The Atlanta Hawks will begin their post All-Star Break part of their 2015-16 NBA season when they host their division rival Miami Heat Friday night.
The Atlanta Hawks will host the Miami Heat Friday night at Philips Arena in their first game of the second half of the 2015-16 NBA season. Tipoff is at 8:00 PM ET and the game will air on Fox Sports Southeast.
Atlanta enters Friday night in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 31-24 record and ahead of the Miami Heat by a game in the Southeast Division. The Atlanta Hawks haven’t been the most consistent team in the NBA this season, but they have done enough to contend for another 50 win season, get home court advantage in the first round, and push for another deep Eastern Conference Playoffs run.
Thursday was the 2016 NBA trade deadline where we saw the Atlanta Hawks stand pat with most of their 2015-16 NBA roster. However, Atlanta did pull off a three-team trade at the deadline involving three players.
The Atlanta Hawks sent veteran point guard Shelvin Mack to the Utah Jazz and wing Justin Holiday to the Chicago Bulls for veteran guard Kirk Hinrich and at least one second round pick. Mack and Holiday rarely saw playing time with the Atlanta Hawks this season. Hinrich begins his second stint in Atlanta, as he played for the Hawks in part of two seasons from 2011 to 2012.
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While the Atlanta Hawks have freed up some cap space in their pursuit of being able to re-sign both starting center Al Horford and starting small forward Kent Bazemore in free agency this summer to lucrative deals, trading both Shelvin Mack and Justin Holiday means that the Atlanta Hawks will have to probably find someone to fill that final 15th roster spot.
In theory Atlanta could role with 14 and opt to give rookies like Lamar Patterson and Walter Tavares more playing time in the process, but do keep an eye out for head coach Mike Budenholzer and general manager Wes Wilcox to bring somebody else to the Atlanta Hawks organization in the second half either as a free agent or a member of the NBA’s D-League.
With all the supposed turmoil surrounding the Atlanta Hawks with regards to the persistent trade rumors mill, knowing that point guard Jeff Teague, shooting guard Kyle Korver, and center Al Horford are staying in Atlanta for the rest of the 2015-16 campaign, perhaps the Hawks can gel in the final 27 games this season to improve their playoff position.
The first step in the right direction is to beat the Miami Heat at home Friday night to establish a bigger buffer between No. 1 and No. 2 in the Southeast Division. Let’s Go Hawks!