The Atlanta Hawks suffered a maddening overtime loss on Tuesday in Miami, collapsing in the final minute of regulation and imploding in the extra frame. After less than 24 hours to travel and (presumably) sleep, the Hawks are back in action on Wednesday evening in Chicago, facing a brutal schedule situation against the Bulls.
After what transpired in Miami, it would be accurate to say that the Hawks won’t be given the benefit of the doubt on Wednesday and that is understandable. However, Atlanta does face extremely difficult circumstances. This is the third road game in four nights for the Hawks and, after the overtime match-up on Tuesday, Lloyd Pierce’s team didn’t land in Chicago until after 2 am local time. At the same time, the Bulls were resting soundly after a day off on Tuesday and, prior to that, they had a home game on Monday, alleviating the need for travel.
With that in mind, the Bulls are solid betting favorites in this game, with the good folks in Las Vegas making Chicago a five-point favorite over Atlanta. Earlier this season, the Hawks lost by 20 points at home to the Bulls and, while that was also the second night of a back-to-back for Atlanta, it was a disappointing showing for most of the roster.
From a roster standpoint, there a lot of moving parts for Chicago. The Bulls will definitely be without Otto Porter (foot) and Chandler Hutchison (shoulder, illness) in this game, weakening the team’s forward depth, and there are a number of players — headlined by Wendell Carter, Zach LaVine and Coby White — listed as probable. Presumably, Porter will be the only member of the team’s core that is absent for the game, but this is a situation to monitor.
The Hawks have a (much) cleaner injury report, with only John Collins (suspension) officially listed. There is some intrigue as to how Atlanta’s rotations will be utilized, ranging from an ongoing minutes restriction for Kevin Huerter to jockeying for minutes elsewhere, but Pierce has almost all hands on deck for this match-up.
Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 8:00 pm ET
Location: United Center
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass