Atlanta Hawks Host Utah Jazz in Sunday Tilt


The Atlanta Hawks welcome the Utah Jazz to Philips Arena for a Sunday evening tilt, trying to get back into the win column.

After winning 7 games in a row to open up the regular season at 8-1, the Atlanta Hawks have dropped two out of their last three games, including a 106-93 defeat on Friday to the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden. The Atlanta Hawks rallied to cut a 15-point second half deficit to 2 points in the fourth quarter, but were ultimately unsuccessful in overcoming the Celtics on the road.

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Paul Millsap led the Atlanta Hawks in scoring on Friday against Boston with 14 points, while Al Horford pitched in 13 points and Kent Bazemore with 12 points. The Atlanta Hawks struggled on the glass, and were out-rebounded by the Celtics 35-50, and against a dominant Utah front-court, will have to improve securing boards in order to get an important win at home.

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The Utah Jazz are coming off a 102-93 defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic on Friday. Gordan Hayward led the way in scoring for the Jazz with 16 points on 6-14 shooting, while Alec Burks pitched in with 11. The Jazz are one of the rising teams in the stacked Western Conference, and are expected to perhaps contend for the 8th and final playoff spot. At 4-5 going into Sunday’s game, the Jazz are off to a mediocre start, but still possess the potential to defeat one of the better teams in the league in the Atlanta Hawks.

Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors comprise a dynamic and formidable front-court duo, and are tasked with defending against the versatile bigs of the Atlanta Hawks. Rudy Gobert sat out Friday’s game against Orlando with a sprained ankle, and it’s uncertain whether he will dress against the Atlanta Hawks. In his stead, Trey Liles may get the start.

The Atlanta Hawks need to take advantage of the weakness of the Utah backcourt, attacking with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder — especially if Gobert is absent. Gordon Hayward presents a challenge defensively for the Atlanta Hawks, as Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha will defend the former Butler swingman who is leading the Jazz in scoring.

This game represents a reunion of sorts, as former top assistant Quin Snyder faces his former team. Snyder has done a great job in building the Jazz, and his strategy against the Atlanta Hawks make this game very interesting.

Next: Atlanta Hawks: Slight Defensive Concerns

This game still should present a great opportunity for the Atlanta Hawks to get back into the win column. Head Coach Mike Budenholzer timetable for returning to his coaching duties from missing Friday’s due to a family emergency is uncertain, acting Head Coach Kenny Atkinson will encourage his team to bring energy and effective shooting to the table on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 PM with Fox Sports Southeast handling the telecast.