The Atlanta Hawks suffer their first loss of the preseason with a 93-88 setback to the Memphis Grizzlies. Head Coach Mike Budenholzer once again went deep into his bench and got a look at several different combinations. He once again limited his starters' minutes holding out Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll during the second half.
Here are some thoughts from tonight's game:
John Jenkins is healthy and may be better than ever
Jenkins finished with a team-high 15 points on 5-6 shooting including 2-3 from three-point range. He told us at media day that he was in the best shape of his life and so far he has looked the part. Not only is he scoring well with his jumper but he is also getting to the basket and running the floor. Jenkins is also competing at the defensive end of the floor and is making an already crowded backcourt situation for the Hawks even more crowded.
The backup point guard position is still unsettled
Shelvin Mack got the first shift behind Jeff Teague and didn't disappoint going 4-7 from the field for 11 points and a game-high eight assists. He once again showed his versatility and saw some time at shooting guard. Dennis Schröder bounced back from a so-so performance in the exhibition opener with a solid showing against the Grizzlies. Schröder finished with 14 points and three assists on 4-6 shooting but was much more in control and finished with just one turnover in 20 minutes. For now it looks like Mack has the edge but the situation is still fluid.
Adreian Payne is still adjusting to the speed of the game
Payne looks like he is still adjusting to the speed of the NBA game and he struggled early on Saturday night. He bounced back somewhat in the second half and led the team with eight rebounds and four blocked shots. The good news is that despite his struggles he still totaled over 18 minutes which is exactly what preseason is for. Most of Payne's minutes this preseason have come at the center position. We will see if that changes once Al Horford is back in the rotation.
Marc Gasol is a beast
We knew that already but he showed it early often Saturday night against the Hawks. Gasol finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in 29 minutes for the Grizzlies. He helped them set the tone early and was on the floor late to help cement the win.