There was Hawks basketball on Monday, and it was everything you could have expected. With the New Orleans Pelicans in town, there was a lot to be excited about.
Both teams have some of the best young talent in the league, and four of the top 10 picks in the 2019 draft class were being featured. Of course the hype was around Zion Williamson, but the Hawks fans were ready to see their own rookies in Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter. Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram also made their Pelicans debut, after being traded earlier in the offseason from the Lakers. These two teams will be having exciting battles in the future, but Monday was just a trial run. Here’s some of the takeaways from the Hawks first preseason game.
Rookies looking good
De’Andre Hunter got the start for the Hawks on Monday, and he was as good as advertised. He hit his first three shots, including two shots from deep. It’s one thing to rave about his defense, but he looked fluent on offense and was always in the right spot. Speaking on defense, he gave Ingram problems throughout the first half of the game. Many of the players and coaches have talked up Hunter, and he made sure to let his play do the talking in this one.
Reddish was on a 15-minute playing restriction, and showed us all we needed to see within that short time span. He did struggle to begin the game, but got into the flow as time progressed. He finished the game with 11 points and shot 3-of-4 from three.
Turnover, turnovers… and more turnovers
The Hawks continued to play at the fast pace as they did last season, which could be a blessing and a curse at times. On Monday it was definitely a curse. The Hawks finished with 29 turnovers, something Coach Pierce has stressed trying to limit throughout training camp. Trae Young led the way with eight of those turnovers, and he’ll have to clean that up as the season progresses. The Hawks are also still trying to figure each other out with a lot of new pieces, so it’ll take time to figure out where certain players like to be.
With a contract year in near-sight, DeAndre’ Bembry knows that he has to have his best season this year. He was probably the best player on the team Monday with 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Bembry was inserted into the starting lineup as Kevin Huerter is still recovering from an offseason injury. He did just what he would do if he was coming off the bench: run the floor, make plays, and be aggressive on defense. Bembry has to make the most of his minutes as the Hawks could have a log jam at the wing position, but if he plays like he did Monday he’ll have nothing to worry about.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.