An early look at what the Hawks’ playing rotation will look like

111515 ATLANTA: -- Hawks Thabo Sefolosha shoots over Jazz Alec Burks during the second half in a basketball game on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015 in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha shoots over Jazz Alec Burks during the second half in a basketball game last season. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

At least early in the regular season, the Hawks’ final exhibition game was an indicator of what the playing rotation will look up.

Past the starters of Dennis Schroder, Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore, Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard, coach Mike Budenholzer has always preferred to use 10 players (blowouts one way or the other notwithstanding). In the preseason, after the return of Millsap, he played Mike Muscala, Malcolm Delaney, Thabo Sefolosha, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kris Humphries.

“There is something to be taken from the last game,” Budenholzer said when asked if the playing rotation against the Bulls was a clue to the regular season.

That means playing time for Mike Scott, Edy Tavares and rookies Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry will be scarce, barring injury.

This will likely change when Tiago Splitter returns from a hamstring strain in the middle of November. He figures to assume the role of backup center to Howard. To start the season Splitter will be one of the two inactives. Tavares likely would be the other.

That doesn’t mean that there won’t be playing time for the four, including the rookies, but don’t look for them to be a major part of the rotation at the start. That’s not a slight. The Hawks are deep and Prince and Bembry and definitely part of the future.

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