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Hawks vs. Rockets preview: Philips Arena hosts James Harden and company for annual visit

The Rockets are in town on a Friday night.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Houston Rockets Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Seven consecutive defeats follow the Atlanta Hawks home on Friday evening, as the Houston Rockets come to town for their annual visit to Philips Arena. On the “bright side” for the home team, James Harden will not be flanked by his All-Star partner in crime in Chris Paul but, in the same breath, this is a talented and highly dangerous Rockets team.

Houston has not been quite as explosive (or fast-paced) as expected in the early going but, given that caveat, a 6-3 record speaks volumes. Harden is an immense problem for any team to defend and, in this spot, the Hawks will likely lean on a bevy players (headlined by Kent Bazemore) to defend him in a spot where DeAndre’ Bembry continues to be unavailable.

In terms of injuries, Malcolm Delaney is listed as doubtful, likely joining Bembry, Ersan Ilyasova and Miles Plumlee on the shelf. Beyond that, it appears to be a full-go despite three players being listed as probable.

Atlanta enters this game as a sizable underdog against one of the league’s best teams, even at home. That isn’t a shock but, in the same breath, it isn’t ideal that Houston also has a day off on Thursday, leaving no overwhelming advantage for the hosts. Still, it is a good measuring stick for the Hawks, who have been competitive in most games, and the presence of a top-tier team should inspire some energy in the building.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, November 3, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 “The Game”