The Atlanta Hawks are on the board with a victory, as the team cruised past the New York Knicks on Thursday night in the Big Apple. It was certainly nice to see Mike Budenholzer's club firing on all cylinders after a lackluster debut at home against Detroit, and with that as the backdrop, the team returns to Philips Arena on Friday for the first back-to-back of the season against the Charlotte Hornets.
In an interesting twist, the Hornets and Hawks will actually meet in back-to-back games this week, with Charlotte's home opener coming on Sunday afternoon. With regard to the first game, though, the Hawks will be searching to replicate much of what happened against New York, including a reinvigorated offense that looked quite crisp against the undermanned Knicks.
Charlotte enters the game at 0-1 on the season after a 10-point loss to the Miami Heat in the opener, and frankly, the Hornets aren't quite as talented as the Hawks. The loss of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a significant one for Steve Clifford and company in that they are left without a defensive stopper, and while Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker are nice players, the Hornets are often assigned with the same "don't have a star" label that the Hawks are given.
As for the lineup, Thabo Sefolosha is expected to return after a night off on Thursday, and that impact on the rotation should be interesting. The public got a look at Justin Holiday for the first time against New York, and he was generally effective in limited minutes, but Lamar Patterson suddenly appears firmly entrenched as the third wing, and as we evaluate more data, that conclusion could be backed up in a big way.
The home fans definitely would like to see a strong performance after what they were subjected to in the opener, and that is the charge this evening. Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.
Game Date/Time: Friday, October 30, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM