Losing to the Brooklyn Nets as currently constructed isn't encouraging. However, that is where the Atlanta Hawks are right now, as Mike Budenholzer's team suffered a narrow defeat on road on Tuesday that also doubled as the squad's third straight defeat. On one hand, back-to-backs in the NBA are never fun, but on the other, a quick turnaround against a bad team in the Sacramento Kings could be just what this team needs.
Despite their ugly 4-7 record, the Kings are actually playing better basketball right now, and they have won three straight games to prove it. DeMarcus Cousins is always at the center of things in Sacramento, and he has been dominant on the court while serving as a lightning rod off the floor. In terms of match-up, the Hawks have had all kinds of trouble on the glass this season with just a 47.1% rebound rate (27th in the NBA), and seeing a massive frontcourt including Cousins, Kosta Koufos and rookie Willie Cauley-Stein probably isn't ideal.
It remains to be seen if the Hawks will enter this game with even relative health, and that could be crucial. It would be aggressive to say that Atlanta lost in Brooklyn solely on the basis of playing without Jeff Teague and Kent Bazemore, but the perimeter play was lacking in a big way in Tuesday's game, and the status of both players will certainly be updated at some point in advance of Wednesday's tip. If neither can play, it will also be interesting to see if Budenholzer plays both Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha in both games of a back-to-back set.
It is (far) too early for panic or anything approaching it, but the Atlanta Hawks haven't played particularly well in recent days, and facing the Kings at home should be an opportunity to "get healthy" on the scoreboard. Stay tuned throughout the day for all of the latest.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, November 18, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM