The Atlanta Hawks travel to Texas to play the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on Saturday. The Hawks (4-15) are coming off a disappointing overtime loss in their most recent game to the Indiana Pacers and that game is their season in a nutshell. While they’ve been competitive all season long, they simply don’t do enough to win ballgames, which is evident by their current nine-game losing streak. What makes that last loss even more distressing is the fact that Trae Young dropped a career-high 49 points in that game. That’s truly absurd but it’s no surprise when you see that he’s averaging 26.7 points and 8.6 assists per game for the year. As long as he keeps doing that and they get development from guys like DeAndre Hunter and Kevin Huerter, this season could end up being a success despite the terrible record. Getting John Collins back from his suspension in about a month will be a bonus too, as he was looking like an All-Star talent at times last season. The Rockets (12-6) come into this matchup losing three of their last four games which is easily their worst stretch of the season. The competition in those losses makes it look OK though, losing to a scorching hot Dallas Mavericks and road defeats to the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. Having losses like those do paint a picture for the future though, as this club has struggled in the postseason over recent years. While they have been able to abuse weaker competition, they need to prove that they can be good teams, like they will have to in the playoffs. It’s certainly no fault of James Harden though despite what the skeptics say, with Harden leading the league with 37.7 points per game. While Houston has won four-straight games and two-season series in a row against Atlanta, the Hawks actually won each of their previous seven meetings before that.
November 30, 2019