he last time the Atlanta Hawks stepped off of the Philips Arena court, they were on the receiving end of another 30-plus point home loss. Atlanta looked lost playing without Al Horford. They didn't go inside and couldn't get that much going outside. As a result, the Philadelphia 76ers pasted Atlanta 117-83 on Tuesday night.
Four days later, the Hawks hope to have Horford back as they take on the struggling Charlotte Bobcats at the Highlight Factory (7:00 p.m., SportSouth, 97.9 FM).
Getting blown out at home is nothing new for Atlanta's basketball team, which suffered a similar fate on Jan. 21 without their All-Star center in the lineup. The Hawks scored an Atlanta franchise-low 59 points in a 41-point loss to the New Orleans Hornets in that one before departing up I-85 to take on the Bobcats.
Atlanta also played without Horford the next day, but the Hawks soared to a 107-83 win over struggling Charlotte. Joe Johnson had 32 points in the win.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later, and Atlanta hopes for the same luck against a familiar foe.
The Bobcats enter Atlanta reeling, dropping six of their last eight games to fall two games behind the Indiana Pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
To help stop the slide, Charlotte coach Paul Silas went old school in the Bobcats' Thursday practice, bringing NBA superstar Michael Jordan from the owners box to the practice court to square off with the guys.
Let's just say the 48-year old Jordan could still show most guys in the league a thing or two about the game he helped revolutionize.
"He's Mike," Bobcats captain Gerald Wallace told the Charlotte Observer. " He's been kicking our (rear ends). He still has it. He doesn't have his quickness, but he's a scorer, he's a shooter. The last thing to go is your jump shot, and he still has that."
The Hawks will be looking for their eighth straight win over the Bobcats at home. Charlotte last won here on Jan. 19, 2007.