The Atlanta Hawks look to climb over the .500 mark for the first time this season Monday night when they take on the Charlotte Bobcats. The Hawks have owned the Bobcats in recent history sweeping the last two season series.
Charlotte is 3-3 on the season and 2-1 at home. They could get a boost on Monday with the return of their head coach Steve Clifford and the possible return of their starting center Al Jefferson. Clifford missed Friday's home loss to the New York Knicks after being hospitalized with chest pains. He had two stents inserted into his heart and was back at practice on Sunday. He is expected to be back on the sidelines Monday night.
Jefferson has missed the last five games with an ankle injury that he suffered during the preseason. He played in the season opener and has missed every game since. Jefferson practiced on Sunday and Clifford indicated that his status for Monday's game would depend on how he felt the day after a practice. He was hopeful that Jefferson will be able to play in some capacity. Bismack Biyombo has started the last five games at center in place of Jefferson.
Charlotte could use Jefferson's offensive presence because their backcourt has had to carry the load in the early going. Kemba Walker is their top scoring threat through six games at 17.3 points per game. Gerald Henderson is averaging 14.5 points but shooting just 38 percent. The Bobcats are the second worst three-point shooting team in the league percentage wise (26.3%) which is good news for a Hawks team that has often gotten torched from the perimeter this season.
If Jefferson does play it will be the first regular season meeting between he and Paul Millsap who were teammates in Utah for three seasons. Monday's game is the first of four straight against Eastern Conference opponents.
Game Date/Time: Monday, November 11, 7 p.m.
Location: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Radio: 92.9 FM "The Game"