The Atlanta Hawks continue preparations for the upcoming season Sunday afternoon when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the preseason. Atlanta is currently 1-3 and most recently dropped a 106-104 decision to the San Antonio Spurs.
Head Coach Mike Budenholzer went with his starters down the stretch in the loss to the Spurs and tightened the rotation considerably playing only 10 players. However, Atlanta's opening day roster still isn't set with a couple of positional battles going on. The Hawks have already made one cut and another could follow sometime before the next preseason game on Tuesday.
Atlanta signed Cartier Martin last Tuesday but he did not play against the Spurs. With a couple of extra days of practice under his belt he could get some action on Sunday. Martin figures to be competing with James Johnson for a potential roster spot as a backup wing defender.
The other positional battle to keep an eye on is between Shelvin Mack and Royal Ivey for the No. 3 point guard spot. This battle is close and only Mack played against the Spurs. Ivey could get another chance on Sunday. Mack is younger and cheaper but Ivey's veteran experience could be valuable especially as a defender that could defend both guard positions in certain matchups. Rookie point guard Dennis Schröder is expected to see the bulk of minutes behind starter Jeff Teague but he sat out against the Spurs with a sore knee. He could also be back on Sunday.
The Grizzlies enter the game with a 3-2 record and coming off of a 97-91 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday. Most of the Memphis roster will look familiar with Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley leading the way. One new addition they have made was acquiring sharpshooter Mike Miller during the offseason. Miller led the way for the Grizzlies against the Magic with 19 points.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m.
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia