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Preview: Hawks take on Magic in holiday matinee

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An annual tradition continues.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Though there have been a few exceptions over the years, it is generally safe to assume the Atlanta Hawks will host an NBA game on Martin Luther King Jr. day. That is the case in 2019, as the Orlando Magic visit State Farm Arena for the first battle between the two teams this season.

The Hawks performed admirably in their last outing, leading for the majority of the night before succumbing to the Boston Celtics on Saturday. Though the opponent isn’t quite as dangerous in this spot, Orlando won’t be facing the short rest that Boston encountered and there is an element of surprise with a game involving two squads unfamiliar with one another at this stage.

On the injury front, things are generally stable for the Hawks, with Kent Bazemore and Miles Plumlee ruled out for this contest. Dewayne Dedmon (left ankle soreness) and Alex Len (right Achilles tension) are listed as probable but, barring a swift change, Atlanta will be operating with a relatively “normal” rotation in this spot. There is an intriguing injury situation to monitor, however, as Magic forward Aaron Gordon (sore low back) is listed as questionable, leading to a great deal of uncertainty (including the lack of a Vegas line at the time of this post) with how to project this game.

Gordon is generally considered to be one of Orlando’s best players and, alongside potential All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic, the Magic could present some difficulty for Atlanta’s front line. Still, this is a situation in which the Hawks are not at any sort of talent disadvantage and, playing in front of their home crowd, Lloyd Pierce’s team should be in a strong position to compete for victory.

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

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, Jan. 21, 3:00 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: NBA TV,

Fox Sports Southeast

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

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