Hawks roster appears set heading into season opener

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks roster appears to be set for Wednesday's season opener against the Dallas Mavericks. Here is a look at how the rotation projects.

The Atlanta Hawks wrapped up what was a competitive preseason with few surprises in terms of their opening day roster. Shelvin Mack was able to hold off veteran Royal Ivey for the team's third point guard. Also it was expected that the team would add some depth at the wing position but not many expected that to be Cartier Martin who was a late addition to the roster.

Here is a position by position look at where everyone stands heading into the regular season opener:

Point Guard

Jeff Teague is entrenched as the team's starter and closed the preseason strongly with a series of good performances. Dennis Schröder shook off a sore knee to also finish the preseason on a good note with a 21 point effort against the Mavericks. Teague should see the bulk of the minutes but Schröder will likely get his fair share of opportunities on a consistent basis as the backup. We saw a dual point guard attack at times during the preseason and that figures to be something that Mike Budenholzer turns to in certain situations. Shelvin Mack is a capable insurance policy. That the team elected to cut a veteran in Royal Ivey shows that the coaching staff has a lot of confidence in Schröder's ability.

Shooting Guard

Kyle Korver is the clear cut starter but things are a little fuzzy behind him. Jared Cunningham saw the bulk of playing time behind Korver during the preseason due to John Jenkins' back injury. Jenkins returned for the final two preseason games but it will be interesting to see who Budenholzer opts to use, at least early on. Cunningham showed a good knack for getting to the free throw line and could thrive in a situation where the pace was high. Jenkins' shooting is valuable to the second unit, so getting him healthy and in game shape is also important. Lou Williams will figure prominently in this role once he returns from injury.

Small Forward

DeMarre Carroll will start at small forward on opening night but it isn't quite clear what the Hawks may do behind him. The team kept Cartier Martin who was added to the roster late in the preseason but it could be Korver who ends up playing the most backup minutes behind Carroll. Mike Scott is also an option as is Paul Millsap in certain situations.

Power Forward and Center

These two spots in Coach Budenholzer's system are interchangeable offensively. Al Horford and Paul Millsap will start with Elton Brand as the first big off the bench. Mike Scott silenced a lot of his critics with a stellar preseason and looks to have earned a chance for regular minutes. Pero Antic had a rather uneventful preseason and looks like the fourth big at this point. Gustavo Ayon will push for playing time once he returns from his shoulder injury.

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