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76ers vs Hawks preview: Atlanta looks to avoid four-game skid

The Hawks are scuffling, but their opponent on Wednesday could be the elixir.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks are really struggling right now, to the point where both the team and the fan base are visibly frustrated.

The Philadelphia 76ers are, quite easily, the worst team in the NBA.

That is the backdrop for Wednesday's game at Philips Arena, as the Hawks look avoid a fourth consecutive loss when playing host to the Sixers. Philadelphia enters the night with a ghastly 1-25 record on the season and, well, that speaks for itself. Brett Brown's team is competitive defensively, ranking near the middle of the league while allowing 103.9 points per 100 possessions, but on the offensive end, Philly is brutal to the point where they rank at the bottom of the league (91.4 points per 100) by a significant margin.

Still, the Hawks have had real issues in scoring during this three-game losing skid (just ask Jeff Teague), and there appears to be a lid over the basket. Philadelphia will swarm and use their athleticism on defense, but the law of averages would suggest that Atlanta will make shots at some point in the near future, and this is a game where the defense should not be challenged at a high level.

Make no mistake, this is a "must-win" for the Atlanta Hawks in that losing to the Philadelphia 76ers at home would be jarringly brutal. It is one regular season game of 82, but the Hawks need to hold serve on Monday, even if it comes with a B-minus effort against an over-matched opponent to simply alleviate some frustration.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, December 16, 8:00 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM