Atlanta sits at 1-2 after Wednesday's 94-92 loss to the Spurs where a big comeback attempt fell just short against the defending champs. The Hawks fell behind early and trailed by as many as 17 points before their big run. They will need to get off to a good start on Friday against a Hornets team that is still feeling itself out.
Charlotte improved to 2-3 on Wednesday with a 96-89 win over the Miami Heat thanks to a huge game from Al Jefferson who finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Jefferson is the focal point of Charlotte's offense and will require a lot of attention from the Hawks on the interior. Atlanta will look to push the pace and to attack early before Charlotte has a chance to set their defense. The team that controls the tempo on Friday will improve their chances for pulling out a victory.
Things haven't been pretty for the Hornets offensively where they are averaging 91.4 points per game on 42.5 percent shooting. Kemba Walker is averaging 15.2 points per game but is shooting just 37 percent from the field. Lance Stephenson was supposed to add another dynamic option to the Hornets attack but he has struggled out of the gate averaging 6.6 points on 27 percent shooting and was recently benched by head coach Steve Clifford in the fourth quarter of a game for not adhering to the game plan.
Both teams come into Friday's game relatively healthy. The Hawks have ruled out rookie Adreian Payne due to plantar faciitis in his left foot. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed the last two games for the Hornets due to a rib injury but is listed as probable for Friday's game. Charlotte rookie Noah Vonleh remains out with a sports hernia.
Game Date/Time: Friday, November 7, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM