Saturday night was a disaster for the Atlanta Hawks in Los Angeles. The visiting team set a franchise record for futility on the way to a 150-101 loss and, less than 24 hours later, the Hawks will be back on the same floor against a quality team. This time around, it is the Los Angeles Lakers on the opposing bench and Atlanta will be aiming to salvage something positive from this back-to-back set.
On paper, this is actually a tougher match-up for the Hawks than the one on Saturday, with Atlanta facing a rest disadvantage against an opponent that projects to have both of its stars on the floor. LeBron James is, well, LeBron James and he is flanked by Anthony Davis to form one of the NBA’s best tandems. It is worth noting that Davis is battling a shoulder issue that has him on the injury report but, as of Sunday morning, the All-NBA big man is listed as probable and expected to play.
Though it is probably unsustainable on some level, the Lakers actually lead the league in defensive rating and it will be interesting to see how Atlanta’s offense can attack their opponent. From a roster standpoint, the Hawks are short-handed once again, with John Collins and Kevin Huerter on the shelf. Those absences loom large and, even before the official injury report drops (not due until 4 pm ET on a back-to-back in the Pacific Time Zone), Atlanta is at a sharp talent disadvantage in this spot.
With that as the backdrop, the Hawks are currently 13.5-point underdogs at Staples Center, even with the caveat that these two teams played a pair of close games a season ago. The presence of Trae Young gives Atlanta a puncher’s chance in any setting but, in short, this projects as a tall task, particularly with the Hawks’ current roster and the presence of a back-to-back.
Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Nov. 17, 9:30 pm ET
Location: Staples Center
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass