The Atlanta Hawks suffered a lopsided defeat on Friday evening and, given the way the schedule breaks in the near future, that wasn’t an ideal result. However, the team will have the opportunity to right the ship on Sunday evening, albeit in very interesting circumstances.
Trae Young and company will be in Los Angeles to take on the Lakers in the first game of a four-game road trip. As you may expect, the Hawks are seen as significant underdogs in this spot, as LeBron James now operates as the centerpiece of one of the league’s marquee franchises. To be fair, it hasn’t been a perfect start to the campaign for the Lakers, though, and this isn’t a fully functioning title contender at this juncture.
Still, the Hawks are at a talent disadvantage in this spot, and it will take an improved effort when compared to the team’s recent showings. Head coach Lloyd Pierce was (very) critical of his team’s effort level against Detroit on Friday and, in short, a similar showing would likely be met with another blowout defeat.
From a match-up perspective, it will be interesting (as always) to see how the Hawks handle James, but also with Young against LA’s tandem of point guards. Beyond that, Atlanta will need vastly improved production from the likes of Taurean Prince, Alex Len and Kent Bazemore to be competitive in this spot.
Dewayne Dedmon (personal reasons) will not be available for the Hawks on Sunday, leaving Atlanta with only Len and Miles Plumlee as pure centers. The Lakers often deploy “small ball” lineups, leaving the possibility for Omari Spellman and/or Alex Poythress to occupy the center spot at times during the evening.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest and, for this particular contest, PTH’s own Jeff Siegel will be on the scene at Staples Center for a first-hand account. Let’s roll.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Nov. 11, 9:30 pm ET
Location: Staples Center
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)