The Atlanta Hawks are in the midst of a five-game road trip and, well, the opener didn’t go according to plan. Dennis Schröder and company committed gaffe after gaffe on the way to a one-point loss against the Phoenix Suns but, on the bright side, the Hawks had some time to regain their bearings before taking on the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday evening.
Prior to the game in Phoenix, Atlanta’s last opponent was, you guessed it, the Blazers. In that home match-up, the Hawks emerged victorious in comfortable fashion but that was a Portland team that did not feature Damian Lillard, who has returned from injury and is listed as probable for this game. Beyond that, the change in venue certainly won’t do much to aid the Hawks, as the team has struggled mightily away from home in recent days.
From a match-up perspective, it will be key to keep Portland’s tremendous backcourt in check. In addition to Lillard, the Blazers deploy CJ McCollum and, in surprising fashion, former UConn standout Shabazz Napier has played quite well in the All-Star’s injury stead. More than that, though, Portland’s defense has been stellar this season and it will be interesting to see if the Hawks are able to generate consistent offense.
This is the first of a few late night tip-offs but, fortunately, this one comes on Friday evening when most folks can afford to brave the evening and watch to the finish. Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest and we’ll be here to guide the way.
Game Date/Time: Friday, January 5, 10:00 p.m. ET
Location: Moda Center
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)