The Atlanta Hawks look for a rare winning streak when they visit the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. Atlanta hasn’t won two in a row since the first two games of the season, but it is coming off a victory over Phoenix on Tuesday. San Antonio is looking to rebound from a road loss to Miami on Wednesday.
Atlanta has been absolutely atrocious this year and hardly able to outperform the other teams of the NBA. Nine wins and 32 losses is not a good look for the Hawks. John Collins failed a drug test after opening night, leaving 25 games of Trae Young trying to win games for these guys all by his lonesome.
The Hawks have a number of experienced players, but not guys who can make things happen. Kevin Huerter has had a great season, but their two lottery picks have both struggled to be difference-makers.
San Antonio, on the other hand, has not exactly had a great year, but it is hanging in there with the hopes of extending its playoff streak for one more year. As we expect from Coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs rank dead last in all three-point categories, though they do have guys who can make the shots.
DeMar DeRozan likes to isolate in the midrange area, so that is usually their plan when the game gets close. Memphis took the Spurs out last week to move into the eighth spot in the Western Conference, and it is on the Spurs to get hot and chase them back out.
The Spurs are 8.5-point favorites Friday night, with the over/under set at 229.5.
Looking For A Streak
Young has averaged 29 points, four rebounds and nine assists and has been one of the most exciting players in basketball. He’s making threes all over the place and always finding the open man. He looks poised to be an All-Star starter for the East despite his team having nearly four times as many losses as wins.
Jabari Parker had been playing well while Collins was out, but he has struggled since Collins’ return and is now dealing with injuries. Collins himself is averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds and two assists for the year with a shade over two blocks per contest. He and Young are what it’s all about for Atlanta.
Huerter has turned in several big scoring nights this month and will look to continue that against the Spurs. He is shooting 40 percent from three and gives Young a solid teammate in his backcourt.
Trying To Inch To .500
The Spurs have a very effective offensive scheme, which has them ranked at fifth in points scored. But they rank 26th in points allowed, which really can’t happen if they want to be successful.
There have been rumors of possibly trading DeRozan, the big acquisition from the Kawhi Leonard trade, but at this point, it is just rumors. He has averaged 23 points, five rebounds and five assists this year while shooting an effective 54 percent from the floor. He is the leader of this team and is still just 30.
LaMarcus Aldridge has been averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. It’s all role scorers around those two.
As long as the Spurs don’t let multiple guys beat them Friday night, this game is an easy win. They’ll need to zero in on Collins.
Spurs Get Back On Track
The Hawks will be handed yet another loss, and coach Lloyd Pierce’s seat should be getting hot. They cannot play like this in Young’s second year. Take the Spurs.
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