Atlanta Hawks host San Antonio Spurs Saturday night


The Atlanta Hawks will host the Western Conference juggernaut that are the San Antonio Spurs Saturday night. Can Coach Bud beat Pop at home Saturday night?

The Atlanta Hawks will play their last of three tough games in four days when they host the stellar San Antonio Spurs at Philips Arena tonight. San Antonio beat Atlanta in the AT&T Center earlier this year. Tipoff for the contest comes at 8:00 PM ET. Fox Sports Southeast will air the game.

Both games the Atlanta Hawks play the San Antonio Spurs are two that head coach Mike Budenholzer circles on his calendar annually. Coach Bud spent 17 seasons in San Antonio learning under arguably the best basketball coach of the last 20 years in Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Bud was part of four Spurs teams that won NBA Championships and he should look forward to playing his mentor at home Saturday night.

The Spurs are the model of consistency that the Atlanta Hawks have tried to recreate here in the Southeastern United States. It isn’t the heavy ball movement or the use of the corner three, it is creating a culture of winning from top to bottom that Atlanta finds so appealing in the Spurs organization. Tim Duncan since joining the team in 1997 has never played on a Spurs team that has won fewer than 50 games.

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Atlanta, who has made the Eastern Conference Playoffs eight consecutive years, wants to become a fixture in the top part of the Eastern hierarchy after making it to its first Eastern Conference Finals appearance to date.

Along with Golden State, who remains unbeaten, the San Antonio Spurs have been the two best teams in the NBA this season by a wide margin. While the East is so tight in the top two-thirds that one loss will drop a team from second to eighth place, the Spurs have put themselves in a collision course with the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.

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Atlanta enters play tonight at 14-10, but will have had a day to recover from their back-to-back with Dallas and Oklahoma City. For Atlanta to beat Pop and the Spurs at home, the Hawks will need both power forward Paul Millsap and center Al Horford to combine for more than 16 points against Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and the rest of the star-studded San Antonio Spurs.

Here’s to Coach Bud being able to get the best of Pop at the Highlight Factory tonight. Let’s Go Hawks!