hard to get a proper read on where they truly are because of how little the Hawks all played together (and when they did, it was against the Miami C-Team) but I’d speculate that McMillan is perhaps a little more pleased with how preseason ended versus where it started. The Hawks aren’t entirely healthy but they’re close, and have a week before their TNT opener against the Dallas Mavericks. Expectations are high and the Hawks will be eager to show they are ready for those expectations. “I’m excited about this team,” said Young. “The whole preseason has been fun, training camp has been tough. We’ve just got a lot more expectations on the whole gym for each other. My expectations haven’t changed. I had a lot of confidence in this team last year, this year it’s only higher. I think we can do whatever we want to do this year. I think we’ve got the talent to go all the way but now it’s all about how bad we want it and how much we can do about it.” View the full article
  9. Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe ‘dress rehearsal’ was a success. The Atlanta Hawks hosted (some of) the Miami Heat on Thursday evening in what would be the last preseason game of 2021 for the Hawks. The Heat have one more preseason matchup Friday evening with the Boston Celtics, and they chose to sit nearly their entire rotation for Thursday’s tilt in Atlanta. The Hawks were nearly at full strength, with just Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams and Onyeka Okongwu out. The Hawks regulars did work against Miami’s skeleton squad as you would expect, which is a good sign. Atlanta led 67-43 at the half, with Trae Young tallying 16 points and 10 assists in the first half. Clint Capela made his preseason debut, and also posted a first-half double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. The starters would not re-enter in the fourth, and the Hawks ultimately won by a score of 127-92. Young finished with 27 points and 15 assists, with Hunter adding 19 points. Collins finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Hawks will open the regular season Oct. 21 vs. the Dallas Mavericks at State Farm Arena. Stay tuned. View the full article
  10. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks will host the Miami Heat this evening in what will be the preseason finale for the Hawks. Atlanta Hawks starters: Trae Young Bogdan Bogdanovic De’Andre Hunter John Collins Clint Capela Miami Heat starters: Gabe Vincent Max Strus Caleb Martin KZ Okpala Udonis Haslem (!!!) Join us in the comments. View the full article
  11. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks will host the Miami Heat Thursday evening in what will be their final preseason game before the start of the regular season next week. Atlanta and Miami seem to have different approaches to this final preseason game, as Nate McMillan reportedly has a “dress rehearsal” plan per Sarah Spencer of the AJC, while the Heat have ruled out nearly their entire rotation ahead of Thursday’s contest. Trae Young and De’Andre Hunter appear to be set to rejoin the Hawks on the court Thursday evening in what will be one final tuneup ahead of next week’s regular season opener vs. Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Injury Reports Hunter (knee maintenance) and Kevin Huerter (ankle maintenance) are probable for the Hawks on Wednesday. Clint Capela (left Achilles maintenance) is questionable. Danilo Gallinari (left shoulder soreness) and Onyeka Okongwu (shoulder surgery) are out. Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Dewayne Dedmon, Marcus Garrett, Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris, Victor Oladipo, Duncan Robinson, P.J. Tucker and Omer Yurtseven are all ruled out for Miami for Thursday night. Game Info Game Date/Time: Thursday, October 14, 7:30 pm ET Location: State Farm Arena TV: BSSE Radio: 92.9 The Game Streaming: Bally Sports App, League Pass (out of market) View the full article
  12. Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks raised a lot of eyebrows during the 2021 NBA postseason, and they continue to draw more positive reviews heading into the 2020-21 season. ESPN released their ‘NBA Future Power Rankings’ piece recently, and the Hawks nearly cracked the top ten. ESPN laid out the criteria for the future ranking as a “projection of the on-court success expected for each team over the next three seasons: 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24.” The Hawks ranked No. 11 on the list, with analyst Kevin Pelton offering this synopsis on the organization going forward: An unexpected playoff run has the Hawks up four spots to (remarkably) their highest placement ever in the 12 years of Future Power Rankings. There’s a case to be made Atlanta belongs even higher with a core of young talent in their 20s. The duo of Trae Young and John Collins will stay together long term after both signed new contracts this summer, while our appraisal of Hawks management has improved with interim coach Nate McMillan agreeing to a new deal removing that tag. Expect Atlanta to be in the top 10 the next time we update our FPR. — Pelton Last year, the Hawks ranked No. 16 on the same list by ESPN, and Pelton suggests in his last sentence that Atlanta isn’t done hopping up the Future Power Rankings. A franchise that features young talents like Trae Young and John Collins locked up for the foreseeable future seems like an ideal candidate to be a staple inside the top ten on the list for years to come. The Hawks play one more preseason game Thursday Oct. 14 vs. the Miami Heat before opening the regular season a week later on Oct. 21 vs. the Dallas Mavericks. Stay tuned. View the full article
