The Atlanta Hawks will be without reserve wing Thabo Sefolosha for the second straight game due to flu-like symptoms. Sefolosha was sent home prior to Wednesday's game with the illness. He was declared as "questionable" on Thursday but will be a no-go against the Pelicans.
That is troublesome for an Atlanta defense that struggled in Wednesday's loss to the Raptors. After two solid defensive efforts, the Hawks regressed and allowed the Raptors to score 126 points and shoot 51 percent from the field. Atlanta's defensive rating has ballooned to 107.2 points per 100 possessions which is 26th in the league.
Sefolosha has struggled with his three-point shot but he has been a valuable defensive option off the bench for Mike Budenholzer behind starter DeMarre Carroll. Without Sefolosha on Wednesday, Budenholzer went small with Kyle Korver assuming some of the small forward minutes alongside Shelvin Mack. Kent Bazemore made a cameo appearance in the second half of Wednesday's game and remains another option.