Through two games, the 2020-21 NBA season has been kind to the Atlanta Hawks. The team generated back-to-back road wins, including an impressive, double-digit victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday evening. With that as the backdrop, the Hawks return to State Farm Arena for the home opener on Monday, and the Detroit Pistons are in town to occupy the opposing bench.
In contrast to the Hawks, the Pistons are 0-2 on the young season, losing a road game to the Minnesota Timberwolves and a home game to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Detroit’s preseason expectations were also quite modest, as they are not projected as a playoff team despite a flurry of offseason activity. On top of that, the Pistons won’t have either Blake Griffin or Derrick Rose — both listed as out on the team’s injury report — but there are no “easy” wins in the NBA world. Also, Detroit has an interesting rookie in Killian Hayes, who observers are likely familiar with as a lottery pick this season.
For Atlanta, the opening stretch of the season was quite positive on both sides, with Trae Young leading a dynamic offense and increased attention by the entire roster defensively. Still, the Hawks have not been able to deploy their full roster to this point, and the injury report is again busy for the particular contest.
On Sunday afternoon, the Hawks announced that Kris Dunn will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his ankle, and he will remain out of action as a result. Tony Snell and Onyeka Okongwu are also not cleared for action. However, Atlanta does get good news with Clint Capela (left Achilles soreness), who is listed as probable after missing the first two games. Danilo Gallinari (left foot contusion) is listed as questionable.
At the time of this post, the Hawks are listed as 9-point favorites in this matchup. That reflects the reality that Atlanta is the better, more talented team and, playing at home, this is a game the Hawks should win if they put together a complete performance.
Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest, with a game thread to arrive shortly before tip-off.
Game Date/Time: Monday, Dec. 28, 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)