Atlanta Hawks Vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Atlanta Goes Into Oklahoma City Without Josh Smith

Ronald Martinez

The Atlanta Hawks travel to Oklahoma City for their first road game of the regular season to face Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and the rest of the Thunder team without the services of Josh Smith.

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2012/2013 NBA Regular Season Game #2, Road Game #1
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
7:00 p.m. ET
SportSouth HD, 680 AM/93.7 FM
Probable Starters
Jeff Teague PG Russell Westbrook
DeShawn Stevenson SG Thabo Sefolosha
Kyle Korver SF Kevin Durant
Anthony Tolliver PF Serge Ibaka
Al Horford C Kendrick Perkins

Hawks Injury Report: Josh Smith and Johan Petro are sitting out and watching the game from their homes in Atlanta as they did not travel with the team to Oklahoma City. Josh Smith suffered a sprained ankle during the season opener, and Petro is still nursing a sore lower back.

Thunder Injury Report: Kendrick Perkins suffered a sprained ankle in Friday's game against Portland, but he is expected to play and to start.

Hawks Player(s) to watch: With Josh Smith sitting out, the team will have to rely on their other co-captain, Al Horford. However, Horford has never really had a dominating performance against the Thunder. According to Basketball-Reference, in 8 career games against the Thunder/Sonics, Horford has only averaged 10.9 ppg and 10.5 rpg in 38.1 mpg (it should be noted that Horford did not play in both games against the Thunder last season).

Thunder Player(s) to watch: With Josh Smith out, the chances of slowing down Kevin Durant went from "there is a chance" to "uh-oh". There isn't one Hawks player that is capable of guarding Kevin Durant one-on-one. The only way to attempt to defend Durant and this high-powered offensive team is to send a lot of double teams towards Durant's way and force him to dish the ball and hope that his teammates have an off-night.

Additional SB Nation Coverage: SB Nation Atlanta, Welcome to Loud City

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