The Atlanta Hawks, fresh off the home win against an understrength LA Clippers team have the face the Brooklyn Nets. The Hawks are on the second night of a back to back and will probably not have Cam Reddish again as he battles injury.
The Hawks have split the two games this season with the Nets but that was before the Brooklyn franchise acquired James Harden. While the Nets are still working out their on-court chemistry, any one of Kyrie Irving, Harden, or Kevin Durant can hurt you.
If Reddish was available for the game, he could be considered as a starter due to his ability to get into the passing lanes. However, if he does come back against the Nets, he will probably be on a minutes restriction so could be better used during the game
Atlanta Hawks key No. 1) How do you slow up their big three.
The Hawks only have the ability to slow down two of the big three out on the perimeter. De’Andre Hunter is likely going to matchup on James Harden if Reddish is out. John Collins will likely get the unenviable task of guarding Durant.
Well, to be honest, you can’t guard any of these players individually, it is going to be a whole team performance. Having Trae Young guard the corner shooter is the key, you can almost hide him there. Running the others off the line and funneling them to the rim protection of Clint Capela will slow them down.
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Atlanta Hawks key No. 2) Which lineup works best against the Nets?
The Nets lost a lot of defense when they traded for Harden. They lost the rim protection of Jarrett Allen and the tenacity of Taurean Prince and Caris LeVert. They did use an exception to sign defensive center Norvel Pelle but that is not going to move the needle much.
Young should be able to use the extra space he will have on the floor to open up seams that he can exploit. After their early season yips from deep, the Hawks have come alive from beyond the arc again. This has to do with the off-ball movement of Collins, Hunter, and Kevin Huerter.
Clint Capela also demands more attention given how much he is scoring despite the lack of range on the shot. This is the starting five who will give the Nets the most trouble and the Hawks have only lost one game when these five start the game.