Just over two weeks ago Paul Pierce and his Brooklyn Nets team defeated tonight’s opponent, the Atlanta Hawks, 91-86 in Brooklyn.
But the man known as ‘The Truth’ has been around the NBA long enough to know that things can change very quickly in his sport.
And ahead of tonight’s Global Games encounter against the same opposition, Pierce was wary of underestimating his opponents in London:
“They’ve been playing well.
“They are still one of the top teams in the Eastern conference,” he told GiveMeSport during Wednesday’s media session.
And he is right.
The Atlanta Hawks (20-18) may have been hit by injuries of late, most notably to center Al Horford, but they sit in 4th place with a 0.526 record, 0.121 ahead of the Nets (0.405).
Of course the Nets have improved in recent weeks, defeating the Miami Heat and winning five of their last six games in the run up to tonight.
But Pierce believes that will count for little when they tip-off at the o2 Arena:
“We had the chance to play them during a tough stretch for them. So we know they will be better prepared for us.”
“They are one of the tougher teams in the East right now”.
“Especially with Paul Millsap coming into his own. (He is) probably going to be an All-Star this year.
They are a pretty good team.”
Millsap, who has posted two consecutive 20-point games in the run up to London, and 16 double-doubles in his 37 games this season, will certainly be amongst the main threats for the Hawks.