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Preview: Shorthanded Hawks hit the road to take on Brooklyn

Atlanta’s frontcourt is depleted but this remains a winnable spot.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks are coming off a very respectable loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers but, as the team ventures away from Philips Arena for the first time in more than a week, health is a concern. Starting center Dewayne Dedmon was already out before Thursday but, in the midst of that defeat, the Hawks also lost backup center and general point of interest John Collins to a shoulder ailment that paints a bleak picture in the immediate timeframe.

While the Nets are actual a favorable opponent in this instance (and one Atlanta will face in back-to-back games), Mike Budenholzer’s rotation decisions will be quite interesting. It is fairly clear that the two best available frontcourt options are Luke Babbitt and Ersan Ilyasova but, in short, that pairing is not ideal together and the presence of Tyler Cavanaugh and/or Miles Plumlee could be key in this spot.

As for the perimeter, the Hawks have a strong advantage, if only because Brooklyn is without both D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin. The Nets play a free-wheeling style that includes a fast pace and some entertaining sets but the talent isn’t overwhelming and that provides optimism of sorts.

Atlanta enters as a slight underdog in this spot but this remains a beatable opponent at a nice time for the Hawks.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from Philips Arena.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Saturday, December 2, 3:00 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena

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

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)