Update: The Atlanta Hawks will be without Dwight Howard on Saturday evening, as the team announced he will sit out for rest purposes.
Last night’s win against the Raptors was a nice victory for the Hawks, but the team won’t have any time to rest with tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies coming up. The two teams haven’t met yet this season, but are both solidly in the playoff pictures of their respective conferences. The Grizzlies are 36-29, and in seventh place in the West.
Atlanta and Memphis are two similar teams in many ways. Both rely on a defense-first approach, hoping to keep up with opponents by stifling their offensive production. This should end up being an interesting matchup, one that could be potentially close and low-scoring.
This game is important for the Hawks, falling right in the middle of a group of contests that are winnable, but difficult. Atlanta will play a road game against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday before playing the Grizzlies again in Philips Arena on Thursday night. After a mostly-disappointing streak of home games for the Hawks over the past week or so, these next few games are a chance to build up some momentum as the playoffs draw closer.
Mike Conley and Marc Gasol will be the two most important players on the Grizzlies’ side to watch tonight, as these two form the core of Memphis’ success over recent years. FiveThirtyEight gives the Grizzlies a 75% chance to win, which makes sense given their overall talent level and home-court advantage. The Hawks still definitely have a chance in this contest though, and it could easily go either way.
On the Hawks’ side, it will be interesting to see how
Dwight Howard (Mike Muscala) and Dennis Schroder match up with Conley and Gasol. Paul Millsap should be his usual reliable self, but the point guard and center positions could be problems if Conley and Gasol both play well. In any case, this game should be interesting, and could easily go either way.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, March 11, 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: Fedex Forum, Memphis, TN
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM