It’s game time!

There were no smiles to be found at Philips Arena when the Hawks season came crashing to an end in a four-game sweep against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals. But they get a fresh start on a new season tonight. The Hawks open the preseason at home against New Orleans.

There were no smiles to be found at Philips Arena when the Hawks' season came crashing to an end in a four-game sweep against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals. But they get a fresh start on a new season tonight. The Hawks open the preseason at home against New Orleans.

HAWKSVILLE – The last time you saw the Hawks on this floor, their heads were dipped and the spirits were sagging. On the receiving end of a series of furious left hooks and right crosses from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the mood was nasty.

Thank goodness for preseason basketball. The Hawks kick off their slate tonight at the building formerly known as the “Highlight Factory” against New Orleans.

While I don’t expect to see Joe Johnson and Josh Smith or Chris Paul and the Hornets’ starters for long, I’m going to cherish the few quality minutes we see from the big boys tonight.

If we get a barnburner by accident, so be it. After all, this is Mike Woodson we’re talking about (he of the “I’m trying to win every preseason game I can” fame of the past few seasons). But the smart money is on seeing much less of the starters and more and more of guys like Hawks rookie point guard Jeff  Teague and his draft classmate Darren Collison of the Hornets.

“I’m going to be excited to be out there and to see how we all jell together,” Teague said. “I’m just excited in general to play my first real NBA game.”

The youngster will have to forgive some of his older and more seasoned teammates for not showing up with the same vigor. The veteran Hawks know that what really counts is the games that come at the end of this season and not these pre-Halloween dress rehearsals. I’m not insinuating that the preseason is meaningless, but as a wise general manager told me recently, “Does anybody remember how many preseason games the Lakers won last year?”

Yet I remain addicted to the NBA preseason. I like it because it gives me a chance to see the rookies and the camp invitees at work, knowing this might be the last time we see some of them this season (or at least for a while). Who knows? We might not see a whole lot of Courtney Sims or Aaron Miles after tonight, not to pick on those two guys alone. But you get my point.

Now is the time to take full stock of all the guys you see wearing the uniform, because in a few weeks there will only be nine or 10 of them playing most nights. And that means you’ll have a small sample size to work with on the others (that make the team but don’t make the playing rotation).

IN THE MEANTIME …

All that said, you shouldn’t take your eyes off the big boys. I think we all want to see what the chemistry looks like with the top seven or eight guys. I know I want to see how Jamal Crawford looks out there with JJ, Josh and Al Horford. We’ve seen so little of it during training camp, what with Crawford and Teague working exclusively with the reserve team in scrimmages (simulated and the real thing). I need to see if he fits as nicely as I think he will with those guys.

Other than how he and Teague (and to an extent Joe Smith, though he’s a utility player that should have no problem blending his skills in with whatever a team is doing) mesh with the core group, I can’t imagine there a ton of surprises to be had in this game. One of the benefits of the Hawks returning so much of their core from a year ago is that we should know exactly what we’re dealing with from the opening tip of this season.

Roles have been established. Responsibilities have been defined. Positions are squared away. The only left is to trot out onto that floor and see if it all looks as good under the bright lights as it did with the practice lights on.

The conversation here throughout tonight’s game, so don’t go anywhere.

Oh, and in case you missed the update, there’s a new home for your Hawks information on Twitter. We’re going with a new look and a revamped, corporate style. It’s a permanent move for the Twitter updates, so adjust your glasses to make sure it fits. Everybody starts from scratch on the new spot. Ha.

126 comments Add your comment

Brandon from Warner Robins

October 7th, 2009
4:52 pm

Hawks basketball is finally back….

wink

October 7th, 2009
4:53 pm

first, heading that way, game time!

wink

October 7th, 2009
4:53 pm

WarEagle

October 7th, 2009
5:06 pm

Anyone knows if tonight’s game will be televised? Any way to watch the game online?

Melvin

October 7th, 2009
5:12 pm

the building formerly known as the “Highlight Factory” – Sekou..

Did they change the name????

Westurd

October 7th, 2009
5:12 pm

Ken

October 7th, 2009
5:47 pm

Is the game on radio or tv or not? anyone knows?

Hoops

October 7th, 2009
5:49 pm

Alright Hawks Fans, it’s time to get it started!!!!

KM

October 7th, 2009
5:53 pm

I thought I saw a radio promo for it on 790…I’m ready to see the new acquisitions, especially Craw and Collins.

Art Vandelay

October 7th, 2009
6:03 pm

WarEagle, I’m pretty sure the game isn’t on TV anywhere, which is a dern shame.

Hawksgirl

October 7th, 2009
6:14 pm

A dern shame!

Ariose

October 7th, 2009
6:18 pm

I need an internet feed….theres gotta be sumthin’….

Sekou Smith

October 7th, 2009
6:44 pm

Hawks are sporting new bright red warmups. A different look for the first night of the season to be sure. Woody says the starters won’t see much more than 20 minutes tonight. We shall see. Heard that before and then the game goes a little crazy and both side are playing like it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

He also said we’ll see lots of Teague and Crawford tonight. I think he wants to see them in live game action as much as we all do.

Get this, Hawks’ halftime entertainment: Human Hamster Ball Race? Seriously, it’s on the game notes. I hope this is a joke.

J.J.M.

October 7th, 2009
6:53 pm

lmaoooooooooooo human hamster ball race wow

JSS

October 7th, 2009
7:03 pm

Sekou, What in the world happend to Sims?

