The Atlanta Hawks ventured to Detroit, Michigan Friday night to the new Little Caesars Arena in a face off against the new look Pistons. In a night where the Hawks were short-handed, they ended up coming away defeated, losing by a final score of 109-87.
It was announced a few hours before game time that the Hawks would be sitting starting point guard Dennis Schroder, starting shooting guard Kent Bazemore and bench piece Marco Belinelli for rest and for coach Mike Budenholzer to get a look at some other young players. Miles Plumlee was also held out for the Hawks as he continues to deal with a quad injury.
John Collins played on Friday after getting tied up with the Cavs Richard Jefferson Wednesday night and being forced to leave the game and showed no ill effects. DeAndre Bembry made his preseason debut well ahead of schedule after fighting a triceps injury.
Early on in the action, the Pistons and Hawks starters came out at an even pace. With Malcolm Delaney getting the starting nod at point guard the Hawks were notably thin at point and coach Bud rolled out both Quinn Cook and Josh Magette early and often. Ersan Ilyasova was hot early for the Hawks and came out of the gate shooting 3/3 with 8 points. The Hawks faltered on offense in the second quarter only scoring 14 points and went into halftime down 48-43.
From the start of the third quarter, the Hawks didn’t really look locked in and the perimeter defense failed them as the third quarter saw the Pistons outscore the Hawks 37-21. Henry Ellenson really caught fire from three for the Pistons.
Tyler Dorsey had a good overall game for the Hawks and looked more comfortable taking shots and creating off the dribble, a good sign for Atlanta fans. The Hawks played their deep bench pieces for the end of the game as the Pistons continued to play some of their starters and the Hawks came away with the loss.
There were some good learning points for the Hawks in this game from the improvements that need to be made on perimeter defense to chemistry that just needs to be developed between different lineups. Notably, John Collins and DeAndre Bembry both looked healthy tonight and that is the best news of all for Hawks fans.
The Hawks will be in action again when they come home to play in McCamish Pavilion as Phillips Arena continues its renovations. Have a great weekend, Hawks fans!