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Preview and Game Thread #2: Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks 09-10 Season Game #2


@ Atlanta-hawks_medium
Philips Arena
October 30th, 2009, 7:30 PM
Fox Sports South, Hawks Radio Network, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Gilbert Arenas
PG Mike Bibby
Mike Miller SG Joe Johnson
Caron Butler
SF Marvin Williams
Fabricio Oberto PF Josh Smith
Brendan Haywood C Al Horford

Hawks Injury Report: None.

Wizards Injury Report: Antawn Jamison and Javaris Crittenton are out. If the first game is any indication, Nick Young might as well be injured.

Blogging With the Enemy: Bullets Forever, Truth about It

Predicted bane of the Hawks existence: Mike Miller. It would only be fitting on Georgia/Florida weekend. (It should be noted that I would choose JaVale McGee if I thought he was going to play. The man hates the Hawks and loves offensive rebounding).

Game Preview:

This may sound weird but with Antawn Jamison, the Wizards are kind of like the Indiana Pacers with Gilbert Arenas. Put another way, the Wizards are nothing like the Pacers except they are not super in to defense and the Hawks front court should have another big night.

Seriously, Josh Smith needs to come out like a crazy man again because I don't think Oberto can stay with pouty, half trying Josh. And in my only interview with an NBA player ever, Al Horford told me his least favorite player to go against was Brendan Haywood. True story. Apparently, Haywood has a few cheap moves and then apologizes and then does them again. So Brendan and I are not friends. Nor will we ever be. See, I am on of the most loyal fake friends you will ever see. Regardless, I hope Al plays like he still doesn't like Brendan because I think he will be successful.

This game is important. Washington is suppose to and I expect will be one of the teams vying for the 4th seed along side the Hawks. A 2-0 start would do a world of good going into one of the tougher road trips of the season. And it is at home, and until the Hawks prove they can win on the road, every home game is a must win.

The Hawks are going to have their hands full with Mr. Arenas. I will be interest to see who guards him, but it is a safe bet to rule out Mike Bibby. I still don't think a great Gilbert is enough to beat the Hawks at home so shutting down the other Wizards is going to be key. The Hawks are going to have to take team defense to another level to stop young Mr. Arenas though.

Keys to the game:

  1. Front court dominance on both ends of the floor. Especially if Joe is saddled with the responsibility of slowing down Gilbert.
  2. Jamal Crawford or Marvin Williams step up.
  3. Protect the three point line. The Hawks had some weird/ugly/bad rotation for most of the Pacer game. I would encourage not leaving Mike Miller open for long stretches.

I am headed to Phillips, but started the game thread early to get your thoughts on what could turn out to be the Hawks biggest competition, new ways we can dislike Haywood for no other reason than Al would like it, and why the Hawks are certainly going to win or most definitly going to lose.

Remember, comment of the game thread is in play. Go to actions under any comment you like and recommend it to win. Even if you want to win. Because lets get serious, we all win in the game thread.

Go Hawks!