Preview: Hawks @ Pistons

GAME 20: Atlanta Hawks (13-6) at Detroit Pistons (4-15)
January 27, 2012 - 7:30 pm - The Palace at Auburn Hills
TV: SportSouth | Radio: 680 the Fan
LINKS: Game Notes (pdf) | Preview | Photos from Last Meeting

The Hawks continue their "SkyMiles Miracle" road trip in Detroit on Friday night against a Pistons team that has stumbled to a 4-15 record to start the season. Still, there is a reason Coach Drew claims that he doesn't pay attention to the standings. This is the NBA, where any team can win on a given night. Two of Detroit's wins have come at home against the Pacers and the Magic, two teams that currently sit ahead of the Hawks in the Eastern Conference standings.

Injury Report:
Hawks - Kirk Hinrich returned to action on Wednesday, recording seven points on 3-of-4 shooting in his first minutes of the season. Al Horford underwent surgery on his left pectoral muscle last week and is not with the team.

Pistons - Ben Gordon (sore left shoulder), Will Bynum (Strained right foot) and Charlie Villanueva (sore right ankle) are all listed as day-to-day..

Key Match-Ups:
Greg Monroe is having a breakout season for the Pistons, averaging 15.4 ppg and 9.4 rpg at center. He has had a few monster lines, including 32 points and 16 rebounds against Milwaukee earlier this month.

The Hawks will counter with a host of defenders in the post, including Zaza Pachulia, Ivan Johnson, Josh Smith, and probably some Jason Collins as well. For Atlanta to be successful they will need a team effort to balance out the rebounding, which means more boardwork from Joe, Marvin and Smoove.

Joe Johnson is looking for some consistency with his scoring after recording just 8 and 10 points, respectively, in the team's last two defeats. He should have an advantage in Detroit against smaller defenders.

- One face that the Hawks will find familiar on the opponents bench will be Damien Wilkins. Damien, the nephew of Hawks' Legend Dominique, played a bulk of last season with Atlanta, serving primarily as a lock-down wing defender off the bench.