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Preview and Game Thread #1: Atlanta Hawks vs Memphis Grizzlies

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Atlanta Hawks 10-11 Season Game #1

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@ Grizzlieslogo_medium
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Fed Ex Forum
October 27th, 2010, 8:00 PM
Sports South, 99X FM, Pre and Post Game Show 680 The Fan, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Mike Conley PG Mike Bibby
O.J. Mayo
SG Joe Johnson
Rudy Gay SF Marvin Williams
Zach Randolph PF Josh Smith
Hasheem Thabeet C Al Horford



Hawks Injuries: Pape Sy (Back) out, Mike Bibby (Back) Probable

Grizzlies Injuries: Marc Gasol (ankle) doubtful, Greivis Vasquez (ankle) doubtful, Acie Law (hip) questionable

SB Nation Grizzlies Blog: Straight Outta Vancouver

UPDATE: A palate cleanser from The Bill Shanks Show where yours truly had the pleasure of spending time this afternoon over the airwaves. We discuss...what else...the Hawks, all the changes made coming into the season and just why folks should be confident in the Hawks ability to scale to 50 wins and beyond yet again this season:

Click below to listen and warm up for the game tonight!

Peachtree Hoops on the Radio: A New Season

Game Preview:

It is that time of the year again and my first official game thread here at Peachtree Hoops. The Hawks come into the season opener healthy while Memphis could be without their starting center in Marc Gasol who sprained his ankle on Sunday and is expected to miss the game.

There will be much talk about the Hawks new offensive scheme but as Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham points out, it may in fact be the defense that defines this Hawks team. Gone is last year's tactic of switching on every screen and in it's place is a more keep your man in front of you philosophy.

"It puts ownership on us guards to really guard our men and get over picks and fight through them," Joe Johnson said. "That’s pretty much it."

Also key to the Hawks defensively will be how well they can implement Jeff Teague into the rotation. Guarding the speedier point guards in the league has long been a problem for Mike Bibby and the Hawks in particular. That will soon rest on Teague's shoulders and it will be one of the things I am watching for tonight. In terms of Jeff Teauge, the offensive end matters but not nearly as much as the defensive end of things.

Another noteworthy item to the start of the season is that the Hawks will open with four of their first 6 games on the road. For a team that went 34-7 at Phillips Arena but only 19-22 on the road last season that could be key to getting the season off on a good note.

Keys to the Game:

"I think we are at our best when we play with energy defensively, when we are flying around and doing something," L.D. said.

Those of you that followed some of the things I wrote last year know that I have a pretty simple approach when it comes to outlining keys to the game. Limit Turnovers, win the rebounding battle, and play with high energy and effort on the defensive end will usually put you in position to win. Two of those items can be measured in statistics and the other not so much. However, the results were on full display during the win over Miami Heat and the losses to the Magic and the Bobcats.

Taking care of the basketball will be key tonight as the Hawks will not want to give away possessions to a team that can hurt them in the open floor. Also if the Grizzlies choose to match up Zach Randolph on Josh Smith, then the Hawks need to attack that match up with Smith attacking from the high post. The chances the Hawks have in winning the rebounding battle will be much greater if Randolph is in foul trouble.