The Spurs will play for another back-to-back against the Atlanta Hawks in San Antonio after they dominated the Sacramento Kings 120-106 to get their 24th win this season. It was their second game as the Spurs win 125-114 in Atlanta the first time they meet. But things change this time, that moment in February the Spurs are solid and keep on winning. In their last ten games, the Spurs went 5-5 and settled to a 7-9 record in March. Unlike the Atlanta Hawks who managed to fire Lloyd Pierce then hired Nat McMillan which they made an eight-game winning streak and recorded a 9-4 in March then climb on the top eight of the Eastern Conference while the Spurs look fading recently. In that winning streak, the Hawks managed to hold the opponents to score below 100 points four times. They are now seventh in the East with a 23-24 record.
The Spurs on the other hand yet to win a back to back games this season. This time this could be the best odds for the team to bet that they can register their first win. The Atlanta Hawks has been the favorite to make the postseason in the East after signed Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, and Rajon Rondo which later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. We could look at this match up which is highly anticipated to decide the outcome of the game.
Guards and Wings
Trae Young vs Dejounte Murray
Atlanta Hawks third-year guard has been an All-Star this season as he averaged 25.4 points, 4 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game while shooting 43% from the field and 36% from the rainbow. It could be another difficult assignment for Murray who’s been assigned to guard DeAron Fox for two consecutive games. Young was a streaky shooter who loves to make a shot from near the midcourt. He also loves to take the bait on shooting fouls when his man was behind him. The good thing is Dejounte Murray was a defensive all-team member three years ago, which had the advantage to disrupt Young all the time. A very intelligent kid defensively with the length to steal the ball. Offensively, Murray is improving on which the Hawks likely to assign others to guard Dejounte.
Kevin Huerter vs Derrick White
The second-year sharpshooter Huerter made a game shot last season against the Spurs to steal the win. This season he’s been healthy and shoots 37% from the arc as he averages 11.6 points per game. With Derrick WHite getting into his groove, it could be an advantage to the Spurs as the latter can also put buckets around either from the arc or being aggressively attacking the paint. White has been a solid defender man to man or in help. This is the first season that White and Murray played most of the time as they are hard to break that backcourt defense. Two years ago, Derrick White had a career game against the Hawks as he registered six blocks and a dunk over former Hawks Alex Len.
DeMar DeRozan vs Hawks wing defender
The eleven-year veteran out of USC has been doing excellent things in San Antonio. He’s not forcing himself to score but he’s doing both at the same time he makes this kids better every game. The Hawks had multiple guys who can guard DeRozan. It’s either DeAndre Hunter or Cameron Redish. These two sophomores have been the 3 and D for Atlanta. Likely they will guard DeRozan who’s been averaging 20.6 points, 7.2 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. DeRozan also went to the free-throw line seven times per game.
Battle of the boards and defense
Keldon Johnson vs John Collins
John Collins is the Hawks’ second-leading scorer with 18.2 per game. Collins loves to play outside then take more threes while Keldon Johnson also loves outside but he attacks at the paint. Both can score on the second chances as they are beast on the offensive boards. Collins average 2.1 rebounds while Keldon had 1.5 per game. They are game-changers with their energy alone can impact the game.
Clint Capella vs Jakob Poeltl
The Spurs big man can help his team on the defensive ends by altering shots, contesting shots, and many other things that can’t be found on the stat sheets. In offense, Poeltl was limited for getting buckets when he got an easy one to the basket while Capella was different he takes the ball on the lob pass. He jumps high to get possession to help his team. Both centers are very good on the defense which can shut down the paint. They can also run in transition either on defense or offense.
As we mentioned above, the Spurs are yet to win in back-to-back games this season. With the momentum against the Sacramento Kings, it will likely that they can get their first one this time. They had all the match up who can cover the Hawks’ strength, the offense which ranks 9th in the league. With the Spurs playing the best backcourt defensively, they can handle the best of Trae Young. So the Spurs will win this one in a good game and record a second straight victory at home.