In a losing effort (115-111), the Hawks preseason opener went to Overtime against a healthy and determined Memphis Grizzlies. Jamal Crawford and rookie Pape Sy (6’7″ PG) did not play due to injury. These were two of the players that I wished to watch due to their drama packed summers. Jamal is dealing with trying to get Atlanta to offer a contract extension and Pape had to come to terms and be bought out from his international contract with the French Club, LeHavre. After it was clear Pape had come to terms and was coming to play in the NBA, Atlanta signed him to a 3 year contract with a guaranteed contract for rookie minimum in the 1st year. Even though these 2 were sidelined, I was still excited to see what kind of role players like Jeff Teague and rookie Jordan Crawford were going to have on this team. Overall, this game was a showcase for players with question marks on what they were capable of.

Looking at the Box Score, Jeff Teague had 31 minutes, and proved he could be the starting PG this season with an aging Bibby (22 min, 2 pts, 1 ast) decomposing in front of our own eyes. In 31 minutes, Teague filled the stat sheet with 20 pts, 6 ast, and 2 stl. The biggest question mark for Teague now is whether or not he can lower his turnovers (5) and fouls (5). These mistakes are things that can only improve through playing time, which hopefully will be like this during the regular season. Rookie Jordan Crawford was impressive in his debut as well, scoring 13 pts, 3 ast, 4 reb, and 1 stl in 29 minutes. Marvin Williams is the Hawks MVP with the teams only double-double (18 pts, 10 reb, 3ast, 1 stl), shooting a perfect 2-2 from behind the arc, and going 6-7 from the charity stripe in 36 min.

GOOD: Team Assists (26) were 5 higher than their average last year. This is great news for ball movement. Team FG% (51.9%) and Team Rebounds (39) were above average as well.

BAD: Defense. Only 9 stl, 1 blk, and 33 fouls. Shot miserable from behind the arc (22.2%) and at the charity stripe (61.4%). Only 18 Fast Break Points.

HIGHLIGHTS 10/7 Memphis Grizzlies at Atlanta Hawks.

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