San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks Preview
The Atlanta Hawks are looking to stop a three-game skid as they host the San Antonio Spurs at State Farm Arena tonight. The Spurs are coming off a loss against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. The Hawks are ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 2-3 record and are 1-2 at home. San Antonio’s loss jettisoned them from second in the Western Conference to sixth with a 4-2 record. They’ll look to get past the .500 mark on the road in the early going this season.
The Spurs swept their two games against the Hawks last season in another streak the Hawks are trying to stop tonight. Trae Young and Alex Len are expected to be back tonight, but the Hawks got a huge hit this morning when it was announced forward John Collins has been suspended 25 games for violating the terms of the NBA Anti-Drug Policy.
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
Channel: FSSW-SA, FSSE-ATL
Spurs: No injuries
Hawks: Trae Young, Alex Len (P), Evan Turner, Chandler Parsons, Allen Crabbe (O), John Collins (Susp)
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The San Antonio Spurs have looked solid to open their season, dropping their only two games to the two beasts in Los Angeles, the Lakers, and Clippers. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has experimented some with lineups to start the season. Dejounte Murray has been on a minutes restriction but has managed to look great even in limited minutes.
One player who wasn’t expected to even really see the floor much, but who is starting for San Antonio is former Nuggets forward Trey Lyles, who was the Spurs’ backup plan when the Marcus Morris signing fell through.
“I didn’t know he was such a good rebounder,” LaMarcus Aldridge said of Lyles. “He’s been great for us trying to move the ball side-to-side, crash the boards and just try to do all the little things out there.”
While Lyles hasn’t done much in terms of offense, without a true big rebounding four of five, Lyles has taken on that role starting next to Aldridge, even grabbing 14 boards against Golden State.
The Spurs’ top players, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan have struggled in their past few games, but against the Lakers, Murray had 18 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes, Bryn Forbes and Derrick White had 12, and Rudy Gay was big off the bench with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup
The Atlanta Hawks lost a close game last Monday by two points and then dropped two straight against the upstart Miami Heat for a tough three games in four nights stretch. They are on four days of rest entering tonight’s game at home, but the loss of Collins is a big one for Atlanta especially on the night they get back Trae Young and Alex Len.
In their most recent loss on Thursday, while Jimmy Butler was limited offensively, the Heat rookies continued to lead them over the Hawks. The starters for Atlanta just couldn’t get much done, with Collins being the only player in double figures. Off the bench, DeAndre’ Bembry, Jabari Parker, and Tyrone Wallace kept the Hawks in the game.
Bembry, who has had a nice start to the season, finished with a near-triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Parker had 23 points and eight rebounds, and Wallace scored 12 points.
With Parker likely getting the starting nod tonight, they’ll continue to look for help from their second unit, but rookie De’Andre Hunter and second-year swingman Kevin Huerter will need to do more with their starting minutes.
Key Player Matchups
Dejounte Murray vs. Trae Young
Dejounte Murray’s per 36 minutes marks are off the charts considering he’s averaging 14 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game while he is on a minutes restriction that keeps him around the 20-minute mark. He is also one of the better defensive point guards in the league, but tonight he’ll have a challenge on his hands in Young. Before his injury, Young was on a tear and was an absolute flamethrower from deep.
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Jabari Parker
LaMarcus Aldridge has somehow struggled against the Los Angeles teams. He had 22 points and eight rebounds in the Spurs’ win over Golden State, but he bookended that with single-digit nights in scoring and rebounding in losses to the Clippers and Lakers. While Jabari Parker has looked good off the bench and is fast enough to stay in front of Aldridge, down low things could be a bit more difficult, where Aldridge hits that turnaround high release fade away with ease.
While I would normally select Aldridge or DeMar DeRozan here, Murray has been the most consistent Spur lately, even in limited minutes. He’s my pick for a combo/stud and value player. He is available for $6.7k on FanDuel with a projection of 32.25 points. Murray is one of those players that can affect multiple categories. For Atlanta, Trae Young is an easy pick. If you’re looking for some outside shooting help, look no further. His $9.2k value has a projection of 43.85 points.
With Parker likely seeing a role change and minutes increase, he’s one of the best values playing tonight with a 6.90 points per $1k rating. He is available for just $5k and is projected for 34.48 points in Collins’ absence.
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