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Preview: Hawks host Bulls, aim to stop three-game skid

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Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks ended April on a sour note, losing the final three games of the month. Still, it was a positive month overall — including an 11-6 record — and the Hawks are in a favorable position as May arrives. Less than 24 hours after the final buzzer in Philadelphia, Nate McMillan’s team will be back on the court on Saturday evening, with the Chicago Bulls visiting State Farm Arena.

The Hawks are 2-0 against the Bulls this season, toppling Chicago by a 20-point margin on opening night and winning by double figures again on Apr. 9. Chicago is attempting to make a late charge to reach the play-in tournament, though the Bulls enter Saturday in the No. 11 spot in the East, three games behind the Washington Wizards.

Chicago’s sub-.500 record paints an accurate picture of the team’s overall performance. The Bulls do have strengths, though, and they are the No. 1 defensive rebounding team in the NBA, securing nearly 77 percent of available rebounds after forcing their opponents to miss. Atlanta is potent on the offensive glass, and that is an area to monitor in this matchup.

Injuries

Atlanta’s pregame injury report is much cleaner than it has been in recent days, which brings overall optimism. Trae Young, Clint Capela and Tony Snell are off the injury report entirely, for example, and only four players are listed for the Hawks.

Bogdan Bogdanovic (left hamstring soreness) is questionable after missing the last two games, and Kevin Huerter (left shoulder sprain) is also questionable. De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) and Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) remain out.

For Chicago, Zach LaVine (protocols) remains sidelined, missing his tenth consecutive game. He scored 50 points in the last matchup against Atlanta, and LaVine was an All-Star this season. As such, that is a substantial absence for the Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic and Lauri Markkanen are listed as questionable, and Vucevic’s status is particularly noteworthy. Troy Brown and Cristiano Felicio are also listed as out for Chicago.

The Line

As of Saturday afternoon, the Hawks are five-point favorites at home, though that could slide based on injury updates as the day progresses. While Atlanta is on the second night of a back-to-back, that disadvantage is mitigated by Chicago’s lack of rest, as the Bulls played at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Saturday, May 1, 8:00 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

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

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

Streaming: Bally Sports App