Rooting Interests: Can West Spoilers Step Up?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

Atlanta Hawks v Milwaukee Bucks

The Hawks will be rooting hard for some bottom half teams from the Western Conference to defend their home turf tonight.

The biggest game in the East playoff picture tonight takes place in Philips Arena when the Hawks host the Milwaukee Bucks, so Atlanta will have the best opportunity to help themselves.standings

However, there are some other games on the slate that could help the Hawks get closer to home court advantage.  The Brooklyn Nets, who currently sit two games ahead of the Hawks for the fourth spot, visit Dallas to face a Mavericks team that lit up the scoreboard against Atlanta just two nights ago. Brooklyn is playing game two of its eight-game road trip, so hopefully the Mavs shoot tonight like they did on Monday night.

After a five-game road trip in which they lost four, the New York Knicks are back in the comforts of the Garden tonight to face a struggling Orlando Magic team that got handled by the Indiana Pacers last night.  A win keeps the Knicks on face with the Pacers for the #2 seed, but a loss makes things interesting.

The Boston Celtics also have a fair number of road games coming up, the first of which is tonight in New Orleans. A win pulls the Celtics ahead of the idle Chicago Bulls, while a loss drops them to within one loss of the Bucks pending their game with our Hawks.  At this point in the season, you have to assume the Knicks, Nets and Celtics will take care of business, meaning the Hawks must as well to keep pace.

Teams to root for:  Magic, Mavericks, Hornets

Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images

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