The Atlanta Hawks (14-19) will take on the Miami Heat (16-17) for the first time this season Sunday evening. Fresh off of a disappointing loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday night, the Hawks will look to get that bad taste out of their mouths in South Beach.
Miami seems to be trending in the right direction, winning seven of their last ten (five straight) with wins over the Jazz, Lakers and Raptors during that span. The Heat are 9-7 at home this season, while the Hawks are 6-10 on the road.
Atlanta is now losers of seven of their last ten games after a dud of a performance in Oklahoma City on Friday. The defense in particular struggled immensely during that contest. The Hawks amazingly have a slightly positive net rating despite being five games under the .500 mark. The Hawks are scoring 113.0 points per 100 possessions, while they have allowed 112.9 per 100.
The Heat sit two games ahead of Atlanta in the standings despite having a -2.0 net rating (107.8 O-Rtg, 109.8 D-Rtg). In the last ten games, however, Miami has a +1.7 net figure, while Atlanta is -2.4 over the same span.
A key note when judging the Heat’s season is noting that star wing Jimmy Butler missed 12 games. Miami is 13-8 when Butler plays this season, and 3-9 when he doesn’t.
This will be a big test for a struggling Hawks group, who play three games in the Sunshine State to close out the first-half of the campaign. Atlanta will square off against the Heat for the second straight time on Tuesday, before wrapping up things in Orlando vs. the Magic going into the break.
The Hawks, as has been common this season, have a slew of injury designations ahead of this contest. The big one is Trae Young, who is questionable with right adductor soreness. Cam Reddish is doubtful (right Achilles soreness), while the team remains without De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kris Dunn. Among those three, it appears Bogdanovic may be the closest to returning, as the Hawks announced he is progressing to on-court work on Saturday.
For Miami, they continue to be without Avery Bradley (calf) and Meyers Leonard (shoulder, out for season). Bam Adebayo (knee) and Gabe Vincent (knee) are probable, while Tyler Herro (hip) is questionable.
This line heavily depends on Young’s availability, but the Hawks are sure to be underdogs either way given how well Miami is playing of late. As of Saturday evening, there is no line available. With the Hawks’ engine of the fence, Vegas likely won’t post a line until there is more clarity regarding Atlanta’s injury report.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Feb. 28, 8:00 pm ET
Location: AmericanAirlines Arena
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market)
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network
Streaming: Fox Sports Go