Atlanta Hawks: 7 Takeaways from First Week of Preseason

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Head Coach Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /


One major macro point about these preseason games is the rule changes implemented by the NBA league-wide. The most pressing (pun fully intended) are the new rules that have been put in place that are focused on “freedom of movement” for players on offense.

Usually, hand-checking and near-constant bumping of ballhandlers or cutters is par for the course in the NBA as all defenders expect to be able to nudge an opposing ballhandler. With the new league-wide dictum regarding freedom of movement, however, that is no longer the case.

As a young team full of rookies and young, inexperienced players, the Atlanta Hawks piled up the fouls in their first week of preseason action – mostly on the back of ticky-tack touch fouls due to the new rules focus.

In the team’s first three games, the Hawks fouled an opposing player a titanic 97 times (28 in 1st game, 36 in 2nd and 33 in 3rd).

The caveat, of course, is that the preseason is usually a time of exploration for teams, players and also referees – allowing them to set the tone in games that don’t matter before the actual meaningful basketball begins.

Let’s hope that teams are able to curtail their fouling in time for the start of the regular season, because the most recent two Hawks games (vs. the Grizzlies and Thunder) took a long time to finish due to all the fouling.