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Preview: Hawks face immense challenge against Rockets

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The Hawks are on the road and, on paper, it is the most difficult match-up the league has to offer this season.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors, if healthy, are seen as favorites to repeat as NBA champions this season. However, the Houston Rockets have been the best regular season team in the league and, in short, James Harden and Chris Paul lead a team that would almost certainly act as the prohibitive favorite in any “normal” season. On Sunday evening, the Atlanta Hawks will travel to Houston for a tough match-up, even if the Rockets potentially enter at less than full strength.

The Rockets were in action on Saturday night and Paul missed that particular game with injury. Head coach Mike D’Antoni told the media that the future Hall of Fame point guard is a “maybe” against the Hawks but, unless the team elects to rest Harden, at least one All-NBA guard will be on the floor.

On the Hawks side, John Collins (ankle) is listed as probable, with Dennis Schroder (ankle) checking in as questionable. If Schroder is unable to play, a difficult match-up becomes all the more brutal, as the Rockets are essentially unguardable defensively and, without Schroder, it would be tough for Atlanta to generate consistent offense.

As you may expect, the good folks in Las Vegas install the Rockets as significant favorites in this game, even on the second night of a back-to-back. When the schedule came out, the Hawks having to face the Warriors, Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves (later this week) in succession was always going to be difficult and, in truth, this is likely the hardest climb of the bunch.

Stay tuned.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Sunday, March 25, 8:00 pm ET

Location: Toyota Center

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

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)