UPDATE: Coach Budenholzer has announced that Kyle Korver will NOT play in tonight’s game. The streak remains at 88 games.
Date: November 29, 2013
Tip-Off Time: 7:30 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
Coming off of a 3-game losing streak that included second half collapses against Boston, Orlando, and Houston, the Hawks are back in action at Philips Arena tonight as they take on the visiting Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks have been electric offensively this season, as they currently sit the #5 spot overall at 106.2 points per 100 possessions. That success can directly trace back to their 10-6 overall record, and it begins with an absolute explosion of efficiency from Monta Ellis.
Yes, that Monta Ellis has been efficient this season! The seemingly reformed gunner is shooting 47.4% from the field this season in route to over 23 points a game and his willingness to distribute the ball (5.8 assists per game) is nice to see if you’re a Dallas fan. On the Hawks side, it’ll be interesting to see how they match up with Monta, as I presume Lou Williams will be in the lineup tonight and could see some significant time on him, with a smattering of Jeff Teague, Cartier Martin, and even DeMarre Carroll.
In addition to Ellis, the Mavs still have Dirk Nowitzki in the lineup, and that presents a match-up issue for Paul Millsap. Dirk is averaging north of 20 points a game (on 48/39/94 shooting) and he has a distinct height advantage over Paul when trying to shoot over him. Depending on match-ups, we could see Al Horford on Dirk for parts of the night, but this will be one of Millsap’s biggest defensive tests of the young season.
The Atlanta offense has been in free-fall lately, and the Hawks are now allowing more points per 100 (101.7) than their scoring (101.0) on the season. On the bright side, Dallas could be the cure on that end, as the Mavs are in the bottom-10 of the league on defense, and they have a few distinct areas (chiefly, their backcourt) where the Hawks could go crazy on the offensive end. That makes Jeff Teague my “one to watch” for Friday’s game, as Jose Calderon (a guy that I actually enjoy) is a porous defender at best, and this could be an explosive game for Jeff.
It is too early (at the time of this post) to speculate on Kyle Korver’s availability tonight, but the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore is reporting that he took part in the morning shootaround and that he is “likely a game-time decision”. If he can go, Kyle will be aiming to tie the all-time record for consecutive games with a 3-pointer (held by Dana Barros) with his 89th straight game tonight. Stay tuned for updates as they arrive.
Las Vegas has installed the Mavericks as a 1-point road favorite in this game, giving them the benefit of the doubt as the “better” team while playing away from home, but it’s a virtual coin flip in their eyes. For me, I think we’ll see the very best of the Hawks tonight, as they’re coming off of what has become a rare day off, and this will be a focused bunch as they attempt to break their losing skid.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the night, and a full recap to follow.