The Atlanta Hawks are assuredly happy to be home. While the Hawks started a three-game road trip on a positive note with a breezy win over Charlotte, Atlanta flopped in Miami and followed that up with a blowout loss in Chicago. On Friday, the Hawks face a stiff challenge as the Indiana Pacers come to State Farm Arena but, unlike Wednesday’s proceedings, Atlanta will do so without the rest disadvantage.
Lloyd Pierce’s team is currently listed as a six-point underdog and, considering Indiana’s win-loss record (16-9), the projected margin isn’t a surprise. However, the Hawks did perform well in an earlier match-up between the two teams, forcing overtime before succumbing by one point. In that game, Trae Young was absolutely electric with 49 points and, if nothing else, his presence provides optimism against the Pacers on Friday.
On the injury front, the Hawks are at near-full strength, with only John Collins (suspension) unavailable to play. Indiana is still without Victor Oladipo but, considering the All-Star guard has not played yet this season, the Pacers are comfortable operating without him, leaning heavily on Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner.
Following this game, the Hawks will face an even more difficult test against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers on Sunday. If anything, that places additional emphasis on what transpires on Friday, leaving Atlanta with some urgency here.
Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.
Game Date/Time: Friday, Dec. 13, 7:30 pm ET
Location: State Farm Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass