Nov 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) is congratulated by teammates after hitting the game-winning basket against the Dallas Mavericks in the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Mavericks 88-87. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Hawks are set to begin a four game homestand beginning with the Clippers tonight. The long stay in Atlanta marks the longest streak of home games this season for the Hawks. Atlanta is coming of the exciting finish in San Antonio where the team found themselves on the losing side. The loss to the San Antonio Spurs was their 5th in 6 games, and the Hawks should be looking to take advantage of their extended stay at home and grab a few key victories at Philips Arena. The Hawks are 5-3 at home this season, but the upcoming match-ups won’t be easy victories by any means. Let’s take a look at each team the Hawks will be matched up against over the next 10 days.
The Hawks are tasked with facing the Los Angeles Clippers tonight at 7:30 ET. The Clippers are coming off of two days of rest after falling to the Indiana Pacers at home. The game tonight marks the first of 7 games on the road against several Eastern Conference teams. The Clippers are 12-6 so far and hold onto the 4th seed in the Western Conference standings, but the team is only 4-4 on the road this season. Los Angeles recently lost J.J. Redick for the next several weeks, and so Hawks fans will have to wait to see Kyle Korver, who is expected to return for this game, match-up against another catch and shoot specialist like Redick. Chris Paul was also dealing with a injury last week as he missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings.
On Friday, the Hawks will be looking for a victory against a struggling Cleveland Cavaliers squad. With trade rumors swirling around Dion Waiters, the team finds themselves 12th in the Eastern Conference standings at 5-12. The game on Friday will be a short one game road trip for Cleveland after they face the Denver Nuggets at home tonight at 7ET. The Cavs are 1-9 on the road so far this season, the only win being in Washington back on November 16th. Cleveland has been a relatively healthy team this season. Earl Clark will likely be active tonight after Saturday’s game due to illness. The match-up of Jeff Teague and Kyrie Irving will be interesting to watch coming into the game as both have been in the conversation for best point guard in the East along with John Wall.
Following the Cavs game, the Hawks will receive three days off before another tough match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder are currently right above the Clippers at the 3rd seed with a 13-3 record. Oklahoma City has won 8 straight, 2 of which were road games, and will face the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans and Indiana Pacers before visiting Atlanta. The Thunder are 4-3 so far on the road, but are also undefeated against Eastern Conference teams this season. Jeremy Lamb should be under close watch next Tuesday as the Norcross native has seen more playing time this season with Kevin Martin’s departure to Minnesota.
Two days after the Thunder game, the Hawks finish the home stretch against the Washington Wizards. The Wizards visit will mark the second time the two teams have faced each other this season. The Wizards found themselves victorious after the Hawks traveled up to Washington last Saturday. Washington is currently a half game above the Hawks at 9-9 and the team will face the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets at home before traveling to Atlanta. The Wizards have struggled on the road so far this season with a 3-7 record, so even with the previous result between these two teams, the Hawks could capitalize on the road struggles the Wizards have endured.
Overall, the Hawks should at least split the 4 games and grab 2 wins against their Eastern Conference opponents, but a victory against the West teams wouldn’t be out of the question. Either way, Hawks fans should take advantage and make the trip out to Philips Arena for any of these great upcoming games. All four of the home games can be seen locally on SportsSouth.