Game 7’s are often described as “do or die” and that sentiment applies to both teams in that pivotal battle. Game 6, however, brings that same mindset to the table for one squad on the floor and that is the backdrop for the Atlanta Hawks on Friday evening at Philips Arena.
After a third consecutive road loss, the Hawks return home in an attempt to extend the series against the Washington Wizards and there is some reason for optimism. Atlanta held serve at home in both Game 3 and Game 4 by reasonably comfortable margins and, while the final result was unfortunate, Game 5 was highly competitive to the point where the Hawks could have stolen victory.
With that said, the Wizards still have the better roster and a Game 7 looming in the backyard, making things perilous for the Hawks. Still, Atlanta has a reputation for playing “up” in big games this season and this is one in which the home team has clear motivation in the way that the road team does not.
From a match-up perspective, it will be interesting to see if Dennis Schröder can continue his torrid play, while Paul Millsap will look to bounce back from an efficiency perspective after Game 5. For Atlanta, it would also be highly beneficial if the team could receive an above-average showing from two of their three-man wing core of Taurean Prince, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kent Bazemore.
There are endless ways in which this series could be dissected but, at the end of the day, the Hawks must execute and convert shots in a “make or miss league” kind of way. If Atlanta shoots well and, perhaps more importantly, deploys inspired defense, there is no reason to think that the home team won’t emerge victorious. Those are big “if” statements, though, and there is plenty of intrigue ahead.
Game Date/Time: Friday, April 28, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Philips Arena
TV: ESPNU, NBA TV, Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 “The Game” FM