The Hawks suited up for their first preseason game on Tuesday evening against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It was good for many to finally see the team in action for the first time, especially with Quin Snyder now in full control. De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic were resting this game, and Saddiq Bey and Jalen Johnson started the game. The question still remains who will take the starting four position between Bey and Johnson.
Like clockwork, the Trae Young and Clint Capela connection began early with the point guard finding his big man in the paint for an easy flush.
Dejounte Murray turned defense into the offense, running the break and dishing it to Johnson for an open dunk. The Hawks were very active on both sides of the ball to start the game.
The second unit came in and kept things afloat for the Hawks, with AJ Griffin and Wesley Matthews being the first off the bench. Onyeka Okongwu, who continues the development of his offensive game, showed off his three-point range at the end of the quarter.
Young was very active in the first half of the game, doing a little bit of everything on offense. We saw him play off the ball at times, shoot a lot of threes, and continue to be a playmaker as well.
Kobe Bufkin, the Hawks’ 2023 first-round draft pick, saw his first minutes as a rookie and didn't disappoint in his time in the first half.
The Hawks went into halftime leading the Cavaliers 57-45. Going into the second half, the Hawks started Bufkin, Griffin, and Okongwu, which signaled that Young, Murray, and Capela were done for the night.
That meant that it was time to see more of the young players, and also Patty Mills. Fans were able to get a glimpse of Mouhamed Gueye, who has had raving reviews in training camp.
Patty hits his first 3 in Atlanta pic.twitter.com/68qdbcPATc— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 11, 2023
Another draft pick, Seth Lundy, entered the game and scored his first points as a Hawk.
Lundy hit one of the biggest shots of the night, knocking down a three to cut the Hawks deficit down to one point with less than a minute remaining in the game. Trent Forrest followed that up with two big shots, giving the Hawks the lead twice in the remaining seconds of the game, which included an and-1 with 1.6 seconds left.
TRENT FORREST COMES UP IN THE CLUTCH pic.twitter.com/x5jKMN02gf— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) October 11, 2023
The Hawks were able to get the defensive stop and win the game in the end. Forrest finished with 13 points, and Okongwu and Young both finished with 12 points. The next game will be on Thursday at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.