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Preview: Hawks face Grizzlies in search of third straight win

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Portland Trail Blazers v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

After a back-to-back sweep over the weekend, the Atlanta Hawks host the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday evening at State Farm Arena, with the opportunity to pick up a third consecutive victory for the first time in the 2019-20 season. The headline match-up of the night is the face-off between Trae Young and Ja Morant, though there is plenty of intrigue elsewhere in a battle between teams on the rise.

The Grizzlies are currently the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and, in general, Memphis has exceeded expectations this season. Memphis is struggling in recent days, though, losing five of the last six games, and Taylor Jenkins’ team is just 12-17 away from home this season.

In addition, the Grizzlies arrive in short-handed fashion, with Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke joining Justise Winslow on the sideline. Of course, the Hawks will also be operating without two key pieces in Clint Capela and Dewayne Dedmon but, on paper, Atlanta is in a favorable situation. There is some concern that Cam Reddish (low back pain) will be unable to play, however, with the rookie swingman listed as questionable as of the team’s official injury release on Sunday.

With all of that as the backdrop, the good folks in Las Vegas install the Hawks as 2.5-point home favorites in this game. Atlanta was also favored against Portland (by a similar margin) on Saturday and, while the Grizzlies project to be better than the Damian Lillard-less Blazers, the Hawks are now on regular rest, which explains the current point spread.

To put it bluntly, this is a situation in which the Hawks are expected to win and play well, which can bring a different level of pressure to the table, It will be interesting to see how Atlanta responds as a result but, in short, it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if the Hawks emerged from Monday night’s game on a season-long winning streak.

Stay tuned throughout the day and be encouraged to utilize the comments below as a “game thread” for the action.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, March 2, 7:30 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass