It feels like the good old days for the Golden State Warriors. Except they're in San Francisco, and there's no Kevin Durant. After a few years in limbo, the Warriors are now reclaiming their spot atop the Western Conference.
The lion's share of the credit goes to the face of their franchise, Steph Curry. The 33-year-old point guard is still producing at an unfathomable rate. Totaling 25.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game is no small feat - especially after 13 seasons in the association.
Sure, it's early November. But the whole team is playing at a high level. Currently, they rank in the top three of the league in points (113.9), three-pointers made (16), assists (30.2), rebounds (48.7), and +/- (13.7) per game. It's not just offensive fireworks, either. The Warriors are smothering opponents with a defensive rating of 97 - yes, that's also a league-best. It's easy to understand why they are 8-1 and have the best record in the league.
Meanwhile, the Hawks have dropped 5 of their last 6 games, and failed early-season tests against championship contenders. There has been plenty of blame going around - rotations, emotions, referees, and inconsistent performances. But the team's biggest flaw has been defense. The Hawks defensive rating (110.2) is bottom-five in the league. Coach Nate McMillan keeps saying that bad offensive possessions are translating to poor defense. Whatever the cause of the porous defense, the team has to figure it out as soon as possible.
While we await an official injury report from the Warriors, we can go ahead and figure that James Wiseman (right knee), Andre Iguodala (left hip), and Klay Thompson (right Achilles) are out. On the other hand, the Hawks are enjoying good health. John Collins (left foot strain) is probable, while Onyeka Okongwu (right shoulder injury recovery) remains out.
SI Sportsbook has the Warriors listed as 3.5-point favorites. Until the Hawks prove us wrong, it's difficult not to doubt them in these sorts of matchups, especially when they're running into a Golden State buzzsaw.
The Warriors are playing their best ball in years, while the Hawks are on their longest losing streak since last April. Let's hope the Hawks find themselves on defense. Otherwise, this could be another tough night for Atlantans staying up late to watch their team. Stay locked into AllHawks.com as we keep you updated with breaking news and analysis for your Atlanta Hawks.