After three games, the Atlanta Hawks are undefeated. Yes, you read that right. Along with the Orlando Magic, the Hawks are one of two teams in the NBA with no losses, and they will put their undefeated season on the line against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night, the first of back-to-back games against the Nets on the road.
Atlanta Hawks (3-0) vs. Brooklyn Nets (2-2)
- When: Wednesday 12/29 at 7:30pm/et
- Where: The Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY.
- Line: Nets -6.5, -112
- Over/Under: 240
- Head Coach: Steve Nash
- Starting Lineup
- PG: Kyrie Irving
- SG: Joe Harris
- SF: Caris LeVert
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: DeAndre Jordan
The Nets will look to bounce back tomorrow after two straight losses to the Hornets and the Grizzlies. Expect KD and Kyrie to play in this one as both NBA Finals winners did not play against the Grizzlies. They sat for rest purposes, and neither player is listed on the injury report.
With both Kyrie and KD back in the lineup, I expect the Nets to return to the form they showed in their first two wins of the season, where they blew out the Warriors on opening night and then throttled the Celtics on Christmas Day. The Nets, with KD and Kyrie on the floor, are not only one of the best teams in the East, but one of the best teams in the entire league. Durant has begun the season looking like he did back in 2019, which is a top-three player in the NBA. Kyrie has also looked great and seems to be buying into playing next to KD as well as Steve Nash’s coaching.
This will easily be the toughest test the Hawks have faced so far this season.
- Head Coach: Lloyd Pierce
- Starting Lineup
- PG: Trae Young
- SG: DeAndre Hunter
- SF: Cam Reddish
- PF: John Collins
- C: Clint Capela
Trae Young has been nothing short of spectacular this season, and he will look to continue splitting defenses and bombing threes in Brooklyn. It was nice to see Rajon Rondo return against Detroit. He was fantastic in his Hawks debut with 12 points and 8 assists in only 15 minutes of play. Atlanta has been extremely efficient on offense so far, boasting a 48% field goal percentage through three games. Capela is probable for this matchup, and Gallinari is listed as questionable.
Again, this is the best team the Hawks have played so far this season and arguably the first true test. The Bulls, Pistons, and Grizzlies are young, rebuilding teams that are not expected to be playoff contenders. The Nets are a different animal, however, as they have two superstars and NBA title expectations.
If Trae Young can continue to do what he has been doing, which is getting wherever he wants on the floor, whenever he wants, the Hawks can make some noise in Brooklyn. Trae has been a master in the pick and roll, penetrating the paint, and finding an open shooter or rolling bigs at the rim. This Hawks team has been playing with energy and poise, and they need to continue that to beat the Nets.
Atlanta’s defensive intensity could be the deciding factor. If they can slow down KD and Kyrie and really make them work, the Hawks can pull out a win. However, I have them losing a nail-biter.
Prediction: Nets 125-Hawks 120
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