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Image for Christian Jope Christian Jope - Updated October 14, 2022

Atlanta Hawks vs Phoenix Suns: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ

When: Saturday, February 2nd at 7:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Southeast | 92.9 The Game, Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

Atlanta Hawks (Away)

Head Coach: Lloyd Pierce {All-Time 16-33 | ATL}

The Atlanta Hawks continue to struggle in their season overall, but have made small steps to improve in recent games. With a record of 16-34 the Atlanta Hawks aren’t close to a playoff position, but are certainly interested in climbing out of the East’s basement.

Over the last ten matches the Atlanta Hawks are 4-6 with a point differential of -7.6. While they’ve been able to pull off surprising wins over the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Oklahoma City Thunder, they’ve also given away games to the Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic.

The Hawks will be going up against one of the few teams with an inferior record in the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are on a dismal losing streak and are missing their key piece on the inside. Despite their limitations they still have two dynamic playmakers in TJ Warren and Devin Booker. The Hawks will have to be careful not to let the young Suns take off.

Phoenix Suns (Home)

Head Coach: Igor Kokoskov {All-Time 11-42 | PHX}

It has not been a good year for rookie Head Coach Igor Kokoskov. Not only is the team filled with youthful yet inexperienced talent, they have been ravaged with injuries at every turn this season. Sporting a record of 11-42, the Suns are last in the West and show no signs of immediate improvement.

Over the last ten matches the Phoenix Suns have been dominated. With a record of 1-9 with a point differential of -9.6, there are few games that the Suns have truly been competitive in.

When the Phoenix Suns face off against the Atlanta Hawks, they will be going up against a team that plays a very niche brand of basketball. The Hawks are top ten in both offensive rebounds per game as well as three-point attempts per game. Due to their offensive aggressiveness, the Suns should be able to punish the Hawks in transition.

What’s At Stake?

The Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns meet once again in this clash of inter-conference teams. In the all-time series, the Phoenix Suns lead the Atlanta Hawks 72-54.

A win for the Atlanta Hawks would not move the needle, they would remain twelfth in the East.

The Phoenix Suns are 9.5 games behind Memphis who are in fourteenth place. A win would keep them in place.

Questions to answer

How far can the Hawks’ youthful stars lead them?

Is Igor Kokoskov to blame?

We are going to compare the Atlanta Hawks and the Phoenix Suns in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Collins and Young Will Represent the Hawks at All-Star Weekend

Rookie Trae Young and sophomore John Collins will be donning the Atlanta Hawks logo in representation of the USA when they compete in the NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge. Each have shown how talented they are and the bright future they may be able to lead the Hawks into.

Trae Young may not be putting up a spectacular shooting season, but he is commanding respect from players of all experience levels. His ability from range can be turned on in a second while he’s also shown the aptitude to distribute the ball effectively. Meanwhile John Collins, were he on a more successful franchise, is putting up all-star calibre numbers. In just his second season, Collins is looking like a star in the making.

An inside-outside duo like Young and Collins are great pieces to build around. The Hawks may be lacking in other areas, but their contributions on the court and willingness to improve have been inspiring. A team like the Suns, who have stagnated in recent years, should take some example from the growing Hawks.

Kokoskov Is A No-Nonsense Coach

Head coach Igor Kokoskov was quoted early this season after a loss saying “The players have to play.” While he is not wrong in his statement, his simplicity removes the encouragement for any further analysis of the situation.

As a new coach, taking a young developing squad forward is always tough. Kokoskov has been criticized all year about his unwillingness to change up underperforming lineups. Rather he has the impression that they should be able to work through their difficulties and become successful.

Kokoskov inherited a young team who was always likely to take on a massive amount of losses. Compounded on that eventuality is the difficulty of their schedule. Not since December 17th have the Suns played a team that has been out of playoff contention. That changes against the Hawks. It’ll be interesting to see if Kokoskov’s coaching methods have worked now that they take on a team at their level.

Atlanta Hawks Roster Notes

G-F Kent Bazemore – 18 Jan 2019 – Out (Ankle) – There is no timetable for Bazemore’s return, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

C Miles Plumlee – 28 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Knee) – Plumlee has been ruled OUT for Monday’s (Jan 28) game.

Phoenix Suns Roster Notes

C DeAndre Ayton – 29 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Ankle) – Ayton was ruled OUT for Tuesday’s (Jan 29) game.

G De’Anthony Melton – 28 Jan 2019 – Day To Day (Ankle) – Melton was ruled OUT for Tuesday’s (Jan 29) game against the Spurs.

F TJ Warren – 23 Jan 2019 – Out (Ankle) – Warren will miss 2-3 weeks, according to Kellan Olson of AZSports.

Head-to-Head: Taurean Prince vs Devin Booker

Taurean Prince

Small Forward | 6-8, 220lb (203cm, 99kg) | Baylor | Exp. 3 Years

13.6 PPG | 2.0 APG | 4.0 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.1 TOV | .429 FG% | .357 3P%

Devin Booker

Shooting Guard | 6-6, 210lb (198cm, 95kg) | Kentucky | Exp. 4 Years

24.8 PPG | 6.7 APG | 3.6 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 4.0 TOV | .461 FG% | .323 3P%

It will be an offence defence matchup when the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns meet. Taurean Prince, an all-hustle, all-heart forward, will be tasked with stopping Devin Booker. Booker is one of the NBA’s most capable offensive threats; while Prince is a very gritty defender, Booker’s versatility is always dangerous.

Despite his effort being unchanged, Taurean Prince’s defensive ability this season has taken a step back. Once sporting a Defensive Win Share rating of 2.0 in 17-18, Prince is sporting a very average 0.5 this season. While his rating is very much a product of the weakened squad around him, Prince has looked to expand his offensive game this year. He will need both against the Phoenix Suns, as he must challenge Booker on both ends of the court.

Devin Booker is having another fantastic season. After an early-season injury scare, Booker returned and looks to not have missed a step. While he remains a deadly shot-maker from anywhere on the court, his playmaking has taken a tremendous leap. Averaging 6.7 assists per game, Booker has shown a new dimension to his game in order to facilitate his teammates. The Hawks are a young team with an athletic defensive scramble; Booker’s ability to shoot and pass the ball should help unlock the Hawks’ back line.

Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Phoenix Suns favoured over the Atlanta Hawks by 2.5, with an over/under of 110.

Image for Christian Jope


Christian Jope

1004 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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