After a bad season debut, the Atlanta Hawks will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder, this Sunday at 7 PM ET at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Atlanta allowed the ex-Thunder James Harden a career high 42 points on Friday in the loss 109-102; they need a better defense if they want to start a winning streak.
“We’re still trying to establish an identity,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “That may take a little time to do.”
“When he gets the basketball in transition, he’s going to get to the basket,” Drew said about Harden. “It won’t be just one guy’s responsibility, it will be a team responsibility”.
“We have some things that we really have to focus in and work on,” Drew said. “There were areas in this game where we weren’t very good, very polished, particularly on the boards”.
The Thunder beat Portland on Friday, with Russell Westbrook scoring 32 points. “We just ran the floor better. A lot of guys finished a lot better around the basket. That got us easy points,” said Westbrook, who was 13 for 24 from the field and had six assists.
“When you talk about chemistry with our group, you haven’t been around our group,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “James was a good player but it wasn’t Dr. James. He wasn’t helping the group stick together. All the guys do that”.
Atlanta is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games and Oklahoma City is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Atlanta.