Five observations from the Hawks’ 100-88 exhibition victory against the Grizzlies on Monday at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion.
1. Coach Mike Budenholzer wanted his team to play faster and that’s what he got. The Hawks clearly were looking for every opportunity to push the pace full court on Grizzlies makes or misses and it paid off a few times.
One sequence ended with Taurean Prince drawing a shooting foul by running past the Grizz’s inattentive D. Ersan Ilyasoa got a wide open look in transition when Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore got the ball up quickly (Ilyasova missed). And another break began with Ilyasova collecting a miss and quickly passing ahead to Schroder, who fired a diagonal pass to Bazemore for a corner 3.
Said Budenholzer pregame: “A lot of (playing faster) is on the point guard but a lot of what I’m talking about is all five guys, too. They’ve all got to commit to playing with pace, moving into their spots quicker and faster and getting the offense a little closer to that.”
2 The Grizzlies didn’t seem that interested in and/or capable of guarding the perimeter or helping on dribble penetration. The Hawks took advantage, especially Schroder.
Malcolm Delaney also got in on the fun.
3. After Schroder and Bazemore sat out the Pistons game, Budenholzer went back to what’s been his standard exhibition lineup: Schroder, Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Ilyasova and Dewayne Dedmon. Budenholzer also said his rotation would be closer to what he plans to use in the regular season, and the top reserves by minutes (according to the iffy, possibly wrong stats monitor) were Delaney, DeAndre Bembry, John Collins, Tyler Dorsey and Luke Babbitt.
However, Marco Belinelli didn’t play for the third straight exhibition game. There was no word from the Hawks on any kind of injury. Belinelli is 31-years old, played internationally over the summer and doesn’t really need many exhibition minutes but it’s weird that he’s not getting any. (Update: Budenholzer said Belinelli is dealing with soreness and could play in exhibition finale on Thursday: “Getting him right for the regular season is important.”)
4. I thought Dedmon held up well in his matchup with Marc Gasol, who was playing in his first exhibition game after nursing an ankle injury. Dedmon prevented Gasol from getting good looks around the basket and didn’t give him much space on the perimeter. Dedmon also did well protecting the rim by helping on drivers.
Dedmond’s 3-point shooting remains a work in progress, though. He missed his only attempt against the Grizzlies and is 1-for-6 in exhibition games.
5. Collins was cut under his left eye (he thinks it happened when Mario Chalmers ran through a screen) but reentered the game. Collins had three baskets, all of them dunks, and all of them nice.
Here is one in the first quarter:
And here is one in the second quarter:
And here’s one in the fourth:
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