Two young star point guards are set to do battle. Who keeps their playoff hopes alive between LaMelo Ball and Trae Young? Catch this game live on Thursday, April 14, at 7:00 AM, Manila time
Away: Charlotte Hornets
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LaMelo Ball
- SG: Terry Rozier
- SF: Miles Bridges
- PF: P.J. Washington
- C: Mason Plumlee
The Hornets finished the regular strong, having won 11 of their last 15 games, including all its three most recent outings. They beat the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, and the Washington Wizards during that stretch to serve as a nice warmup for Charlotte ahead of a showdown with a familiar foe in the form of Atlanta. The Hornets can also feel good about being the winner in the last time they crossed paths with Trae Young and company, beating the Hawks at home last March, 129-108.
What’s clear at the moment for the Hornets is that they have a scorching offense that could spell trouble for Atlanta, which isn’t really known for its ability to contain opposing attacks. In fact, the Hawks are just 21st in the NBA with 112.4 points allowed per contest. On the other hand, the Hornets are fourth this season with 115.3 points per game, and they have ramped that up even in their last three games during which they put up an average of 128.3 points on 55.4 FG%. The Hornets arrive in Atlanta with a 15-5-1 ATS record in their last 21 games away from their nest.
Home: Atlanta Hawks
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Trae Young
- SG: Kevin Huerter
- SF: De’Andre Hunter
- PF: Danilo Gallinari
- C: Clint Capela
The Hawks are not so shabby either of late, as they have won and covered the spread in seven of their last nine games to close out the regular season. Trae Young is on some kind of groove, having averaged 29.4 points and 1.2 assists while also shooting 48.7 FG% in his last 10 games. With John Collins not expected to play this Thursday, the Hawks will likely turn to Danilo Gallinari to start at the power forward slot, which means additional perimeter theat for Atlanta which finished the regular season second overall with a sharp 37.2 3FG%.
The Hawks were even better in shooting from behind the arc in the regular season when matched up against Charlotte. In four games versus the Hornets, Atlanta shot 38.8% from the outside, with Kevin Huerter leading the way. Huerter just seems to love launching those long balls when sharing the floor with the Hornets, as he averaged 18.0 points on 52.1 FG% and 54.8 3FG% across four meetings with Charlotte. The Hawks are 12-5 in their past 17 games as the home favorite.
Spread: Young shows he’s a true killer in the playoffs, as he leads the Hawks to a win and cover (-5).
Over/Under: Atlanta finds its offense and forces the Hornets to conform to the Hawks’ more deliberate pace. Taking the Under (235.5) here.