The Atlanta Hawks (34-35) will be back at home on Friday night to host the Memphis Grizzlies (48-22) after a tough loss on the road vs. the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. The Hawks look destined for a play-in spot in the Eastern Conference at this point, and the loss to Charlotte certainly hurt their chances at hosting a play-in game next month.
Atlanta will face one of the best teams in the NBA when they look to bounce back from the loss on Friday night. The Grizzlies have the second-best record in the Western Conference and brings a four-game winning streak into play on Friday. Memphis has the fifth-best net rating in the NBA, ranking in the top-7 in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
With a chance to get to the No. 8 seed still in play, the Hawks are as desperate as ever for wins. Just in case anyone is still new to the NBA Play-in Tournament, the difference in the No. 8 seed and No. 9 or 10 is huge. As a No. 9 or No. 10, a loss in the first game means elimination. That is not the case for the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds. The better seeds also only have to win one game, compared to the two wins the No. 9 or 10 seed would need to get into the playoffs.
Atlanta may be a bit banged up heading into this matchup. John Collins is out for the time being with both foot and finger injuries. In addition to that, the Hawks have two of their starters for Friday’s game listed as questionable.
Trae Young (left quad contusion) and Danilo Gallinari (right bicep contusion) are questionable, while Collins (finger, foot) remains out.
Ja Morant (back) is questionable, but appears likely to play per Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins.
After today’s practice at Georgia Tech, @memgrizz coach Jenkins says Ja Morant went through today’s workout and is on track to play Friday vs Hawks after sitting out Tuesday vs Pacers with back soreness. pic.twitter.com/SWy2MzqWFG— Michael Wallace (@MyMikeCheck) March 17, 2022
The Hawks are 5-point underdogs vs. the Grizzlies as of Friday morning. Young’s status for the game will obviously swing the line to some extent in either direction. The point total for this game is currently sitting at o/u 236.
Game Date & Time: Fri. Mar. 18, 7:30 pm ET
Location: State Farm Arena
TV: BSSE, League Pass (out of market)
Streaming: Bally Sports App, League Pass (out of market)
Radio: 92.9 The Game
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