The Atlanta Hawks road show through Florida continues with a Monday night matchup against the Orlando Magic (7:00 PM, SportSouth, 97.9 FM) in what should be an interesting game of attrition between the two teams. Obviously, the Hawks will be without leading scorer and co-captain Joe Johnson, who is recovering from right elbow surgery.
As to who plays for the Magic (15-5), that's anyone's guess. Orlando suited up just eight players in their 96-85 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, J.J. Reddick and Mickael Pietrus missed the game due to a stomach virus, while Ryan Anderson did not play due to a sprained foot. As of Monday Howard, Reddick and Pietrus had participated in the team's shootaround. Nelson did not and may miss his third straight game on Monday.
The Hawks are coming off of a disappointing 89-77 loss to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat on Saturday night in South Beach. The "Big Three" scored all but 14 of Miami's points in that one. Bosh lead the way with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Al Horford lead the Hawks with 22 points in a game where they clearly missed Johnson. Josh Powell and Jamal Crawford had 12 points each off the bench for the Hawks, who got just an 11 point, four rebound performance from Josh Smith.
Atlanta will need a monster night from Smith cleaning the glass against his former AAU teammate Howard if they are to have much of a chance against the Magic. The Hawks dropped a 93-89 decision in Orlando on Nov. 8 and have lost six straight on the road to the team from Disneyland dating back to Oct. 29, 2008.