San Antonio Spurs: Keys to Beating the Atlanta Hawks

By George Middleton

On Wednesday night the San Antonio Spurs take on the Atlanta Hawks at the AT&T Center, both teams enter the game with a 1-1 record. The Atlanta Hawks are coming off a 10 point home win over an injury struck Indiana Pacers team. The San Antonio Spurs on the other hand are coming off a tough five point loss against the Phoenix Suns on the road.

Beating a hungry Atlanta Hawks team won’t be easy for the San Antonio Spurs, here are some keys to them picking up a victory.

Contain Jeff Teague

Jeff Teague has played terrific so far this season, as he is averaging 22.5 points and 7 assists. Teague is a tough cover for the opposition as he can penetrate to the basket and shoot the ball well. Teague is also a solid defender with terrific athleticism, as he has shown with his six steals in the first two contests. Tony Parker must get the job done, because no other San Antonio Spurs player might be able to.

Cut Down on Turnovers

The San Antonio Spurs main problem all preseason was turning the ball over and it has continued in the first two games.  The Spurs are averaging 16 turnovers per contest in the first two games, which ranks 23rd in the league. If the Spurs want to be the top tier teams in the league they must stop giving the ball away.

Limit Hawks Three Point Shooting

The Atlanta Hawks are one of the better three point shooting teams in the NBA. With a combination of Teague, Paul Millsap, Mike Scott, Kyle Korver, and Pero Antic. Through the first two games of the season, the Hawks are shooting 48% from downtown, while hitting 10 per contest. One thing for sure when the Hawks are connecting from long distance, they can compete with anyone just ask the Indiana Pacers.

Kawhi Leonard= Big Game

Going into the game Kawhi Leonard should have the most favorable matchup. Leonard will be guarded by either Kyle Korver or DeMarre Carroll. Korver is just a good team defender that lacks athleticism and Carroll can defend but Leonard should have no problem scoring on him. Leonard finished with 6 points (0-5 fg) and 8 rebounds against Phoenix after he missed the season opener with an eye infection. That’s another reason to expect a big game from the rising star.

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