Date: February 19, 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
The Atlanta Hawks (25-27) need a win in the worst way. They just came off of a loss to the Pacers and are riding a six-game losing streak, in addition to battling a significant amount of injuries.
They’re going to get a chance to right the ship tonight at home against the Washington Wizards (25-28) who are knocking on the door in the Southeastern Division. With a loss tonight, Atlanta would slip to third in the division for the first time in what seems like the entire season.
The good news for the Hawks is that the Wizards aren’t exactly playing their best basketball, losing five of their last six games. Last night they played Toronto at home and suffered a 103-93 loss. While John Wall, Marcin Gortat and Nene Hilario combined for 57 points, the Wizards couldn’t hold the Raptors back defensively, and six different players got into double digits.
The key match-ups in this one are going to be between point guards Jeff Teague and John Wall and whoever is guarding Gortat. Wall leads the Wizards in scoring and assists (he’s closing to averaging a double-double) and Gortat is Washington’s top rebounder. If the Hawks can limit Wall in one at least one of the areas, and stick with the Wizards on the boards, they should have a good shot at picking up the win and retaining their No. 2 spot in the division.
The Hawks and Wizards have each one and lost one game against each other so far this year. Vegas has the Hawks as 1.5-point favorites in this one, which seems pretty spot on to me. The teams are almost exactly even based on talent/injuries/recent play and the home court advantage could be the difference-maker.
Stay tuned for more information (follow us on twitter @ATLBeatBlog) and be sure to check back tonight for a full game recap.