Larry Drew likely isn't concerned that Atlanta's preseason record now stands at 1-2 on the season with three more games remaining. Atlanta's 110-102 loss on Sunday to the Memphis Grizzlies was a result of a weak 3rd quarter in which the Hawks were outscored 33-20. To start the second half, Drew ran out a lineup that included Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Ivan Johnson and Zaza Pachulia. Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins countered with his starting lineup of Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
By the time that Josh Smith and Al Horford got into the second half lineup they were flanked by rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott. Not saying that Drew was playing to lose but the Hawks clearly were more interested in testing out different combinations on the floor. Atlanta also played a lot of zone in the game with the results being lukewarm at best which contributed to Memphis' 10 makes from beyond-the-arc.
Having now reached the midpoint of the preseason, Drew and the rest of his staff should start to tighten things up. Part of the rotation is known, Teague, Smith and Horford will start with Ivan Johnson and Zaza Pachulia serving as top backups up front. Where exactly everyone else fits is still not clear but that should become more apparent over the next three games.
Other observations from Sunday's 110-102 loss to the Grizzlies:
- Zaza Pachulia saw his first preseason action and finished with nine points and nine rebounds to go along with four turnovers. Pachulia sat out the first two preseason games while recovering from a groin injury.
- Anthony Morrow followed up a subpar performance against Miami and a DNP against the Spurs with his best performance of the preseason. Against the Grizzlies Morrow finished with 12 points on 4-8 shooting. Morrow got some run in the first quarter at small forward as the Hawks went with a three-guard look but played primarily shooting guard from their on out.
- John Jenkins played 17 minutes and finished with two points on 1-3 shooting. Mike Scott logged 13 minutes and finished with six points and two boards.
- Lou Williams split time between the point and shooting guard and finished with 10 points despite 1-7 shooting from the field. Williams was a team best 8-9 from the free throw line.
- Kyle Korver finished with 11 points, three boards, three assists and two steals in 20 minutes of action. He has shown in the first three preseason games that he is capable of doing more than just shoot the three but where will he fit in defensively?
- Damion James played 18 minutes against the Grizz and finished with five points and four boards but was a team best +12 in +/- for the game. James does the little things when on the floor and looks like a lock to make the final roster at this point.
- Josh Smith and Al Horford both came off the bench on Sunday. Horford finished with a team-high 13 points and five rebounds. Smith added eight points, six rebounds and three assists.
- DeShawn Stevenson sat out his second straight game with a sore knee. Devin Harris has missed all three preseason games also with a sore knee.
- Squeaky Johnson, James Anderson and Johan Petro were the other players that did not get into the game.