Hawks starters to play together for first time this preseason

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Hawks starters to play together for first time this preseason

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Hawks forward Paul Millsap, front, is fouled by Magic center Arinze Onuaku while going up to shoot during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Hawks have the new band together – for the first time.

The Hawks will finally debut their projected starting lineup in tonight’s exhibition game against the Pelicans. Dennis Schroder, Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore, Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard will start the game for the first time this preseason. Millsap missed the first four exhibition games as he returned from a non-surgical procedure on his right knee before the start of training camp. He played his first game on Sunday but the Hawks rested the other four starters for that game.

“Obviously, Paul is such a big part of what we do and does so many thing for us,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It will be great to see him play with Baze and Dennis and Kyle and Dwight. We’ll get those guys some minutes and some opportunities and some reps together.”

Millsap had 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 19 minutes of his debut against the Magic.

Budenholzer said to expect the starters to play a few more minutes than they have this preseason but not quite regular-season minutes.

“It matters,” Korver said of playing together. “It does matter. We need time together. You can’t just throw pieces together and expect it to click right away. It’s going to take a little bit of time. It’s good we have two (more) games to do this.”

The Hawks will have only Jarrett Jack (right knee rehabilitation) and Tiago Splitter (right hamstring strain) unavailable.

Budenholzer wore a soft cast on his right hand. He suffered a broken finger that required surgery. He expects the cast to be removed Wednesday. He joked that assistants Darvin Ham, Taylor Jenkins or Neven Spahija might have to use his clipboard for tonight’s game.

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