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Preview: Hawks hit the road in Lloyd Pierce’s return to Philadelphia

A tough match-up for Atlanta.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Offense was the issue for the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday evening but, after a day off for travel, the team will have the opportunity to right the ship on Monday. However, the Hawks will face their best opponent of the season in the form of the Philadelphia 76ers and, considering the road venue, there is a very difficult task ahead.

Aside from the on-court action, the headline story of the evening is the return of head coach Lloyd Pierce to Philadelphia, where he worked under Brett Brown before coming to Atlanta. Pierce referred to the visit as a “business trip” when prompted on Saturday but he did indicate that he “looks forward to going back to a place where you spent a lot of time with the staff and players” and it will certainly be a memorable night for the first-time head coach.

Elsewhere, the Hawks will encounter Mike Muscala on the opposing side for the first time, as the former Atlanta big man (and second round pick) will be in the lineup for the Sixers. Justin Anderson remains inactive for the Hawks but, as the final piece of the shuffling puzzle, he also returns to his last NBA stop in Philly.

As for the basketball itself, the Hawks are in a difficult spot, as 11-point underdogs to the Sixers. Philadelphia hasn’t played its best basketball this season but the team deploys two legitimate stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, along with quality role players in J.J. Redick, Dario Saric and Robert Covington. It will be interesting to see how Atlanta deals with Philadelphia’s unconventional offense, particularly with Simmons at the point of attack, and the visiting team’s defense will be tested throughout the evening.

On the injury front, there is nothing new to report, as the Hawks will be without Anderson, Alex Poythress and John Collins in this spot. Daniel Hamilton returned to the “available” list on Saturday despite being inactive and, while the Hawks certainly aren’t at full strength, the recent return of Dewayne Dedmon should pay dividends against Philadelphia’s frontcourt.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, Oct. 29, 7:00 pm ET

Location: Wells Fargo Center

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)