NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 26th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Pistons (9-21) at Atlanta Hawks (16-9), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Pistons carry a two-game winning streak into Wednesday night's contest at Philips Arena against the Atlanta Hawks.
While back-to-back wins may not seem like a monumental achievement, it matches the Pistons' longest stretch of consecutive victories this season.
One could make the case that the Christmas break came at a difficult time for the Pistons. Detroit hasn't had as many as two straight days off this season, so now the Pistons have to cool off during this strong run.
"It is what it is," Lawrence Frank said. "They ain't changing it. Just like they weren't changing it when we played the most games. You look at our record and the Wizards' record and you realize how many more games we've played. But it all catches up to you. When you have days off, it's the balance between rest and recovery and work. You just take advantage of it the way it is."
Both of the Pistons' victories during this so-called streak came against the Washington Wizards. They humiliated the Wizards in Detroit on Friday night, then beat them in the nation's capital on Saturday.
The Hawks stemmed a two-game losing streak on Saturday night with a home victory over the Chicago Bulls, 92-75. All five Hawks starters scored in double-figures, led by 20 points and 10 rebounds from Al Horford.
Saturday's win was almost a mirror-opposite of Friday night's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the City of Brotherly Love. Against the Bulls, the starters scored, but against the Sixers, only two of the first five had double-figures and one starter, DeShawn Stevenson, didn't register a single point.
Against the Sixers, the Hawks shot 39.2 percent from the field. Versus, the Bulls, that number was 49.4 percent.
Why such a disparity from one night to the other?
"I wish I had the answer to that, to be perfectly honest," coach Larry Drew said. "That's the thing that will have you pulling your hair out ... it was a complete opposite. I don't care what our strategy is, or what the game plan is. If we don't play with good energy we're not going to be successful. "
Drew became the eighth Hawks' coach to register 100 wins with the victory over the Bulls. He also became the second-fastest behind Lenny Wilkens to reach that number in franchise history.
The Hawks have won six of their last eight against the Pistons and eight straight in Atlanta in this series.
12/26 10:49:16 ET