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Preview: Hawks visit Cavs in pre-break clash

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

UPDATE: De’Andre Hunter is no longer on the injury report and is on track to play. DeAndre’ Bembry has been upgraded to probable, seemingly paving the way for his first action since Jan. 20

The All-Star break is nearly here but, before the NBA takes a hiatus for a few days, the Atlanta Hawks face an intriguing contest on Wednesday evening. On the heels of a competitive loss in Orlando, the Hawks will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in what can only be describe as a winnable match-up for Atlanta.

Cleveland took the first battle between these two teams in late December, prevailing by a three-point margin. That game was best known as the return of John Collins from his 25-game suspension but, six weeks later, Atlanta is playing better basketball and Cleveland is struggling.

Still, the presence of home-court advantage evens things out and, as of Wednesday morning, the Hawks are installed as 1-point favorites in this game. Atlanta does have a cleaner injury report than in recent days, with only Clint Capela and Skal Labissiere ruled out on the team’s initial injury report. De’Andre Hunter (left ankle sprain) is listed probable, while DeAndre’ Bembry (right hand neuritis) has been upgraded to questionable.

On the Cleveland side, Kevin Love is listed as questionable. The Cavaliers struggle mightily on the defensive end and, well, Love wouldn’t help that. Still, Cleveland is better offensively and Love is the team’s best offensive big man. Finally, the Cavaliers have a new face in the middle in Andre Drummond, giving Dewayne Dedmon and company plenty to deal with on the interior.

Ultimately, this is a game that the Hawks are fully capable of winning if they can perform at a solid level and it would be nice for all parties if Atlanta was able to enter a rest-filled break on a high note.

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: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7:00 pm ET

Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

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

Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass