Atlanta Hawks vs Toronto Raptors Preview and Predictions -01-20-2020
NBA: Monday, January 20, State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia, 2:30 PM ET
The Toronto Raptors bounced back from a tight home defeat to the San Antonio Spurs with three consecutive victories, including the most recent one over the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road. Toronto now improved to a 28-14 record and is in the 3rd position in the Eastern Conference.
The Atlanta Hawks responded to a four-game losing streak with a couple of wins over the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs but lost the latest game to the Detroit Pistons at home. The Hawks dropped to a 10-33 record and are still at the bottom of the East.
These conference rivals met once this season, and the Raptors secured a 119-116 win at State Farm Arena. Toronto was better in each of the previous eight H2H encounters and is on a five-game winning run in this arena.
The Raptors controlled Towns in a win over the Wolves
Toronto found the right recipe to stop Karl-Anthony Towns and limit him to 12 points in a 122-112 road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Raptors were lenient on defense early in the game, but kept the hosts to 50 points in the second half and scored 64 in return to secure a comfortable W. The Wolves were better in rebounds (49-42) and assists (34-25), however, it didn’t help Minnesota as Toronto shot 51.6% from the field and had a lot of easy looks throughout the game. Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with 29 points and game-high four steals. Kyle Lowry was right behind with 28 points and team-high seven rebounds, Norman Powell had 20 points and a pair of thefts, while Pascal Siakam contributed with 14 points and game-high four blocks.
“I think playing at ease like that allowed me to not press and just let the game come to me,” said VanVleet, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter.
This season, the Raptors have the 11th offense in the NBA that averages 111.8 points per game, and they are facing the Hawks’ 28th defense that allows 117.4 points per contest. The Raptors are the 12th in rebounds with 45.9 and 10th in assists with 25.5 per game.
The Hawks’ defense let them down in a big loss to the Pistons
Atlanta displayed one of the worst defensive performances of the season in a 136-103 home loss to the Detroit Pistons. The Hawks allowed even 71 points in the opening 24 minutes and didn’t play any better in the second half, letting Detroit score 30+ points in both the third and fourth quarters. Atlanta recorded only 18 assists opposite the Pistons’ 31, while the visitors also outjumped the Hawks (41-32). John Collins led Atlanta with 20 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Deandre Hunter added 19 points and five boards, Trae Young had 16 points, team-high eight rebounds, and team-high seven assists. Jeff Teague scored 15 points in his season debut with the Hawks, seven assists in 25 minutes. Jabari Parker (shoulder) is out indefinitely, while Alex Len (back) is questionable to take on the Raptors on Monday.
“We knew how they were going to attack us,” Collins said “We just didn’t execute our plan well. We came out a little slow and they hit us first, and we really didn’t respond too well.”
This season, the Hawks have the 23rd offense in the NBA that averages 107.6 points per game, and they are facing the Raptors’ 6th defense that allows 105.9 points per contest. The Hawks are the 29th in rebounds with 42.3 and 20th in assists with 22.9 per game.
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team plays its home games at State Farm Arena.
The team’s origins can be traced to the establishment of the Buffalo Bisons in 1946 in Buffalo, New York, a member of the National Basketball League (NBL) owned by Ben Kerner and Leo Ferris. After 38 days in Buffalo, the team moved to Moline, Illinois, where they were renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. In 1949, they joined the NBA as part of the merger between the NBL and the Basketball Association of America (BAA), and briefly had Red Auerbach as coach. In 1951, Kerner moved the team to Milwaukee, where they changed their name to the Hawks. Kerner and the team moved again in 1955 to St. Louis, where they won their only NBA Championship in 1958 and qualified to play in the NBA Finals in 1957, 1960 and 1961. The Hawks played the Boston Celtics in all four of their trips to the NBA Finals. The St. Louis Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968, when Kerner sold the franchise to Thomas Cousins and former Georgia Governor Carl Sanders.
The Hawks currently own the second-longest drought (behind the Sacramento Kings) of not winning an NBA championship at 60 seasons. The franchise’s lone NBA championship, as well as all four NBA Finals appearances, occurred when the team was based in St. Louis. Meanwhile, they went 48 years without advancing past the second round of the playoffs in any format, until finally breaking through in 2015. However, the Hawks are one of only four NBA teams that have qualified to play in the NBA playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons in the 21st century. They achieved this feat between 2008 and 2017. The other teams that have made it to at least 10 consecutive playoff appearances in the 21st century are the San Antonio Spurs (1998–present), Denver Nuggets (2004–2013), and Dallas Mavericks (2001–2012).