Date: November 1, 2013
Tip-Off Time: 7:30 PM ET
TV Channel: SportSouth (local), NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates
Live Stream: League Pass Broadband
The Hawks took a tumble in their season opener in Dallas, but the team returns to the friendly confines of Philips Arena for tonight’s home opener against Toronto. With the added excitement of it being the home opener for the club, the building should be on fire, and it also helps to be playing what most people perceive as an inferior opponent.
Toronto does have nice building blocks at the center and point guard positions (sound familiar?) with Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry. Valanciunas is a big body at 7-feet tall, but he’s skilled enough to also give Al Horford and company a difficult match-up on the interior. As for Lowry, he’ll be swarming Jeff Teague with physical play from the point guard spot, and if he has it going, Teague will have a difficult time getting the team into sets.
On the wing, Toronto has Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan, and while neither player can shoot from the outside, they do present the nightmare scenario for Atlanta as far as length and scoring ability. This version of the Hawks isn’t built to face off with two scoring options from the wing, but on the bright side, neither is the small, “spark plug” type (Monta Ellis) that beat them up in Dallas.
The Raptors do have the weakness of depth, and that should be an area to exploit for the Hawks here. It remains to be seen just how deep Mike Budenholzer will go on a regular basis, but on a man-for-man basis, Atlanta has the edge virtually across the board.
It won’t be difficult to get hyped up for this one, and I would expect the Hawks to get on the board in the win column here. Stay tuned throughout the night for updates, and enjoy the start of the season!