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Hawks vs Heat preview: Atlanta faces back-to-back test in Miami

The Atlanta Hawks emerged with a home win on Friday night, but a quick turnaround highlights their visit to Miami on Saturday.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Back-to-backs part of life in the NBA, but that doesn't make them any easier to deal with when they arrive. The Atlanta Hawks one of those treacherous sets on Saturday evening, as they attempt to follow Friday night's victory over the Orlando Magic with another positive result against the Miami Heat on the road.

Friday night's effort was uneven at best, and the Hawks would be hard-pressed to secure a win with a similar showing in Miami. The Heat enter the game at less than full strength, as star big man Chris Bosh will be sidelined for the rest of the year with a lung ailment, but presuming Miami is able to deploy the rest of their roster, this is a talented bunch.

There are match-ups to watch across the board, but the backcourt battle should be doubly intriguing. Miami acquired former Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic to run their show at the trade deadline, giving Jeff Teague a talented partner to chase around in this one, and at the shooting guard spot, perennial All-Star Dwyane Wade and Kyle Korver face off in a showdown of "crafty" veterans.

Still, this is a Miami Heat team that enters the night with a sub-.500 record for a reason. Erik Spoelstra's club lacks quality depth, especially with Bosh on the shelf, and given that they also played against a road game in New Orleans on Friday, the two teams should be equally hamstrung by limited rest.

It is tough to project what the Hawks will do given their travel and spotty showing on Friday evening, but with all things equal, Atlanta is the far superior team in this match-up, and that must be mentioned. Mike Budenholzer and his club are riding a three-game winning streak, and a four-game spurt is firmly within reach with a solid performance in South Beach.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Saturday, February 28, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

TV: SportSouth

Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM