The Atlanta Hawks are set to kick off the 2021 preseason, as they travel south for a matchup with the Miami Heat. The Hawks will host the Heat next week on Oct. 14 to close out the preseason. Atlanta enters play with a few guys nursing and rehabbing injuries that are lingering from last season.
The Hawks and Heat are both heading into a season with lofty expectations, as Atlanta was obviously on the door step of the NBA Finals before losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami will look to see if Kyle Lowry can get them back to the Finals after a first-round exit at the hand of those same Bucks.
The preseason is obviously no measurement of what to expect in the regular season, teams will deploy most if not all of their active players in an effort to toy with rotations and get everyone into game form ahead of the regular season, which is just over two weeks away. These games are bigger for guys like Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Jahlil Okafor, who are fighting for a regular season roster spot with the Hawks. With this being the first preseason game, starters may play half or less than half of the game.
Hawks fans will get their first look at Delon Wright, Jalen Johnson, Sharife Cooper and Gorgui Dieng and potentially some insight to how they fit with their new teammates. Dieng could presumably draw the start at center, though it is possible they could insert Danilo Gallinari in at the four and slide John Collins to the five if they don’t want to start Dieng.
For the Hawks, Clint Capela (left Achilles injury management), Kevin Huerter (left ankle injury management), De’Andre Hunter (right knee injury management) and Onyeka Okongwu (right shoulder surgery rehabilitation) are all out. Miami will be without guard Victor Oladipo.
Game Date/Time: Monday, October 4, 7:30 pm ET
Location: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
TV: NBA TV, BSSE
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Streaming: ESPN Plus, Bally Sports App