The Hawks gave fans an early preview of their new-look roster with a free scrimmage at Philips Arena on Saturday morning. After some brief drills, the team split up and Dwight Howard was among the new Hawks to play in front of a home crowd for the first time.
For the record, the White Team defeated the Black Team 61-54. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 13 points and Mike Muscala at 12 points to pace the winners. Howard finished with game-highs of 15 points and nine rebounds for the losers.
“It was a lot of fun,” Howard said. “We are expected to have big crowds come out every night. We are going to play as hard as we can. … Our open gyms have been great from the beginning of September and we just want to keep it going.”
The White Team consisted of Kent Bazemore, Edy Tavares, Will Bynum, Taurean Prince, Tiago Splitter, Ryan Kelly, Hardaway Jr. and Muscala. Bazemore (eight points), Tavares (seven points, six rebounds), Bynum (seven points) and rookie Prince (seven points) contributed to the win. They scored the first 10 points of the game, never trailed and led by as many as 18 points.
The Black Team consisted of Thabo Sefolosha, Kris Humphries, Kyle Korver, Malcolm Delaney, DeAndre Bembry, Matt Costello, Mike Scott, Richard Solomon and Howard. Delaney (11 points), Korver (seven points) and Humphries (six points, eight rebounds) added to the effort.
Injured players Paul Millsap (knee), Jarrett Jack (knee) and Dennis Schroder (ankle) did not play as expected.
“I think it’s great to play in front of the fans and have a day like this,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Sometimes you don’t get much done on those days. Credit to the fans, credit to the players. We got a lot done. We got a good sweat and worked on some execution things.”
Other items of note:
- Following the scrimmage, the Hawks waived Solomon. The move trims the training camp roster to 19 players. However, the Hawks are likely to add a guard to the roster soon. They are thin at the guard position with Schroder nursing an ankle injury and Jack being brought along slowly from a torn ACL. The Hawks had an excess of big men in camp with Tiago Splitter returning from hip surgery. Solomon played 2:40 of the Hawks’ open scrimmage and had one rebound. The 6-foot-7 forward signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Hawks last month for a training camp invitation.
- Bembry and Hardaway Jr. played some point guard for their teams.
- Every player on the White Team scored at least two points.
- Howard was 7 of 10 from the field which include several alley-oop dunks.
- Howard was 1 of 7 from the free-throw line.
- Prince also had four rebounds, three assists and a game-high five steals.
- Darvin Ham coached the White Team and Taylor Jenkins coached the Black Team. Budenholzer watched from the stands with members of Hawks management.
- The Hawks said about 3,500 fans were in attendance. In addition, more than 20,000 watch at least some of their stream on Facebook Live.
- In a light moment, Budenholzer came out of the stands for a review after Hardaway Jr. hit a 3-pointer. He, for unknown reasons, disallowed the basket. “Maybe I stepped out of bounds,” Hardaway Jr. said. Hardaway Jr. was 3 of 7 from long range still.