Update #2: Shooting guard John Jenkins will be inactive to make room for Williams tonight, per head coach Mike Budenholzer.
UPDATE: Hawks guard Lou Williams Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams to be activated on Friday night against Philadelphia” href=”http://atlallday.com/2013/11/15/atlanta-hawks-guard-lou-williams-activated-friday-night-philadelphia/”>will be ACTIVE for tonight’s game, according to the team’s official Twitter account.
Coach Bud says Lou is available tonight but is not sure if he will play.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) November 15, 2013
This will be the first appearance for Williams since the middle of the 2012-2013 season, and this was speculated on in the preview below.
Date: November 15, 2013
Tip-Off Time: 7:30 PM ET
TV Channel: No local TV (Atlanta), NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates
Live Stream: League Pass Broadband
Coming into the year, I would’ve wagered an intensely large sum of money that when the Sixers arrived at Philips Arena on Friday night, they would not have a better win-loss record than the Hawks.
I would have been wrong.
Philadelphia comes in with a 5-4 record, and they are coming off of an impressive overtime win against the Rockets on Wednesday. I famously projected a 12-70 mark for the Sixers in my Atlantic Division preview, and while I stand by most of what I said, they’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations through 9 games.
With that said, the talent edge for the Hawks in this game is still stark, and it begins up front. Al Horford and Paul Millsap will face off against Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young (who is good), Lavoy Allen, Brandon Davies, and Daniel Orton (yikes) in an advantageous match-up for the Hawks. Millsap has the toughest assignment in Young, but he is coming off of a rough night against the Knicks and should be primed and ready here. In the case of Horford, there’s no one on the Philly roster that can contain him, and if Coach Budenholzer and company can get him the ball, he should be dominant at times.
The Sixers are middle-of-the-pack in both offensive (16th) and defensive (18th) efficiency, but I don’t expect that to continue, and if it does, the Hawks have been better on both ends. Michael Carter-Williams was lights out to begin the season at the point guard spot, but he’s cooled a bit, and a red-hot Jeff Teague (still averaging 9.9 assists per game) should be able to get where he wants on the floor.
There is also the storyline of Kyle Korver’s 3-point streak, which reached 81 games on Wednesday night. The Sixers are allowing a ghastly 40.1% 3-point shooting to their opponents this season (even worse than Atlanta’s 39.6%), and that should do wonders for helping Kyle extend his streak, while giving opportunities to guys like DeMarre Carroll and Cartier Martin.
A wrinkle for this game could be the return of Lou Williams to the lineup. It was announced yesterday that the team moved him from “out” to “day to day”, and there was an infamous tweet from Williams on Thursday night that could be construed to mean that he’s coming back. Obviously, we’ll update this information as it leaks, but even if Williams were to play, my guess is that he would be very limited in playing time in the early going.
Las Vegas isn’t giving Philadelphia a ton of respect, listing the Hawks as about a 5-point favorite, but that could change before game time, as a couple of books have the game “off the board” as of this post. I’m not sure which side of that particular coin I like, but the Hawks are in a good spot to grab a victory and once again vault over the .500 mark.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the night, and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @ATLBeatBlog.