- Teams: Atlanta Hawks (20-10) at Detroit Pistons (12-22)
- Date: January 4, 2013
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Television: FS Detroit Plus
What to look for
After flexing their muscles for three straight games at home and defeating Miami, Milwaukee and Sacramento in succession, the Detroit Pistons will look to avenge their December 26th double overtime loss against the Atlanta Hawks when they host them tonight.
During Detroit’s current three-game win streak, they have managed to keep their opponents under 100 points, despite surrendering some fairly big scoring performances from individual players.
This seems pertinent heading into tonight’s contest given that when the Pistons played in Atlanta last month, Josh Smith and Al Horford combined for an impressive 53 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists on 22-for-40 field goal shooting.
Granted, the Hawks big man tandem can be expected on occasion to have these types of nights, but what eventually doomed Lawrence Frank and his unit was his team’s inability to limit the other players for Atlanta.
Louis Williams, Jeff Teague and Anthony Morrow all had sensational games by their standards, and that ultimately did the Pistons in by night’s end.
Josh Smith and Al Horford will probably be very productive by virtue of the skills they possess that mesh perfectly with one another, but the Hawks’ perimeter guys aren’t necessarily the most talented crop of players at their respective positions in the league, and it will be important to ensure that this is reflected in the game tonight.
Everything the Hawks do revolve around Horford and Smith, thus it will be important to focus on them, but also to play the Atlanta guards with a little physicality given their apprehension for contact off the ball.
It’s worth noting that with the game being played in Detroit, and the Pistons in the midst of a win streak, the home team will probably come out with more energy as well as a healthy level of aggression whereas the road team might look to ride their stars, as most teams customarily do when playing away from home.