The Atlanta Hawks are sliding in the Eastern Conference standings and the schedule isn't letting up just yet. Atlanta has lost five of their last six games and now must travel to Miami to take on a Heat team that has won a season-best 18 straight games.
While Miami has had a scare here and there during their streak they have been dominant otherwise winning 10 games by double figures. They dispatched Indiana 105-91 on Sunday. The Heat are focused and not going into games dismissing teams like Atlanta of whom they have defeated six straight times.
''You don't want to take a team like this for granted,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''We've talked about this with our group for the last few days. It's a special group. It's a special opportunity. Nothing is guaranteed. We're going after something that's an unknowable future. But we have an opportunity, a legitimate opportunity, so we have to make the most of every day we have together.''
The 72 Lakers hold the NBA record with a 33-game winning streak. While that still seems like a long shot for any team in today's NBA only four teams have ever had a streak of at least 20. So the Hawks probably shouldn't be expecting a letdown from the Heat on Tuesday.
"It would be very big (to win) but at this stage of the season, all wins are big for us," Larry Drew said. "Obviously, this Miami team is playing almost flawless basketball right now. We've had some good battles with them thus far this season. Anytime you go on the road, in a hostile environment, any time you come out with a win, it's big."
Atlanta will be without the services of Zaza Pachulia who will miss his fifth straight game with a sore Achilles. Pachulia didn't travel with the team to Miami and was to seek out a second opinion on the injury that has hampered him for more than a month.
If the Hawks have a chance in Miami they will need another strong performance from Jeff Teague who had seven points and was held without an assist for the first time this season in Saturday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Teague has averaged 13.3 points and 7.3 assists in the three meetings with the Heat this season.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, March 12, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
TV: NBA TV, SportSouth
Radio: 680 The Fan, 93.7 FM
Online Streaming: NBA League Pass Broadband