With two victories over a three-game period against playoff-caliber opponents, the Atlanta Hawks might be turning the corner. On Wednesday, that theory will be put to test against an interesting opponent, as Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves come to Philips Arena for their only visit of the season.
The big story on Atlanta’s side, outside of the recent quality play, is the health of Dwight Howard. The veteran big man missed Monday’s win in Oklahoma City as a result of back stiffness. At the time of this post, he is listed as questionable, though Chris Vivlamore of the AJC notes that Howard’s back appears to be improving.
Minnesota has struggled mightily to close games this season, and they bring a record that is probably unbecoming of their overall talent level. Towns is one of the best young players in the league and will be a challenge defensively for Paul Millsap, while Andrew Wiggins is the type of big, scoring wing that has given the Hawks fits over a number of seasons.
If Howard is able to go, the Hawks should be considered comfortable favorites in this game at home. If he isn’t, things are swung more into peril, even with the caveat that Atlanta played effective small-ball throughout an upset win against the Thunder. Regardless, the Hawks have a favorable offensive match-up against a team that has struggled to stop anyone despite the presence of a defensive mastermind in Tom Thibodeau.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from Philips Arena and let’s do this together.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, December 21, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM