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Preview: Hawks face 0-2 deficit, look to protect home court vs. Heat

Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat - Game Two Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks return home for Game 3 down 0-2 in their first round series with the Miami Heat. After being blown out of the building in south Florida in Game 1, Atlanta put up a more competitive Game 2 before Jimmy Butler dispatched them with his 45-point showing. With the series moving to State Farm Arena, the 404 will hope the tides can turn.

The Hawks closed the season winning 20 of their final 23 home games (Play-In included), so the series moving north should be a good thing for the Atlanta faithful. No matter where the game is, the Hawks will need to do a better job of taking care of the basketball vs. Miami’s pressure defense. During the regular season, Atlanta had the best turnover rate in the NBA. Through two games in this series, the Hawks have 38 turnovers, 19 in each loss.

Trae Young had a better showing in Game 2 after a season-worst shooting performance in Game 1. Still, Young is just 2-for-17 from three-point range in the series. He will look to get going on his home floor in Game 3 with his back against the wall. The All-Star guard has been swarmed by the Heat defense through two games and Atlanta as a whole has not done a great job of countering the traps. Young himself is being put in tough situations where the best decision still may not be a great one.

There is much pressure on the Hawks in what feels like a must-win. Going down 3-0 is essentially a death sentence, particularly with Atlanta banged up on the interior. The Hawks will need hot shooting, some help from the crowd and then some to enable their home court advantage vs. a hot, veteran Miami group.

Injuries

For the Hawks, Clint Capela (right knee hyperextension) and Lou Williams (back) are out.

Miami again lists PJ Tucker, Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin and Markieff Morris as questionable for Sunday’s game. Gabe Vincent is probable.

Odds

The Hawks are a 1.5-point underdog at home vs. the Heat as of Friday morning. The point total is sitting at o/u 221.5. Miami has covered in both wins so far in the series.

Game Info

Game Date & Time: Fri. Apr. 22, 7 pm ET

Location: State Farm Arena

TV: ESPN, BSSE

Streaming: ESPN, Bally Sports

Radio: 92.9 The Game

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