Atlanta Hawks vs. Houston Rockets preview: Life without Jeff Teague


The Atlanta Hawks are coming off their biggest win of the season after a sizable thumping of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the team has another mountain to climb on Saturday night. The Hawks are, again, on the road, and this time, their opponent is the Houston Rockets, who happen to be an upper echelon unit from the Western Conference.

For the second straight game, Jeff Teague is listed as “doubtful” for Atlanta in this spot, and he was absent despite the fortunate score earlier in the week. Life without Teague is interesting for Mike Budenholzer and his team, with Dennis Schröder and Shelvin Mack in line for big-time minutes, and Mack responded with easily his best game of the season in Cleveland.

Up front, the Atlanta Hawks will be faced with the challenge of slowing down local product Dwight Howard. The big man is playing at an All-Star level once again this season, and after a lengthy injury absence, he has rejoined James Harden for the past three games with double-doubles in each contest. Harden is the focal point of the Houston offense, and as usual, DeMarre Carroll is likely to draw the opening assignment, with Thabo Sefolosha and Kent Bazemore as potential “change up” options defensively.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@ATLBeatBlog) for more Atlanta Hawks information leading up to the game and check back after the final buzzer for a full recap.

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Date: December 17, 2014

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm ET

TV Channel: SportSouth (Local in Atlanta), NBA League Pass ($)

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Local in Atlanta), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates

Live Stream: League Pass Broadband