Unlike last year, I wasn’t able to attend this year’s free scrimmage/open practice. However, for the first time since I can remember, NBA.com had a streaming link to those who wanted to watch it at the comfort of their own home, which I did.
I know this post is a bit late and most of you have probably read MC’s AJC recap of the scrimmage, but I have a few more notes to add and other notes to emphasize on from what I saw yesterday night.
- #HeadBandJoe has not retired yet.
- It’s confirmed, Marvin Williams really doesn’t walk like a duck anymore. Had a bit more pep in his step. Nothing else stood out from him.
- I saw former Hawks player, Anthony Johnson, acting as a Player Development coach during drills alongside Nick Van Exel. Not sure if he’s officially part of the team though.
- Tracy McGrady got a loud cheer from fans when he was introduced by Bob Rathbun. #1 Atlanta Hawks selling jersey this season?
- Before the scrimmage started, Jerry Stackhouse addressed the fans in the building, thanking them for coming and expressed how excited he is to get the season started. Does a training camp invitee normally do that?
- Jason Collins didn’t participate in the scrimmage due to a sore knee. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious.
- Josh Smith took a lot of jumpshots (all mid-range), but made most of them. Seems like he’s still a perimeter offensive player.
- If yesterday was a preview of what Joe Johnson will be like this season, he’s poised to have a comeback year. Asides from two missed free throws, he made everything look easy.
- Asides from him playing the Point Forward role for a short stint and airballing a reverse layup, McGrady didn’t show much of anything.
- Brad Wannamaker and Donald Sloan showed ability to score and go inside. Also, both showed capable of defending as well. Still not sold on either one making the final roster though.
- Al Horford tried to post some, but he eventually opted to go with his turnaround fadeaway shot. Made 1 out 2.
- Horford did drive the ball inside one time and it came easy for him. Should do it more often, not many centers have quicker feet.
- Jeff Teague’s quickness and ability to get to the rim is not in question. The ability to finish at the rim is. He did draw a lot of fouls though.
- Zaza Pachulia is already in mid-season form. Showed little ability to finish close in the basket but made up for it through hustle plays.
- Pape Sy provided the highlight of the night when he showed his athletic ability, throwing down a Joe Johnson alley-oop pass with good authority. His athleticism was a nice surprise.
- Magnum Rolle and Keith Benson showed flashes of contribution. Both showed ability to hit the midrange shot. From the looks of it, either one could replace Josh Powell.
- Jerry Stackhouse was inconsistent with the jumpshot, but I still believe he would make a good addition, just for a veteran presence in the locker room.
I know I gave a lot of bullet points, but be aware that one practice probably won’t show exactly what a player can or cannot do or what a player will or will not do in the regular season and playoffs. However, it was still nice to see the team give us a mini preview of what might happen.