Date: March 26, 2014
Tip-Off Time: 8:00 p.m.
TV Channel: SportSouth (Local in Atlanta), NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates
Live Stream: League Pass Broadband
The Atlanta Hawks are inconsistent, injuries aside, and that can sum up their season. Perhaps the streakiest team in the league, spent the better half of two months losing 14 of 16 games, including six in the row, before winning five in a row, and now have lost their last three. It seems as if the Hawks are either spiraling up, or plummeting straight down, and the narrative has changed nearly every week.
The Hawks find themselves in utter mediocrity, at 31-38 and 8th in the Eastern Conference the Hawks are 3 games ahead of the Knicks for that final spot, but aren’t believed to be much of a factor in those Eastern Conference playoffs, and with other teams around the league making losing games (seemingly almost on purpose) the Hawks aren’t bad enough to reach rebuilding mode and receive a potential top draft pick.
Regardless, the Hawks are back at it tonight in a similar situation, looking to break out of a losing streak, which is sure to be followed by a winning streak. The Hawks will get the 30-34 Minnesota Timberwolves, who are also on a three game slide. Although the Timberwolves haven’t been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it looks like they will fall short of the dance, barring a unbelievable run to close out the season.
Minnesota is led by superstar power forward, Kevin Love. Love is having a remarkable season yet again for the Wolves. At 26.5 points per game, 12.7 rebounds per game, and over four assists per game, Love is a difference maker all over the court, and really one of the most dynamic players in the entire NBA. At 260 pounds, Love came into the league as an enforcer-type player underneath the basket, but has seen his game evolve to the tune of 430 three-point field goals attempted this season, and at 38% from three-point land, Love has shown that he can do everything on the court. Shooting guard Kevin Martin could also be a factor, Martin is averaging almost 20 points per game, and is seems to be back to form, shooting wise.
This one shoot be an extremely physical game, the Timberwolves have attempted the third most free-throws of any team in the league, and they have given up more foul shots than any team in the entire NBA, so there could be a lot of whistles tonight. Although the Hawks might catch a break, with Timberwolves big man, Nikola Pekovic is doubtful for the contest with an ankle injury
Jeff Teague’s season has been very similar to the Hawks season as a whole, up and down and lacking in consistency, however Teague appears to be on the up right now, averaging 23 points per game over his last four, which is always good news for the Hawks.
Injuries have hit the Hawks again, this time it is Kyle Korver who is out for the fourth straight game with back spasms. With the absence of Korver, the Hawks appear to be trying something new tonight, sending out a “big” starting line up, a starting five they haven’t featured all year long.
Coach Bud changing up the starting lineup tonight…Mike Scott will join Jeff, DeMarre, Paul and Pero.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) March 26, 2014
The two teams meet up on February 1st, and the Hawks took down the Timberwolves 120-113. Love had a huge night with 43 points and 19 rebounds while making 17 of 18 from the free-throw line. The lead man that night for the Hawks was Korver who had 24 points on 7-9 shooting.
Our pals in Las Vegas place the Hawks as 5.5 point underdogs in this one, and with their inconsistencies over the past two months, its hard to image too much action being put down for or against the Hawks.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@ATLBeatBlog) for more information leading up to the game and also check back for a full game recap.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks