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Preview and Game Thread #6: Atlanta Hawks vs Minnesota Timberwolves

Atlanta Hawks 10-11 Season Game #6



5-0 1-4
Target Center
November 5th, 2010, 8:00 PM
Sports South, 99X FM, Pre and Post Game Show 680 The Fan, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Mike Bibby PG Luke Ridnour
Joe Johnson SG Corey Brewer
Josh Smith SF Wesley Johnson
Al Horford PF Kevin Love
Zaza Pachulia C Darko Milicic

Hawks Injury Report: Marvin Williams (knee), Mo Evans (knee), Pape Sy (back) are out. Jamal Crawford (toe) is a game time decision.

T-Wolves Injury Report: Johnny Flynn (hip) is out. Michael Beasley (hip contusion) is a game time decision

SB Nation Timberwolves Blog: Canis Hoops

Update: Per Michael Cunningham, Jamal Crawford is expected to suit up and play tonight

Game Preview:

This will be the fourth game out of six that the Hawks have played on the road. The Hawks come into the game extremely shorthanded with Marvin Williams and Mo Evans back in Atlanta with knee injuries. That takes the Hawks top two small forwards out of the lineup. Coach Drew hinted yesterday that he may start Zaza Pachulia in Marvin Williams absence. That will put Josh Smith into the lineup at the small forward position. We will see if a day off for Joe Johnson can help get his shooting stroke back. After playing just over 30 minutes a contest in the first two games, Johnson has now logged three 40+ minute games in a row. Jamal Crawford will be a game time decision after missing the Detroit game with turf toe.

The T-Wolves come into the game riding a three game losing streak. They were destroyed in Orlando this past Wednesday 128-86. They could be without the services of Michael Beasley who has a hip contusion and will be a game time decision. Kevin Love despite getting limited minutes most nights is off to a great start averaging 16.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

Keys to the Game:

The first thing that comes to mind is for the Hawks to establish themselves defensively and not try and outscore the opposition. This Timberwolves team isn't the most skilled offensive club but they are long and will attack the offensive glass like the Detroit Pistons did on Wednesday. The trade off to that is for the Hawks to get out on the break and make the Wolves pay for sending so many players to the offensive boards. After the Pistons game, coach Drew called for the whole team to focus on rebounding with the guards included. We will be looking for a team effort there tonight. Lets get the win while coming away healthy and get back to Atlanta to prepare for Phoenix on Sunday.