The Atlanta Hawks stumbled out of the gate to begin the NBA's "second half", losing three consecutive games following the All-Star break. The most recent loss for the team took place on Monday night against the Golden State Warriors but, for the most part, there was an upbeat spirit surrounding the team following that defeat, and the squad will take to the floor on Friday rejuvenated after three days of rest.
Still, we are entering the portion of the season where every game is magnified, and Friday's home against the Chicago Bulls will be especially dissected given that it comes in front of an ESPN audience. In addition, Chicago is one of the teams chasing Atlanta in terms of playoff positioning (or even making the playoffs), and the Bulls enter this game short-handed as leading scorer Jimmy Butler remains sidelined with a knee injury.
In short, this is a highly important game for the Hawks and snapping the losing skid would ease the concerns of many people, both on the team and in the fan base. Atlanta is, frankly, better than the current Butler-less version of the Bulls, and with all of the time for rest and recovery, the Hawks face some level of pressure to deliver a victory in this spot.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest. Let's do this together.
Game Date/Time: Friday, February 26, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM