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Grizzlies vs Hawks preview: Atlanta returns from trip to face shorthanded Memphis

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The Hawks are back in Atlanta after a LONG road trip.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Memphis Grizzlies by a score of 116-101 on Nov. 27.

These are not the same Memphis Grizzlies.

Atlanta hosts Memphis on Saturday night in their triumphant return from a lengthy road trip, and the Grizzlies are (very) depleted. Dave Joerger's team was forced to waive injured point guard Mario Chalmers amid some level of controversy (however silly that discussion was) this week, simply because the Grizzlies do not have enough healthy players to field a competitive NBA roster.

Star center Marc Gasol is out for the year, star point guard Mike Conley is banged up and, well, this version of the Grizzlies should not come into Atlanta and knock off the Hawks. As any long-time Hawks supporter knows, however, that does not mean the visiting team should be taken lightly, and we have seen numerous instances where a shorthanded opponent has competed (or even won) against Atlanta this season.

In addition, the first game after a long journey is often a tough one in the NBA and the Hawks will be battling against that on Saturday. Atlanta does have the benefit of a travel day on Friday, but getting "up" for a game against these Grizzlies could, at least theoretically, be a challenge in this spot, and the Hawks don't have the type of margin for error needed to overlook anyone right now.

We will be here throughout the day for all the latest from Philips Arena, but given the circumstances, this is a "take care of business" spot for the Hawks and anything short of a win would be upsetting. Stay tuned.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Saturday, March 12, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM