Mike Budenholzer got his head coaching debut spoiled Wednesday night as Atlanta dropped the season opener in Dallas 118-109, but can right the ship if he can lead the Hawks to a win in their home opener in Philips Arena tonight against the Toronto Raptors.
The Hawks will have to do a much better job of rebounding and getting back on transition defense than they did against the Mavericks if they want to come away with a win over the Raptors.
Mavs shooters posted a .458 shooting percentage (11-of-24) from behind the arc and a .571 shooting percentage (44-of-77) from the field overall against Atlanta on Wednesday, while also winning the rebounding battle by a 42-33 margin. The Hawks’ frontcourt of Paul Millsap and Al Horford were limited to five boards each. On the other side, Toronto will look to do the same thing they did on the glass in their opening win as they had a 48-33 rebounding advantage over new-look Boston.
However, it wasn’t all bad for the Hawks in the opening night loss as point guard Jeff Teague tallied team-highs 24 points and nine assists, to go with four steals and two rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Newcomer Paul Millsap was also fairly impressive, scoring 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting and showing some nice touch around the rim. Former training camp invite Cartier Martin was a pleasant surprise as he added 17 points off the bench, and Kyle Korver advanced his historic 3-point streak to 74 games.
The Raptors were also on the road for their opener and took care of the Celtics 93-87 behind 19 points from wingman Rudy Gay. The Hawks’ new defensive specialist DeMarre Carroll will draw the assignment of trying to limit Gay’s scoring output, while Korver tries to slow down the explosive DeMar DeRozan.
Soaring Down South will be on scene for tonight’s home opener so be sure to check back for coverage throughout and after the game.
Who?: Toronto Raptors vs Atlanta Hawks
What?: Hawks Home Opener (Game #2, Home Game #1)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Friday, November 1, 2013 – 7:30 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 92.9 FM “The Game”
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: DeMarre Carroll | PF: Paul Millsap | C: Al Horford
PG: Kyle Lowry | SG: DeMar DeRozan | SF: Rudy Gay | PF: Amir Johnson | C: Jonas Valanciunas
Atlanta Hawks: Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder injury) and Lou Williams (right knee rehabilitation) are out.
Toronto Raptors: None.
Current Records, Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Toronto Raptors (1-0) / Atlanta Hawks (0-1)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 1 | HOME: Won 0 | ROAD: Lost 1 Toronto Raptors –> OVERALL: Won 1 | HOME: Lost 0 | ROAD: Won 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (0-0) at home / Raptors are (1-0) on the road.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. The Hawks dropped the season opener in Dallas on Wednesday 118-109, and are coming off a 1-6 record in exhibition play that ended with five straight losses.
Toronto Raptors: Hot. The Raptors won their season opener, defeating the new-look Celtics in Boston 93-87, and are coming off a 6-1 record in preseason play that ended with five straight wins. Yeah, basically the exact opposite of Atlanta.
Season/Past Season Series
Atlanta welcomes Toronto to Philips Arena for the first of four matchups between the teams. The clubs will play again in Atlanta on 3/18 and at Toronto on 2/12 and 3/23. The Hawks won the 2012-13 season series 2-1, splitting both contests at Philips Arena and taking the only game in Toronto. The Raptors won the last contest 113-96 in Atlanta on 4/16/13. The last Hawks home victory was a 93-92 contest on 1/30/13. Atlanta leads the all-time series 39-28, including an 20-14 home record.
Atlanta Assistant Coach Jim Thomas served in the same capacity with Toronto, as well as being a scout for the Raptors, from 1994-2001. DeMarre Carroll has been teammates with Rudy Gay (Memphis for parts of two seasons (2009-11)), Kyle Lowry (Houston 2010-11) and Julyan Stone (Denver for part of 2011-12). Steve Novak played for San Antonio for part of 2010-11 while Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer was as assistant on the Spurs’ bench. Cartier Martin and D.J. Augustin were teammates with Charlotte in 2008-09. Hawks Assistant Coach Kenny Atkinson coached Landry Fields as an Assistant with the Knicks from 2010-12. Raptors TV broadcaster Leo Rautins played four games for the Hawks in the 1984-85 season.
Information was used from the Hawks and Raptors official gamenotes