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Preview: Hawks take on favorite role against Warriors

For the first time this season, the Hawks are projected to win.

Atlanta Hawks v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Update: Cam Reddish (left wrist sprain) remains questionable for Monday’s game, but Allen Crabbe (flu-like symptoms) is now listed as doubtful for the Atlanta Hawks. Kevon Looney projects to return for the Warriors for the first time since October.

The Atlanta Hawks have lost ten games in a row and, since Kevin Huerter and John Collins exited the lineup, the team’s statistical profile is the worst in the NBA. In an ironic twist, Atlanta returns home on Monday in a new role, though, as the Hawks are favored to win a game for the first time during the 2019-20 season.

The good people in Las Vegas install the Hawks as 6.5-point (!) favorites over the Golden State Warriors and, even if that might seem odd with how Atlanta is playing, there is a method to the madness. The Warriors have been the second-worst team in the NBA over the last few weeks (and, really, for most of the season) and the visitors arrive in Atlanta on the second night of a road back-to-back. Given that the Hawks were off on Sunday, that is a clear edge for Atlanta and, in addition, Draymond Green (rest) will miss this game for the Warriors, joining Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and D’Angelo Russell (among others) on the shelf.

It has to be noted that the Hawks have a few injury concerns of their own, with Huerter (shoulder) not ready to return and Cam Reddish (wrist) listed as questionable. Still, it is clear that the expectation in this spot is a win for Atlanta, which is new territory for a team that is flailing a bit at the moment.

Still, the Warriors are a bottom-five defensive team in the NBA and, without Green, they might be the worst squad in the league at preventing their opponents from scoring. That, combined with the presence of Trae Young, should bring optimism when it comes to Atlanta putting the ball in the basketball. Lastly, the Warriors are also a bottom-five offensive team right now and, though the Hawks are struggling mightily on defense, it is conceivable that the home team could generate more stops than usual in this spot.

Monday’s contest is a far cry from the much-ballyhooed regular season clash between these two teams in 2015, as that game matched the NBA’s two best teams in the moment. This time around, it wouldn’t be tough to argue that the Hawks and Warriors, as presently constructed, are the two worst teams in the league but, simply put, Golden State’s arrival couldn’t come at a better time for an Atlanta team that desperately needs a win.

Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, Dec. 2, 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