Game Preview: Suns at Hawks


When/where: 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Philips Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Stream: Fox Sports Go

Radio: 92.9 The Game

Probable starters:

Hawks: John Collins, Taurean Prince, Dewayne Dedmon, Dennis Schroder and Tyler Dorsey

Suns: T.J. Warren, Dragan Bender, Tyson Chandler, Devin Booker and Efrid Payton.

Inactives

Hawks: Kent Bazemore (rest), DeAndre’ Bembry (abdominal strain), Antonius Cleveland (left ankle surgery rehab), Andrew White III, Josh Magette and Tyler Cavanaugh (G League) are out.

Suns: Danuel House, Brandon Knight (left ACL tear), Tyler Ulis and Alan Williams (right meniscus repair) are out.

    What to watch for:

    The Atlanta Hawks (19-44) are coming off a 114-109 loss to the Warriors in which Kent Bazemore shot 10-of-21 from the field and 5-of-7 beyond the arc, for a career-high of 29 points. 

    Bazemore’s offensive success from the 3-point line contributed to the Hawks making 42.9 percent of their 3-point attempts Friday and his aggression on defense helped the Hawks go toe-to-toe with the Warriors in a game which was not settled until the final seconds.

    Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told media before Sunday’s game Bazemore would sit out just to keep the eight-year veteran healthy after a quick turnaround from Friday’s game against Golden State. Rookie Tyler Dorsey will start his second career game in Bazemore’s place.

    “(The decision to sit Bazemore) is more just managing him though the season. I think Baze has been playing incredibly well and really happy with how he’s growing and developing. Just want to keep him healthy and much as possible down the stretch here and pretty quick turn around from the other night.”

    The Suns (19-45) are coming off a 124-116 loss to the Thunder Friday in which Devin Booker scored 39 points and became the third-youngest player to reach 4,000 career points behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

    Booker, who leads the team averaging 25.5 points and 4.8 assists, shot 57.1 percent from the field and was 6-of-10 beyond the arc in the win. 

    Even though as a team the Suns shot 47.9 percent from the field against Oklahoma City, they only average a 44.1 percent success rate from the field this season, worse than the Hawks’ 44.8 percent. The Suns also average the worst 3-point percentage in the league (33.3 percent) while the Hawks rank 15th making 36.1 percent of their shots.

    The Hawks main advantage over Suns— their Western Conference equivalent in terms of overall record— will be the turnover margin which the Hawks have taken advantage over the past two games. First in the league averaging 15.5 opponent turnovers, the Hawks scored 30 points off 18 Warriors turnovers Friday and in their win over the Pacers Wednesday, the Hawks scored 31 points off 24 Pacers’ turnovers.

    Suns coach Jay Triano said the biggest challenge for the young Suns team will be to control the ball when facing the aggressive Hawk defense. 

    “They very aggressive on the defensive end,” Triano said. “They get their hands on a lot of balls, creates a transition points. I think they execute their sets real well... If they’re active defensively then they’re a handful.” 

    The Suns average of 14.9 times per game, tied for fifth-worst in the league. 

    Notes:

    • Andrew White III, Josh Magette and Tyler Cavanaugh are out for Sunday’s game against the Suns on assignment with the Erie BayHawks.


    Reader Comments ...


    Next Up in Atlanta Hawks

    No move from power forward for Hawks’ Collins
    No move from power forward for Hawks’ Collins

    John Collins has been a power forward much of his basketball career. It appears he will remain in the role as he begins his second NBA season with the Hawks. Under head coach Mike Budenholzer, the power forward and center were described as interchangeable positions as there was an emphasis on spacing and the 3-point shot. With new head coach Lloyd...
    Lin progressing; Pierce won’t name starting point guard
    Lin progressing; Pierce won’t name starting point guard

    Lloyd Pierce smiled at the attempt to tip his hand. The Hawks coach is not saying who will be the team’s starting point guard when the 2018-19 NBA season begins. Or perhaps he doesn’t know yet. On the roster are veteran Jeremy Lin and first-round draft pick Trae Young. Lin is coming back from a ruptured patella tendon of the right knee...
    Dedmon, Anderson not cleared for Hawks training camp
    Dedmon, Anderson not cleared for Hawks training camp

    The Hawks will be without Dewayne Dedmon and Justin Anderson when training camp begins next week as each returns from an injury. Dedmon suffered an avulsion fracture in his left ankle during a workout on Aug. 27. The injury was discovered following an X-ray and MRI exam. The center was placed in a walking boot following the diagnosis. Following a re-evaluation...
    Hawks sign Aldrich for training camp roster maximum 20 players
    Hawks sign Aldrich for training camp roster maximum 20 players

    The Hawks will bring a maximum 20 players to training camp next week. The team signed free-agent center Cole Aldrich to a training camp deal on Tuesday for the final spot. The roster consists of 15 players under guaranteed contracts along with two-way players Alex Poythress and Jaylen Adams. R.J. Hunter and Thomas Robinson previously agreed to training...
    NBA relaxes sneaker rule for 2018-19 season
    NBA relaxes sneaker rule for 2018-19 season

    Keep your eyes on the court in 2018. Not the ball, the shoes. The NBA has relaxed its sneaker policy for the upcoming season, allowing players to wear shoes of any color for all games.  Players had been required to don shoes with black, white or team colors. Exceptions were made for a few “theme games,” including the All-Star Game...
    More Stories