Atlanta Hawks (43-23) Toronto Raptors (32-33) Game Preview


Atlanta Hawks (43-23)  Opponent (32-33)

Venue: Air Canada Centre

Time: 7:00 PM ET

TV: SportSouth

Radio: 790 The Zone

Previous Meetings

12/02/2009 Hawks 146 Raptors 115 – Recap

12/11/2009 Hawks 111 Raptors 89 – Recap

Probable Starters:

Hawks

PG Mike Bibby

SG Mo Evans

SF Marvin Williams

PF Josh Smith

C Al Horford

Raptors

PG Jarrett Jack

SG DeMar Derozan

SF Hedo Turkoglu

PF Chris Bosh

C Andrea Bargnani

Hawks Blog Roll

Hoopinion

Peachtree Hoops

Hawkstr8talk

The Vent

Hawks Blog

Raptors Blog Roll

Raptors Republic

Raptors HQ

Raptors Rapture

Game Thoughts

Anytime you are preparing to talk about a game with the Toronto Raptors the word “Defense” is the first word that comes to mind. Defense as in how little Toronto plays and as in how much the Hawks have to play to secure a victory. The Raptors are struggling and need this game bad. They currently have lost five games in a row and are clinging to a game and a half lead over the Chicago Bulls for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. So they are desperate for a win and it is paramount that the Hawks come out focused.

Joe Johnson is out again for this game with a sore Achilles and is questionable for Friday’s home game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Jeff Teague got the start last night at the point with Mike Bibby shifting over to shooting guard. There is no word as of yet as to what starting lineup Coach Woodson will run out there tonight. The Hawks will need to play a physical game and be ready to challenge the Raptors jump shooters. The Raptors are rather soft but the Hawks must be ready to mix it up inside with Chris Bosh. The Raptors can score so the Hawks must be ready to contest everything defensively.

To sweep this road trip without Joe Johnson would be a huge confidence booster to the team. Toronto while currently struggling is still more than capable offensively of having a huge night. It will be ultra important to control this game from the outset and not let the Raptors get off to a good start and feeling confident.

Also worth noting is Chris Seridan’s Daily Dime Article about Jamal Crawford’s soon to be first appearance in the Playoffs.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Toronto Raptors

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