Hawks fans got their first glimpse at the new-look Hawks as the team opened up the month of October with an open scrimmage, where hundreds gathered inside Phillips Arena to watch Kent Bazemore’s white team compete against Dwight Howard’s black team.
Both teams competed for three 10-minute quarters. Ball movement and offensive execution helped the white team jump to an early big lead–one the black team would never overcome. The white team’s Tim Hardaway Jr. and newly signed guard Will Bynum proved they’d be reliable backups to Dennis Schroder, who didn’t participate in yesterday’s scrimmage due to an ankle injury.
Also absent from the floor were Paul Milsap and, another one of the team’s newest additions, Jarrett Jack, both dealing with knee injuries. It’s unclear whether or not either player will play during the preseason, but they are all expected to be ready for the 2016-2017 NBA tipoff against the Washington Wizards on October 27 at Philips Arena.
It’s clear the Hawks placed an emphasis on adding length during the offseason, adding the 6’11 center Dwight Howard to its roster. Accompanying him will be 7-footers Ryan Kelly, Mike Muscala, Tiago Splitter, and the team’s former second round pick, Walter Tavares, who stands 7 feet, 3 inches tall.
Only time will tell whether or not the pieces will fit together. But yesterday’s practice gave Atlanta fans hope, as each player appeared to be comfortable in their role.
During the offseason many players from the team strengthened their off-court relationships, as several players were spotted together on occasion at events in the Atlanta area, including some appearances at their WNBA counterpart’s, the Atlanta Dream, games, which were also played at Philips Arena.
Without the big name stars the Atlanta Hawks proved they were one of the elite teams in the Eastern conference, clinching the playoffs for its ninth consecutive season in 2016. Adding veteran Dwight Howard to its roster, which is already filled with rising stars, gives the Hawks the depth it needs to notch a top spot in the Eastern Conference and make a deep postseason run.
This article was written by Shamica Gibson. The video was shot and edited by Danny Digitall. Follow @shamicabfresh on twitter and instagram. Stay tuned to HHS1987 for more NBA news. Follow @eldorado2452 on Twitter and Instagram for all your Atlanta Hawks and sports news.
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