Clyde

October 7th, 2009
7:03 pm

Why the Falcons’ preseason games come on television but the Hawks’ don’t?

JSS

October 7th, 2009
7:05 pm

Excuse the typo in “Happened”

Jerry

October 7th, 2009
7:05 pm

Still looking for game on internet. If someone else finds it first please post it

cp

October 7th, 2009
7:14 pm

I looked at all my sites that broadcast live streams of games but the Hawks are not listed. I saw streams for Toronto vs Philly and the Lakers vs Golden State but no Hawks. Hopefully someones goes to the game and comes back with a detailed account of what they saw. I really wanted to see this game.

Sekou Smith

October 7th, 2009
7:14 pm

Josh Smith goes up for his first jumper and someone in the crowd hollers, “No, No” He sank the shot. Guys yells, “I guess he was working on that this summer.”

Tony from Stone Mountain

October 7th, 2009
7:14 pm

What time does the game really start?

Fanboy69

October 7th, 2009
7:17 pm

The NBA is BACK BABY! Go Hawks. Another year, another chance to prove we belong with the best of them

Jerry

October 7th, 2009
7:18 pm

I cant find it either

Sekou Smith

October 7th, 2009
7:22 pm

Already started Tony. Y’all must be on the seven minute delay on the East Side.

ÛfØ

October 7th, 2009
7:29 pm

Am using my advanced technology to see this game! Hahaha

Brandon from Warner Robins

October 7th, 2009
7:30 pm

Its on 790 if ya wanna listen to the game,

rms

October 7th, 2009
7:35 pm

Is this on T.V. or the internet?

ÛfØ

October 7th, 2009
7:38 pm

is 790 FM or am?

Brandon from Warner Robins

October 7th, 2009
7:38 pm

i would assume AM. Im listening to the live broadcast on the internet.

JSS

October 7th, 2009
7:40 pm

It is WQXI 790 AM in the City

Brandon from Warner Robins

October 7th, 2009
7:43 pm

32-24 @ the end of 1

Sekou Smith

October 7th, 2009
7:46 pm

Twitter thoughts on the new feed (http://twitter.com/ajchawks)

Zaza is going to live off of a steady diet of slick passes from Crawford and Teague this year. All he has to do if finish.
4 minutes ago from TweetDeck
Mario West with a great steal and pass ahead to Othello on the break. I love when these hungry free agents get on the floor.
8 minutes ago from TweetDeck
Othello Hunter is gobbling up rebounds out here with Hornets regulars on the floor. He’s trying to make this team folks.
11 minutes ago from TweetDeck
@DanWeiner YUP!
15 minutes ago from TweetDeck in reply to DanWeiner
17-13 Hawks up. Teague and Crawford (and Zazaz) are already in the game. Woodson wasn’t lying about minute distribution. Othello’s in too.
20 minutes ago from TweetDeck

JSS

October 7th, 2009
7:48 pm

http://www.790thezone.com/ Press the listen live button in the upper right corner…

Stotts Era

October 7th, 2009
7:53 pm

wish i could watch this on tv/online….holman on 790 will have to do

Sekou Smith

October 7th, 2009
7:55 pm

First replacement official infraction. Tech on James Posey for knocking Josh Smith down and then helping him up. Brutal!!!!!!!

ÛfØ

October 7th, 2009
7:55 pm

thank you god i can listen to the game!

hawks 44

hornets 31

Sekou Smith

October 7th, 2009
7:57 pm

Josh just caught a crazy oop from Al. Too bad the Hawks can’t stop Bobby Brown.

BarneyStrickland

October 7th, 2009
7:57 pm

Jamal Crawford. Anyone remember Chris Crawford? Wow, he played on some bad Atlanta Hawks teams. He wasn’t so bad though…… What a waste of a career…………..

Sekou Smith

October 7th, 2009
8:05 pm

This is getting silly now. Hawks up 58-34. Teague’s warming up. Randmo is headed to the scorer’s table and we’re 90 seconds from halftime.

TheHawksFan

October 7th, 2009
8:06 pm

Yeah Mannn Its ON Once AGAIN!!! Opening a Can of Whoop AZZZ!!

Sekou Smith

October 7th, 2009
8:07 pm

Randmo just scored on a putback layup. I’m outta here.

Teague shortarmed a runner and Woody told him, “good shot.” Can’t remember the last time he said that to a rookie. Ha.

ÛfØ

October 7th, 2009
8:07 pm

The hawks are on fire! Is CP3 playing?

Brandon from Warner Robins

October 7th, 2009
8:18 pm

This one is a laugher….

ladydk27

October 7th, 2009
8:19 pm

Looking forward to this year’s season! They left me at the season wanting more. LET’S GO HAWKS!

ÛfØ

October 7th, 2009
8:29 pm

Can’t wait for Oct. 23 the hawks will play Orlando on ESPN.

J.J.M.

October 7th, 2009
8:30 pm

lol air ball josh smith

Melvin

October 7th, 2009
8:33 pm

I’m listen to the game and it sound like a layup/dunking drill for the Hawks..

J.J.M.

October 7th, 2009
8:37 pm

lol “block by josh smith”….”again block by josh smith”

Melvin

October 7th, 2009
8:37 pm

2 block shots in a row by Josh… He’s back….

Melvin

October 7th, 2009
8:39 pm

Oh my, ZaZa with a block shot….