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Preview: Hawks close road trip against Timberwolves

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The final game of their West Coast swing takes the Hawks to Minnesota

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The sixth and final game of the Atlanta Hawks’ road trip brings them to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they’ll take on the young Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Despite the loss of Jimmy Butler, the Wolves will provide stiff competition for the Hawks and are certainly favored to take the win by our friends in Las Vegas.

Led by Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and old friend Jeff Teague, Minnesota currently boasts a 42-33 record that would just sneak them into the Western Conference playoffs if the season were to end immediately. They currently hold a slight lead on the LA Clippers, who are hot on their tails for that final playoff berth in the loaded West. Losers of two straight coming into this contest, the Timberwolves will be looking to get back on track against a young and injured Hawks team.

The injury report is almost as long as the rotation will be for head coach Mike Budenholzer and his squad. Point guard Dennis Schröder has already been ruled out with an ankle injury, depriving him of another opportunity to play against Teague, whom Schröder backed up for two years in Atlanta. Elsewhere down the roster, it is likely the Hawks will continue to miss guards Malcolm Delaney, DeAndre’ Bembry, and Antonius Cleveland, as well as wings Kent Bazemore and Jaylen Morris. Of these, only Bazemore has been officially ruled out for the season, but with so few games left, it’s an open question as to whether any of the injured sextet (including Schröder) will suit up again this season.

To add to the intrigue of tonight’s contest, the Hawks own Minnesota’s first-round draft pick in 2018 if the Timberwolves make the playoffs, which looks likely but isn’t quite secure. Minnesota sit just 1.5 games ahead of the Clippers and a win against the Hawks would go a long way toward their playoff hopes and the conveyance of that draft pick.

Stay tuned.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, March 28, 8:00 pm ET

Location: Target Center

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)