Preview: Bulls @ Hawks

Preview: CHI (17-28) @ ATL (13-31) 1/20/18 5PM Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA. 

Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat

John Collins (Hawks.com)

The Hawks look to continue their sudden home winning ways with a Saturday showdown with the Bulls.

Our Atlanta Hawks are coming off a very exciting 94-93 win over the Pelicans. After being down by as many as 19 Points in the first half, Atlanta came roaring back in the 3rd quarter. The 4th quarter saw a back and forth affair all the way down to the final seconds.

After Anthony Davis hit 2 Free Throws with 2:19 remaining to put New Orleans up 90-85, it looked like the Hawks were headed toward defeat. But as we’ve seen all season, these guys do not quit. Atlanta would close the game on a 9-3 run.

With 13:7 seconds left, the Hawks ran a play for Dennis Schroder out of the timeout but he didn’t like the look of the defense so he deferred to Kent. Kent took a few dribbles, before calmly sinking the jumper beyond the outstretched hands of Davis.

New Orleans had one final chance which saw Boogie Cousins miss on the low block. He complained to the refs that he was fouled but after the L2M report was issued he was in fact the one who fouled Ersan Ilyasova. Kent Bazemore also deserves credit on the final defensive possession for tipping the ball on the inbounds causing New Orleans to have 1 second instead of 2.1.

The game winning shot gave the @ATLHawks Twitter Account the perfect opportunity to troll the city of New Orleans (they later deleted it).

Kent Bazemore led the Hawks with 20 Points. Dennis Schroder had a cold shooting night (4-16) but still managed 13 Points as well as 15 Assists. John Collins had a strong game with 18 Points on 7-8 Shooting to go along with 5 Rebounds in 26 Minutes.

New Orleans was led by Jrue Holiday who had 22 Points. Davis and Cousins combined for only 27 Points after Davis had scored 45 a piece in the 2 prior games.

Here is Phil’s video recap of the game as well.

As for the Bulls they are coming off a 119-112 loss to the Golden State Warriors in which they actually dominated outside of a very cold 3rd quarter. After a 3-20 start where it looked like Chicago could have been on track to be the worst team in NBA history, they have gone 14-8.

They seem to have recovered from their training camp drama which left Nikola Mirotic with a broken face and Portis suspended for 8 games.

The Bulls will be without starting Point Guard Kris Dunn Saturday after he took a hard fall during a dunk in the Warriors game. He is in the concussion protocol and is out indefinitely. Atlanta’s Injury Report is empty. Everyone is available except the trio that was sent up to Erie (DeAndre’ Bembry, Isaiah Taylor, Tyler Cavanaugh).

The Hawks are looking for their third win in a row as well as their 6th in the last 7 at home. Orlando has also passed Atlanta in the “Tank Watch Standings” to the dismay of some fans.

Key Matchup

The Bench

In Wednesday’s matchup with the Warriors the trio of Nikola Mirotic (24 Points), Bobby Portis (12 Points) and Denzel Valentine (10 Points) combined for 46 points off the bench. All 3 of these players have shown strong play as of late as Chicago’s resurgence continues.

Injury Report

Hawks

None to Report

Bulls

Kriss Dunn- OUT

Dennis Lebron
Dennis Schroder (FS-Ohio)

Three Keys to the Game

1. Hold Chicago’s bench in check

As mentioned, The Bulls have a relatively strong bench led by Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis. It will be important for Marco Belinelli and John Collins to match their output.

2. Move the ball

The main reason the Hawks have been winning more games lately is because the ball has been moving more. The Hawks had a whopping 32 assists on 37 made baskets Wednesday night.

3. Hit Open Shots

For the majority of the season the Hawks have managed to hit three’s and jump shots at a high rate. When jump shots aren’t falling at a high rate, the rest of the offense grinds to a halt.

Projected Starters

Hawks

Guard – Dennis Schroder

Guard – Kent Bazemore

Forward – Taurean Prince

Forward – Ersan Ilyasova

Center – Miles Plumlee

Bulls

Guard- David Nwaba

Guard- Zach Lavine

Forward- Justin Holiday

Forward- Lauri Markkanen

Center- Robin Lopez

Game Info

Tip Off: 5 PM ET

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Radio: 92.9 The Game

Prediction: Hawks 101 Bulls 96

Attendance Prediction: 14,590

Next Five Games

Mon 1/22 Vs UTA 7:30 PM

Wed 1/24 Vs TOR 7:30 PM

Fri 1/26 @ CHA 7:00 PM

Sat 1/27 Vs WAS 7:30 PM

Mon 1/29 Vs MIN 7:30 PM

Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil

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