The Atlanta Hawks are not yet out of the woods, even though they have a big lead for the last spot in the play-in tournament picture in the Eastern Conference. A win this Saturday against the Golden State Warriors will strengthen their grip on that spot, but staving off the Dubs is going to be easier said than done.
Catch this game live on Saturday, March 26, at 7:30 AM, Manila time.
Away: Golden State Warriors (48-25/19-16 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jordan Poole
- SG: Klay Thompson
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Jonathan Kuminga
- C: Kevon Looney
Despite missing a lot of their key players Thursday, the Warriors managed to come away with a 118-104 victory in South Beach over the Miami Heat. The Warriors did not have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Otto Porter, mostly for rest purposes. Outside of Curry, who’s not expected to return anytime soon because of a foot injury, all those players can be expected to suit up Saturday against Atlanta. The Warriors came out on top in the first meeting this season with Atlanta, beating Trae Young and company at home in November 2021, 127-113.
Curry blew up for 50 points in that game, but with him obviously unavailable this time around, the Warriors will be leaning on the likes of Jordan Poole, Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins on offense, while hoping that Atlanta’s defense remains leaky. The Hawks have allowed an average of over 116 points in their last three games. Atlanta is also 25th in the league in opponents’ field goal percentage (47.1 FG%) and 26th in opponents’ 3-points shooting percentage (36.4 3FG%).
Home: Atlanta Hawks (36-37/23-14 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Trae Young
- SG: Kevin Huerter
- SF: De’Andre Hunter
- PF: Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
- C: Clint Capela
Atlanta came out flat Thursday and fell prey to Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons in a 122-101 road loss. The Hawks are having a hard time establishing consistency of late. After going on a three-game win streak in mid-March, Atlanta has gone 2-3 in five games, though that stretch includes a big 120-105 home win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Trae Young has been fantastic this month, as he tries to put Atlanta on his shoulders. In 12 games this March, Young has averaged 29.3 points with a 40.6% shooting from behind the arc. He had 28 points on 11/20 shooting in the November loss to the Warriors.
But it’s going to take more than an on-fire Young for the Hawks to stymie Golden State. That’s a call out for Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Clint Capela, as the two put together just a point in the first half of the Detroit game and finished with a combined 1/12 shooting. In any case, Atlanta is still a top-10 offense in the league, averaging 112.8 points per game. It’s also third overall with a 37 3FG%. As imposing Golden State is, it’s the same team that recently lost to mediocre squads like the Orlando Magic and the San Antonio Spurs.
Golden State as +2.5 underdog is hard to ignore even if it looks trappy. The Warriors seemed to have turned the corner even without key players in their last game. This time, Thompson and Green are coming back. Taking the Warriors to cover.
There’s going to be enough offense here to go around, but these teams don’t play as fast as they seem. Taking the Under (220.5).