The Atlanta Hawks have a 47-45 lead over the Miami Heat at halftime of the preseason opener for both clubs. Atlanta fell behind 26-19 in the first quarter but a strong showing in the second quarter has Atlanta up at the break.
LeBron James leads Miami with 10 points in 16 minutes of playing time. Chris Bosh has seven while Shane Battier and Ray Allen finished the half with six each. Miami shot 51 percent in the first half and made 4-7 from downtown.
Lou Williams leads all scorers with 11 points off the bench for the Hawks. Josh Smith and DeShawn Stevenson have eight points while Al Horford added six. The Hawks hit 45 percent of their shots and were 4-9 from beyond-the-arc.
Larry Drew gave 11 players playing time in the first half and experimented for a short stretch with a three-guard lineup of Jeff Teague, Williams and Stevenson. Damion James had a nice run in the second quarter drawing the difficult assignment of guarding LeBron. James played 13 minutes off the bench in the first half and finished with two points, two rebounds and two assists.
Neither Zaza Pachulia nor Devin Harris will be in uniform on Sunday as both continue to recover from minor injuries. Pachulia has a sore groin while Harris is recovering from knee issues. Drew indicated that he hopes to see both players on the court at some point during the preseason.
As far as lineups go, Drew also indicated that he would take a look at a big lineup during the preseason with Josh Smith at the small forward position. Drew wants to maintain the flexibility that he has enjoyed last season.
Dwyane Wade will sit out today's game for the Heat as he continues to recover from off season knee surgery. LeBron James is expected to start at small forward.
The Atlanta Hawks will open up their preseason schedule on Sunday against the defending NBA Champions the Miami Heat. There will be no local television or radio coverage of the game so fans wanting to see the debut of the new look Hawks will have to do so in person.
At this point there have been no broadcast information released for any of the preseason schedule. Following Sunday's game, Atlanta will hit the road for three straight starting with Wednesday's trip to San Antonio. From there the Hawks will hit Memphis and Indiana before returning home to take on New Orleans.