The Hawks are in the win column for the first time in 2013-2014, as the team went to Asheville, North Carolina and toppled the Bobcats, 87-85, in a preseason tilt on Tuesday night.
Mike Scott led the way without a breakout game for Atlanta, scoring 19 points (on 8 of 11 shooting) and grabbing 6 rebounds in just 28 minutes of court time. It was the second straight game that saw Scott lead the team in scoring (he had 13 points in Miami on the previous night), and he is playing like a man possessed at the moment. I’m a gargantuan fan of Scott’s, as you can see in several places including here, and it’s great to see him making any worries about his roster status evaporate.
Rookie point Dennis Schröder put the game away late with a game-winner with just 2 seconds remaining, but it was an up and down night for the 1st-round pick. He shot just 4 of 15 (yes, 15 shots) from the field in 27 minutes, and yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the Schröder experience. He had 7 assists (love this), and he was genuinely effective with on-ball defense throughout the night. Jeff Teague is the unquestioned “guy” for this team at point guard, but I have a feeling that Coach Bud and company will be searching for ways to get Schröder into the lineup in short order.
As far as the starters were concerned, it was a solid, but unspectacular performance. Al Horford sat this game out for rest purposes (and I’m appreciative of that), but he was picked up by solid games from Paul Millsap (8 points, 8 rebounds), DeMarre Carroll (12 points), and Kyle Korver (14 points, 3 three-pointers). The award for “weirdest stat of the night” goes to Elton Brand, who put together an all-too-familiar 4-point, 8-rebound performance, but who also contributed a staggering seven blocks in 30 minutes. I love Elton Brand.
On the negative side, Damien Wilkins was an offensive liability for the majority of his 15-minute showing. After a DNP-CD on Monday, Wilkins shot 0-for-6 from the floor, and with that, James Johnson likely pulls ahead of him for that final roster spot on the wing.
The Hawks have the day off on Wednesday before returning to practice on Thursday morning back in Atlanta. The team will travel to Mississippi (!) for another preseason clash on Saturday, this time against the New Orleans Pelicans at 2:00 PM ET. Stay tuned.