Earlier this week, the Atlanta Hawks hosted the hottest team in the NBA, as the Boston Celtics entered Philips Arena with a 15-game winning streak before emerging victorious again. On Wednesday, the Hawks have a much different experience, as Mike Budenholzer and company play host to the struggling Los Angeles Clippers.
If Boston is the hottest team, Los Angeles is the coldest, as the visitors have dropped nine consecutive decisions. Some of the issues for Blake Griffin’s squad can be traced to injury concerns but, more than anything, the Clippers are just playing bad basketball at the moment, leaving plenty of optimism for the home team.
It should be noted, though, that there are some match-up concerns. Rookie big man John Collins could be in line for his first NBA start this evening, as both Luke Babbitt and Mike Muscala have been ruled out with injuries. Budenholzer could turn to Ersan Ilyasova (or even Tyler Cavanaugh) in that spot but, against Griffin and Jordan, Collins and Dewayne Dedmon playing together makes quite a bit of sense and the youngster has the type of physical prowess needed to deter an All-Star in Griffin.
Las Vegas sees the Clippers as a short (3.5-point) road favorite in this game and, from a roster perspective, Los Angeles is the better team while featuring the two best players on the floor in Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Still, it could easily be argued that Atlanta is playing superior basketball at the moment and an A-plus effort from the Hawks would likely be enough to secure a victory over a team once thought to be playoff-bound.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from Philips Arena.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, November 22, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)