The Atlanta Hawks will play host to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday evening and, in addition to the obvious on-court ramifications, the headliner for the night is the unveiling of State Farm Arena. With that said, there is a bit of positive mojo with regard to the injury report, as head coach Lloyd Pierce indicated on Tuesday that center Dewayne Dedmon will make his 2018-19 debut.
Dedmon will play tomorrow.— Kevin Chouinard (@KLChouinard) October 23, 2018
Dewayne Dedmon will play tomorrow for the Hawks. No timetable for John Collins— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) October 23, 2018
Dedmon missed the entirety of training camp and the preseason with an avulsion fracture in his left ankle but, in recent days, optimism surfaced that the veteran big man would be available in the near future and that comes to fruition on Wednesday. Though no official announcement has been made, Chris Vivlamore of the AJC noted that John Collins will be sidelined for the next few weeks and, as a result, the return of Dedmon is an even more welcome sign for an undermanned frontcourt.
In 62 games last season, Dedmon averaged 10.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as the team’s starting center. Beyond that, the veteran added a three-point shot to his arsenal, connecting on 35.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, and Dedmon’s presence defensively should help to aid in the team’s improvement on that end of the floor.
It remains to be seen as to how much Dedmon will play in the early going but he forms a solid center tandem with Alex Len and that will help Pierce in his efforts to deploy optimal lineups in the future. Stay tuned.