UPDATE #2: Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has reported that he would be “very surprised” if Rockets guard James Harden plays tonight. Will update as more information arrives.
UPDATE: Kyle Korver did NOT travel to Houston due to a rib contusion (reported by the AJC), and thus, will not be able to attempt to tie the 3-point record tonight.
Date: November 27, 2013
Tip-Off Time: 8:00 PM ET
TV Channel: SportSouth (Local in Atlanta), NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates
Live Stream: League Pass Broadband
Hello, Houston! The Hawks flew to the Lonestar state just after suffering Orlando Magic” href=”http://atlallday.com/2013/11/26/atlanta-hawks-fall-apart-109-92-loss-orlando-magic/”>a brutal loss to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, but the sun has risen on another day and that means a new opportunity to get a win.
The Rockets are one of this season’s darlings, as they acquired Dwight Howard during the summer to pair him with James Harden, but the results haven’t been off-the-board outstanding. Houston is 10-5 on the year (which is obviously very good), but Howard hasn’t made quite the defensive impact that many envisioned, as they currently sit just 14th in the league in defensive efficiency.
However, the Rockets are a sparkling 3rd in offense this season (106.9 points per 100 possessions) and their “bombs away” style around Harden and Howard is very effective. There is a bit of a wrench, though, in that Harden is reportedly a game-time decision as a result of a foot injury. The ailment has forced him to sit out the last two games for Houston, and while it’s never fun to root against a player getting back on the court, it certainly wouldn’t hurt Atlanta’s chances to win if he were to sit out a third straight game.
The Hawks will have a big task in holding their own on the glass, as the Howard-led Rockets currently lead the league in rebound rate at 53.1%. Al Horford will likely have the chief responsibility on Dwight Howard (with some help from Gustavo Ayon) but this will be a “gang” effort on the glass, and keeping it close (at the very least) will be critical to create more offensive opportunities for the Hawks.
Backup point guard Shelvin Mack did not travel with the team to Houston, leaving Mike Budenholzer in an interesting spot. The Hawks have been resistant to play Lou Williams in back-to-back situations since his return, but the team has also used Dennis Schröder less and less in recent days, and the point guard deployment behind Jeff Teague will be interesting to the point where we could see a season-high minute total for the potential All-Star.
Lastly, Kyle Korver will be attempting to tie the all-time NBA record for most consecutive games with a 3-pointer during tonight’s game, as he enters with a three in 88 straight games. Dana Barros currently holds the mark with 89 straight, and all eyes will be on Kyle every time he gathers to attempt a shot from long distance.
Las Vegas has installed the Rockets as an 8-point favorite at home, and that shouldn’t come as a shock. Houston is widely considered to be the better team overall, and with the fact that the Hawks are on the 2nd game of a back-to-back on the road against a well-rested team, it certainly sets up for a Houston victory. That said, Atlanta should be extremely focused and possibly even angry in this spot after two second half collapses in a row, and we should see the best effort from the Hawks.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the night, and a full recap to follow.