Feb 25, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Elton Brand (42) and Chicago Bulls small forward Mike Dunleavy (34) compete for a jump ball in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls Preview: Rebounds crucial in final regular season game against Noah, Bulls

Date: April 2, 2014

Tip-Off Time: 7:30 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

After picking up a much-needed, albeit ugly, win against the Philadelphia 76ers Monday, the Atlanta Hawks (32-41) will be looking to pick up some momentum with a big win against the Chicago Bulls (42-32) and put some distance between themselves and the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

In addition to helping secure a playoff berth, a win against Chicago would mean the Hawks avoid being swept by the Rose-less Bulls for this season. The teams have played each other three times prior to tonight’s matchup, and the Hawks have lost each time:

  • Jan. 4 – Bulls 91, Hawks 84
  • Feb. 11 – Bulls 100, Hawks 85
  • Feb. 25 – Bulls 107, Hawks 103

Chicago is coming off of a 107-102 win against the Boston Celtics where Joakim Noah just missed out on another triple-double with 13 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds. He’s been a beast for the Bulls the entire season and if Atlanta’s going to win this one, stopping Noah is the first priority. He leads the team in PER (20.2), rebounds per game (11.1) and assists per game (5.2).

Rebounds are going to be crucial in this one as well. Atlanta is obviously a poor team in this area and the Bulls are pretty good, so a big effort is definitely needed. If you take a look at the team rebound numbers side-by-side with the final scores, it paints a pretty good picture of how Chicago wins their games–or how the Hawks have lost theirs:

  • 91-84 – Bulls 52 rebounds, Hawks 43 rebounds
  • 100-85 – Bulls 57 rebounds, Hawks 28 rebounds
  • 107-103 – Bulls 48 rebounds, Hawks 42 rebounds

The game plan should be simple: crash the boards.

Vegas has the Hawks as 2.5-point underdogs in this one. Be sure to follow us on twitter for more information (@ATLBeatBlog) and check back later tonight for a full game recap.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks

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