  13. Photo by Michael Reaves/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks have announced that they requested waivers on center Jahlil Okafor, who they signed ahead of training camp to potentially compete for one of their final roster spots. Okafor did not play much after the Hawks’ first preseason game vs. the Miami Heat, only reemerging in the rotation after Gorgui Dieng suffered a hand injury in the first half of the Hawks’ third preseason game vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot may now be the favorite to take the final roster spot for the Hawks heading into the season, though there is still time for another move to surface, of course. Luwawu-Cabarrot would provide depth on the wing as guys like Bodgan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter and De’Andre Hunter work their way towards feeling comfortable after entering camp managing ailments from last season. In some positive news on the injury from, Trae Young and Hunter were both able to return to practice on Thursday per Nate McMillan, and Clint Capela did live work for the first time in training camp. The Hawks have one more preseason game Thursday night at home vs. the Miami Heat, and will open the regular season Oct. 21 at home vs. the Dallas Mavericks. View the full article
  14. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty ImagesIn the Hawks’ third preseason contest, Atlanta finally tallied a win in the standings. Without the services of Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, Trae Young, Delon Wright and Onyeka Okongwu, the Hawks would rally late behind the play of second round draft pick Sharife Cooper at the point. The Hawks seemed to play through the post primarily in the first half, getting John Collins and Danilo Gallinari plenty of touches down in the mid-post. This was something that was very effective last season, as the two efficient forwards often showed their skill in rising over mismatched opponents. The Hawks insistence on playing from the inside out was very evident from just two made threes in the first half versus 10 in the second half. But inconsistent defensive play and poor shot selection found them down 40-37 at the halfway point. “Everything starts with defense. We talked about it. We didn’t box out as much in the first half and they had so many wide open threes and offensive rebounds,” Bogdan Bogdanovic had to say about the first half performance. Of note, they let second year guard Desmond Bane get loose a few times from deep, finishing 4-for-8 (50%) from there en route to an 18 point performance. There seemed to be less than ideal communication in handling perimeter screen actions, resulting in slow switches and under defending prolific shooters. Coach Nate McMillan preferred to look at the preseason in 12 minute blocks. “Up until [halftime] we had lost ten quarters of basketball in the two and half games we played [in the preseason]. We finally won the last two quarters of this game,” McMillan stated. On the other end, Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter heated up in the second half. The duo, which comprised the starting backcourt Saturday night, combined for 25 points and 9 assists, including 5-9 (55.6%) shooting from deep. Collins tied Bogdanovic for the lead in points with 16 by focusing on finishing at the rim and from the block. It wasn’t a pretty game for the viewing public through three quarters, and the Hawks stared down an 82-72 deficit with under seven minutes remaining. Cooper then proceeded to swoop in and save the Hawks in the fourth quarter, leading them to a 19-5 run to close the game. Some highlights for the rookie guard: On Cooper, Coach McMillan had this to say, “I thought he changed the tempo again tonight starting in the first half, picking up the ball and really establishing our defense. Getting aggressive defensively. The second half he did the same thing. I thought he did a good job of organizing the team and running the team down the stretch. Made some big plays and good decisions with the basketball in that fourth quarter. He was really the difference in this game. I love the energy that he’s bringing. He’s scrappy.” “My mindset was just win at all costs [...] the fourth quarter, that’s definitely closing time, so I definitely feel like I wanted to make a big impact on that,” Cooper says of the fourth quarter. About showing his stuff in an attempt for recognition, he said, “I feel like that’s a selfish mindset. I try to stay away from that. I feel like playing the game the right way. If someone closes out, then I drive and make the extra pass.” Cooper finished with 10 points (all in the fourth quarter) on seven shots, three assists, and three big steals while playing hounding on ball defense. It was certainly impressive to see him knife through defenses on one end while cutting off penetration and snagging loose balls on the other. “That was a thing people would say during my draft process that I lacked on defense. I feel like that was a big emphasis I wanted to make