Two full weeks have passed since the Atlanta Hawks took the floor somewhere other than Philips Arena and, at the end of a marathon homestand, the Toronto Raptors await the team for the finale. As you may expect from the visiting team’s 31-14 record, this profiles as a difficult match-up for the Hawks but there are actually some positive indicators of what could be a competition contest.
Toronto enters with just a 3-3 record over the past six games and, while they are a sterling 17-3 at home, the Raptors are “only” 14-11 away from Canada. On the flip side, Atlanta has won three of four and it would be difficult to discern a time in which Mike Budenholzer’s team was playing better basketball.
From a Las Vegas perspective, the Raptors are (predictably) viewed as the favorites in this contest but Atlanta’s ability to produce competitive results against top-flight teams has been relatively impressive. Throwing a curveball into the mix is the fact that the visitors have been in Atlanta all week as a result of a scheduling quirk, leaving some variance in terms of Toronto’s focus and readiness at the outset.
Match-up wise, the Hawks will be dealing with an All-Star backcourt in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors enter this game as a top-six team in both offense and defense. The hill will be steep but this should be a fun one.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)