Atlanta Hawks: 3 Challenges the Grizzlies present in preseason

Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks will need to slow down the shooting of the Memphis Grizzlies

The Atlanta Hawks gave up an average of 122 points to the Memphis Grizzlies in their two matchups last season and when the name of the game is to score more points than your opponent, giving up such a high number is simply not good. In those matchups, Memphis shot 50% and 49.4% from the field, giving Atlanta nightmares on the offensive end. To add insult to injury for the Hawks, the Grizzlies also shot 43.8% from the three-point line in their first matchup. Sheesh.

Against the Hawks, Memphis saw their shooting averages rise significantly against the Hawks, mostly because Atlanta was flat out abysmal on defense. Again, management sought to adjust this offseason bringing in the likes of Kris Dunn, who won’t play in either of the upcoming games against Memphis, and giving more minutes to Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter who have both stated that their main goals for this season are to drastically improve defensively.

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Reddish and Hunter will have to assist Trae Young when they share the floor with him, making up for his lack of defense and size. The Atlanta wings will have their hands full with guys like Dillon Brooks, Grayson Allen, and new Memphis addition De’Anthony Melton. Each of these guys should be looking to make statements about their games early in the season in hopes of securing playing time on their respective squads.

The key for the Hawks, not only in their matchups with Memphis but for the season, will be figuring out their wing rotation and which combinations of players work well together. A tall task for head coach Lloyd Pierce but the Hawks’ depth is certainly a good problem to have.