The decimated Atlanta Hawks head into tonight’s game in Detroit against Josh Smith and the Pistons short three centers, their starting point guard, and while trying to snap the their longest losing streak in seven years.
The Hawks are on a seven-game skid, their longest since 2007, and will have to play without Jeff Teague. However, they get a bit of a lift as starting small forward DeMarre Carroll will play. Both players were listed as “game-time decisions.”
Atlanta is also without All-Star center Al Horford (season-ending pectoral surgery), as well as second and third stringers Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder injury) and Pero Antic (stress fracture in ankle). So that means Atlanta will have to rely on 15-year veteran Elton Brand — the fourth-string center.
Shelvin Mack will replace Teague tonight as the starting point guard.
The Pistons, meanwhile, will be at full strength against the wounded Hawks.
This is the third-of-four meetings between the teams this season with Atlanta leading the series 2-0 over the Pistons. The Hawks won 93-85 at home on Nov. 20 and then again two days later on Nov. 22 in Detroit 96-89. The third game of the series was supposed to be played on Jan. 29, but the game got postponed because of severe weather in the Atlanta area and was rescheduled for April 8.
Josh Smith is averaging 5.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in two meetings against his former team, while his replacement Paul Millsap is putting up 16.5 points and 4.5 boards per game versus Detroit.
What?: Josh Smith Reunion, Part 3 (Game #54, Road Game #28)
Where?: Palace of Auburn Hills (Auburn Hills, MI)
When?: Friday, February 21, 2014 – 7:30 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HD TV & 92.9 FM
PG: Shelvin Mack | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: DeMarre Carroll | PF: Paul Millsap | C: Elton Brand
PG: Brandon Jennings | SG: Kyle Singler | SF: Josh Smith | PF: Greg Monroe | C: Andre Drummound
Atlanta Hawks: DeMarre Carroll (left hamstring strain) and Jeff Teague (sprained left ankle) are game-time decisions. Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder injury), Pero Antic (stress fracture, right ankle), Al Horford (right pectoral muscle surgery) and John Jenkins (lower back surgery) are out.
Detroit Pistons: None.
Current Records, Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (25-28) / Detroit Pistons (22-32)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 7 | HOME: Lost 3 | ROAD: Lost 4 Detroit Pistons –> OVERALL: Lost 3 | HOME: Lost 2 | ROAD: Lost 5
Home/Away Records: Pistons are (12-17) at home / Hawks are (9-18) on the road.
Atlanta Hawks: Ice Cold. The Hawks are on a seven-game losing streak, the longest skid since 2007. Enough said.
Detroit Pistons: Cold. The Pistons have lost three straight, which includes two in a row versus the Bobcats and the other against the Cavaliers. Not exactly the toughest competition.
Series Notes/Past Series Notes
The Hawks travel to Detroit for the third-of-four matchups this season. Atlanta was victorious in the first two meetings, taking the first contest 93-85 on 11/20 at home and winning the second game 96-89 on 11/22 in Detroit. Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll is averaging 11.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals against the Pistons this season while Jeff Teague is averaging 18.0 points and 8.0 assists. Detroit’s Brandon Jennings (14.5 points and 10.0 assists) and Andre Drummond (12.5 points and 14.0 rebounds) are each averaging a double-double against the Hawks. The clubs will close the season-series in Atlanta on 4/8. Atlanta owns a three-game winning streak in the series, including two straight on the road. The Pistons’ last victory over the Hawks came on 1/4/13 in Detroit (85-84). Atlanta leads the all-time series 171-160, including an 82-72 road mark.
LAST MEETING — HAWKS 96, PISTONS 89 — AUBURN HILLS, MI — 11/22/11
The Hawks started hot offensively, hitting .526 from the field in the first quarter, grabbing a 27-22 lead. Atlanta pushed the advantage to as-many-as-11 in the second before a 6-0 Pistons spurt in the final minute of the half made it 49-44 at intermission. After a 24-24 standoff in the third, the Hawks went up eight early in the fourth, but the home team answered with a 15-6 run to reclaim the advantage (87-86). It didn’t last long as Atlanta ended the game on a 10-2 run, with DeMarre Carroll scoring seven points, over the last three minutes to secure the win. Jeff Teague scored 18 points and Al Horford had a double-double (17 points/11 rebounds) for the Hawks. Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver each scored 14, while Carroll finished with 12. Detroit’s Kyle Singler led all scorers with 22 with Andre Drummond (15 points/16 rebounds) and Greg Monroe (11 points/11 boards) adding double-doubles.
Hawks Assistant Coach Darvin Ham won an NBA Championship as a player with Detroit in 2003-04. Josh Smith is an Atlanta-native and played nine seasons with the Hawks (2004-13) after being a first round draft pick by the organization. Pistons Assistant Coach for Player Development Rasheed Wallace played one game in a Hawks uniform in 2003-04. Al Horford went to high school in Grand Ledge, MI. Will Bynum played his final two collegiate seasons at Georgia Tech, while teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope played college ball at Georgia. Pistons radio broadcaster Rick Mahorn is a former Hawks Assistant Coach. Gustavo Ayon and Brandon Jennings were teammates with the Bucks for part of 2012-13.