Game tips at 1:00 pm ET
Atlanta: 12-4 (5-3 road)
Pistons: 5-11 (3-4 home)
The Atlanta Hawks are off to a tremendous start, thanks to Josh Smith finally figuring out he's not a shooting guard. His improvement elevates the Hawks from nice, balanced team to fringe contender.
In fact, much of the Hawks' new-found success can be attributed to bucking the league-wide trend of relying on the three-ball. Jamaal Crawford is posting a career year by developing other facets of his game (he could improve even more by cutting back on his rate of long distance shooting) and Atlanta is taking two fewer three point shots per game as a team.
Despite gaudy defensive numbers from Josh Smith and Al Horford, that Hawks are a middle-of-the-road defensive team. They are an outstanding rebounding team, however, and should be able to keep the Pistons off the offensive glass.
Sunday afternoon, essentially down three starters, against a team on pace to win 60 games. I predict an easy win.
Keys for Detroit
Manage something from the three point range: I have the feeling I can cut and paste this one for the rest of the year. Here's hoping Jerebko can continue to make teams pay for focusing on Bynum and Stuckey. A healthy diet of crashing into the lane could result in a Josh Smith quadruple-double.
Force the Hawks outside: The Magic were able to do this effectively, and neither Horford nor Smith are reliably dominant post men as yet.
All Daye: Austin Daye is gradually stepping up his game, and should get the opportunity to show what he can do. He needs minutes and he needs the ball.
Question of the Game
How long will this streak last? Losing sucks.