The Atlanta Hawks will take on the Toronto Raptors tonight at home at Philips Arena. With a win tonight, the Hawks would improve to 26-19 on the season and 1-0 in the regular season series with the Raptors. The probable starters for the Hawks tonight are Jeff Teague and Devin Harris in the backcourt, Kyle Korver and Josh Smith at the two forward positions, and Al Horford at center. Anthony Morrow (sore lower back) and Louis Williams (torn ACL, right knee) are listed as out. I think there are two keys to a win tonight for the Hawks. First off, the Raptors take really good care of the basketball. The Hawks' offense usually gets going once they get a few fastbreak buckets, so the Hawks really have to pressure the Raptors' offense and try to force turnovers to get out on the break. Secondly, the Hawks can't underestimate this Raptors team. This is a team that embarrassed the Hawks at Philips Arena last season. Any NBA team can beat any other NBA team on any given night. The Hawks have to come out with as much energy and intensity as they would against elite teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Miami Heat and sustain it for the entirety of the game. If the Hawks can get out and score on the fastbreak and play with energy and intensity until the final buzzer sounds, I think they can get a W tonight at home.
Game Time: 7:30pm E.T. TV: SPSO Radio: 680 The Fan, 98.9 The Bone