The Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies got together on a basketball court on Saturday evening and it went very well for Paul Millsap and company. After a quick jaunt to San Antonio, the Hawks will take on the Grizzlies for the second (and final) time this season on Thursday in one of the quicker rematches you will see.
The entirety of a season series taking place over a four-day span is quite interesting and the Grizzlies seemingly awakened in between meetings. Memphis looked, frankly, terrible on Saturday but the Grizz throttled the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday evening before picking up another win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
That sets the stage for what could be a more interesting match-up here, especially given that Dwight Howard will be on the floor for Atlanta. The Hawks were able to spread Memphis out with ball movement and spacing in the first match-up but, with Howard available to play, Atlanta becomes much more traditional which could play into the hands of the “grit and grind” Grizzlies featuring Marc Gasol.
In terms of individual match-ups, the Gasol-Howard clash is quite interesting but perhaps less dynamic than the battle between Mike Conley and Dennis Schröder. Atlanta’s young point guard does not have to “win” that match-up for the Hawks to succeed but Conley is a tremendous player and, defensively, it will be important to contain him throughout the night.
FiveThirtyEight installs the Hawks with a ?? chance to win at home and Las Vegas also makes the home team a small favorite in this game. If Atlanta plays an “A”-game in this spot, the friendly venue and a beatable opponent could align to provide a very favorable result. If the Hawks do not perform well, though, this is a spot in which the visitors are more than capable of sneaking away with a victory.
Stay tuned throughout the day for updates from Philips Arena and make sure at least flip back and forth from the NCAA Tournament this evening.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, March 16, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM