Tonight, the Atlanta Hawks head to Capital One Arena with just a 1.5 game lead over their opponent Washington Wizards for the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. For those of you who don’t know, the play-in tournament gives seeds 7-10 opportunities to make the playoffs. While it is unlikely for the 10th seed to make the playoffs, there is a possibility. Seeds 11-15 go home and get ready for the next season. The Hawks only have that slim 1.5 game lead over the 11th seeded Wizards. Plus, not only would a Wizards win put them 0.5 game behind the Hawks, they would take the lead in the H2H series and continue to have a better conference record which have tiebreaker implications. The the Hawks take their win and beat the Wizards while playin their 3rd game in 4 days, including a game last night? Find out what I think will happen below:
My prediction: Hawks win by 9
I have the Hawks winning this game for the simple purpose of Trae Young. Young is averaging 28, 9 and 4 a night while shooting 38% from deep. He had 39 points and 13 assists in his matchup against Chicago last night. He also shot 78% from 3 last night. But, the Wizards will stay in it. They have shot 57.3% from the field in their last 5 games which is 5th in the league for teams in their last 5 games. The Hawks are also missing John Collins and that could mean another good game for both Daniel Gafford and Thomas Bryant. But in the long end, the Wizards are missing Beal and Porzingis and they just won’t be able to hold on and win when Trae Young’s on the other side of the court. The Hawks will win by a close 9 points.
Superman Sleeper: Corey Kispert is my Superman Sleeper for tonight’s game. Kevin Huerter is a below average defender when it comes to defensive rating. Huerter will most likely be guarding Kispert for tonight’s game. That can open up opportunities for Kispert shooting the ball and in the paint. The Hawks are also not a good 3pt shooting defense. They give up a 36.2 3pt% per game which is 25th best in the league. Because of this, Kispert is my Superman Sleeper for tonight’s game!
The Hawks will have 63 1st half points and finish with 126 points
Wizards: Beal (IR), Porzingis (Out), Carey Jr. (Doubtful)
Hawks: Collins (Questionable/Doubtful), Okongwu (Out)
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