The up and down Atlanta Hawks have a tough test at home tonight, as they host reigning two-time champion Miami Heat; however, there’s extra motivation for the Hawks as they could clinch the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with a win over division rival King James and Miami.
The Heat have nothing special to play for, as they clinched a playoff spot a long time ago and currently hold the No. 1 seed in the East.
Dwyane Wade is supposed to start tonight after a nine-game absence due to a strained left hamstring, but “won’t carry full work load,” according to Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the AJC.
This will be Wade’s first game against Atlanta, as he’s missed the first three meetings of the season due to injuries.
Meanwhile, the Hawks will likely be without interim starting center Pero Antic. The 31-year-old rookie was said to be out for tonight’s game, but was later said to be “available in an emergency. However, not expected to play,” Vivlamore reported.
14-year veteran Elton Brand will start in place of Antic.
Who?: Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks
What?: Series Finale (Game #80, Home Game #40)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Saturday, April 12, 2014 – 7:30 PM (ET)
How?: SportSouth HD TV / 92.9 FM
Hawks vs. Heat tickets
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: DeMarre Carroll | PF: Paul Millsap | C: Elton Brand
PG: Mario Chalmers | SG: Dwyane Wade | SF: LeBron James | PF: Udonis Haslem | C: Chris Bosh
Atlanta Hawks: Pero Antic (sore right ankle) is questionable. Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder surgery), Al Horford (right pectoral muscle surgery) and John Jenkins (lower back surgery) are out.
Miami Heat: Dwyane Wade (strained left hamstring) is a game-time decision. Greg Oden (back spasms) is out.
Current Records, Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Miami Heat (54-25) / Atlanta Hawks (36-43)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 2 | HOME: Won 1 | ROAD: Won 1 Miami Heat –> OVERALL: Won 1 | HOME: Won 1 | ROAD: Lost 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (23-16) at home / Heat are (22-17) on the road.
Atlanta Hawks: Lukewarm. The Hawks won Friday night in Brooklyn to snap the Nets’ 15-game home win streak, and have won four of their last five games overall.
Miami Heat: Lukewarm. The Heat haven’t been playing top-level basketball recently and are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
Series Notes/Past Series Notes
The Hawks welcome the Heat to Philips Arena for the fourth-and-final matchup of the clubs this season. Miami was home for the first two games of the series, a 104-88 victory on 11/19 and a 121-119 overtime triumph on 12/23. Atlanta snapped a nine-game losing streak in the series on 1/20, picking up a 121-114 win at home. The Heat’s last road victory over the Hawks came on 2/20/13 (103-90). The Heat lead the all-time series 57-41, but the Hawks are 28-20 at home.
Udonis Haslem played for the Hawks summer league squad in 2002. Al Horford’s father Tito starred at University of Miami (1986-88). Miami assistant coach David Fizdale was on the Hawks’ coaching staff from 2004-08, and Heat assistant Ron Rothstein is also a former Hawks assistant and scout. Toney Douglas is a native of Jonesboro, and is the brother of Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas. Chris Bosh played at Georgia Tech in 2002-03. Shelvin Mack, Rashard Lewis and Roger Mason Jr. played together with Washington in 2011-12. DeMarre Carroll and Chris Andersen were both with Denver for part of 2011-12. Carroll and Shane Battier were traded for one another on 2/24/11 (Carroll, Hasheem Thabeet and a draft pick to Houston for Battier and Ish Smith).