Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks
Records: Raptors (14-4); Hawks (3-14)
Where to Watch
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: TSN Network
Radio: TSN Radio 1050 Toronto
Location: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
A tough four-game road trip, which included a pair of back-to-backs, comes to an end for the Raptors on Wednesday when they travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks, who have lost their last eight games.
The Hawks are led by Trae Young, who has established himself as an early Rookie of the Year candidate with averages of 16.8 points, 8.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds through 17 games. He has struggled with efficiency, but Young has found the touch in a number of games for the Hawks, scoring a career-high 35 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 21 and pouring in 25 points in a recent matchup with the LA Clippers.
Young proved in his freshman season at Oklahoma that he isn't afraid to let if fly from deep, making him someone teams have to account for well beyond the 3-point line even when his shot isn't falling at a high clip.
Young is more than just a scorer, too. According to NBA.com, he is creating 18.1 points per game with his assists, putting him behind only six players for most in the league.
Alex Len and Taurean Prince have been on the receiving end of most of Young's assists thus far - Lex as a roller and cutter, Prince as a spot-up shooter when defenses collapse on his drives. John Collins, who missed the first 15 games of this season with an ankle injury, gives Young the best of both words as an athletic finisher around the basket and a capable shooter outside of the paint.
Now that Collins is healthy again, look for him and Young to establish themselves as Atlanta's one-two punch of the future with exciting plays like this:
Someone else to watch on the Hawks on Wednesday is Vince Carter, who enters the game 13 points away from scoring 25,000 in his career.
With Carter being a Raptors legend, reaching the point total against his former team would be a fitting way for him to become only the 22nd player in NBA history to join the exclusive club.
After losing three straight games, the Raptors are currently riding a two-game win streak with victories against the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic.
The Raptors cruised to a win against the Bulls on Saturday, but their matchup with the Magic on Tuesday came down to the wire, with Danny Green playing the hero with a game-winning jump shot.
🙏🏽 @DGreen_14 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/gyUugI7Fme- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 21, 2018
Turnovers and 3-point shooting continue to plague the Raptors, as they turned the ball over 10 times in the second half against the Magic and shot 26.5 percent from distance for the game.
Since their loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 12, only three teams have shot worse from the 3-point line than the Raptors (29.4 percent), one of them being the Hawks (29.1 percent). Toronto also ranks near the top of the league in turnovers per game (16.8), Atlanta (17.5) being one of the six teams ahead of them.
It's important that the Raptors address those problems now before they take on the likes of the Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors to close the month.
The Raptors will be without Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation) against the Hawks, and C.J. Miles (right adductor strain) and OG Anunoby (right wrist sprain) are both questionable. Kawhi Leonard (rest) is unlikely to play after logging 30 minutes in the team's win against the Magic on Tuesday.
Last Time They Played
Date: March 6, 2018
Score: Raptors 106, Hawks 90
Hawks: John Collins - 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Raptors: DeMar DeRozan - 25 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal