The Atlanta Hawks will kick off a west coast road trip on Saturday night when they take on the Phoenix Suns. The Hawks have dropped back-to-back contests to the Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz, and the schedule doesn't get any easier out west.
Atlanta will see some of the best competition the Western Conference has to offer including matchups with the Suns, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets and another matchup with the Jazz. The Hawks are 4-5 on the season and will need to clean up some of their early season issues if they want to have a successful trip out west.
The Hawks offense, particularly within the second unit, has been lackluster. Nate McMillan has often chosen to run out a full bench lineup, sitting most or all of the starters for extended periods of time.
It’s early in the season and lineup data is typically suspect at this point. BUT the Hawks starting lineup has an OFF RTG of 118.5 & NET RTG of +8.3. Replace Hunter w/ Huerter & you get 129.6/+40.7. The rest is bad. Really bad. Takeaway: their all bench lineups are KILLING them— Glen Willis (@willis_glen) November 5, 2021
McMillan may begin to consider altering his rotation strategies if the trip out west gets off to a rough start, but it is still early.
Lou Williams has seemed to take hold of the backup point guard role despite the presence of Delon Wright on the roster. This has been another interesting development, as Williams has struggled to get the second unit going in addition to his obvious defensive limitations at this point in his career. Wright played only a couple of garbage time minutes across the Hawks’ back-to-back earlier this week, and seemingly has not yet found a way into the rotation despite being a starting caliber player in previous stops in his career.
It will be interesting to see how McMillan and his staff handle the rotations out west against tough competition.
For the Hawks, Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) is probable for Saturday's contest, while forward John Collins (left foot strain) is questionable. Onyeka Okongwu remains out as he works his way back from his offseason shoulder surgery.
Cameron Payne is questionable for the Suns, while Dario Saric remains out. Deandre Ayton was added to the report Saturday, listed as out with a right leg contusion.
Atlanta sits as 4.5-point underdogs vs. the Suns as of Saturday morning.
Game Date & Time: Saturday Nov. 6, 10 PM ET
Location: Footprint Center
TV: BSSE, League Pass
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Streaming: Bally Sports App, League Pass (out of market)