It would have been difficult to find an NBA analyst that predicted a victory for the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night in Toronto, but that is exactly what transpired. The Hawks strung together one of their best performances of the season against the Raptors and, in the end, it was good enough for a four-point win. In the NBA, though, there isn’t much time to rest on a team’s laurels and that is the case here as the Hawks face off with the Charlotte Hornets less than 24 hours later.
Both Atlanta and Charlotte must travel after games on Friday, as the Hornets arrive from Boston, where they lost to the Celtics by eight points. However, it is important to note that the visitors did not have Kemba Walker, the team’s best player, in that match-up and the point guard is expected to return against Atlanta to make life more difficult for the home team.
Earlier in the season, the Hornets claimed a four-point win over the Hawks in Charlotte in a game that is remembered for the ejection of Dwight Howard. Since that point, the Hornets have struggled a bit, despite leading the division, and it is safe to assume that the team will be poised to give high-end effort against the Hawks in this spot.
At home, the Hawks should be considered frisky to pick up
a (mild) upset victory (edit: the Hawks are favored!) in this game, especially with the encouraging signs that manifested on Friday evening. Can Atlanta keep it up, especially on the offensive end? That remains to be seen, but we will be here throughout the evening. Stay tuned.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, December 17, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM