The Atlanta Hawks open a five-game road trip Tuesday evening when they square off in a rematch the defending champion Golden State Warriors. How do you beat a team that is 53-5 and has already clinched a playoff spot with over a month remaining in the NBA season? SB Nation's Tom Ziller took a crack at it on Monday but we think there would have to be a lot of luck involved.
The Warriors toyed with the Hawks a little over a week ago in a 102-92 win. Atlanta overcame a big first half deficit with a strong third quarter before Golden State clamped down in the fourth to prevent the upset bid. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson led the charge combining for 63 points.
The Hawks could catch a bit of a break as Curry is currently listed as questionable with a sore ankle. With a playoff berth already in hand, the Warriors could opt to rest Curry whenever appropriate over the final month of the season. Even without Curry, Golden State is a formidable opponent who are still undefeated at home so far this season at 24-0.
The Hawks got things headed back in the right direction with wins over the Bulls and the Hornets to snap a three-game losing streak. Atlanta's defense has been on point since January 1 but the offense has lagged behind for too many stretches and has prevented the Hawks from gaining any momentum.
Atlanta has the benefit of zero expectations as they head into Golden State. That provides them the opportunity to go out and play loose while looking to get what could be a very important road trip off to a good start.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, March 1, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: ORACLE Arena, Oakland, California
TV: NBA TV, Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM