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The Hawks are wrapping up one of the worst west coast road trips (that didn't include a pitstop at Spahn Ranch) imaginable. Right now, they're riding a five-game losing streak with an average loss of 11 points. It's the team's worst skid since December 2019. Since embarking on this sojourn, people have begun to question the team's post play and bench (a familiar feeling for Hawks fans).

Meanwhile, the Nuggets have won three straight games and one fight. Reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic averages 25.4 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1 block per game. Yes, Jokic leads the Nuggets in all five statistical categories. He's basically what Kevin Parker is to Tame Impala.

Much like Parker's band, the Nuggets role players are no slouches. Will Barton and Aaron Gordon combine for 29 points per game. Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, Porter is dealing with back issues again, which is disconcerting.

The Nuggets offense has been suboptimal through the first few weeks of the season. They're bottom-five in the league for points (101.8), three-pointers made (10.5), and last in free throw attempts (15.5) per game. Jamal Murray's absence creates a void that cannot be filled and leaves the team with one of the slowest paces in the league. 

Besides having a generational big man on their team, the Nuggets' saving grace has been defense. They are second in the league in defensive rating (100.9). The Hawks have struggled with inconsistency on offense, so let's hope their shooting shows up in the Mile High City tonight.

Outlook

The Nuggets injury report includes three players. Michael Porter Jr. (low back pain), Vlatko Cancar (left hip strain), and Jamal Murray (left knee injury recovery) are all out.

The Hawks injury report isn't nearly as bad. Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle soreness) and De'Andre Hunter (right wrist strain) are questionable. Onyeka Okongwu (right shoulder injury recovery) remains out.

SI Sportsbook has the Nuggets listed as 5.5-point favorites. Rightfully, everyone is down on the Hawks right now. But with the Nuggets missing so many players, this game will be more competitive than most people think.

Final Thoughts

I actually believe the Hawks will surprise some people tonight. They had two consecutive days off for the first time all season, and know they are going home soon. Plus, statistically speaking, their cold shooting can only last so long. Kevin Huerter is proof of that. It's been a nightmare road trip, but they can begin building off a win tonight. Stay locked into AllHawks.com as we keep you updated with breaking news and analysis.

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