The Atlanta Hawks picked up a much-needed victory on Monday evening, dominating the proceedings against the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers. With that win under their belt, the Hawks begin a three-game road trip on Wednesday evening with a challenging match-up against the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns, led by Chris Paul and Devin Booker, are off to a strong start, posting top-ten marks in the NBA in both offensive rating and net rating. Phoenix is also a top-five team in assist rate and turnover rate offensively and, even with a middling defense, the Suns deploy a strong overall attack.
While the Hawks still enter this game short-handed without Danilo Gallinari, Kris Dunn and Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta’s injury report is cleaner than in recent days. Onyeka Okongwu (inflammation, sesamoid bone, left foot) is officially listed as probable and, if he is able to play, the No. 6 overall pick would make his NBA debut. In contrast, Clint Capela (right hand soreness) is listed as questionable after serving as the team’s starting center for the last eight consecutive games. Rajon Rondo (right knee injury maintenance) is also questionable to play after last appearing on the court on Dec. 30.
Phoenix’s roster is largely intact as this game approaches, with only rookie Jalen Smith (protocols) ruled out and Cameron Payne (ankle) listed as doubtful. It will be important for the Hawks to slow the Suns’ highly touted backcourt and, if Capela is unable to play, Atlanta’s task will be more difficult in slowing 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton.
In contrast to the last several games, Atlanta will enter Wednesday’s tilt as the betting underdog given the road setting and a strong opponent. Still, the Hawks have proven to be dangerous and talented enough to pull off what would be a mild upset.
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Game Date/Time: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 9:00 pm ET
Location: Phoenix Suns Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)