NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 5th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (5-0) at Minnesota Timberwolves (1-4), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The only unbeaten team in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks, will shoot for their sixth straight win tonight against the homestanding Minnesota Timberwolves from the Target Center.
Atlanta is 5-0 on the young season and hasn't won six straight to start a campaign since 2008-09. It will try for its fourth win on the road and is coming off Wednesday's 94-85 victory versus the Detroit Pistons in which Josh Smith finished with a team-high 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Al Horford netted 18 points and Joe Johnson contributed 14 and eight assists for the Hawks, who have won five in a row against Detroit at Philips Arena.
"We thought the schedule was in our favor, but anything was possible," said Johnson referencing the 5-0 start. "We never overlook any team, we just came out and played as hard as we could to try and get the win."
The Hawks made 53.7 percent of their shots and may not have both Jamal Crawford or Marvin Williams for Friday's game in the Twin Cities. Crawford (toe/foot) is questionable and Williams (knee) is expected to miss the game. Williams had 11 points versus the Pistons and Crawford ended with just two.
Minnesota is only 1-4 on the young season and has lost three in a row, including Wednesday's lopsided 128-86 loss at Orlando in the finale of an unsuccessful three-game road trip.
Kevin Love totaled 22 points and nine boards, while Corey Brewer added 12 points for the T'Wolves, who sustained the worst defeat in franchise history and have dropped 15 straight on the road dating back to last season.
"We just have to get better," Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis stated. "We have to find ways to play hard and get better. We're a young, inexperienced team. Look at all the young, inexperienced teams, they all go through their growing pains. It hurts, it's painful but you have to go through it."
Minnesota finished a miserable 28-of-84 for 33-percent shooting from the floor and didn't have new forward Michael Beasley because of a hip contusion suffered in a loss at Miami on Tuesday. Beasley, who was traded to the Timberwolves from Miami in the offseason, has been given the green light to return in Friday's game.
After Friday's home tilt at the Target Center, the T'Wolves will hit the road for three games against the Rockets, Lakers and Kings.
Atlanta swept the home-and-home series with Minnesota a year ago and is unbeaten in the past eight meetings between the teams. The Hawks have been victorious in their last four contests in the Twin Cities.
11/05 12:27:03 ET