The Atlanta Hawks have participated in two preseason games but, on Monday evening, the team will (finally) take the court at Philips Arena and on television. In short, it’s like Christmas morning.
The defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers represent the opponent in the preseason home opener, and the contest is also being described as the first-ever “Unity Game”. In a press release from mid-September, the event was described as “a unique game experience, celebrating multicultural groups, diverse populations and organizations committed to improving relations amongst different groups” and that also lends an interesting tone to the anticipation that already exists for basketball in Atlanta.
As far as basketball is concerned, it appears that both teams will be shorthanded. On Cleveland’s side, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love (among others) will not be available.
No Cavs regulars tonight vs. Hawks. That means no LeBron and Co.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) October 10, 2016
For the Hawks, Mike Scott is expected to play (officially listed as probable), but Atlanta is still missing three contributors with injury concerns.
Paul Millsap, Jarrett Jack and Tiago Splitter OUT vs. Cavs. Mike Scott will play.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) October 10, 2016
Enjoy this opportunity to watch the home team, either in person or on television, and also be reminded that the game is taking on a bigger meaning. Here is what Hawks CEO Steve Koonin had to say about the Unity Game coming together:
“Our organization has seen firsthand how a sports team, its staff and every member, can positively affect the morale of a city. We have a brand promise to entertain and unite the city of Atlanta and we think our Unity Game is another great step toward keeping that promise. We are thankful that the Cavaliers share similar values of inclusion and diversity and understand the importance sports can play beyond the court.”
Basketball is back in Atlanta, even if we don’t get to see LeBron, Kyrie and Paul Millsap on this particular evening.
Game Date/Time: Monday, October 10, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM