The Hawks are among the six teams in action as the 2015/16 regular season gets underway tonight, though they’ll be hard-pressed to match the 60 wins they had last season. They also face a stiff challenge simply to win the Southeast Division, where the Heat and Wizards loom. See news on the Hawks and elsewhere from the Southeast as we count down the last few hours before tip-off:
- The relationship between Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder is solid, and people close to the situation tell Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders that they don’t anticipate locker room problems developing even in light of Schröder’s public desire for a starting job. Schröder recently told Sport Bild magazine in his native Germany that he would “explore other possibilities” if the Hawks don’t give him a chance to start, though he made it clear that he likes playing in Atlanta.
- The Heat don’t plan to push Amar’e Stoudemire‘s body any more than the Knicks and Mavs did the past two seasons, when he missed a combined 32 games because of injury or rest, and the veteran big man will essentially be on a maintenance program, as Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald details. Miami invested only a one-year deal for the minimum in the former All-Star who turns 33 next month, far from the $20MM-plus he earned each of the last two years.
- Devyn Marble made the opening night roster for the Magic, so the full guarantee on his minimum salary kicks in, as our schedule of salary guarantee dates shows. The 56th overall pick from 2014 still has a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2016/17 left on his deal.
- The arrival of new coach Scott Skiles places the pressure squarely on the players and the front office in Orlando, opines Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. The Magic “desperately” need to attract an All-Star in free agency but stand little shot of doing so if they don’t improve their win-loss record this year, Schmitz believes.