Tomorrow sees the fourth regular season NBA game to take in London, featuring the Atlanta Hawks and the Brooklyn Nets.
Former Atlanta Hawks shooting guard and All-Star, Steve Smith, is in the country for the fixture, and has given his opinion on what British fans can expect during the sold-out game at the O2 Arena.
Now an analyst on NBA TV, Smith, who played for five seasons with the Atlanta franchise in the 90s, highlighted how important the game could be for both teams involved: “This is an important game – for any side in the NBA, every game is important especially for teams fighting for playoff positions which is the case for both the Hawks and the Nets.”
So who does Smith think those watching at the O2, and also at home live on BT Sport, should be looking out for?
“I think Jeff Teague is not a household name, but I think he’s a player that Atlanta Hawks could sneak into the All-Star game this year. He’s a quiet player but his game speaks volumes, he’s playing at a tremendous level right now, unfortunately for him but fortunately for the league we have so many quality point guards. He’s one of those point guards that can kind of sneak in the back door, but a very solid and very good player, and I think somebody that you’ve got to keep an eye on.”
With the highlight picked out from the current roster of his former team, Smith then turned his attentions to Brooklyn’s line-up and who fans need to take note of.
“They have the bigger names such as Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. But I think Shaun Livingston is a player to watch out for. I think he’s a player that’s started at the point guard position – playing off guard without Deron Williams, and he had a phenomenal game the other day. I think Shaun Livingston is one of those guys who you should keep your eye on going forward.”
One man in particular though, out of both teams, has caught the attention of many in the build up to this game; Kyle Korver – who continues to stretch out his record of games with consecutive three-pointers made, currently standing at 107 games. For the 2003 NBA Champion, he’s been in awe of what Korver has achieved and keeps on achieving.
“I live in Atlanta so I’ve had the chance to follow the Kyle Korver streak, it’s just been phenomenal for him, the city and his teammates have gotten behind him. I think there’s been a lot of pressure – it’s not easy to go out and knock down a three-point shot especially as players try to deliberately not let him keep the streak going, but he’s been phenomenal and what I love about him, is how humble he is!”
- The Brooklyn Nets take on the Atlanta Hawks at the O2 Arena on Thursday January 16th as part of NBA Global Games London 2014. Watch the game live on BT Sport 1 from 7.45pm.
- Image: NBAE/Getty Images