Peachtree Hoops: Preview: Hawks visit Minnesota, aim for third straight win

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NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Atlanta Hawks
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

After a stretch of six losses in seven games, the Atlanta Hawks began this week in favorable fashion. Atlanta emerged victorious over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday and, after a comeback victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, the Hawks and Wolves face off again on Friday evening. This time, however, Target Center will host the proceedings in Minneapolis.

The Wolves are struggling in a mighty, losing 10 of their last 11 games as the Hawks arrive. Minnesota continues to operate without the team’s best player, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Ricky Rubio is also sidelined for this contest. Minnesota currently ranks as a bottom-five team in both offensive and defensive efficiency and, without Towns on the floor, the Wolves are arguably the worst team in the NBA.

With that said, the Hawks did struggle at times on Monday and there is nothing easy in the NBA. From there, Atlanta is dealing with their own injury issues, which carry over from earlier this week.

De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) and Cam Reddish (left knee contusion) are both listed as questionable for Friday’s game. Reddish has been absent for the last three contests, with Hunter missing Wednesday’s victory. Danilo Gallinari (right ankle sprain) is doubtful to play, with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kris Dunn remaining out of action.

While it is too early to know whether Hunter and/or Reddish can take the floor, life becomes more difficult for the Hawks if either or both cannot play. Atlanta managed to escape with Wednesday’s win, but the Hawks received very little from their bench and players like Solomon Hill (40 minutes) had to be extended beyond their typical deployment.

Atlanta will likely be the betting favorite by tip-off, even if Hunter and Reddish can’t play. That says a lot about the state of Minnesota’s roster, but the Hawks must perform at a higher level than they reached, at least in totality, during either Monday’s game or Wednesday’s game to feel confident about picking up a third consecutive win.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, Jan. 22, 8:00 pm ET

Location: Target Center

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go; NBA League Pass (out of market)

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