The Atlanta Hawks traveled to Florida to take on the Miami Heat in the opening pre-season game of the new campaign. While the result was not what the Hawks wanted, we got to see some of the new players take the court.
The Hawks failed in their goal to get through the game uninjured. Trae Young was trying to get around Gabe Vincent who aggressively defended the superstar, putting a knee into his path, causing the Hawks point guard to go back to the rooms for medical attention, getting a technical foul prior to leaving the court, obviously upset at the physicality and lack of foul.
We got to see Delon Wright and Gorgui Dieng in action for the first time in a Hawks uniform. Dieng started in place of the injured Clint Capela and Wright came in off the bench. Both players looked better as the game went on so there is hope for the Hawks down the track.
The Atlanta Hawks looked at all their fringe players in the first game.
The Hawks played A.J. Lawson for just under seven minutes later in the game. He hit both shots he took from beyond the arc and collected two rebounds. His play was solid, but what must be considered is that the sting had gone out of the game when he was in it.
Johnny Hamilton played just over five minutes of game time and the only impact he had on the box score was to commit a foul. He was active and energetic but again came on late in the game when the better players were sitting out.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot played for 12 minutes of the game and looked out of sync on offense. He also committed two fouls which were questionable as to why he committed them. He missed all four of his shots, with three of them being from beyond the arc.
The most impressive of the fringe players was Jahlil Okafor. While he only had two points and two rebounds, Okafor was challenging shots, fighting hard down low for rebounds, and setting good screens for his guards in his 13 minutes of playing time. If the decision was based on today’s game, Okafor would be most likely the player signed with the 15th roster spot.