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Preview: Hawks visit Washington in search of tenth victory

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks split a back-to-back earlier this week, toppling the short-handed L.A. Clippers before losing an overtime battle to the Brooklyn Nets. After a day off on Thursday to recharge, the Hawks will hit the road on Friday evening, traveling to the nation’s capital to face the Washington Wizards.

Friday’s tilt will be the first meeting between the Southeast Division foes this season, with the Wizards struggling mightily to open the 2020-21 campaign. Washington is just 3-11 after losing six of the last seven games and, in a repeat of last season, the Wizards are brutal defensively, allowing almost 115 points per 100 possessions. The Wizards do have a superstar offensive engine in Bradley Beal, averaging 35.4 points per game this season, but Washington has also been operating with a short-handed roster.

The Wizards do project to have more roster flexibility in this game, however, with key pieces set to return. Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura and Moritz Wagner are available to play, though Washington is still without 2020 lottery pick Deni Avdija, Troy Brown Jr. and Ish Smith as a result of the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

For the Hawks, Clint Capela (right hand soreness) and Onyeka Okongwu (left Achilles soreness) are listed as probable for Friday’s game. Cam Reddish (right quad contusion) is listed as questionable — notably with a different injury than the Achilles tightness and left knee contusion he has battled recently — and Rajon Rondo (left ankle sprain) is also questionable. Kris Dunn and Bogdan Bogdanovic remain out of action.

Even with the game taking place in Washington, D.C., the Hawks are currently 6-point betting favorites at the time of this post. Nothing is assured, of course, but Atlanta is the more talented team in this match-up and, on regular rest following the back-to-back, the expectation should be a victory for the Hawks.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, Jan. 29, 7:00 pm ET

Location: Capital One Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

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

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