There is optimism for Hawks fans that their team’s six-game losing streak will end tonight against the bottom-feeding Philadelphia 76ers, especially with the indication that Atlanta is likely to get back starters DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver for the crucial must-win game.
According to Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the AJC, Carroll was “taking part in morning shootaround,” while Korver was “wearing starters jersey after taking part in morning shootaround. Looks like he may play.”
Viv also reported that “Korver says unless back flares up between now and tonight he will play.”
That’s great news because both players were inactive in Saturday’s 101-97 loss at Washington. Carroll was a “game-time decision” due to an illness and was scratched from the lineup an hour before tip-off, while Korver didn’t even make the trip to the nation’s capital and missed a sixth straight game due to lingering back spasms.
A valid argument could be made that if the Hawks had Carroll and/or Korver, they very well would have beaten the Wizards.
Atlanta is clinging onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, leading the New York Knicks by a slim one-game margin. Both teams are in action tonight — Knicks are at Utah — and there is a chance the slim margin could be erased with a Knicks win and Hawks loss, which would put the teams into a tie. Conversely however, Atlanta could extend their lead to two games if they beat Philly and NY losses at Utah.
But the Hawks and their fans shouldn’t be hoping for a Knicks loss, they should be hoping for a Hawks win first and foremost. A New York loss would be a luxury; Atlanta needs to focus on a necessity — beating the 76ers.
Check back soon for further updates on Carroll and Korver’s availability.