Season Series: The Hawks lead 1-0 having defeated the Wizards way back on Oct 30th 100-89.
Last Game: The Hawks come in with a day of rest having defeated the Celtics in Boston on Monday 102-96. The Wizards come in on the second night of a back to back having lost to Detroit 99-90 thus snapping Detroit’s 13 game losing streak on Tuesday.
TV: SportSouth Radio: 790TheZone
Hawks come back home for a 5 game home stand that is spread out over the next 10 days. (or the length of Mario West’s contract) This is a time for the team to get its legs back under them because they will be at home and the stand isn’t mired with back to back games. This is an opportunity for the team to get back to playing consistent basketball and hopefully build off the momentum that started in Boston.
The Wizards come into the game as a train wreck. The Gilbert Arenas situation hangs over the team like a giant albatross no matter how much they try to push it away. Here are Flip Saunders comments when asked if things were getting back to normal.
“Considering that we had three guys meeting with lawyers and the district attorney this morning during practice? No,” Saunders said. “We have people still meeting with people. We had only eight people available. That’s something right now that we have to live with and fight through.”
One can only imagine what that must be like. The news gets worse for the Wizards after the team had to suspend Forward Andray Blatche for Tuesday night’s game against Detroit for conduct detrimental to the team. Add to this that Mike Miller injured his calf again and may be out for the foreseeable future you can tell that the Wizards come into Atlanta a mess.
That being said there is still some good talent on this team. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are both capable of putting up huge games so it will be very important for the Hawks to establish tempo early and to try and take the Wizards out of the game early. Thats was something the Hawks were doing with regularity early in the season but have gotten away from it a little in the last few weeks. It is imperative that the Hawks recapture that spark because a loss to the Wizards at this juncture just isn’t acceptable.