Backup big man Pero Antic is available.
Sorry for the confusion folks. Pero Antic will dress and be available but most likely won't play. #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) March 2, 2014
Also, Mike Scott will start at power forward in place of the injured Paul Millsap.
The Eastern and Western Conferences have been polar opposites this season, as the East has been a laughing stock while the West has proved to be the class of the NBA, and tonight’s game between the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns is the perfect example of a tale of two conferences.
The Hawks and Suns are both clinging onto the 8th and final playoff spot in their respected conference, however Atlanta represents the East and is five games under .500 while Phoenix represents the West and is 10 games over .500.
The free falling Hawks once held 3rd place in the East, but have lost 10 of their last 11 games, including six straight on the road and have sunk to the depths of the conference. Last month they suffered through an eight-game losing streak, their longest skid in nearly a decade.
On the other hand, the surging Suns have won four of their last seven games, including a dominating victory over Anthony Davis and the Pelicans on Friday in which Phoenix point guard Gordan Dragic scored a career-high 40 points.
Atlanta has lost 17 of 20 at Phoenix, and are in danger of tying their longest road losing streak in six years if they lose to the Suns Sunday night.
It won’t be easy for the Hawks to avoid that futile mark as they’re expected to be without All-Star power forward Paul Millsap and backup big man Pero Antic.
Millsap will miss his fourth straight game with a knee contusion, while Antic hasn’t played in four weeks since suffering a stress fracture in his right ankle. Although Antic might be close to a return after he was updated as day-to-day on Friday.
Click here for the full game preview.
What?: First game of 5-game West Coast road trip (Game #58, Road Game #30)
Where?: US Airways Center (Phoenix, AZ)
When?: Sunday, March 2, 2014 – 8:00 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HD TV & 92.9 FM
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: DeMarre Carroll | PF: Mike Scott | C: Elton Brand
PG: Goran Dragic | SG: Gerald Green | SF: P.J. Tucker | PF: Channing Frye | C: Miles Plumlee
Atlanta Hawks: Pero Antic (stress fracture, right ankle) is day-to-day. Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder surgery), Al Horford (right pectoral muscle surgery), John Jenkins (lower back surgery) and Paul Millsap (right knee contusion) are out.
Phoenix Suns: Eric Bledsoe (right knee arthroscopy) and Emeka Okafor (herniated disc) are out.
Current Records, Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (26-31) / Phoenix Suns (34-24)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 2 | HOME: Lost 1 | ROAD: Lost 6 Phoenix Suns –> OVERALL: Won 1 | HOME: Won 1 | ROAD: Lost 1
Home/Away Records: Suns are (20-11) at home / Hawks are (9-20) on the road.
Atlanta Hawks: Ice Cold. The Hawks have lost six straight road games, and 10 of their last 11 overall, free falling from 3rd place in the (L)eastern conference to 8th.
Phoenix Suns: Lukewarm. The Suns just snapped a three-game skid with a win at home against the Pelicans, and have been one of the biggest surprises in the tough Western Conference with a record 10 games over .500 and currently holding the last spot in the playoff race.
Series Notes/Past Series Notes
The Hawks travel to Phoenix for the first-of-two matchups this season. The clubs will close the season series at Philips Arena on 3/24. The 2012-13 series resulted in a 1-1 split as both teams won at home, punctuated by the Hawks’ 107-94 victory on 3/15/13. Atlanta’s last victory in Phoenix came on 2/15/12 (101-99). The Suns lead the all-time series 67-49, including a 41-16 mark in Phoenix.
Hawks guard Jeff Teague and Suns guard Ish Smith played together collegiality at Wake Forest from 2007-2009. Suns Assistant Coach Mark West played 49 games for Atlanta in 1998-99. Suns Assistant Coach Kenny Gattison is a former Hawks Assistant. Hawks big man Gustavo Ayon and Suns center Emeka Okafor both played for New Orleans in 2011-12. Okafor teamed with Hawks forward Cartier Martin with the Bobcats in 2008-09 and in Washington during the 2012-13 season. Suns radio broadcaster Tim Kempton played three games for the Hawks in 1995-96.