Number 95 was back on the court for the Atlanta Hawks 94-88 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday afternoon. Second-year forward DeAndre Bembry made his first appearance for the team in over two months when he checked in late in the first quarter against the Magic.

Bembry had been out of action with a strained abdominal for some time and his return with six games remaining in the season is another positive sign for a Hawks team running players in and out of the lineup from G-League affiliate in Erie.

Bembry’s first shot of the game, a three-pointer, barely grazed the rim but his second shot, a mid-range jumper, was all net. After only playing in 38 games as a rookie and showing promise during the NBA Summer League, the expectations for Bembry coming into this season were relatively high.

Thus far this season he’s only played in 21 games, averaging 4.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and just under two assists per game. On Sunday, Bembry had four points, two assists and a rebound at halftime after seven minutes of play.

He finished the game with 14 minutes of playing time, four points, three assists and three rebounds and a ton of confidence heading into the final week and a half of the season. His three personal fouls, two of which came on consecutive fourth quarter defensive possessions following a turnover, are reasons why he needs to utilize this late season run of games to get back in game shape.

“I like the way the ball was moving and DeAndre’ getting to play after being out for a while,” said Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer after the game of some of the things he liked tonight. 

Speaking more of Bembry, Budenholzer said, “His athleticism always stands out whenever he plays. It’s always his length, athleticism and IQ that stands out.”

A natural playmaker option for the Hawks and Budenholzer with starting point guard Dennis Schroder out with a ankle sprain and bone bruise, Bembry can pick up some much needed playing time before the end of the season.

Atlanta’s final five games of the season will be a home-and-home with Miami starting on the road on Tuesday and returning to Atlanta on on Wednesday.  On Friday night the Hawks will be in Washington, on Sunday in Boston and back in Atlanta for the season finale against Philadelphia on Tuesday, Apr. 8.

There are still a few bright spots to look forward to heading into the off-season and Bembry’s on-court progression is most certainly one of them.

DeAndre' Bembry, diuscussing a foul call with a referee, was back in the Hawks lineup on Sunday. Photo credit: Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

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