this coming year,” he continued. “Just show that I could defend multiple positions and make an impact on that end. That’s why I have so much energy from trying to get that narrative changed and start a new chapter.” “I love Sharife’s game,” Collins had to say about Cooper. “I love the way he thinks the game, plays the game. The calmness and poise he has with the ball. Obviously I love playing off him as well. We’re all happy to see Sharife get some reps and look good.” On what changed from the first half, Collins continued, “I think we just settled into the game a little bit. We understood what they wanted to do. Move the ball a little bit more. Got into the paint. Got some foul calls. The game starts to open up once we start to make the easy plays. Got the dub down the stretch.” That dub down the stretch takes Atlanta to 1-2 this preseason. The Hawks’ preseason finale will be in Atlanta against the Miami Heat on Oct. 14. View the full article
  15. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty ImagesSharife Cooper got hot in the fourth, leading the Hawks to their first victory of the preseason. The Atlanta Hawks battled the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night in what was another tune up for each side ahead of the regular season. The Hawks trailed for most of the night, but came back in the fourth quarter behind the strong play of rookie guard Sharife Cooper. Atlanta took home the win by a score of 91-87. Each side was missing several key contributors, and this was not the cleanest played game to say the least. Atlanta trailed 40-37 at halftime, and shot just 29% from the floor in the first half. The Hawks will finish up the preseason with a home game vs. the Miami Heat on Thursday. Stay tuned. View the full article
  16. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks continue the preseason Saturday night on the road vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. Join us in the comments and please be cordial to one another. Hawks starters Kevin Huerter Bogdan Bogdanovic Solomon Hill John Collins Gorgui Dieng Trae Young (quad), Delon Wright (ankle), Clint Capela (Achilles), De’Andre Hunter (knee) and Onyeka Okongwu (shoulder) are all out. View the full article
  17. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesGlen Willis of Peachtree Hoops and Kevin Chouinard of Hawks.com discuss the injury front, Gorgui Dieng and the shorthanded center rotation, Nate McMillan with a full camp and a bunch of other topics. ‘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
  18. Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks will travel to play the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night in what will be their third of four preseason games ahead of the regular season. The Hawks lost a Wednesday evening matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Trae Young and Clint Capela we’re both out Wednesday, and Capela will be out again Saturday in Memphis. Atlanta (0-2) will look for the first win of their preseason vs. the Grizzlies. Memphis won their first preseason game over the Milwaukee Bucks 87-77. Both teams will look to continue tooling their rosters with an eye on the regular season. Coaches will get a chance to see all of their depth with many key players on each side either out altogether or playing less minutes than they typically would if it weren’t preseason. Injury Reports De’Andre Hunter (right knee injury management) and Kevin Huerter (ankle) are questionable for the Hawks on Wednesday. Trae Young (right quad contusion) and Delon Wright (ankle) are doubtful. Bogdan Bogdanovic, who the Hawks rested Wednesday vs. Cleveland, is no longer listed on the report, while Clint Capela (left Achilles injury management) and Onyeka Okongwu (shoulder) are again out. Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks, Killian Tillie, Steven Adams, Kyle Anderson and others are currently listed as out as of Saturday morning for Memphis. Game Info Game Date/Time: Saturday, October 9, 8:00 pm ET Location: FedEX Forum TV: NBA TV, BSSE Radio: 92.9 The Game Streaming: Bally Sports App, League Pass (out of market) View the full article
  19. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesA second preseason loss but it wasn’t without some entertainment. The Atlanta Hawks dropped their second consecutive preseason fixture as they fell short 99-96 against the Cleveland Cavaliers at State Farm Arena on Wednesday night. Cam Reddish scored a team-high 20 points while Kevin Huerter added 15 points. For the Cavaliers, Collin Sexton registered 19 points while his backcourt partner Darius Garland tallied 15 points. Preseason game number two; there’s a bit more to say about this one compared to the first one despite the absence of Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela Danilo Gallinari, Solomon Hill, Lou Williams and Onyeka Okongwu. Delon Wright stepped into the starting lineup along with Huerter, John Collins, Gorgui Dieng and perhaps most notably De’Andre Hunter. As Hawks head coach Nate McMillan alluded would happen, this was a fixture where the younger/end of the bench players saw considerably more game time, such as the likes of Jalen Johnson, Sharife Cooper Skylar Mays and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to name a few. In the end, they all got to experience a pretty tightly contested preseason fixture, one where the Hawks overturned a double-digit deficit in the second half to bring this one down to the wire. In the end — having overturned an out-of-bounds call which returned possession to the hosts, trailing by a point with 33.5 seconds remaining — they got two decent looks with a Luwawu-Cabarrot three in the corner and Hunter’s floater after the offensive rebound: After the Cavs made both resulting free throws from the intentional fouls, the Hawks inbound the ball to Cam Reddish — with about nine seconds left on the clock — who immediately jacks up the three which is missed and that was your ball game: Again, preseason is an odd time and you can’t gauge any of the Hawks’ rotations or the such while as many people were missing as they were. That said, it was strange to see Huerter not start the third quarter — assuming perhaps he was done for the night — only for him to return later off of the bench. McMillan revealed postgame this was done in an effort to find ‘balance’ between his starting unit and his bench and balance the experience of those who have played in his system with those who have not. “I switched up the combinations so that we can get some balance with both groups,” said McMillan postgame. “I put Kevin (Huerter) in the second unit with Cam so we can have more balance, some guys who know are system and have played in our system. I thought they got us back in the game. We started to get some stops, make some baskets. I thought Sharife came in and really gave us a lift. I thought he played at the pace we wanted to see. Delon tweaked his ankle so he was out for the game and Sharife really came in and gave us a lift.” Despite coming off of the bench in the second half, Huerter tallied 26 minutes and he wasn’t the only notable Hawk to see a fairly high minute figure for preseason. Hunter played just under 26 minutes, Collins played 25 minutes, Reddish played 27 minutes and Dieng played 31 minutes. McMillan explained this high-minute output postgame, referencing the Hawks’ conditioning — as he did after the Miami game — as the main reason for this. “What I did with our guys — basically the decision was made during the second quarter — I’ve got to play our guys,” said McMillan when originally asked about Dieng. “I’ve got to play these guys into shape. Our conditioning is just not where it needs to be. I was trying to get some guys some minutes today but all of our guys need to play. Gorgui played more minutes, he needs to be in shape. Our entire team needs to be in shape...” “Same thing with Kevin,” added McMillan when the minutes of Hunter were posed to him. “He played 27 minutes. I wanted guys to play between 20-24 minutes and I looked at us and said, ‘They need to play.’ I kept them in as long as I could before the bench started yelling at me to get the guys out; John and Kevin were at 27, 29 minutes, a little bit more than we wanted them to play. But we need to, we’ve just got to play to get ourselves in shape tonight. We had 91 attempts and we shoot 39% from the floor. We’ve got the shots we just don’t have our legs right now.” The Hawks themselves know that they aren’t quite where they want or need to be when it comes to conditioning but are confident by the time the regular season rolls around that they will be. “There’s a difference playing 26 minutes and playing 26 minutes at the intensity that we were playing a couple of months ago,” said Kevin Huerter. “That’s obviously the intensity we need to get back to and play at all year. That’s known in the locker room. No one’s at the shape they’re going to be in mid-season form. In a lot of ways that’s what training camp is used for and what these games are great for. We’ve got to continue to push each other when we’re on the court, got to try go as hard as we can to get yourself in shape so that whenever October 21st comes around you’re going to be in game-shape.” While the Hawks lost this preseason game, there are mainly two talking points in the aftermath: Collins’s airborne dunk on Jarrett Allen and Reddish. Covering Collins first...it really was something spectacular: Postgame, Collins praised Sharife Cooper’s involvement in the play. “I love Sharife’s game,” said John Collins of the play. “I’ve watched Sharife for a long, long time, since he was in high school and doing his thing here in Atlanta. Great to play with him and nice to have him to set me up as he did. Talked about the play a little bit before but even he said he thought he threw it a little too high. I’m just glad I was able to go up there and get it, make a nice highlight play and finish it out.” It makes for a very nice poster (check the featured image) and time will tell if it makes another t-shirt (Collins himself was unsure when asked about it postgame). “We’ll see, we’ll see what the people want,” laughed Collins. “If I get a crazy amount of people asking I might. But for right now, trying to keep it cool, keep it preseason.” Let’s talk Reddish. Reddish’s play is...polarizing to say the least. He started off 1-of-6 and then 2-of-9 from the field and, honestly, he showcased some really poor decision-making and shot-making ability in the first half. Some of his attempts were just not of a high quality. A few examples: This drive in particular was horrid, as well as the decision to attempt a shot inside: On the steal here from Reddish, he