This series will always be about Joe Johnson, right? This is Joe’s second appearance in Philips Arena as a member of the Nets and I don’t think it will ever be normal to see him in another uniform. In his initial return to Philips, he shot just 4-15 from the field but I’d expect a higher level of production (and less anxiety) from Johnson in this match-up.
Brooklyn actually has a negative point differential for the season (which is jarring), but their offense isn’t the cause of that. Brook Lopez is a monster, and will present issues for the much smaller Al Horford on the box. It’s critical that Atlanta limits Lopez as Brooklyn is at their best when running everything through their All-Star center.
Fortunately, Brooklyn’s defense has been a mess at times, allowing almost 104 points per 100 possessions on the season, and none of their multiple front-court options is particularly adept defensively.
This could be a big game for Josh Smith, as he squares off with Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace. That should tell you all you need to know. Overall, the story will center around Joe but this is a home game against a potential playoff foe and that’s a big spot.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs Brooklyn Nets
What?: Eastern Conference Showdown (Game #62, Home Game #30)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Saturday, March 9, 2013 – 7:00 PM (EST)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680 AM & 93.7 FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: DeShawn Stevenson | SF: Josh Smith | PF: Anthony Tolliver | C: Al Horford
PG: Deron Williams | SG: Joe Johnson | SF: Gerald Wallace | PF: Reggie Evans | C: Brook Lopez
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) is a game-time decision. Lou Williams (torn right ACL) are out.
Brooklyn Nets: None.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (34-27) … Brooklyn Nets (36-26)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 1 / HOME: Won 2 / ROAD: Lost 4 … Brooklyn Nets –> OVERALL: Won 2 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Won 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (19-10) at home … Nets are (15-13) away.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. The Hawks have lost four of their last five games overall, including an overtime thriller in Boston on Friday night (all 4 are road L’s). Atlanta has won two in a row at home, but that was against the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers — not exactly the class of the NBA.
Brooklyn Nets: Hot. The Nets are winners of two straight and Deron Williams set an NBA record for most first half three-pointers with 9 makes on Friday against the Washington Wizards — he finished the game with 11 three-pointers.
Season/Past Season Series
The Nets come to Philips Arena for the second-and-final time in the third-of-four games with the Hawks. The teams have split two games so far, each winning at home. Atlanta struck first with a 109-95 triumph on 1/16 before Brooklyn evened things up with a 94-89 win on 1/18. Jeff Teague (two double-doubles) is averaging 24.5 points and 10.5 assists against the Nets this year, while Brook Lopez is putting up 21.0 points versus the Hawks. Atlanta has won eight straight at Philips Arena against the Nets, with Brooklyn’s last win coming on 11/15/08 (119-107). The Hawks lead the all-time series 89-66, including a 57-20 home mark.
LAST MEETING — NETS 94, HAWKS 89 — BARCLAYS CENTER — BROOKLYN, NY — 1/18/13
Atlanta fell 94-89 at Brooklyn in a back-and-forth affair that featured 18 lead changes and 14 ties. The game was knotted after each of the first three quarters, but the Nets struck first in the final frame and led the rest of the way. The Hawks trailed 90-82 with just over two minutes to play but put together a 7-0 run to get within one with under one minute to go, but couldn’t get any closer. Brooklyn scored the last four points from the charity stripe to seal the win. Jeff Teague tallied 21 points and 10 assists to lead Atlanta. Devin Harris added 17 points, Josh Smith 12 and Kyle Korver 11. Deron Williams scored 24 for the Nets, while Brook Lopez put in 20 and Reggie Evans grabbed 20 rebounds. Brooklyn hit 25-38 FTs on the night while Atlanta attempted just 14 (making 10). The Nets had a 48-35 edge on the glass and 22-3 in second chance points, while the Hawks had a 17-3 advantage in fast break points.
Devin Harris (part of 2007-08 through part of 2010-11), Johan Petro (2010-12) and DeShawn Stevenson (2011-12) are all former Nets. Larry Drew was an assistant coach with the Nets in 2003-04. Lester Conner spent time playing for the Nets from 1988-91. Joe Johnson spent seven seasons in Atlanta (2005-12), scoring over 10,000 points. Jerry Stackhouse saw action in 30 games for the Hawks last year. MarShon Brooks is a Tucker native (Tucker HS). Stevenson and Andray Blatche were teammates with Washington from 2006 through part of 2009-10. Stevenson (part of 2003-04 in Orlando) and Kyle Korver (2010-11 with Chicago) have both been teammates of Keith Bogans. Korver (Philadelphia for part of 2007-08), Lou Williams (Philadelphia 2007-09) and Johan Petro (Seattle for part of 2005-06) have all teamed-up with Reggie Evans. Anthony Tolliver (Golden State for part of 2009-10) and Kyle Korver (Chicago 2010-12) were teammates with C.J. Watson. Korver and Deron Williams teamed together with Utah (part of 2007-08 through 2010).
Information was used from the Hawks and Nets official gamenotes