Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards Pick & Prediction JANUARY 13th 2024

Outside of facing the Washington Wizards, the Atlanta Hawks haven’t had much success this season.

Luckily for Atlanta, it gets a chance for a fourth win over Washington already this season when the Hawks host the reeling Wizards on Saturday.

Coming off a 126-108 loss to the visiting Pacers on Friday — the Hawks’ third defeat in as many tries against Indiana — Atlanta experienced the same old story: not being able to get stops on the defensive end.

The Pacers made a franchise-record 67.1 percent (53-for-79) of their field-goal attempts, just a week after putting 150 points on the board in a blowout win over the Hawks.

“(The Pacers) drive on you, and they’re relentless with that,” Atlanta coach Quin Snyder said. “They require you to defend throughout the entire possession and when they drive it from multiple positions, you’re in a lot of help situations and you have to recover.”

On offense, the Hawks were led by Dejounte Murray’s 29 points on 13-for-18 shooting from the field. Murray has been the subject of recent trade rumors with the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaching.

At 21.3 points per game, Murray ranks second on the team only to Trae Young (27.4 ppg).

Playing through right shoulder soreness, Young struggled in the Friday loss, scoring just 13 points on 4-for-17 shooting from the field.

“(Indiana) is very physical, particularly with Trae,” Snyder said. “He was here three to four hours early getting treatment to be ready to play. He’s a gamer. He has been banged up but has been playing through it.”

Unlike Atlanta, Washington will be well rested for the Saturday game. The Wizards haven’t played since Wednesday, when they lost 112-104 at Indiana.

Winners of just six games, the Wizards are on pace for their worst record in franchise history.

Since the NBA extended its regular season to 82 games in the 1967-68 season, the Wizards have lost 60-plus games just twice — in 2000-01 and 2008-09, when they finished 19-63 each time.

After taking their sixth straight defeat on Wednesday, the Wizards are on pace for a 13-69 mark.

“We have to do a lot of things right to pull out these games and win,” Washington’s Corey Kispert said. “The little things we can control are things we have to take advantage of and take ownership of. It’s on us, we can’t look anywhere else.”

Kispert, who is averaging 11.7 points per game this season, put up 15 points against Indiana, while Jordan Poole led the team with 28 points.

Kyle Kuzma is Washington’s top scorer at 22.2 ppg, followed by Poole at 16.8.

With three months remaining in the season, Washington is just four games ahead of the Detroit Pistons for the league’s worst record.

A win for the Hawks would mean the first season sweep over the Wizards since the 2020-21 season and the seventh straight victory for Atlanta in the series — its longest since a 12-game run that spanned from March 2008 to February 2011.

–Field Level Media

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