With the Atlanta Hawks guaranteed a playoff spot and the luxury of knowing who their first round opponent will be, head coach Mike Budenholzer will elect to rest the team’s best player in All-Star power forward Paul Millsap in tonight’s regular-season finale at Milwaukee.
The news came this afternoon via Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Current plans is for Paul Millsap to rest and all other Hawks to be available vs. Bucks. #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) April 16, 2014
Millsap sat out Monday against the Bobcats in Atlanta’s home finale, along with fellow starters DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver.
The 8th-place Hawks will face the No. 1 seed Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, which start this weekend.
It will be a tough matchup for Millsap, as he will be banging bodies with Indiana enforcer David West the entire series. Needless to say, the Hawks will need everyone healthy against the top-seeded Pacers, especially their best player which is why Millsap is getting the extra rest.
With the exception of Millsap, “all other Hawks to be available,” according to Vivlamore, which should include usual starters Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll and Pero Antic.
Although, it’s very unlikely any of them play heavy minutes in the season finale against the worst team in the NBA. Look for the starters to open the game and then come back for a bit in the second quarter, but don’t expect to see them much past halftime, if at all.
Check back for updates.