buys his side another offensive trip but instead of perhaps passing it off to the open Skylar Mays, Reddish only has eyes for his own three: You could debate whether passing the ball off to Mays for a three is actually better option than Reddish shooting a three himself (which is part of the overall problem) but, personally, I just don’t think it is. But hey, it’s preseason. This next play was an odd one as Reddish leaves what is going to be an open slot behind the arc to cut into an already crowded paint where he receives the ball and misses the contested jumpshot: In the third quarter, however, Reddish turned things around. He hit three threes and scored 11 of his 20 points in the third quarter alone. The Hawks bench certainly enjoyed Reddish ignite. “Cam starts making shots it seems like every one falls after that,” said Kevin Huerter of Reddish. “He’s had a really good training camp. There were days where he was doing that, making a bunch of shots. Took him a little while to get going but I think everybody knows at this point Cam is capable of that.” “We loved it, we all love Cam, we all love to see Cam get going,” added John Collins of Reddish. “I feel like if you look at the bench from when Cam was out there getting his buckets and doing his thing, we all love to support him and watch him grow and get better. We need Cam to be great to be successful.” Reddish himself suspected that a change of sneakers at the half time interval may have been a reason as to his sudden change in shooting fortune in the second half. “I changed my sneakers, that could’ve been it,” said Reddish postgame. “I just kept shooting. I wasn’t giving it too much thought. Just trying to have fun and enjoy the preseason and they started falling in the second half. Might have been the sneaker change.” Reddish is a difficult player to evaluate, especially offensively. He has talent and can get hot but can make some truly horrid basketball decisions at times, this play was a good example of that: He does really well to anticipate the pass and collect the steal but to steam in transition like that into a body for a very silly turnover spoils it... As I said, he is a very polarizing player. Postgame, McMillan discussed how he wanted to evaluate Reddish — a player he hasn’t been able to see much in game-action — in this preseason. “I talked to Cam, I want him to be aggressive,” said McMillan of Reddish. “I pretty much brought him off of the bench and played him as a lone Hawk in that first half because I wanted him to get touches, I wanted to play through him and allow him to play with the basketball. I’ve got to find out who Cam is. He didn’t play a lot last year for us. This preseason, I plan to play him every preseason game to try get him involved and see how we can use him and how we can put him in position to help us. We know what he can do defensively, offensively we need to see him play with the ball.” As McMillan said, defensively everyone knows what to expect from Reddish and he flashed that last night with those five steals. He was active defensively, he showed good anticipation as to where passes where going and he has the ability to snatch those passes too. This steal and pass to end the third quarter was highlight worthy (if Huerter had made the basket): Reddish is capable of great plays like this but even last night, immediately after two of his steals (which we’ve looked at already) Reddish, straight away, takes poor shots which damages his good work defensively in the first place. McMillan has talked about playing Reddish in all four preseason games and mentioned last night that he has to find out who Cam Reddish is in this preseason. I can’t help but wonder what conclusion is he going to draw? Reddish aside, there were other Hawks who also enjoyed good moments last night. Huerter made his return and shot an efficient 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 3-of-4 from three, while Dieng enjoyed a better outing than Monday’s defeat in Miami. He looked more comfortable with second unit players and a slower pace while also assisting on six occasions last night, some of these were very pleasing to watch. This being one of them, as Dieng pokes his hand in to create the steal before finding Collins for the dunk in the paint: This pass to the cutting Huerter to the rim was also very nice on the eyes and an impressive read and pass for a big like Dieng to make: “...I thought he was doing some good things, he’s starting to get a feel for how we want to play,” said McMillan when asked about Dieng. “Playing with John, it’s a little different than our center normally plays. He’s a 5-man that can shoot the three so we’re allowing him to space whereas if Clint is in the game with John, Clint normally rolls. That takes some adjustment for our guys to figure that the five is spreading and the four is rolling. I thought he looked better, looked a little more comfortable tonight but we really have to work on our conditioning.” Cooper didn’t make his first appearance of the game until the third quarter but when he did, he made his presence known. He obviously threw the ball up for that Collins highlight but was getting into promising places and linked with Collins nicely on a number of plays, and this little tip inside to Dieng for the assist at the rim was nice to see too: Cooper also found it a little