After a one-game break from the Phoenix Suns schedule loaded only with playoff teams, the team is right back at it against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks (6-0) are one of only three remaining undefeated teams left in the NBA and surprisingly are in first place in their division, ahead of the Orlando Magic and those infamous Miami Heat.
The Hawks' early success, however, should be tempered by their exceedingly easy schedule. They have wins over teams with a combined record of 10-26, including four one-win teams. That's not to say they aren't a good team, but they aren't going to win 60 games, either, just because they've managed to beat up on the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Atlanta essentially returns the same team we saw last season, which means Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford and Al Horford are the scoring threats. And while both Horford and Smith are good rebounders and good defenders, they don't have the massive size that some of the Suns' other opponents possessed.
The Hawks will be without small forwards Marvin Williams (knee) and Mo Evans (knee). Joe Johnson will likely slide over and play minutes at the three while the Hawks back fill the guard position with more minutes from Jamal Crawford, Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague.
In theory, this will leave the Hawks open to the Suns posting up Josh Childress, Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley and Grant Hill against their smaller defenders. This will be the first time Josh Childress returns to Atlanta, where he played four seasons before leaving to play in Greece for two seasons.
The Suns are coming off their emotional double-overtime win against the Grizzlies on Friday and will face Memphis again tomorrow before returning home for a few days rest. The Suns next home game is Friday against the Sacramento Kings.
Josh Smith not on the trade block
There have been a few rumors that the Hawks were looking to trade forward Josh Smith for financial reasons and the Suns were a team mentioned as having interest. As with many of these rumors, there doesn't appear to be much to it, according to Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham.
Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith is not on trading block | Atlanta Hawks
Now if some team came along and offered a top 5 or 10 talent for Smoove, then of course Sund would consider that deal just like any other sane GM. But Sund is not looking to move Josh and the Hawks aren’t under any pressure, financial or otherwise, to trade him or any of their other core players right now.