When: Tuesday, December 18 at 7:30 pm Eastern Time
Where: State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Otto Porter (Out, Hip), Dwight Howard (Out, Back)
Hawks: Miles Plumlee (Day-to-Day, Knee), Alex Poythress (Day-to-Day, Ankle), Omari Spellman (Day-to-Day, Hip), Taurean Prince (Out, Ankle)
What to Watch for
Traps are still out in Atlanta
Washington avoided the trap game the first time they met in Atlanta, but now as they try to integrate new pieces and reshuffle their rotations, there’s an opportunity for Atlanta to pounce and take advantage of the Wizards as they figure things out.
Regardless of who ends up playing and who doesn’t, everyone needs to be ready to run. The Hawks play at the fastest pace in the league, averaging 105.2 possessions per game, which would be the fastest pace we’ve since 1990-91 Denver Nuggets if it keeps up the rest of the season.
The good news is the Hawks have had a rough go of it lately. They’ve lost seven of their last eight, including a 17-point loss to the Nets on Sunday night. They’re also just starting a stretch in which they play 11 out of 16 games on the road, and all five home games are spread out between road games, which means they’ll go over a month without playing in the same arena twice. That kind of constant travel and defeat can wear on anyone, especially a young team stuck in last place in the Eastern Conference.