easier to get downhill than he did against the Miami Heat, which isn’t really a surprise: Miami’s defensive looks and schemes are different to that which teams use at times in their zones and they’re usually just a tough defensive side, especially for a rookie like Cooper looking to get inside. McMillan praised Cooper in his first answer (see far above) but he wasn’t the only one to do so, both Collins (also see above) and Reddish did too. “He played really well,” said Reddish of Cooper. “Poised, calm demeanour and he’s only going to get better.” Meanwhile, there were a few difficult games out there for the likes of Hunter (2-of-11 from the field), Jalen Johnson (3-of-11) and Mays (1-of-6) and Wright tweaked his left ankle in the first half and did not play in the second half. Other than those, a few more positives and talking points for the Hawks after this one compared to the Miami game, even if they did not win. The Hawks will be back in preseason action on Saturday when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis. Should be fun. Until next time... View the full article
  20. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsThe Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers met in a preseason tilt that looked to showcase each team’s young talent. The Hawks headlined State Farm Arena for the first time of the 2021-22 campaign without a number of important players. After a Cavaliers turnover, the Hawks received the ball with 33.5 seconds down 95-94 and a chance to send the crowd home happy. However, a Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot corner three went begging and an offensive rebound and putback by De’Andre Hunter came up short. Similarly, after two made free throws by Darius Garland, Cam Reddish had a shot to tie the game with a long triple with under 10 seconds but it went awry. Reddish was the high man in points, with 20 of them on 17 shots behind a hot shooting third quarter. Elsewhere, Kevin Huerter finished with 15 points on 6-of-10 (60%) shooting and John Collins added 14 points, 8 rebounds, and one internet-breaking dunk. There were certainly preseason jitters and sloppy play with 19 turnovers totaled tonight for Atlanta. The Hawks couldn’t contain paint penetration by budding star guard Collin Sexton. He torched Atlanta for 19 points. The Hawks were also victim of the shot blocking prowess of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen five time. Still there were many moments of good stretches of play from the young Atlanta players. They’ll look to find consistency as the Hawks take on the Grizzlies in Memphis on Saturday. View the full article
  21. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks will host the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday evening in what will be their second preseason game. The Hawks lost Monday evening in a matchup with the Miami Heat. Trae Young leaving the game with a quad injury was the biggest story of the night on Monday, but it seems he may have dodged serious injury as he’s listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s game. While Young will likely not play Wednesday evening, he expressed he was ‘going to be okay’ when speaking with media in postgame on Monday. The Cavaliers come into Wednesday’s action on the second half of a back-to-back as they lost to the Chicago Bulls by a lopsided score of 131-95 in their preseason opener on Tuesday night. Injury Reports De’Andre Hunter (right knee injury management) is probable for the Hawks on Wednesday. Trae Young (right quad contusion) is doubtful. Bogdan Bogdanovic (rest), Clint Capela (left Achilles injury management) and Onyeka Okongwu (shoulder) are out. Notably, Kevin Huerter is now not listed on the injury report at all and will presumably make his preseason debut at home on Wednesday. Game Info Game Date/Time: Wednesday, October 6, 7:30 pm ET Location: State Farm Arena TV: BSSE Radio: 92.9 The Game Streaming: Bally Sports App View the full article
  22. Photo by Michael Reaves/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Hawks drop preseason game number one in Miami. The Atlanta Hawks made their long-awaited return to the court as their NBA preseason got underway at the FTX Arena against the Miami Heat on Monday night. However, while it was a return to action it was not a return to the winning column as the Heat toppled the Hawks 125-99. Trae Young, John Collins and Danilo Gallinari all notched 14 points for the Hawks while Tyler Herro led the Heat with 26 points. Preseason basketball is...a strange one to break down. Rotations are much larger, minutes for key players are reduced (sometimes non existent as players rest) and final results don’t totally matter, although, Hawks head coach Nate McMillan was left with the impression that they have much to improve on. “I said before the game that this would be a good test for us,” said McMillan. “I knew that Miami would come out and play with a lot of energy — scrappy, playing fast, they were going to challenge us on both ends of the floor and they did. It showed that we got a lot of work to do. I thought we were sloppy in our execution. They were the more aggressive team from start to finish. I thought they out-scrapped us, outworked us and just played with a lot more energy. Execution wise, 16 turnovers is pretty bad and you’re giving up 28 points (off of turnovers) when you’re turning the ball over like that. I thought our shot selection offensively was poor tonight, that led to some transition baskets. We have a lot of work to do. That’s what preseason is about: seeing where you are.” “We didn’t have a lot of good stretches in this game,” added Gallinari. “They played harder and better than us, which we cannot afford to have a team playing most of the game harder than us. We had a couple of good stretches, of course we have to take the positives things we did as it’s the first preseason game but of course there’s a lot of work to do.” For the game itself, the differential came by way of the Miami’s three-point shooting. The Heat drained 21-of-41 from three three including 13 in the first half. The Hawks shot 9-of-38 from three. While the final score looks worse than it actually was, the Heat just looked the overall sharper side, a side, perhaps, with a bit more conditioning under their belts, something McMillan also alluded to after the game. “We’re measuring where we are and the game tonight, we have work to do,” McMillan said. “That’s the measure I get coming from tonight’s game. Our conditioning needs to be much better, certainly our execution on both ends of the floor—74 points in the first half we gave up. That’s what I’m measuring.” The Hawks didn’t enjoy a ton of positives from their first preseason outing and it was hard to get an overall sense of, well, anything as Clint Capela, Kevin Huerter and De’Andre Hunter all sat out due to injury management. “Sometimes the game is unpredictable,” said Collins. “Our first time playing together in a while, still had a couple of guys out who we usually have anyway as preseason is — Ice went down — a couple of weird things going on but like I said it’s preseason. You just try not to put too much thought or energy into it and move on.” Young will be added to that list as he sustained a right quad contusion in the third quarter on this play: Delon Wright made his Hawks debut last night and scored six points and dished out five assists in 19 minutes, flashing both his playmaking skills and his ability to finish at the rim: Honestly, there’s not a ton else to say in this spot because there’s little to be gained in, for example, making anything out Bogdan Bogdanvic’s 4-of-13 shooting display or how Jahlil Okafor looked on the court (which was...not great at times). There were some interesting lineups on display last night but nothing incredibly noteworthy because of how many players did not play. Other than that, it’s good to have Atlanta Hawks basketball back once again. The Hawks will go again on Wednesday night at State Farm Arena against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Should be fun. Until next time... View the full article
  23. Photo by Michael Reaves/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Hawks traveled to south Florida to open the 2021 preseason in a matchup with the Miami Heat. A few big names were missing in this one, but basketball returned nonetheless. Clint Capela (Achilles), De’Andre Hunter (knee), Kevin Huerter (ankle) and Onyeka Okongwu (shoulder) were out for Atlanta, while Jimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo were out for Miami. The Heat got out to a hot start, going on a 12-0 run at one point in the first, but the Hawks made a run of their own to level the score and trailed by just one at 33-32 heading into the second quarter. Young, Collins and Danilo Gallinari each had 14 points for Atlanta in the loss. Herro led all scorers with 26. The Hawks will be in action from State Farm Arena Wednesday evening against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stay tuned. View the full article
  24. Photo by Michael Reaves/NBAE via Getty ImagesNot ideal. The Atlanta Hawks opened their preseason in Miami for a matchup with the Heat on Monday, and things could have gone better. Star guard Trae Young exited the game with a right quad contusion after a collision in the third quarter. To what degree this injury will impact Young going forward obviously remains to be seen, as the Hawks could have simply removed him out of precaution due to it being a preseason game. Young finished the night with 14 points and three assists in 18 minutes. The Hawks will face the Cleveland Cavaliers at home on Wednesday evening in their second preseason game, and now obviously may be without Young, potentially on top of some other guys like Clint Capela, Kevin Huerter and De’Andre Hunter who are all being brung along slower as they rehab from injuries lingering over from last season. It’s far too early to speculate on Young’s status for the season opener later this month on Oct. 21 vs. Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. The Hawks have three more preseason games after tonight, with the exhibition games concluding on Oct. 14 when Atlanta hosts the Miami Heat. Stay tuned for updates. View the full article
  25. Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty ImagesHere we go. The Atlanta Hawks kick off the preseason Monday night vs. the Miami Heat. Join us for the first game thread of the new season. Hawks starters Trae Young Bogdan Bogdanovic Cam Reddish John Collins Gorgui Dieng Clint Capela (Achilles), Kevin Huerter (ankle), De’Andre Hunter (knee) and Onyeka Okongwu (shoulder) are all out. View the full article