The Atlanta Hawks host the New Orleans Hornets Friday at 7:30 PM (EST).
New Orleans is a completely different animal than Atlanta’s two previous games against the Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies. The Hornets are a lowly 27th in defensive efficiency but present a more varied challenge on the other end, and when Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis are both healthy, they are a talented team. Ryan Anderson presents a unique challenge with power forward size and unlimited range, as he’s making a case for the 6th man of the year award with 17 points a game off the bench. I’m eager to watch Anthony Davis face off with Horford and Smith up front, as the rookie has been impressive defensively, but hasn’t gotten the focus thanks to an early-season injury and the break-out season of Damian Lillard in Portland. If there was ever a game to see the Atlanta offense get healthy, this is it, and it will probably look like New Orleans is a college team on defense after going through the Chicago/Indiana/Memphis gauntlet in consecutive games.
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Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs New Orleans Hornets
What?: Eastern Conference Showdown (Game #49, Home Game #26)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 – 7:30 PM (EST)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680 AM & 93.7 FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: Anthony Tolliver | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford
New Orleans Hornets:
PG: Greivis Vasquez | SG: Eric Gordon | SF: Al-Farouq Aminu | PF: Anthony Davis | C: Robin Lopez
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) is day-to-day. Lou Williams (torn right ACL) is out.
New Orleans Hornets: None.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (27-21) … New Orleans Hornets (16-33)
Streak: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Lost 2 … New Orleans Hornets –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Lost 4
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (17-8) at home … Hornets are (8-18) away.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. The Hawks are coming off an impressive home victory against the rugged Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday but are 7-11 in their last 18 games and that includes a three-game win streak.
New Orleans Hornets: Cold. Despite beating the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, the Hornets have lost seven of their last 10 games overall including four straight losses on the road.
Season/Past Season Series
The Hawks host the Hornets for the only time this year in the second-and-final game between the teams. Atlanta notched a 95-86 road victory in the first meeting (1/1) as Josh Smith (23 points/13 rebounds) and Zaza Pachulia (12 points/10 boards) recorded double-doubles, and Al Horford scored 20 points. Ryan Anderson put in 23 points for New Orleans and Greivis Vasquez had 17 points and 10 assists. Atlanta has now won two straight overall against the Hornets, but dropped the last meeting at Philips Arena (94-72) on 1/29/12. The Hawks lead the all-time series 43-38, including a 25-16 home mark.
LAST MEETING — HAWKS 95, HORNETS 86 — NEW ORLEANS ARENA — 1/1/13
After falling behind by as-many-as-11 in the first quarter the Hawks managed to claw back to within six (50-44) at halftime. Trailing 53-44 early in the third, Atlanta ripped off a 15-2 run to reclaim the lead, and then closed the period on an 11-2 spurt to take a 72-64 advantage into the final frame. Atlanta shot .632 from the floor (12-19) in the third while holding the Hornets to .375 FG% (6-16). New Orleans was never able to regain the lead as the Hawks made plays down the stretch to secure the victory. Josh Smith paced Atlanta with 23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and three steals. Al Horford added 20 points, while Kyle Korver scored 14 and Zaza Pachulia 12 (along with 10 boards). Ryan Anderson led the Hornets with 23 points and Greivis Vasquez nearly pulled off a triple-double with 17 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. The Hawks committed a season-low seven turnovers on the night, while shooting .494 from the field and dishing out 30 assists. New Orleans finished with a .439 FG%.
Hornets assistant coach Fred Vinson is a former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, and appeared in five games with the Hawks in 1994-95. Al-Farouq Aminu is a native of Atlanta (Norcross HS), and played with Jeff Teague at Wake Forest. Devin Harris and Ryan Anderson were teammates with the Nets in 2008-09. DeShawn Stevenson and Roger Mason Jr. teamed-up with the Wizards from 2006-08. Lou Williams and Jason Smith were teammates in Philadelphia from 2007-10, where Kyle Korver also played for part of the 2007-08 campaign. Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson coached Mason Jr. as an assistant with the Knicks in 2010-11. Hornets head coach Monty Williams coached Anthony Tolliver as an assistant with Portland in 2009-10.
Information was used from the Hawks and Hornets official gamenotes