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Preview: Hawks welcome Warriors for annual battle in Atlanta

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Hosting the champs to begin the week.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dating back to the hiring of Travis Schlenk and (especially) June’s NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks have drawn comparisons to the Golden State Warriors. Obviously, that is a future-facing comparison based on the man running the operation and the emphasis on perimeter shooting but, in the same breath, it is one that won’t fade away as the Warriors visit State Farm Arena on Monday evening.

This, of course, is Golden State’s only visit of the season and, as such, there is quite a spotlight on the contest. The Warriors aren’t quite at full strength just yet, with Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins on the shelf, but Golden State does have Stephen Curry back in the lineup after a lengthy absence and that makes the reigning champs feel like the reigning champs.

The match-up between Curry and Hawks rookie Trae Young will certainly garner the headlines and, quite honestly, that makes sense. Comparisons between the two are (quite) premature but, if nothing else, the duo of Young and Jeremy Lin will have their hands full with a healthy Curry in this spot.

Elsewhere, Kevin Durant is playing at an MVP level and it will be interesting to see how the Hawks deal with him in this spot. Taurean Prince projects to see Durant in the early going, simply due to match-up concerns in the starting lineup, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see players like DeAndre’ Bembry and Justin Anderson spend time on Durant over the course of the evening.

As you may expect, the Warriors enter as double-digit favorites in this game, even with the Hawks playing at home and coming off two days of rest. That is a sharp indication of the talent gap between the two teams but, if Atlanta plays its best game, there is no reason to believe that the Hawks can’t at least operate in competitive fashion in their home building.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from State Farm Arena.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

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

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