UPDATE: Lloyd Pierce provided an update on Kevin Huerter before tip-off on Wednesday.
The Atlanta Hawks struggled mightily for three quarters on Monday evening, falling to 0-3 in the preseason with a lopsided loss to the Miami Heat. After a one-day hiatus for travel and recovery, Lloyd Pierce’s team will return to exhibition action on Wednesday and, in this particular instance, Atlanta will be taking on the New York Knicks at the world’s most famous arena.
In a bizarre circumstance, the Hawks actually face a preseason back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving some uncertainty as to how the team will proceed. Atlanta’s official injury report projects only three absences as of Wednesday morning, with Chandler Parsons (knees) and Allen Crabbe (right knee) joined by Kevin Huerter (right knee) on the shelf.
One of the major stories in advance of the regular season is the status of Huerter but, without additional information, it is simply worth noting that the second-year wing will miss his fourth consecutive game. With that as the backdrop, there may be real doubt (at least until the Hawks say otherwise) as to whether he’ll be ready for the regular season opener, though he has ramped up his practice activity during the preseason.
Monday’s game saw Pierce deploy something approaching a “dress rehearsal” rotation, with only 10 players appearing in the first three quarters. Something similar could arise on Wednesday and, if that is the case, it will be interesting to see how the team responds to what was a dismal showing in its last outing.
In terms of other story lines to monitor, the Knicks project to send No. 3 pick R.J. Barrett on to the floor and he’ll square off with college teammate and No. 10 pick Cam Reddish. Throw in the presence of No. 4 pick De’Andre Hunter and, if nothing else, there will be a bunch of rookie talent in the mix when these two teams tip off in what is a nationally televised (!) match-up.
Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 8:00 pm ET
Location: Madison Square Garden
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network