The home portion of the Atlanta Hawks' 2013-14 schedule begins Friday night at Philips Arena against the Toronto Raptors. Atlanta dropped their season opener 118-109 to the Mavericks in Dallas. Now they return home looking to notch their first victory of the Mike Budenholzer era.
If Atlanta is going to get that first win then they are going to have to make some defensive improvements. Dallas torched them with 57 percent shooting on Wednesday and beat them up on the boards. The Hawks did a good job of cashing in on turnovers to stay close but ultimately they fell under a steady rain of three point baskets from the Mavericks.
Toronto defeated Boston 93-87 on Wednesday behind 19 points from Rudy Gay. The Raptors aren't quite as explosive as the Mavericks offensively but Gay and DeMar DeRozan are both good enough scorers to cause problems should Atlanta's defense be sub par.
Again matchups will be an area that is interesting to watch. DeMarre Carroll will draw the assignment of trying to slow down Gay but Kyle Korver will either have to guard DeRozan or point guard Kyle Lowry. Korver is a good team defender but expect Toronto to try and isolate him on the wing or in the post if he is matched with DeRozan. Korver can keep the pressure on the Raptors at the other end of the floor as he carries a consecutive streak of 74 games with a made three point basket into the game.
Tip off from Philips Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on SportSouth and heard on 92.9 The Game. Peachtree Hoops will be in attendance so be sure to check back for updates.
Game Date/Time: Friday, November 1, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: 92.9 FM "The Game"