It has been a long time since the Atlanta Hawks played a competitive basketball game in Philips Arena, but the wait is over. The Hawks will host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night in the preseason home opener, and it seems fitting that Gregg Popovich and his team would be the first opponent in front of the home crowd.
Tiago Splitter will square off against his old team, and that is an understandable focus, but aside from that, preseason remains about getting players in shape and operating on all cylinders. The battle for the 15th spot on the roster does, however, continue for Atlanta, and the "favorite" seems to be Lamar Patterson based on usage in the first two preseason games along with his status as a Hawks draft pick.
In an interesting twist, there actually is a big national story involved on Wednesday night, though, and that is the presumptive return of Thabo Sefolosha. The swingman has not appeared in either preseason game, but all indications are that he will receive some playing time, and that will be something to monitor in terms of health and availability for opening night.
The Hawks are back, and the regular season awaits. Let's enjoy this one together.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, October 14, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 FM (Local in Atlanta); NBA Audio League Pass