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Preview and Game Thread #20: Philadelphia 76ers vs Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks 10-11 Season Game #20



5-13 12-7
Philips Arena
December 3, 2010, 7:30 PM
SportSouth, 99X FM, Pre and Post Game Show 680 The Fan, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Jrue Holiday PG Mike Bibby
Evan Turner SG Maurice Evans
Andre Iguodala SF Marvin Williams
Elton Brand PF Josh Smith
Spencer Hawes C Al Horford

Hawks Injury Report: Joe Johnson (elbow) is out

76ers Injury Report: none reported

SB Nation 76ers Blog: Liberty Ballers

Game Preview:

Philadelphia comes into this game with the worst record in the Eastern Conference despite having a two game win streak at 5-13. They last played on Tuesday where they posted a home win over the Portland Trailblazers. The Hawks are riding a four game winning streak and find themselves third in the Eastern Conference, 2.5 games behind Boston and Orlando for the Conference lead. Atlanta however is now faced with being without its leading scorer Joe Johnson for the next 4-6 weeks as he recovers from elbow surgery.

Keys to the Game:

In looking at this Philly lineup, I focus on the match-ups between Atlanta's Josh Smith and Al Horford and Philly's Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes. The Hawks have a clear advantage in athleticism and it would be wise to attack the Philly frontcourt early to set the tone. In the Hawks first game without Joe Johnson, they set a season high in assists due to some crisp ball movement against the Memphis Grizzlies. Going forward that is even more key as Johnson is one of the few Hawks that can go out and create his own shot for himself. I also want to focus on the 76ers bench as home town boy Louis Williams has caused problems for the Hawks in the past. Atlanta will need perhaps for Jeff Teague to come up with another solid performance off the bench in checking Williams.