Wizards Vs Hawks preview: Meet the surprisingly-good Hawks

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards get set to square off against Josh Smith, Al Horford and the 10-5 Atlanta Hawks.

In case you hadn't heard, the Washington Wizards upset the Miami Heat very recently. Now they get to try for an encore tonight as they square off against their Southeastern Division rivals, the Atlanta Hawks.

Where, When, and What Channel? The game will be played in Atlanta at 7:30 and can be viewed on Comcast SportsNet.

Why Should I Care? Aren't you just a little bit curious to see whether or not the Wizards can build some momentum following their win over the Heat? Besides, Atlanta's an interesting team that's been extremely successful this year in spite of the loss of "franchise player" Joe Johnson.

Are They Good? Yes. Quite good. Shockingly good, even. Going into this season, the consensus was that the Hawks would struggle without being able to run their offense through Johnson. Instead, the team is 10-5 with the league's fourth-best defensive rating and a very competent offense that features a lot of drive-and-kick from Jeff Teague and the underrated Lou Williams, along with solid playmaking from Al Horford and Josh Smith.

What Are They Bad At? Despite the team's multiple playmakers, they're only 26th in the league in assists, something that's reflective of their lack of a pure point guard. The Hawks are also a very poor post-up team, ranking only 26th in the NBA in points per possessions on post ups, per MySynergySports. Unsurprisingly considering the team's size, the Hawks are also very bad at guarding post ups, which should give Kevin Seraphin an opportunity to build some more momentum after he practically destroyed the Heat.

What Happened the Last Time the Wizards Played Them? The Wizards lost, let's just leave it at that.

Who's Injured? John Wall, Trevor Ariza, and Trevor Booker are all out for the Wizards, while the Hawks' Kyle Korver is out due to injury.

How Well Do the Wizards Match Up With Them? Pretty poorly. The Hawks' offense is largely built around the team's quick guards being able to get to the basket, then pass the ball out to an open shooter (usually Horford, Korver, old friend DeShawn Stevenson, or Anthony Morrow), something that the 6'7'' Shaun Livingston and human traffic cone A.J. Price probably won't be able to stop. That said, Washington might be able to make up for some of this by posting up Livingston, as the Hawks don't have anyone in the backcourt (Stevenson rarely checks point guards these days) with the length to bother his jumper.

How Has DeShawn Stevenson Been? Awesome, especially from deep. It's been like it's the 2010 Finals all over again this year, as he's still playing great defense, hitting almost 42 percent of his threes, and still sporting some of the most awesomely horrible and horribly awesome tattoos in the league.

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