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Preview: Hawks return from respite to host Wizards

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Back in action at Philips Arena on Wednesday.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks completed their pre-Christmas schedule in encouraging fashion and, after three days of rest, the team returns to the floor on Wednesday. Though the NBA was in the news over the holiday (as usual), the Hawks should be well rested and, frankly, they’ll need to be fresh in taking on the Washington Wizards at Philips Arena.

Washington has been disappointing in some ways this season, as many expected a 50-win pace throughout the campaign. Still, the Wizards have flashed some of their upside in recent days, including a win over Boston on Christmas, and this is a (very) familiar opponent considering the recent playoff history for the two teams.

Of course, this is an extremely different Hawks team and, even if Mike Muscala (now listed as questionable for the first time in more than a month) can return, Atlanta won’t quite be at full strength in the absence of Dewayne Dedmon. The Wizards prevailed by a hefty margin in the first meeting between the two teams this season and, while that shouldn’t be considered the baseline, Washington will still enter as a Las Vegas favorite on the road.

Dennis Schröder often seems to get “up” to face John Wall but, at the end of the day, this is a Wizards team that is much more talented than the current Hawks collection. Can Atlanta compete and win? Absolutely, but only time will tell and a high-end effort will be needed from the home team.

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

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, December 27, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena

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

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)