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Preview: Hawks host Pistons for post-break tilt

Basketball is back.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

More than one week has passed since the Atlanta Hawks took the floor as a collective unit and, in short, the results weren’t great. The Hawks floundered in an ugly home loss to the New York Knicks before the All-Star Break and, while Trae Young and John Collins were in action over the weekend, the bitter taste of that defeat still reigns from a team-wide perspective.

On Friday, the break comes to an end and the Hawks return to State Farm Arena for what will be the team’s sixth consecutive home game. Atlanta did pick up a nice win over LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers during that run but, aside from that singular effort, the Hawks have struggled mightily at home in the recent past.

This time around, the Detroit Pistons will be on the opposing bench and the visitors finished their pre-break run on a high note. Detroit hasn’t played since Dec. 13 in Boston but the Pistons won four of their last five games before All-Star Weekend and they are led by a legitimate standout in Blake Griffin.

On the injury front, Kevin Huerter (left ankle sprain) is listed as doubtful for Atlanta. The rookie wing was also on the injury report for the team’s final break before the game and, while no apparent aggravation occurred, Huerter was largely ineffective (and limited from a minutes perspective), potentially lending credence to a theory that he was limited by the ankle.

For Detroit, the injury report is clean and that, at least in part, contributes to the Pistons entering this contest as 3.5-point favorites over the Hawks. It isn’t a shock to see Detroit favored on the road despite the unfriendly venue for the visitors.

It is worth noting that the Hawks did go to Detroit and win before Christmas in an intriguing game for all parties. Still, this contest will arrive under very different circumstances and, to put it plainly, it will be interesting to see how both teams respond to their extended period of rest.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest from State Farm Arena.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)