UPDATE: The Wizards will be without John Wall on Wednesday evening.
John Wall is not in Atlanta and will not play tonight due to personal reasons.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) December 5, 2018
After back-to-back wins over Charlotte and Miami, the Atlanta Hawks have suffered three consecutive losses. Each contest — on the road against the Hornets and Thunder, with a home game against the Warriors — represented a significant challenge for Lloyd Pierce’s team and, while there have been encouraging moments, all three games resulted in double-figure losses for Atlanta.
Losing three in a row would provide a sense of urgency for any NBA club but, on Wednesday, the Hawks combine the aim for a streak-busting win with a situation that appears rather favorable. The Washington Wizards land at State Farm Arena for the first of four match-ups between the two teams this season and the visiting team enters with a 10-14 record. It should be noted that the Wizards are, in fact, playing better basketball at this juncture, but the good folks in Las Vegas install Washington as “only” 5.5-point favorites on the road, leaving some realistic upset potential.
Unfortunately for Atlanta, the Hawks will face this game with a short-handed roster, as Taurean Prince will miss at least three weeks with an ankle injury. In his stead, the Hawks will deploy the likes of Kent Bazemore, Kevin Huerter, DeAndre’ Bembry and Justin Anderson for increased minutes and, on the surface, depth isn’t a glaring issue. Still, Prince’s shot-making from the perimeter will be missed on a team that has battled significant issues in stretching opposing defenses this season.
One of the keys for the Hawks will be holding the backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal in check and, frankly, it will be interesting to see how Pierce and his staff approach the defensive match-ups in this game. It should be noted that, if Atlanta plays well, this is a spot in which a home win seems quite plausible, but NBA games come down to execution and that is the reality.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from State Farm Arena.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 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)