Hawks-Bulls Preview: A First-Ever Broadcast


Dennis Schröder and the Atlanta Hawks look to bounce back into another winning streak tonight when they face the Chicago Bulls.

(Philips Arena, 7:30 ET, SportSouth/92.9 FM/105.3 FM)

A look at the Bulls (15-8):

Keeping pace 

A Bulls win tonight would leapfrog Chicago over the Hawks in the Eastern Conference standings.

Double duty

The Bulls come into Atlanta on the second night of a back-to-back Southeast trip. They smothered a Bosh-less Miami Heat offense in a 93-75 win last night in Miami. “We have to do a good job moving the ball,” Al Horford noted after shootaround. “They’re a very good defensive team.”

Coach Mike Budenholzer also heaped praise on the Bulls’ defense, and he wants a rapidly-moving offense to counter it.

“They’re a very, very good defensive team. You know they always will be. Coach (Tom) Thibodeau always does a great job on that end of the court. So (a key for) us is probably doing what we do even better, with our pace, with our ball movement, with our people movement. I think you have to be disciplined in those areas.”

Another key for tonight is Dennis Schröder. Kirk Hinrich used to be a great defender, but at this stage in his career, he is not going to be able to keep up with the speed of the Hawks’ second-year guard. If Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks are ever off the floor at the same time, keep an eye on Dennis getting to the rim.


Rookie Doug McDermott (right knee) is out. Joakim Noah (right ankle) is doubtful, and if Noah sits, expect Paul Gasol to take his place in the starting lineup.

A look at the Hawks (16-7):

Dominating the D-League

Adreian Payne has been sent back to the D-League for some work with the Austin Spurs. Last night, he scored 20 points, including the game-icing three-point shot from the corner. He is demonstrating a vast array of post moves, off-the-dribble moves and outside jump shooting.

It’s not difficult at all to envision Payne fitting into the Hawks’ system as a floor-spreading center, assuming that he can manage the defensive end of things.

Criminally underexposed

Crazy stat from Chris Bernucca at Sheridan Hoops:

"The Hawks haven’t been on TNT or ESPN this season. That doesn’t make Atlanta unique; eight other teams have yet to appear on national TV. But the Hawks are 16-7, while the other eight teams are a combined 60-130."

A shooting star

Kyle Korver has made 44 consecutive free throws and he has not missed one since Nov. 7. Tom McMillan set the team record of 47 straight in 1978-79. Korver (95.9%) also ranks second in the NBA in free throw percentage behind Jerryd Bayless (97.9%)

Korver also needs just two three-pointers to tie Jason Richardson for 15th place on the all-time three-pointers made list.

A debut

Tonight is the first time that a Hawks game will be aired completely in Spanish on an Atlanta radio outlet, El PatrÓn 105.3FM. The station will do eight broadcasts of Hawks games in Spanish this season.

El Patrón’s Jose Manuel Flores was at the post-shootaround media session interviewing Al Horford and Mike Muscala, who isn’t a native speaker but studied the language in college and honed it in his time playing in Spain.

Flores has over 21 years of Spanish play-by-play broadcast experience, including time with the Atlanta Braves, and was the first Spanish play-by-play man for the Chicago White Sox.


Pero Antic participated in today’s shootaround, but his status for tonight’s game is still uncertain. He is officially listed as questionable (flu-like symptoms).

Probable starters:


PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Kyle Korver
SF: DeMarre Carroll
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Al Horford


PG: Derrick Rose
SG: Jimmy Butler
SF: Mike Dunleavy
PF: Taj Gibson
C: Pau Gasol

Prediction:  Hawks 95, Bulls 89. Expect a brawl: though a figurative one, not a literal one.

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