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Pelicans vs. Hawks preview: Atlanta hosts New Orleans before hitting the road again

Enjoy this home game, folks. It’s the last one for a while.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After back-to-back road losses over the weekend, the Atlanta Hawks return to action on Tuesday night, as the New Orleans Pelicans invade Philips Arena. For Atlanta, this is the only home game within an eight-game stretch, as the Hawks hit the road for a five-game road trip covering more than a week (and the Thanksgiving holiday) after this contest. As such, Tuesday’s game is an important one for the home team.

Anthony Davis leads the Pelicans into action in this game, and he is the main object of Atlanta’s defensive attention. It is a safe bet to assume that Paul Millsap will see extended minutes in defense of Davis (currently averaging 31.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game), but on the bright side for the Hawks, Davis is the the sun, moon and stars for a team that doesn’t boast a lot of other top-flight options and Thabo Sefolosha looks to be on track to return in this spot.

It should be noted that point guard Jrue Holiday is back and available for New Orleans, and that is a good thing. Holiday missed the start of the season to care for his wife following brain surgery, but on the floor, he is the second-best player for the Pelicans and the match-up between Holiday and a suddenly struggling Dennis Schröder could be illuminating in terms of the result of this game.

Atlanta’s offense has stagnated in recent days, and while New Orleans is middle of the pack (103.7 points per 100 allowed) in defense this season, the Pelicans could serve as a cure-all. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how the Hawks respond on that side of the ball in their own building, especially given frustration with how the offense performed against a questionable Knicks defense on Sunday afternoon.

The Hawks are favored, in a Las Vegas sense, to stop the bleeding with a victory on Tuesday night, but with Holiday back, the Pelicans are better than their 4-10 record. Picking up a win before embarking on a West Coast trip is crucial, and that is the backdrop of the festivities on this night. Stay tuned.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Tuesday, November 22, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM