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NBA Preseason 2012: Josh Smith, Al Horford sit out Hawks' loss to Pacers

The Atlanta Hawks dropped their third consecutive preseason game falling 102-98 to the Indiana Pacers.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Atlanta Hawks wrapped up a three-game preseason road swing on Tuesday with a 102-98 loss to the Indiana Pacers. The Hawks played without Al Horford and Josh Smith while giving playing time to some reserves who are trying to battle their way onto the final roster.

On the surface it appears that there are three players battling for two roster spots. Those competing are Anthony Tolliver, Damion James and James Anderson. James has played a big role throughout the preseason and looks like a safe bet to make the team. Tolliver also seems to have a leg up and helped his cause by finishing with 14 points and five rebounds against the Pacers while starting at power forward. Anderson went scoreless in 12 minutes against Indiana and looks like he could be in some trouble as the Hawks get closer to cut day.

Other observations from Tuesday night's loss:

  • Larry Drew ran out a different starting lineup for the fourth straight game on Tuesday. Jeff Teague and Devin Harris started in the backcourt while Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver manned the forward positions. Zaza Pachulia got his second straight start at center.
  • Harris made his debut in what many think will be the team's starting backcourt combination. He finished Tuesday's game with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals on 4-9 shooting in 22 minutes.
  • Mike Scott got considerable playing time against the Pacers and finished with four points and five rebounds in 24 minutes but had a tough shooting day going 2-9.
  • Damion James played just under 12 minutes on Tuesday but led the Hawks in rebounding with eight. With each game I am growing more and more convinced that not only is James going to make this team but he is also going to receive some playing time.
  • Anthony Morrow and John Jenkins are two players that I am wondering where they will fit in the rotation once the regular season arrives. Morrow and Jenkins finished with two points each with Morrow going 1-3 and Jenkins 1-4 from the field.
  • One player I am not wondering about is Lou Williams who is going to get a lot of minutes across both guard spots. Williams finished with 18 points on 6-14 shooting and was 5-6 from the free throw line.
  • Joining Josh Smith and Al Horford on the sidelines were Squeaky Johnson, Johan Petro and DeShawn Stevenson.