Atlanta Hawks Finalize Roster, Prepare for Start of Regular Season


The Atlanta Hawks made the final two cuts to their preseason roster on Saturday, releasing DeQuan Jones and Earl Barron to trim their roster to 15 players.

With the release of both DeQuan Jones and Earl Barron, 2014 second round pick Lamar Patterson secured the Atlanta Hawks 15th and final roster spot, entering the 2015-2016 as a member of the team. Patterson had the inside track to make the team from the onset of the preseason, receiving the most playing time among all of the non-roster invitees. He will unlikely dress for most games, meaning that some more seasoning in the D-League is likely in the future to give him court time.

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The Atlanta Hawks released former Nebraska swingman Terran Petteway earlier in the week, all but securing the final roster spot for Lamar Patterson. Petteway was perhaps the only non-roster invitee that had a legitimate chance at making the final roster spot other than Patterson. Patterson has struggled at times at the offensive end, but showed Head Coach Mike Budenholzer and the coaching staff enough during the preseason to make them feel comfortable with having him on the team. 

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On Friday night in the Atlanta Hawk’s final exhibition matchup against the Detroit Pistons, Lamar Patterson played 31 minutes, scoring 18 points on 6-12 shooting. Patterson also recorded a team high +3 on Friday against Detroit in a game in which the Atlanta Hawks fell to the Pistons 115-87. In a meaningless game when all 5 starters and 2 primary reserves received DNP’s, Patterson’s performance proved encouraging on a night when he was given more responsibility.

With their roster now finalized going into the regular season, the Atlanta Hawks will continue to prepare for their opener on Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena. It’s still uncertain whether Thabo Sefolosha or Kent Bazemore will start at the small forward position for the Atlanta Hawks, given Sefolosha’s health and Bazemore’s string of good performances starting in the preseason.

I would bet on Bazemore beginning the season as the team’s starting small forward and with Sefolosha coming off the bench with a minutes limit. Even when Sefolosha is completely healthy, I still believe that Mike Budenholzer will continue to employ Bazemore in the starting role, as his offensive game has developed nicely and he has gelled with the rest of the starters.

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While assessing where the Atlanta Hawks stand going into the regular season, two of their offseason additions continued to struggle as the preseason came to an end: Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Justin Holiday. Hardaway’s performance during the preseason was lackluster at best, as the third year player from the University of Michigan consistently struggled with his shot. During his tenure with the New York Knicks, Hardaway was a polarizing player, hot at times and struggling mightily at others. We have yet to see Hardaway “go off”, as this is probably a product of adjusting to a new team and system foreign to him. It will take patience, but Hardaway is an integral part of the Atlanta Hawks bench, and is only a matter of time before his hard work and patience coalesce into a better all-around game.

Justin Holiday started for the Atlanta Hawks on Friday against the Pistons and score 12 points on 4-8 shooting, including going 2-3 from beyond the arc. Holiday’s length and athleticism make him an intriguing option coming off the bench to spell Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha, but his offensive returns this preseason were underwhelming. Like Hardaway, Justin Holiday is adjusting to a new system and with increased playing time with the Atlanta Hawks this season, should develop nicely, given the right amount of playing time and patience.

The regular season is upon us, Hawks fans. The Atlanta Hawks begin their most anticipated season ever on Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena.

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