As was expected, the Atlanta Hawks will rest many of its key players in tonight's regular season finale against the New York Knicks. Among those players that won't play are Josh Smith, Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Devin Harris. Instead, Larry Drew will send out his 29th different starting lineup of the season led by the likes of Shelvin Mack, Ivan Johnson and rookie John Jenkins.
Starters for your #ATLHAWKS tonight: Mack, Jenkins, Stevenson, Tolliver and Johnson.— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 17, 2013
Atlanta enters the night needing a win and a loss by the Chicago Bulls to secure fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams currently sport identical 44-37 records but the Bulls hold the tie breaker thanks to the head-to-head series.
Drew said during pregame that he would rather his team be healthy going into the playoffs than to try and maneuver their way into a certain matchup. Neither the Brooklyn Nets or the Indiana Pacers will be an easy matchup for the Hawks in the first round but if they do in fact end up sixth, a first round upset would allow them to avoid the Miami Heat in the second round.