What to expect from Atlanta Hawks preseason match-up against the Heat

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 10: John Collins
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 10: John Collins /

The friendly against Miami will provide the Atlanta Hawks fans with the first look into this new roster and how they will work together against a potential playoff contender.

The Atlanta Hawks have yet to announce what their preseason schedule will look like, while Miami has publicized that it will host the Hawks at American Airlines Arena on October 1. In the meantime, renovations will continue upon Philip’s Arena so that it is ready to host NBA games come late October.

Hawk fans will have to wait a little longer to cheer on Atlanta’s 7 new faces in full voice at home, but the wait will be worth it. The October 1st meeting against the Miami Heat will provide the fans and coach Mike Budenholzer a first real look into what his roster can do. With ESPN projecting the Hawks to have the worst record in the East and Miami projected to finish as 7th seed, the dichotomy will help reveal Atlanta’s true standing at the commencement of the season.

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Although fans will be eager to see how Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore stack up against Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters, it will be the battle in the frontcourt that will draw the most attention. Atlanta big men Dewayne Dedmon and Ersan Ilyasova will be pit against Miami counterparts Hassan Whiteside and Kelly Olynyk. It will be interesting to see how Dedmon protects the paint against one of the NBA’s elite young centers and how well Ilyasova will be able to stretch the floor to open up lanes for Schroder to facilitate.

The battle will also extend past the starting fives for both squads, as both the Hawks and the Heat will be eager to take a look at their first round draft picks in a truly competitive setting. Number 19 pick John Collins will be facing the 14th overall selection in Edrice ‘Bam’ Adebayo in what promises to be a fierce battle in the post.

Adebayo impressed in his Summer League with his efficiency, so Collins will look to try to drive him away from the paint and take the ball out of his hands. On offense however, Collins will look to continue to build on his momentum from his outing in Las Vegas and show everyone his dominance near the basket and maybe even demonstrating some of his range.

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October 1st will definitely be worth making note of on the calendar, and who knows, maybe the world will get to witness another ferocious foray of dunks by John Collins, this time on the rims of South Beach.