Postgame reaction from Atlanta Hawks victory over Memphis Grizzlies

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 09: John Collins
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 09: John Collins /

The Atlanta Hawks improved their preseason record to 2-2 with a 99-88 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in their first game in Atlanta of the new season.

Mike Budenholzer returned to his usual starting lineup as the Atlanta Hawks took on the Memphis Grizzlies back home in Atlanta at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion. The most notable difference in the night was that Coach Bud let the starters and the second unit have more time on the court with the regular season opener drawing closer.

The atmosphere inside the arena was a welcome change for the Hawks, coming off of 3 preseason games on the road. The Hawks’ youth seemed to really thrive in this home environment, producing impressive plays and displaying great chemistry.

Related Story: What the first preseason game told us about the Atlanta Hawks offense

Of the 5 starters, Dennis Schroder seemed to be the man in control, posting 21 points and 4 assists in his 28 minutes on the floor. He wasn’t shy about getting his shots up, going 8/17 from the field, as well as 2/6 from behind the arc. His dominance was noteworthy, but the others’ contributions were also impactful.

Taurean Prince had another very solid outing. In 27 minutes he put up 12 points 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. He had the green light to shoot most of the game as well, but the productivity thereof wasn’t too great. On the defensive end however, he seemed much more comfortable and able.

More from Soaring Down South

Ersan Ilyasova, Dewayne Dedmon, and Kent Bazemore all had quieter nights, but all were solid on both ends regardless as Schroder and Prince largely ran the show. Then it was Atlanta’s bench brigade that really surprised and delighted Hawks fans.

The highlight was Malcolm Delaney, who finished with 15 points and 5 assists in what was his best preseason game as of yet. He was able to find lanes to drive and either pop up for the shot and get fouled, or dish it out to the plethora of 3-point shooters spread out on the floor.

The other standout was Mr. John Collins. His assault on the rims around the league will be an exciting subplot to look for. His 6 points and 8 rebounds playing at center show promise for his opportunity to become a double-double machine once he gets more minutes in the regular season behind Dedmon.

DeAndre’ Bembry and Mike Muscala also had very involved nights. Bembry posted 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Muscala took home 12 points and grabbed 4 boards. Both players seemed to find their grooves and their teammates were more than happy to let them have the ball and work their magic.

Tyler Dorsey and Luke Babbitt had quieter nights, but that shouldn’t be overanalyzed by Hawks fans. There can only be so many touches for every player per 48 minutes. Marco Belinelli sat during this game, although he does not have any injury to note.

Overall, the Hawks produced a great contest which featured a well-oiled machine on offense and a hugely-improved defense compared to what we saw in the first game against the Miami Heat. The defense in transition and rotation/switching on the defensive end as the Grizzlies moved the ball was excellent and it forced them to either turn over the ball or take a tough shot.

Next: Takeaways from the Atlanta Hawks win against the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Hawks’ next game will be against Dennis Smith Jr. and the Dallas Mavericks. It will be at McCamish Pavilion again and will tip off on Thursday Oct. 12 at 7:30pm EST.