The Wait is Over…

Monday, December 19, 2011
By Jon Newberry

Monday night in Charlotte will be the first true test of how the 2011-12 version of the Atlanta Hawks will measure up.

Yes, there are plenty of positive signs that have surfaced up to this point in training camp… to a man the team’s physical fitness when they began practice was at a high level… but all of the subsequent progress is relative.

For instance, when Josh Smith hit Marvin Williams on a back cut (watch highlight) during Friday night’s Open Scrimmage, was it a result of good offense, or bad defense?

For a coach, the intersquad scrimmages have their pros and cons. The advantage is that each play has a teaching point, whether it is an offensive or defensive shortcoming. The disadvantage is that it is easy to dwell to get too caught up in the negative without taking note of the positive.

On Monday night, all that changes. The Hawks will be matched up against the Charlotte Bobcats. Unlike the Hawks, the Bobcats will feature some new faces in their starting line-up this season… which should provide an advantage for Atlanta. While the final score is not the top priority, there will be a strong emphasis on execution at both ends of the floor.

Most importantly, these two preseason games will provide an opportunity for Coach Drew to test different rotations and lineups. It will also serve as the final opportunity for some players to audition for the final roster spots.

One thing is for certain, with the extended hiatus this offseason, both the players and fans are excited to see the Hawks back in some live game action.