The long wait is over and the Atlanta Hawks will participate in a sanctioned NBA game on Monday evening. Yes, the game doesn’t actually count but, at the very least, there will be head-to-head competition on the floor at State Farm Arena when the Hawks take on Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.
From an injury standpoint, Atlanta will not have a full, 20-player stable of options in this game, with Allen Crabbe (knee), Chandler Parsons (load management and knees), Ray Spalding (dental pain) and Evan Turner (Achilles) all ruled out for Monday’s action. Beyond that, Brandon Goodwin (hip) is listed as doubtful and, in a change from the injury report issued on Sunday, Lloyd Pierce told the media on Monday that Kevin Huerter (who was experiencing knee pain before training camp) will not, in fact, play in the opener.
Still, there is plenty to monitor in this game, headlined by the professional debut of No. 10 overall pick Cam Reddish, albeit in a role projected to be limited. Other newcomers like Jabari Parker, Bruno Fernando and Damian Jones will be interesting to observe as well, to go along with the returning staples in Trae Young and John Collins. The Hawks have announced a starting lineup of Young, DeAndre’ Bembry, De’Andre Hunter, Collins and Jones.
Preseason games (especially preseason openers) can be tricky with regard to just how much players will be deployed but the Pelicans also have an interesting allotment of intriguing options. In addition to Williamson making his non-summer league debut, New Orleans has new faces like Derrick Favors, J.J. Redick, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, to go along with Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun Moore. Then, there is the subplot that includes Hunter, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes, as the three players were involved in the trade that landed Hunter in Atlanta.
Basketball is back and, even if there might be some ugly moments in the preseason (that comes with the territory), we’ll be here to chronicle it all.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.
Game Date/Time: Monday, Oct. 7, 7:30 pm ET
Location: State Farm Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market only)
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market only)