Monday is likely to be a special night for Mike Budenholzer as he returns to San Antonio for the first time as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. A win would make it special for the Hawks who have lost 15 consecutive trips into San Antonio.
That the Spurs suffered their first home loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday probably doesn't help Atlanta's cause. San Antonio is 7-1 at home this season, 14-3 overall and Gregg Popovich was not pleased with their effort against the Rockets after the Spurs fell behind by more than 20 points in the first half.
"When you play a good basketball team, you've got to come with passion, an edge and aggressiveness for 48 minutes - and we did that for a half."
The Hawks of late have had similar issues with staying focused for a full 48 minutes. Atlanta has made a habit of falling behind early forcing themselves to have to play from behind. They were successful in erasing a 17 point deficit last Friday against the Mavericks. They weren't as lucky Saturday against the Wizards.
Atlanta is still trying to feel its way through the early part of the season as they learn to trust the offensive and defensive system that Mike Budenholzer has installed.
If the early part of the season is any indication, Jeff Teague is the key for Atlanta's offense. Teague has enjoyed a good start to the season but has seen his numbers drop dramatically of late. He was good in Friday's win over Dallas but struggled Saturday against the Wizards finishing with 15 points and five assists but was just 5-18 from the field. Teague's shooting percentage has fallen all the way to 41 percent on the season and his three-point shot has completely disappeared where he is shooting 20 percent and is 9-45 on the season.
The game will be a tall task for the Hawks but it will be somewhat of a litmus test as the team approaches the quarter pole of the season.
Game date/time: Monday, December 2, 8:30 p.m.
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Radio: 92.9 FM "The Game"