The Golden State Warriors travel to the Dirty South to play the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on Monday. The Warriors (4-17) have had an uphill battle all season long and it’s not likely that the hill is to level out anytime soon. Losing Kevin Durant in the offseason is one thing but suffering injuries to Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell has made this a nightmare season. That’s why the Warriors have one of the worst records in the Western Conference and why they might land a Top-3 pick at this year’s draft. If there’s one bit of good news, it’s the fact that they have some youngsters thriving in these expanded roles. Eric Paschall and Alec Burks have been the ones who have stepped up the most and it’s imperative that they build some pieces around the core of Curry, Russell and Thompson. Having all of those guys back next season would automatically make them a Finals threat, especially if these role players continue to play at this sort of level. The Hawks (4-16) come into this matchup losing 10-straight games, as they’re steadily falling out of playoff contention. Many people had this team pegged to battle for a playoff spot in the east but the absences of John Collins and Kevin Huerter have halted those thoughts with this terrible run. The thing that’s really killed them is their defense, sitting 29th in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. That’s truly horrific and it likely won’t get any better with such a young roster. It’s certainly no fault of Trae Young though, with the sophomore superstar leading the way with 28.4 points and 8.4 assists per game. Once Collins is back from suspension, these two can get back on track and try to make a late-season push. Golden State has absolutely owned Atlanta over recent years, winning their last nine games over them in total.
December 2, 2019