Tonight, the Atlanta Hawks will face the Detroit Pistons, looking for their third straight win. Both teams came into the year with similar playoff expectations, but Detroit has struggled so far this season, posting a record of 19-24 to date. However, the Pistons are still a talented team, one that is well capable of breaking back into the playoff picture.
Atlanta will be without Mike Muscala again, as the big man continues to recover from an injury sustained on Sunday. While there are no indications that his injury is especially severe, the Hawks frontcourt depth could be challenged if Muscala has to miss extended time. He has emerged as a key role player, and one of the most trusted options off of the bench for Mike Budenholzer.
In terms of scheduling, this game falls in an odd place for the Hawks. After playing a game on Friday night, the team played back-to-back contests on Sunday and Monday, and will do so again on Friday and Saturday. So even though the team had a day of rest before tonight’s matchup, this mid-week game comes in the midst of a crowded week for the Hawks.
Fatigue will be something to keep an eye on. Although Dwight Howard didn’t play on Monday (he was an odd late scratch), players like Paul Millsap, Dennis Schroder, and Thabo Sefolosha have all seen extended minutes over the last few days. Especially on the road against a young team like the Pistons, player fatigue could be a deciding factor. This is certainly a winnable game, but scheduling circumstances could make it much more difficult.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, January 18, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM