Update: Dewayne Dedmon is available to play. However, Kevin Huerter is out. Jeremy Lin will start alongside Trae Young in the backcourt.
The Atlanta Hawks put together a strong second performance on Sunday evening, pulling away for a lopsided win over the Miami Heat. On the heels of a (very) rough road trip, that was just what the doctor ordered for Lloyd Pierce’s team but, on Tuesday evening, the sledding could be difficult.
The team will begin another three-game journey away from State Farm Arena with a trip to Toronto to face the always dangerous Raptors. After a period in which Toronto was struggling (at least by their lofty standards), Kawhi Leonard and company have won four of five games, righting the ship to the tune of a 30-12 record.
As a result of that impressive baseline and Toronto’s home-court advantage in this spot, the Hawks enter as 14-point underdogs. If that number holds until tip-off, it would represent the largest point spread for a game involving the Hawks this season and, even if that doesn’t always mean everything, it is instructive as to the task at hand.
Injury-wise, the Hawks will enter this game without Taurean Prince, Kent Bazemore and Miles Plumlee, with Kevin Huerter (calf) and Dewayne Dedmon (ankle) listed as probable. On the Toronto side, the Raptors should be operating at near-full strength, as Kawhi Leonard should be available (this is not a back-to-back for the home team) and only Jonas Valanciunas (thumb) is scheduled to be sidelined.
It will be interesting to see how the Hawks respond against a team that is legitimately above-average on both ends of the floor and, given the environment, Atlanta could be in for a long night. Still, the Raptors present a good measuring stick and this should be an enjoyable watch.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7:30 pm ET
Location: Scotiabank Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)