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Preview: Hawks travel to Detroit to complete back-to-back

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The second leg of a back-to-back.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (34-27) will take on the Detroit Pistons (18-43) Monday evening, completing the second half of a back-to-back that started with a home win over the Milwaukee Bucks. It was an impressive come-from-behind win for the Hawks, who are obviously still down their leading scorer and assist man in Trae Young.

The Pistons were off on Sunday, but have lost three of their last four (3-7 over their last 10) with the win coming at home vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers. Detroit currently sits with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, and the third worst record in the league overall.

Atlanta enters play Monday as the No. 5 seed in the East, two games ahead of the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. Looking out a little further, if it were to come into play, the Hawks do have the tiebreaker over both the Celtics and the Heat due to 2-1 records against each club this season.

The Pistons have suffered through a painful season that has consisted of injuries to their 2020 No. 7 overall pick Killian Hayes, buying out their former All-Star forward Blake Griffin, and most importantly, tons of losses. That being said, their biggest offseason addition, Jerami Grant, has been excellent, and Hayes has looked promising when he has been on the floor. Saddiq Bey, their other 2020 first-round pick, has actually been their best rookie this season, averaging 11.3 points on 37.5% from 3PT across 59 games.

Detroit ranks 24th in the NBA with a -4.1 net rating, ranking 25th in offense and 22nd in defense. The Pistons haven’t been a great team on either end of the floor, but they do play hard and have actually pulled off some surprising upset wins this season.

The Hawks sit tenth in the NBA with a +2.3 net rating, ranking 8th in offense and 20th in defense. They continue to rack up wins despite the ambush of injuries that seemingly never ends, and now have a 20-7 record under interim head coach Nate McMillan.

Injuries

Trae Young (right ankle sprain) will be out for the third straight game. De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) also remains out, along with Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) and Tony Snell (right ankle sprain). Clint Capela (back) returned to the lineup on Sunday and he is off the injury report entirely.

However, the bombshell is that Kris Dunn (right ankle surgery) is listed as probable. He was upgraded to doubtful for Sunday’s game, signaling a potential return. If Dunn plays, it would be his first appearance in an NBA game since Jan. 29, 2020 as a member of the Chicago Bulls.

For Detroit, Rodney McGruder (elbow) and Dennis Smith Jr. (knee) are out.

The Line

Atlanta opened has 5.5-point road favorites this morning, and after getting as low as 3 or 3.5, it seems to have settled around the Hawks being 4.5-point favorites, pending the final injury report that will come later this evening.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, Apr. 26, 7:00 pm ET

Location: Little Caesars Arena

TV: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market)

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

Streaming: Fox Sports Go