Hawks took another brutal loss in what has been a tough preseason. The Pacers, led by 24 from Hawks playoff bugaboo David West, blasted the boys of the Highlight Factory 107-89.
Al Horford was the primarily guarded and was checked by West. Horford lost the battle shooting 6-14 for 12 points, while West was 9-for-16 with six of his 24 coming from the free throw line.
It wasn’t just West who balled out in the front court; Luis Scola came off the bench and poured in 20 points. Paul George also had 17 in limited action. One of the concerns coming into the season was how the Hawks would handle high scoring big men and tonight didn’t ease any of those concerns.
“It is a concern, but we are going to do the best that we can to finish the preseason and get to work in practice to get it together as best we can.” Horford said.
Of course, those concerns were compounded in the absence of Paul Millsap, who sat out due to a sore Achilles. However, the Hawks remain confident that once the season starts they will be in gear. Coach Budenholzer sees the 1-5 record as a short stumble for a long term benefit.
“We feel fortunate that we’ve played this kind of schedule. I thank my athletic director Danny Ferry for signing up for this preseason schedule. It’s been good. It’s never fun to lose. The guys don’t like it, but the preseason we are really putting an emphasis on what we are doing and the areas we need to improve and also the positives.”
All the Hawks starters finished with double-digit points except Kyle Korver, who had nine. Mike Scott tallied 17 points off the bench as he continued his hot preseason shooting.
If you’re looking for possible cuts from the roster, look no further than Royal Ivey. Ivey had a tough 10 minutes, committing four fouls and turning the ball over three times. Definitely not the showing he would have wanted this close to the start of the season.
This was the last home game and at their best, the Hawks are a spacing team who is creative and fun to watch. At their worst, however, they’re stagnant offensively and can’t rebound. Can they be the smart team they claim to be enough to make the playoffs or will they be in the lottery? We’ll start to find out the answers on October 30th when the Hawks open the season in Dallas against the Mavericks.