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.


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. 


    • 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

    Hawks draft workout report: Moritz Wagner, Michigan
    Hawks draft workout report: Moritz Wagner, Michigan

    My lasting image of Moritz Wagner at Michigan was watching him abuse my Louisville Cardinals in the 2017 NCAA Sweet 16. Louisville coach Rick Pitino inexplicably stuck with a switching defensive scheme even as Wagner methodically blew by every smaller defender who tried to check him on the perimeter and finished at the rim over late help.  That...
    Listen: Hawks draft talk with Peachtree Hoops
    Listen: Hawks draft talk with Peachtree Hoops

    I joined Brad Rowland of Peachtree Hoops for the Locked on Hawks podcast. We talked about what the Hawks may do in next week’s NBA draft, including potential trades. 
    Hawks contemplate trades as NBA draft approaches 
    Hawks contemplate trades as NBA draft approaches 

    The Nuggets are aggressively seeking to shed salary by trading forward Kenneth Faried, and the Hawks are willing to accommodate them for the right price, according to a person with knowledge of the NBA trade market.  The Hawks would seek draft picks, young players or both as part of a deal with the Nuggets or any other team that wants to reduce...
    Anatomy of 2013 NBA Draft: Antetokounmpo was so close to being a Hawk
    Anatomy of 2013 NBA Draft: Antetokounmpo was so close to being a Hawk

    The Hawks gambled in the 2013 NBA Draft – and it cost them Giannis Antetokounmpo. They were close to a huge payout. Closer than most know. Antetokounmpo, a relatively unknown who blossomed into an MVP candidate, one who has transformed the Bucks organization and could have done the same for the Hawks, was snatched away. The franchise-defining...
    Hawks draft workout report: Marvin Bagley III, Duke
    Hawks draft workout report: Marvin Bagley III, Duke

    The Hawks played host to former Duke forward Marvin Bagley III for a pre-draft workout on Thursday. He could be available when the Hawks are on the clock with the No. 3 overall pick, assuming they keep it and don’t trade down.  Among front-court players in the draft, Bagley probably is the most talented and polished offensively. He&rsquo...
    More Stories