The Atlanta Hawks opened their 2011-2012 preseason schedule with a 79-77 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night. Bobcats' rookie Kemba Walker scored a game-high 18 points including the go-ahead basket in the game's final moments. Atlanta's Donald Sloan missed a game-tying three point attempt at the horn giving the Bobcats the victory.
Atlanta coach Larry Drew used the opening preseason game as an open audition for guys like Donald Sloan and Brad Wanamaker who are in competing for the a spot on the team's final roster. Atlanta played 15 players in the game with everyone playing at least 11 minutes.
Atlanta's starting unit looked well and in shape. Josh Smith finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Al Horford also finished with a team-high 11 points while going 5-7 from the field. Marvin Williams looked healthy after having offseason back surgery finishing with nine points and six rebounds.
The game was also the debut of new additions Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic and Jerry Stackhouse in a Hawks uniform. McGrady played just under 12 minutes and didn't score missing both of his shot attempts from the field. Radmanovic hit the team's only three point basket while Stackhouse finished with two points and was 0-3 from the field.
Walker led Charlotte with 18 points in his Bobcats' debut. The former UConn star was just 4-13 from the field but was 9-11 from the free throw line. Boris Diaw tossed in 12 points and Derrick Brown logged a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.