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Preview: Hawks take on Clippers to complete Staples Center whirlwind

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The Hawks are (still) in Los Angeles.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

A significant portion of the Atlanta Hawks fan base will be otherwise engaged on Monday evening. That, of course, comes as a result of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Atlanta, when the Georgia Bulldogs are in action in front of a massive television audience and a jam-packed Mercedes-Benz Stadium. However, there is still a basketball game to be played and, for those who do not enjoy football and/or root for a different institution, that is a welcome event.

The Hawks are (still) in Los Angeles after taking a beating on Sunday evening and, this time, the opponent is the Clippers. The home team will be without its best player in Blake Griffin, as the All-Star power forward suffered a concussion last week and is expected to be in street clothes for the festivities. Still, the “other” Los Angeles team is playing improved basketball right now and, after two consecutive disappointing efforts from the Hawks, this is a tall hill to climb.

With Griffin out of the mix, the good people of Las Vegas install the Clippers as a small, 4-point (or so) favorite in this game and, frankly, this might be the better match-up for Atlanta. Because things weren’t overly competitive on Sunday, the Hawks should have plenty in the tank here and, with a trip-closing road game in Denver later in the week, this is a game that the Hawks must grab in order to avoid a winless jaunt.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from Staples Center, as we have a man on the scene in Jeff Siegel.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, January 8, 10:30 p.m. ET

Location: Staples Center

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

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)