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Preview: Hawks host Wizards to open two-game set

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks enjoyed a rare period of rest over the weekend, with a three-day break in the otherwise grueling 2020-21 NBA schedule. The team returns to action on Monday evening, however, and the Hawks welcome the Washington Wizards to State Farm Arena for a Southeast Division matchup.

To put it plainly, the Wizards are scalding hot as they arrive in Atlanta. Washington is 15-4 in the last 19 games, sporting the NBA’s best record since Apr. 7. During that 19-game stretch, the Wizards boast a top-five offense and, rather shockingly, a top-ten defense. Washington leads the NBA in field goal percentage, making more than 50 percent of their shots in the last 19 games, and they are a top-five team in assists, offensive rebound rate and free throw rate.

Much of that effectiveness can be traced to Russell Westbrook, who is on a complete tear right now. He is averaging 22 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists per game in the last month, and Westbrook will be looking to set the NBA’s all-time record for career triple-doubles on Monday.

On Atlanta’s side, the Hawks will look to bounce back from a disappointing loss on Thursday, and the team has enjoyed itself at home in recent days. Atlanta hasn’t lost a home game since Apr. 15, winning seven straight, and they will enter this game in a favorable position, bolstered even more due to the reality that Washington is not at full strength.


After a 24-game absence, De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness) could return for the Hawks. It goes without saying that Hunter’s presence would be significant for Atlanta, both in what would likely be a limited role on Monday and for the rest of the season.

Hunter is officially listed as questionable, and Tony Snell (right Achilles soreness) is also questionable to play. Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) is out.

The Wizards will be without Bradley Beal (hamstring) for this game. Thomas Bryant and Deni Avdija remain out with long-term injuries.

The Line

As of Sunday evening, the Hawks are six-point home favorites over the Wizards. Beal’s absence certainly looms large as the NBA’s second-leading scorer, and Washington is weaker as a result. On the flip side, Westbrook is in a groove and the Wizards are playing well above their record, so a relatively modest six-point line makes coherent sense.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, May 10, 7:30 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