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GAME PREVIEW: Jazz at Hawks

GAME PREVIEW: Jazz at Hawks



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ATLANTA -- With the hope of stringing two wins together on the road, the Jazz will travel to Atlanta Friday night to matchup against the Hawks.

The Hawks, who will finish up a three-game home stand as the welcome Utah to the Philips Arena, have an 18-6 record and have won five straight games. Behind only the Celtics in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks are the toughest team the Jazz will face in their five-game stretch.

After winning just 33 percent of their games on the road until Wednesday night, the Jazz (15-10) overpowered New Jersey to move their road record to 4-6. Utah will again be looking to improve their success away from Energy Solutions Arena, but this time, against a much tougher Atlanta team.

Game 26
Utah Jazz (15-10)
at Atlanta Hawks (18-6)
Date: Friday December 18, 2009
Time: 5:30 p.m. MT
Site: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
TV: FSN Utah : Comcast - Ch. 52 (HD Ch. 693); DIRECTV - Ch. 684 (HD Ch. 684-1); DISH - Ch. 445 (HD Ch. 9515)
Radio: 1320 AM KFAN or 98.7 FM
Season Series Record: First meeting
Last Season Series Record: Jazz 1, Hawks 1
Last Meeting: 3/11/2009 Hawks 100, Jazz 93
The game will mark the first meeting of the two teams in the 2009-2010 season.

KSL takes a look back and ahead as we prep for the game against the Hawks.

What did we learn about the Jazz against the New Jersey Nets?

  • Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer both had double-doubles against New Jersey. Williams went for 20 points and 14 assists, while Boozer tallied up 26 to go along with 10 boards. If Utah wants to claim the win in Atlanta, Williams and Boozer's performances will be key. The Jazz are 8-0 when the two get 20 or more points each.
  • Wednesday's win basically came down to Utah's defensively-solid second quarter. The Jazz matched their first quarter score of 26, but were able to hold the Nets to 17 in the second quarter, giving themselves an 11-point advantage at the half.
  • Jerry Sloan divided up the minutes and tried a few new combinations Wednesday, with seven guys receiving at least 20 minutes, and three others playing between 9-13. The Jazz bench tallied 35 of Utah's total points.

What can the Jazz expect from the Hawks?

  • Atlanta currently holds the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference behind Boston, and is playing like a No. 2 team. In the last four games, the Hawks have beaten their opponents by an average of 23.3 points.
  • The Hawks have a deep bench and will likely be giving everyone a good amount of time in Friday's matchup. In their latest four games, Atlanta's bench has accounted for 44.8 percent of the Hawks' points. Jamal Crawford and Maurice Evans could present a challenge for the Jazz bench if they're not ready to play when Utah's starters are out.
  • Atlanta is the third-strongest team in the league when playing at home, and have lost only two games at the Philips Arena so far this season. If the Jazz can get the W in Atlanta, the momentum could carry them past the Magic in Orlando two games later.

Probable Jazz starting lineup

  • C - Mehmet Okur, 6-11, 273 lbs., Turkey
  • PF - Carlos Boozer, 6-9, 260 lbs., Duke
  • SF - Ronnie Brewer, 6-7, 236 lbs., Arkansas
  • SG - Wesley Matthews, 6-5, 224 lbs., Marquette
  • PG - Deron Williams, 6-3, 207 lbs., Illinois

Probable Hawks starting lineup

  • C - Al Horford, 6-10, 245 lbs., Florida
  • PF - Josh Smith, 6-9, 240 lbs., Oak Hill Academy (VA)
  • SF - Marvin Williams, 6-9, 240 lbs., North Carolina
  • SG - Joe Johnson, 6-7, 240 lbs., Arkansas
  • PG - Mike Bibby, 6-2, 195 lbs., Arizona

Hawks leaders

Joe Johnson, 21.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg / Jamal Crawford, 16.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Jazz Injury Updates

  • Matt Harpring - (knee) Out for season

Hawks Injury Updates

  • Joe Smith - (thumb) Questionable

Conclusion

If the Jazz want to make the rest of their road trip enjoyable, they've got to start by getting the win in Atlanta. Putting together back-to-back wins away from home could give the Jazz the confidence they need when they take on tough teams throughout the remainder of the season.

The Jazz have beaten the Spurs, the Magic and the Lakers in Salt Lake City, but have yet to claim a win over a high-caliber team on the road. If the Jazz are able to minimize points in the paint and out-rebound the Hawks, Friday could be the night they finally do.

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