Two Against One - Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi (Feat. Jack White)
Game Overview: And so begins the great back-to-back-to-back. Luckily, this isn't the most difficult of B2B2Bs, with the other games coming against Detroit and Golden State at home. Plus, the Hawks are on the end of their own back-to-back, after getting rolled by the Pacers last night.
This Hawks group has changed little since the last time they played the Bobcats. Marvin Williams is day-to-day with ankle issues and Tracy McGrady may be out with back spasms. That leaves the Hawks with former-Bobcat Vladimir Radmanovic in the starting lineup, which is pretty hilarious. Radmanovic is a spacey, aging, slow-footed shooter, for those that have forgotten.
To reiterate the Hawks' situation, they're a slightly above-average team, with good talent but questionable decisions. Their best player is Al Horford, but they don't go to him enough. Josh Smith is also a really good player, but too often prefers to take the easy long twos over muscling into the paint, where he can force his way into for better scoring opportunities. And then there's Joe Johnson. Talented, but on the wrong side of 30, Johnson can still pour in the points, but it's clear that a dropoff is en route.
The Bobcats have been able to put a day of recovery between them and an utterly embarrassing performance against a Houston team that was giving up 54 percent on field goals to opponents on the road. Hopefully they come ready to play this time.
Edit: Byron Mullens to start, as noted in the comments originally from Bonnell; Horford out for next 3-4
seasons Whoops, LOL - I meant months. Haha.
Key Matchup: Tyrus Thomas vs. Josh Smith - By no means is this the decisive "WHOEVER WINS THIS MATCHUP, WINS THE GAME" grouping. Rather, Thomas has had poor outings since his return to the court, and I want to see him play Smith tough on defense and to play within control on offense. Hopefully these aren't unreasonable things, though they very well could be.
Around The NBA Links
Rafe Bartholomew suffers a fate worse than death — watching Wizards-Raptors - Grantland
Grantland's series on unwatchable NBA games begins with a very special night in Washington.