Atlanta Hawks Blog

A blog about Atlanta’s NBA franchise, from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Game preview: Hawks at Cavaliers

When/where: 3 p.m. today, Quicken Loans Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Stream: Fox Sports Go

Radio: V103

Injuries: Hawks—Mike Muscala (knee), Ersan Ilyasova (knee), DeAndre' Bembry (wrist) and Miles Plumlee (quad) are out; Malcolm Delaney (ankle) is doubtful; Dennis Schroder (ankle), and Marco Belinelli (Achilles) are probable.

Cavs—Isaiah Thomas (hip), Iman Shumpert (knee) and Tristan Thompson (calf) are out.

What to watch for:

The Hawks have lost eight games in a row since winning the opener at Dallas and are 11 ½-point underdogs to the Cavs. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has never lost nine games in a row during his four years as head coach or 17 years as a Spurs assistant.

Budenholzer said he’s concerned that the losing may be wearing on his players but what about the head coach?

“Same for me,” he said. “There is some level of frustration but there have been a lot of times there are positives we can draw on. The effort and things have been there. We’ve got to continue to get better. That’s one of the messages (Saturday): Can we get better today? And we had a good practice.”

Muscala is the latest addition the Hawks’ lengthy injury list. He didn’t travel with the team to Cleveland after playing 19 minutes in the loss to the Rockets on Friday. Muscala has started the past five of the past six games at power forward as Ilyasova recovers from his injury.

The injuries to Muscala, Ilysasova and Plumlee leave the Hawks thin in the front court with Dewayne Dedmon, John Collins and Luke Babbitt. The Hawks added depth on Sunday by signing forward Tyler Cavanaugh to a two-way contract.

The Cavaliers ended a four-game losing streak on Friday with a 130-122 victory at the Wizards. LeBron James tied a franchise record with 57 points while making 23 of 34 shots and all nine of his free-throw attempts.

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About the Author

Michael Cunningham has covered the Hawks and other beats for the AJC since 2010.