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1/9 ATL Hawks vs. NJ Nets Game Day Preview: All You Need to Know

Can Jeff Teague slow down Deron Williams?

Who?: Atlanta Hawks (6-3) vs. New Jersey Nets (2-7)

When?: January 9th, 2012; 7:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Where?: Prudential Center (Newark, NJ)

How?: SportSouth HD (TV) & 99x (98.9 radio)

The Opposing Blogs: Nets Daily (SB Nation), Nets Are Scorching (TrueHoop)

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Projected Starting Lineups:

Atlanta Hawks:

PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Joe Johnson | C: Al Horford | PF: Josh Smith | SF: Tracy McGrady

New Jersey Nets:

PG: Deron Williams | SG: Deshawn Stevenson | C: Johan Petro | PF: Kris Humphries | SF: Anthony Morrow

Injury Report:

Atlanta: Kirk Hinrich (left shoulder surgery), and Marvin Williams (sprained left ankle) are out.

New Jersey: Brook Lopez (broken right foot), Damion James (sore right foot), and Mehmet Okur (back spasms) are out.

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Current Records/Streak:

Records: The Atlanta Hawks are (6-3) and the New Jersey Nets are (2-7).

Streak: The Hawks are on a 2 game winning streak, and the Nets are on a 1 game losing streak.

Away/Home: The Hawks are (3-2) on the road, and the Nets are (0-3) at home.

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Season Series:

For the third time in two weeks, the Atlanta Hawks and the New Jersey Nets square off. The Hawks have won both of the two meetings so far.

The first game wasn’t close at all as the Hawks won by 36 points in New Jersey. Six Hawks players scored in double digits in that game. Vladimir Radmanovic had the team high with 17.

In their second meeting, the game was a lot closer. A little too close for comfort actually, as the Hawks only won by 7 points. Deron Williams and Marshon Brooks kept the Nets in it, as they combined for 44 points in 17-31 shooting. Jeff Teague and Joe Johnson led the Hawks as they combined for 43 points in 15-25 shooting.

After this game, the Hawks and Nets will meet one more time this season on March 23rd.

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3 Things To Watch For:

  • Al Horford. The Nets don’t have much depth in the Center position right now as two of their top Centers (Lopez and Okur) are out with injuries. Johan Petro and Shelden Williams will probably share minutes at the 5 spot tonight. Shelden Williams and Johan Petro aren’t horrible defensive players, but Horford should easily dominate the Center match-up.
  • Josh Smith. The Nets have limited him to a combined 14 points in the first two games, but Josh Smith is still a player to watch out for since he is averaging 20.0 points (52.3%) and 11.3 rebounds during his last four games. Josh Smith is also coming off one of the best all-around performance by any NBA player this season, scoring 25 points, blocking six shots, dishing out 5 assists, grabbing 5 boards, and making four steals against the Bulls on Saturday night.
  • Jeff Teague vs. Deron Williams. Just like the Bulls, if you make their star point guard look average, their team doesn’t stand much of a chance. The only way the Nets can win this game is if Deron has a big game. If Teague can stay in front of Deron and make him work on the defensive end, the Hawks should be in good shape tonight.

Tags: Al Horford Atlanta Hawks Deron Williams Game Preview Jeff Teague Josh Smith New Jersey Nets

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