Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks game preview

USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA–

I have just arrived at my seat in the press box here in Philips Arena, and I am excited to take in my first NBA game as NBA Editor for Fansided.

The Hawks are coming off of a 118-109 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, and they saw Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis tear up their defense. The Hawks are still trying to find their groove under new head coach Mike Budenholzer’s system, and they will have some definite growing pains. Jeff Teague played a nice game in his new pick and roll heavy offense, as he had 24 points and 9 assists. Paul Millsap made his Atlanta debut to the tune of 20 points in 36 minutes. The Hawks will need a better effort defensively if they want to truly execute what Budenholzer wants them to do.

As for the Raptors, they played a nice 2 and a half quarters against Boston in their opener, but they surrendered a double digit lead, and were tied heading into the 4th quarter. The Raptors had a nice effort from Rudy Gay, as he scored an efficient 19 points and hit a key turnaround bucket to seal the game. They will need to string together a more consistent effort for the full game if they want to make the playoffs this season.

Starters:

Toronto:

PG: Kyle Lowry

SG: DeMar DeRozan

SF: Rudy Gay

PF: Amir Johnson

C: Jonas Valanciunas

Atlanta:

PG: Jeff Teague

SG: Kyle Korver

SF: DeMarre Carroll

PF: Paul Millsap

C: Al Horford

Both coaches stressed transition defense during their pregame media sessions, and it is clear that both these teams will be trying to get out an run tonight. The match up to watch tonight will be DeMarre Carroll and Rudy Gay, as Carroll prides himself on defense, and Gay is one of the better scorers in the league.

Well, both teams are warming up now, and the game gets underway at 7:30 PM ET. Check back here for a game recap, quotes, analysis, and more.

Check out Soaring Down South’s pregame report here.

Check out Raptors Rapture’s pregame report here.

Topics: Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors

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