Atlanta Hawks vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview


The Atlanta Hawks head to San Antonio, Texas for a Saturday night tilt against Gregg Poppovich and the Spurs.

The Atlanta Hawks are coming off probably their most impressive victory of the season on Friday, as they downed the Memphis Grizzlies at the Grind House by a final score of 116-101. Paul Millsap finished with a double-double, scoring 23 points and recording 14 rebounds. Jeff Teague added 20 points.

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Though the Memphis Grizzlies are a good team, the caliber of the San Antonio Spurs is a cut above. The Atlanta Hawks have lost their last nine regular season meetings against the Spurs, and have won 18 straight games in the series in San Antonio. Saturday’s game is the second of a back-to-back for both the Atlanta Hawks and the Spurs. The Spurs defeated the Denver Nuggets on Friday night 91-80.

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Kent Bazemore returned to the Atlanta Hawks starting lineup on Friday against Memphis, and played very well. Bazemore finished with 14 points and 2 three-pointers. For those looking forward to seeing former Spurs center Tiago Splitter play against his former team, that will most likely not happen. Splitter has missed the last 3 games due to a hip injury, and will probably sit again on Saturday night.

For the Spurs, Kawhi Leonard leads the team in scoring, averaging 22 points per game. Leonard has really taken the reigns of the team’s offense and shown that he is a superstar in the league. The Spurs defense is also allowing the least amount of points per game to opponents at 89.8, while they are also third in the league in rebounding at 45.8 boards per game. That’s a stark contrast to the Atlanta Hawks rebounding, as they place 28th in the league with 41.1 boards per game.

It’s always interesting to watch the Atlanta Hawks and Spurs match up because of the similarities between the two teams and the common thread that connects both of their head coaches. Mike Budenholzer was the chief acolyte of Gregg Poppovich for over 18 years, and has mirrored the Spurs style of play as well as roster construction. Though many have dubbed the Atlanta Hawks “Spurs East”, until they beat their role models, that’s a bit of a misnomer.

Next: Atlanta Hawks Impress with 116-101 Victory over Grizzlies

The Atlanta Hawks have already played 18 games — more than any other team in the league. Fatigue is the primary cause of their recent string of losses, but a victory over the Spurs in San Antonio on Saturday night would alleviate any lingering sense of disappointment or despair that has haunted the team thus far into the season. The Hawks and Spurs tip-off at 8:30 PM.