Tonight is Big for 1st Round Match-Ups
First thing first… Joe is not with the team on the road trip and will not play tonight in Charlotte or tomorrow in Detroit (full story).
That being said, the Hawks have had remarkable luck when it comes to injuries this season and playing without their leading scorer may be a challenge that allows the other stars or roll players to grow into a bigger piece of the postseason plans. There are only six games left in the regular season, and with just a single game lead over the Celtics for the 3rd seed in the East, this is no time to be making excuses.
The game tonight could determine Atlanta’s first round opponent since the Bobcats are closing in on the Bogut-less Bucks for the 6th seed and the Hawks are fighting to hold off Boston for the 3rd. A Hawks win tonight keeps Charlotte at least two games behind Milwaukee with just five games remaining. The Celtics meanwhile are coming off an emotional home win over the Cavs and begin back-to-back road games of their own with the Knicks and Raptors.