Hawks to host Warriors in matchup of 4-win teams
The idea that the Atlanta Hawks might have a chance to end a nine-game losing streak against the Golden State Warriors was ludicrous a year ago. This season the notion isn't so far-fetched, since each team has won only four games, and they're tied for the fewest wins in the league.
Golden State barely resembles the group that reached the NBA Finals last season after winning back-to-back titles. Klay Thompson has been out rehabbing the left knee he hurt in Game 6 of the championship series with Toronto, and Stephen Curry has missed the last 17 games with a left hand fracture.
As a result, Golden State has already endured a seven-game losing streak this season. The Warriors will be playing the third game of a five-game road trip and are coming off a 100-96 loss at Orlando on Sunday night.
The Warriors have won nine straight meetings against the Hawks and have taken 14 of the last 15. Atlanta has not beaten Golden State since Feb. 6, 2015, in Atlanta.
The Hawks are hurting after a three-game road trip that saw them lose a competitive game at Milwaukee, fall in overtime at Indianapolis and get beaten by 47 points at Houston. In the 158-111 loss to the Rockets, the Hawks allowed the most points in franchise history in a regulation game.
The most consistent force in the losing streak continues to be second-year point guard Trae Young. He scored 37 points against the Rockets, one game after tying his career high with 49 points on 57.1 percent shooting against the Pacers. Young leads the team at 28.4 points and 8.4 assists per game.
"I guess it was good individually," Young said after the Indianapolis game. "But people who know me know I don't care at all (about individual statistics). If we don't win, none of that matters. I didn't do enough."
Veteran Jabari Parker continues to be a consistent second scorer for Atlanta. Parker is averaging 16.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. Rookie De'Andre Hunter (11.9) is the only other starter who averages in double figures.
The Hawks continue to suffer without the presence of power forward John Collins, who is suspended for violation of the NBA's drug policy. Collins, the team's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder, can return from his 25-game suspension on Dec. 23. Atlanta is 2-13 without Collins.
Atlanta's Cam Reddish is questionable with a troublesome left wrist sprain and forward DeAndre Bembry is probable with a right hip contusion.
The Warriors may have found something with its current starting lineup of forwards Draymond Green and Eric Paschall, center Willie Cauley-Stein and guards Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks. Golden State is 2-3 when fielding that group of starters.
Paschall, a rookie from Villanova, has scored in double figures in 10 straight games and is averaging 18.4 during that stretch. The last Golden State rookie to have that many consecutive double-figure efforts was Thompson, who had a 14-game streak in 2012.
Green is on a minutes restriction since his return from a right heel injury. He played 23 minutes against Orlando on Sunday
"I don't think we need to play him big, heavy minutes in a season like this where we're obviously playing for the future," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. "But he needs to be on the floor to help guide these young players. We have to find a balance for him to make an impact on this team, but not wear him down at the same time."
--Field Level MediaHome