Atlanta Hawks Welcome Charlotte Hornets to Philips Arena


The Atlanta Hawks host the Charlotte Hornets in the second game of a back-to-back for the team on Friday night at Philips Arena.

The Atlanta Hawks are fresh off their first victory of the season on Thursday against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden where they defeated Derek Fisher‘s team 112-101. The Hawks bounced back from a disappointing opening night effort against the Detroit Pistons in which they were unable to recapture the same semblance of unselfish play and impressive shooting as last season.

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The Charlotte Hornets enter Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks with a an 0-1 record after suffering a season opening 104-94 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Point Guard Kemba Walker led the way for the Hornets, scoring 19 points on 5-16 shooting while also recording 4 assists. 

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Center Al Jefferson played well against the Heat, scoring 17 points. Recent addition Jeremy Lin also played well on Wednesday coming off the bench for Charlotte, scoring 17 points on 5-10 shooting — including 2-3 from three-point range — in his Hornets debut.

Former Atlanta Hawks SF Marvin Williams returns to Philips Arena as a member of the Charlotte Hornets starting lineup. Though the team is drastically different from when he was a part of the Hawks, there still is some sense that Marvin Williams never fulfilled expectations when he was in Atlanta. This could provide an interesting sidebar for Friday’s game.

When matching up against the Charlotte Hornets, the Atlanta Hawks look to have a clear advantage at almost every position. Steve Clifford’s team does not match up well with Atlanta, but could still pose some problems. Al Jefferson is a force down low, while Kemba Walker is an explosive point guard that is capable of scoring in bunches.

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The Atlanta Hawks’ perimeter defense has been porous for the first two games of the season, and could present another potential problem for the team to contend with on Friday. Rookie Frank Kaminsky is an adept sharpshooter, while SF Nicolas Batum, Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin all present threats from the beyond three-point line. The Atlanta Hawks’ defense must take note of where Charlotte’s shooters are at all times.

The Atlanta Hawks present the same problem for the Charlotte Hornets — and their biggest advantage is the dynamic front-court of Al Horford and Paul Millsap. If both players can control the paint, while maintaining Atlanta’s ball movement, the Hornets should not present too much of a challenge on Friday. Of course, I said that about Detroit earlier this week. Tip-off is scheduled for 8pm. 

Next: Atlanta Hawks Defeat Knicks 112-101 on the Road

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