It is hard to believe, but the Charlotte Hornets played the Atlanta Hawks in last year's Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament – it was Charlotte's second consecutive year in the postseason.
Just over halfway through this season, Charlotte has a 12-34 record – the third-worst in the NBA. Thanks to injuries and inconsistent play, the wheels have come off a promising squad.
Unlike last year, Atlanta does not have to worry about jockeying for playoff positioning or winning the season series with Charlotte. But that does not mean they can take this game lightly. These two teams have faced off twice already this season, each delivering and receiving a blowout.
Both teams play an up-tempo brand of basketball and struggle with outside shooting. If Atlanta is going to extend their winning streak to six games, they must continue playing defense at a high level. A win tonight, and Atlanta moves into the Eastern Conference sixth seed slot.
Charlotte's injury report lists LaMelo Ball (ankle) and Cody Martin (knee) as doubtful. Additionally, Kelly Oubre Jr. (hand) has been ruled out for tonight's game.
Atlanta has not yet released its injury report. But it is safe to assume some players (perhaps Bogdan Bogdanovic) will sit out the second night of a back-to-back.
Spread: Hawks (-7.5)
Over/Under Point Total: 234.5
Money Line: Hawks (-300) Hornets (+240)
*Odds provided by SI Sportsbook
Location: State Farm Arena
Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
Radio: 92.9 FM The Game
Network: Bally Sports
Live Stream: Click here for a fuboTV free trial!
The Atlanta Hawks will wear their Icon Edition uniforms (red). The Charlotte Hornets will wear their City Edition uniforms (black).
Pat Benson covers the Atlanta Hawks for Sports Illustrated’s All Hawks. He has covered the NBA for several years and is the author of “Kobe Bryant’s Sneaker History (1996-2020)”.
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