Atlanta Hawks host Detroit Pistons Wednesday night


The Atlanta Hawks are currently riding a four-game winning streak. Can the Hawks keep the streak alive versus a strong Detroit Pistons team Wednesday night?

Perhaps it was playing the Philadelphia 76ers, but ever since the Atlanta Hawks faced the 76ers a week ago, the club has gone on a four-game winning streak. Atlanta has gone from being out of the playoffs in 10th place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference to being in second place entering Wednesday, only 2.5 games back of the first-place Cleveland Cavaliers.

On Wednesday night, the 18-12 Atlanta Hawks will host the 17-12 Detroit Pistons at the Highlight Factory. Tipoff is at 8:00 PM ET and the game will air on Fox Sports Southeast. This will be the second of four matchups between these Eastern Conference foes this season. Atlanta lost its home opener to the Pistons back on October 27th, 106-94.

Detroit is coming off a thrilling one-point victory over the Miami Heat Tuesday night at the American Airlines Arena, 93-92. Under head coach/general manager Stan Van Gundy, the Detroit Pistons look poised to end their five-year Eastern Conference Playoffs drought, the longest active in the East, this season. The Pistons’ 2015-16 early season ascendance is a big reason that the East is frankly better than the West as we enter 2016.

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Like the Atlanta Hawks, both teams play well in the Eastern Conference with 10 wins apiece. Five of those 10 wins have come in divisional play. That is impressive since the Southeast or the Central could end up with four of the East’s playoff teams. Atlanta is riding a four-game winning streak and have won six of their last ten games. Detroit is playing slightly better, winning seven of the last ten contests.

If the Atlanta Hawks plan on not losing both of their home games to the Detroit Pistons this season, they will have to do a better job on the glass. This Pistons team is arguably the most difficult team to hang with on the boards, as their starting center Andre Drummond is one of the best rebounders this game has seen in years.

Atlanta won’t win on the glass in this game, but center Al Horford and power forward Paul Millsap have to have the willingness to battle on the boards on Wednesday night if they want to keep this winning streak alive. Should Detroit decimate Atlanta on the boards and the shots aren’t falling for the Hawks, this winning steak could come to an end. If the Pistons shoot well from the perimeter, this could get ugly fast.

I have a ton of respect for this Detroit Pistons team, as I see them as one of the few teams in the Eastern Conference that is a persistent matchup nightmare for head coach Mike Budenholzer’s squad. Getting squashed on the glass against a team that has streaky outside shooting like Detroit is a recipe for disaster should the Pistons get hot from beyond the arc.

Next: Atlanta Hawks win fourth straight, beat Blazers 106-97

Atlanta has to stay competitive on the glass and hope their shots fall if they want to win on Wednesday night, plain and simple. Here’s to keeping the streak alive for another game. Let’s Go Hawks!