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Nets play host to the Hawks

"Faith is what you make it/ that's the hardest s*** since MC Ren"
"Faith is what you make it/ that's the hardest s*** since MC Ren"
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

All streaks end at some point. And for the Brooklyn Nets, Wednesday was the end of a particularly rough streak. Coming into the game against the San Antonio Spurs, they had lost every game against a .500 and above team this season. They beat the champs in overtime 95-93 and have won their last two games. There's been a lot of frustration with the team, but anytime you can beat an excellent team, you deserve some dap.

Coming into the Barclays Center for a Friday night affair will be the Atlanta Hawks. With the Miami Heat defanged, Atlanta has stood up and are off to an 11-6 start. They've won their last four games, including Wednesday's contest against the Heat.

Where to follow the game

For the television folks, YES Network has you covered. On the radio? Check out WFAN 101.9 FM. Tip off is after 7:30.


Nothing here for the Nets.

The Hawks are injury free.

The game

What's the story with these two? Let's check it out:

2014-2015 Season

Brooklyn Atlanta


8-9 10-6


94.4 95.77

Offensive Efficiency

101.9 107.5

Defensive Efficiency

102.9 104.9

Turnover Rate

15.2 15.6

Assist Rate

15.8 19.5

Offensive Rebounding Rate

23.8 21.9

Rebounding Rate

49.1 48.1

Free Throw Rate

27 28.3

Effective Field Goal Percentage

49.3 53.6

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

49.2 50.8

The issue has died down some since the summer, but there might be discussion of Hawks ownership on the broadcast. Over the summer, Bruce Levenson announced he was selling his part in the team after a racist email emerged. Eventually, General Manager Danny Ferry took a leave of absence due to comments he made about Luol Deng. It's a very complex issue, and one I discussed here on the site.

Kyle Korver has always been one of the league's best shooters, but he's been even better than usual this year. Korver is shooting an astounding 56.7 percent from three point range, good for second best in the league (Tony Parker leads at 68 percent, but he doesn't take nearly the same amount as Korver. Defensively, the Nets will have to be extremely careful when double teaming when he is on the court. Korver shoots 56 percent on catch and shoot attempts. It'll be up to Joe Johnson and Bojan Bogdanovic to chase Korver off the three point line and to avoid any mental lapses on defense. One wrong move and it's an automatic three points for the Hawks.

The point guard matchup between Deron Williams and Jeff Teague should be good. Teague loves to drive to the basket and so far, it's leading to the best season of his career. As he's gained more experience, Teague has been tasked with more responsibility on offense, and he's been able to successfully adapt his game to those changes. His true shooting percentage is a career high 60.7 percentage thanks to shooting 41.5 percent from three point range, but his six free throws per game are more important in the long run. It's not likely he continues to shoot that well from deep, but if he can continue driving and getting to the line the way that he has, it makes the Hawks offense incredibly hard to deal with. And with Korver out there, Brooklyn has to be careful if they help on his drives. How can Teague become even better? Let Peachtree Hoops' Brad Rowland tell you:

At this point, no one could reasonably expect Teague to become a "stopper" or anything of the sort defensively, but the next step for Jeff will simply to be in tune to the team concept in order to cut down on mental lapses that lead to uncontested shots for the opposition.

With that in mind, Williams should go at him early and often. The Nets offense is most effective when Deron is engaged and attacking the opposing PG. If he's successful, Williams will be able to throw Teague off his game and possibly hinder his effectiveness on the other side of the ball.

The Paul Millsap signing continues to pay off for the Hawks. He came over following the 2013 offseason and was named an All Star last season. He's picked up where he's left off, averaging around 17 points and eight rebounds a night. One difference from last season is his three point shooting. He shot a respectable 35.8 percent from deep last year, but is only at 31.8 percent currently. He's back from taking Wednesday off (second night of a back to back), so Kevin Garnett will start on Millsap. Even at this stage in his career, Garnett is incredibly active on the glass and is still a capable defender. He'll be able to stay with Millsap when he's on the perimeter and can pick up the slack on the glass. He's good for about 24 minutes a game, so look for Mirza Teletovic to see a lot of playing time. His minutes have been a bit funny this time (only in the teens against Chicago and New York, but he deserves a lot of time due to his outstanding game against San Antonio.

Player to watch: Al Horford

Horford has been one of the most underrated players in the NBA in recent years. He's efficient with his shot attempts, can extend past the free throw line with his jumpers, is a good rebounder, and is a pretty great defender. The only flaw with him has been injuries. Big Al has missed extended time over the past three seasons due to various injuries and it has hurt the Hawks in the playoffs. He's having his usual solid season, but averaging a career low 29.2 minutes per game. Even still, As he continues working his way back from the pectoral injury he suffered last year, his minutes will rise. Even still, he's averaging about 14 points and seven rebounds a game while shooting 55.9 percent from the field.

Al will draw the initial assignment of defending Brook Lopez. He didn't shoot well, but he was able to grab 15 rebounds and played a season high 45 minutes (he didn't commit a turnover either). His recovery and return to All Star caliber play has been bumpy, but that performance is a great sign for the Nets and Nets fans. Horford will aim to keep him away from the rim and force him into contested hook shots and jumpers from the high post.

From the Vault

The last time representatives of Atlanta were in New York, this happened.

More reading: Peachtree Hoops