Hawks See Wade, LeBron For First Time This Week

The Hawks have four games this week, including a rematch with the Knicks, a visit from former assistant coach Quin Snyder and matchups with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.


Monday:  New York Knicks

Details:  7:30 p.m. (ET) | Madison Square Garden | SportSouth, 92.9 The Game

The Hawks outscored the Knicks 55-35 to erase a 13-point halftime deficit in Saturday's second half.  The rematch comes 48 hours later, this time in New York's house, and Atlanta will need more consistent play if it hopes to win its first road game of the season.  A big reason for the comeback was DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap's ability to limit Carmelo Anthony.  After a 14-point first quarter, the former scoring leader had just six the rest of the way, and the Hawks locked down everyone else to win it.  New York is still learning a new offense under first-year head coach Derek Fisher, so it's expected to take some time.  They're also without point guards Jose Calderon and Pablo Prigioni, as well as big man Andrea Bargnani, which hasn't helped.  Atlanta has the fortune of seemingly catching the Knicks at the right time: early and injured.  Now it's up to them to take advantage.

Wednesday:  Utah Jazz

Details:  7:30 p.m. (ET) | Philips Arena | SportSouth, 92.9 The Game | Get Tickets

It only took one season as a head coach for a Mike Budenholzer disciple to get his own head coaching job.  Quin Snyder returns to Atlanta Wednesday, bringing with him a much-improved Jazz team that's off to a respectable start.  Utah's new-look offense features many of the principles Snyder preached in Coach Bud's system: pace and space.  Jazz fans have launded the new-look offense, and it has led to a balanced scoring effort early.  Five guys are averaging double figures, and that doesn't include Trey Burke's 9.7.  Part of the reason for the offensive success has been 46 percent shooting, good for eighth in the league so far.  Unfortunately for them, most of that hot shooting has been inside the arc, and the Hawks will have to take note and force some outside jumpers.  Atlanta has had good success against Utah in recent years, but Snyder will have his guys prepared to face a team he knows very well.

Friday:  Miami Heat

Details:  7:30 p.m. (ET) | Philips Arena | SportSouth, 92.9 The Game | Get Tickets

Gone is LeBron James, but the Miami Heat are still right near the top of the East standings early as if nothing has changed.  The biggest reason why?  Chris Bosh.  He's been one of the best players in the early part of the season, averaging better than 23 points and 10 rebounds in seven games.  His all-around game continues to improve, and Erik Spoelstra playing him at center is a nightmare matchup for opposing bigs.  The addition of Loul Deng has helped on both ends, as he's been the team's primary wing defender while averaging 15.7 points on 56 percent shooting offensively (he also looks healthier than he has in a while).  The Hawks can't relax when they see a LeBron-less Heat team Friday night, as these guys can still turn up the defensive pressure as well as anybody, and they're very good in the open court.

Saturday:  Cleveland Cavaliers

Details:  7:30 p.m. (ET) | Quicken Loans Arena | SportSouth, 92.9 The Game

Many have been critical of Cleveland's 2-3 start, but let's not forget that the "Big Three" in Miami got off to a similarly slow start while chemistry was still building before eventually catching fire and winning four straight conference championships.  LeBron James is shooting just 42 percent, Kevin Love is shooting 37 percent and the team is averaging fewer than 18 assists per game.  As the shots begin to fall for the two superstars, the assists should go up as well.  Defending the Cavaliers starts with making things tough for James.  You're not going to stop him, but making him work hard on both ends gives you your best chance to win.  Love is a weapon as well, as he can shoot from anywhere on the floor.  He's also a monster on the glass (11.2 rebounds in five games), so Atlanta's bigs will be challenged.  Offensively, the Hawks just need to continue to do what's been working with ball movement, drives and kicking to shooters.


Al Horford vs. Chris Bosh on Friday.  Two centers who can shoot and run the floor make for a fun matchup.


Carmelo Anthony will score six points in the final three quarters Monday.  A repeat defensive performance should mean another Hawks win.


There will be more nail-biters this week.  Last week had its share of them, and while we hope to be comfortably ahead in all of our games, it just doesn't seem to be our style.


Adreian Payne (Plantar fasciitis):  He's listed as day-to-day.


45 years ago Monday, Lou Hudson scored 57 points as the Hawks beat the Bulls 133-132 in Auburn, Ala.


Dennis Schröder leads the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating (PER). The stat assigns value to player accomplishments (made shot, assist, etc.) and penalized them for mistakes (missed shot, turnover, etc.).


Here's where the various sports websites have us in their rankings this week: