UPDATE: Per Hawks PR, the team has recalled Jared Cunningham from Bakersfield and he will be available tonight. Al Horford and DeMarre Carroll (both out) will be joined by John Jenkins on the inactive list.
Date: December 29, 2013
Tip-Off Time: 6:00 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
Less than 24 hours after a whirlwind, overtime victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, the Atlanta Hawks are in central Florida to take on the Orlando Magic. Saturday’s win in the absence of Al Horford was a huge one, but on a back-to-back, his absence could truely be felt as the short-handed Hawks will be dipping into their reserves for strength.
The Magic are just 9-20 on the year, and they considered by most to be in the camp of “planning for the future” rather than competing at the moment. Still, Orlando hasn’t been a complete trainwreck this season, and the two teams have split their two meetings thus far during the 2013-2014 season. The Magic are struggling with a bottom-10 offense, but with big man Nikola Vucevic, that could change against the Horford-less Hawks.
As far as match-ups to watch, the Hawks will be in desperate need of a “stopper” against Orlando shooting guard Arron Afflalo, and DeMarre Carroll will not travel on this road trip (according to the AJC). That absence is a big one for the Hawks, and it will put an increased emphasis on guys like Lou Williams to pick up the slack on both ends, with a focus on defense without Carroll and Horford, who normally serve as the defensive backbone of the club.
Kyle Korver streak watch is still in full effect, and Kyle flirted with snapping his streak on Saturday night. Fortunately, he kept things going with two 4th-quarter bombs, and he’ll be looking for 100 (yes, one hundred) straight games with a 3 in this game. Orlando is in the bottom-10 of the league in defending the 3-point line at 37.8%, and it’s a safe bet that Korver will have more than enough attempts to get this done.
Las Vegas has another tough line to set here without Horford and Carroll for the Hawks, but they settled on making the game a “pick”. That’s the equivalent of throwing your hands up on a game, but it’s almost fitting.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the night, and a full recap to follow.