Date: January 24, 2014
Tip-Off Time: 7:30 p.m.
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
Tonight, the Atlanta Hawks (22-19) will be going up against the San Antonio Spurs (32-10) for the second, and last, time this season. Back on December 2, 2013, the Hawks traveled to San Antonio where they were beaten on a last second shot by Tim Duncan and lost, 102-100. This time the Hawks have the benefit of taking on Duncan and company within Philips Arena, where Atlanta is 15-6.
While the Spurs are definitely the better all-around team, the Hawks did play them extremely well during their first meeting. The Spurs are on a bit of a poor streak (winning just one out of their previous three games), and they come into this one with quite a few injuries. Tiago Splitter, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard are all expected to miss this one with various injuries and while none of them represent members of San Antonio’s “big three,” each of them are averaging more than 20 minutes for them so far this season.
However on the Hawks end, injuries are becoming an issue as well. The bigger difference though, might be an injury that has become old news: Al Horford’s. The big man played well during the last meeting with the Spurs, scoring 18 points and seven rebounds. Without his presence down low, Paul Millsap is going to have to have another great night going up against Tim Duncan (at least at times). The good news for the Hawks here is that Millsap has been playing out of his mind of late.
On Kyle Korver watch, the shooter is looking to extend his NBA record to 111 games in a row with a 3-pointer. I’ve gotten to the point where I just assume Korver is going to hit from three at some point in each game, and this one shouldn’t be any different. According to 3-point percentage allowed, the Spurs are the third worst team in the league at defending the arc. That’s great news for Korver, and if he can turn in one of those explosive offensive performances tonight, he’ll be able to extend his streak and help Atlanta pick up a big win.
Las Vegas has pegged the Hawks as 5-point underdogs in this one despite playing at home, which really says something about how good San Antonio is. They have been the best team in the west for most of the season, and only recently slipped to the No. 2 seed in the wake of Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the night (follow us on Twitter at @ATLBeatBlog), and a full recap to follow.