October is here and that means the NBA season will soon be underway. The Atlanta Hawks take the floor on Monday evening in the first of five preseason contests and, in the opener, the New Orleans Pelicans arrive for a contest set to take place at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion.
For the most part, the simple mantra of preseason is to navigate the proceedings without injury and that is still the case for the 2018-19 Hawks. However, there is a lot to be gleaned for a team that is led by a new head coach in Lloyd Pierce and, while it would be wise not to overreact to anything that is “put on tape” in this spot, there is plenty of intrigue.
As for the injuries that already exist, the Hawks will be without four players in the opener and none of the absences are surprising based on previous revelations. Justin Anderson (rehab from tibial stress syndrome, left leg), Dewayne Dedmon (avulsion fracture, left ankle), Daniel Hamilton (rehab from right rotator cuff tear), and Omari Spellman (soft tissue inflammation, left shin) will be on the sideline but, on the bright side, Jeremy Lin is not listed on the injury report just 12 months after suffering a major knee injury.
At the time of this post, Pierce has not revealed his starting lineup and the decision at the point guard position (between Lin and Trae Young) is the central point of interest. Still, both are expected to play significant minutes in every game when the regular season begins, taking a little bit of heat away from the choice in a practical sense.
The Pelicans bring plenty of intrigue to the table as well, particularly when it comes to Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle. With that said, New Orleans is operating on the second night of a (strange) back-to-back to open the preseason and it wouldn’t be a shock to see Alvin Gentry limit (or rest) some of his premium players.
Lastly, this is the only preseason game for the Hawks that does not provide local options to follow the proceedings, as there is no (officially sanctioned) TV or radio broadcast available in Atlanta. Peachtree Hoops will be live on the scene to provide real-time updates on Twitter and plenty of post-game coverage, though, so stay tuned.
Game Date/Time: Monday, October 1, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: McCamish Pavilion (Georgia Tech)
TV: No TV
Radio: No Radio
Streaming: Hawks.com (Atlanta area only)