Grizzlies Home Opener vs Hawks: What To Watch

I reached out to Brad Rowland, contributor at Peachtree Hoops, and host of the Locked on Hawks Podcast, to get a Hawks fan perspective on their upcoming matchup this Friday with the Grizzlies. 

What are some key matchups/areas of the game that Memphis fans should watch out for on Friday?

I think the Trae YoungMike Conley match up is wildly intriguing. At the moment, it obviously favors Conley but Young’s talent is immense and it will be interesting to see how he fares against an established, star-level point guard.

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Photo: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of the hype existing around Trae, what other players are Atlanta fans excited about?

Fans in Atlanta are very excited about John Collins and Taurean Prince. Collins and Prince may not be stars in the future but both are young, talented and cost-effective. In addition, Collins is a (very) fun watch and Prince’s long-range shooting provided all kinds of entertainment at the end of last season.

Currently, what do you see as the biggest strengths for this Hawks roster/team?

The biggest strength of the Hawks right now comes in the area of shooting, as they have players who can space the floor at every level. That isn’t unique to Atlanta among NBA teams but it’s something the team is focused on. From a weakness perspective, defensive talent is lacking in some key areas and Lloyd Pierce will have his hands full.

How do you expect the Hawks to play stylistically on offense?

Pierce and his staff have been pushing the pace since they arrived and, unlike many teams that simply say they want to play fast, the Hawks are going to. That doesn’t always mean that things will go well offensively but they’ve made the conscious decision to push and put the ball in Young’s hands with shooters around him.

Around the program, what are the expectations and goals for this season? Is it to maximize the position in the upcoming draft or to try and make a splash in the East?

Image result for nba rookie class draft night 2018

Expectations and goals are modest for this season, simply because everyone kind of understands that the Hawks aren’t close to contending. This is a season about young players and how they develop, with the obvious incentive to finish near the bottom of the league in pursuit of a lofty draft pick. Everything is future-facing and that’s the right move right now.

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[Featured Image: Good Basketball]

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