Game preview: Raptors at Hawks


When/where: 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Philips Arena 

TV: Fox Sports Southeast 

Stream: Fox Sports Go 

Radio: 92.9 The Game 

Who will start: John Collins, Taurean Prince, Dewayne Dedmon, Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore will start for the Hawks. 

Collins is making the third start of his career with the Hawks after starting against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday and against the New York Knicks on Friday.

Inactive

Hawks: Luke Babbitt (low back), Mike Muscala (sprained left ankle) and Isaiah Taylor (retinal tear, right eye) are inactive for Saturday’s game against the Raptors.

Nicolas Brussino was also be inactive on Saturday after being assigned to Erie BayHawks on Wednesday.

Raptors: Small forward Bruno Caboclo, small forward C.J. Miles, forward Malcolm Miller and power forward Delon Wright are inactive on Saturday against the Hawks.

What to watch for:

The Hawks are coming off a 116-104 win over the Knicks on Friday night, recording their second home win and fourth overall win of the season.

After a rough first half of guarding Kristaps Porzingis and Courtney Lee, the Hawks were able to adjust at halftime and to more effectively guard the Knicks’ big time scorers.

Against the Raptors (11-7), the Hawks will be facing one of the NBA’s top scoring teams.

The Raptors, who have lost the past two games to the Knicks and Pacers respectively, average 109.4 points per game— fifth in the league— while the Hawks have allowed opponents an average of 108 points, 24th in the league.

The Raptors’ top scorer DeMar DeRozen is averaging 24.1 points per game followed by Kyle Lowrey with 15.7 points per game. Lowery also leads the team with 7.1 assists per game.

“I think there is maybe more ball movement and things like that (compared to last season), but it’s still Kyle Lowrey and DeMar DeRozen from my vantage point,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “They’re very good and I guess you’re always looking to squeeze more out of your offense, more out of your players but I think they’ve done a pretty amazing job for… five years it feel like now.”

To keep up with the Raptors’ scoring, the Hawks will need to rely on their success beyond the 3-point line, which is the third-best in the NBA at 39 percent. In Friday’s win over the Knicks, the Hawks shot 41.9 percent of their 31 3-point attempts, shooting 8-of-15 in the second half.

Similar to the Hawks’ matchup against the Knicks, the Hawks are the third-best defense in the league in opponent turnovers per game (16.2). 

In contrast to the Knicks who have more turnovers per game than 21 other NBA teams, the Raptors show a little more ball security ranking ninth in the NBA in least turnovers per game (14.1).

Raptors coach Dwane Casey knows his team must match the Hawks’ sense of urgency if they hope to snap their two-game losing streak on Saturday night.

“They’re playing desperate and if we don’t go out with a sense of despiration, we’ve got to meet that,” Casey said. “I thought last night they did to New York what New York did to us in the second half. They came out, overplayed passing lanes and go for rips, they were making shots, (Marco) Belinelli had an out of body experience as far as what he usually does with shooting the ball.

“We’ve got to meet heir intensity and we should be upset at the way we let the game slip away last night and the night before that if we have any pride at all.”

Notes

  • After Saturday night’s game, the Hawks will have four days off before hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Dennis Schroder is one of five players— including James Harden, Russell Westbrook, John Wall and LeBron James— who is averaging at least 20 points per game and seven assists per game.


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