Hawks In, But Who Will Be Their Opponent?

Sunday, April 13, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks clinched a playoff spot with a convincing 98-85 win over the Miami Heat Saturday night at Philips Arena.  They are now locked in as the #8 seed in the East and will face either the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers.

But which one?

Both teams have identical 54-26 records with two games left apiece.  The Pacers, who own the tiebreaker should the teams finish even, close by hosting Oklahoma City on Sunday and visiting Orlando on Wednesday.  The Heat finish in Washington Monday and back home against Philadelphia Wednesday.

While there’s still a lot on the line for both teams, both Frank Vogel and Erik Spoelstra are going to be facing tough decisions when it comes to going for home court vs. giving players rest before the playoffs start next weekend.

Oklahoma City (Indiana’s next opponent) is locked into the #2 seed out West.  How they will handle Sunday’s game from a rest standpoint is to be determined, but that decision could play into the East home court race.  Miami faces a playoff opponent next as well, and the Wizards have plenty to play for as they look to stay in the sixth spot.

The earliest Atanta could know their opponent is Monday night, but it very well could be Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, before we know for sure.

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

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