Rooting Interests: Hawks Want Heat To Keep Streaking
Hawks fans may not want to root for the Heat, but logic says you should tonight.
The Heat play the Chicago Bulls, looking to extend their win streak to 28 games. Chicago is .2 percentage points ahead of Atlanta in the conference standings and hold the tiebreaker over the Hawks, so Atlanta needs a few Bulls losses to create some space. A big opportunity for that comes tonight.
Coming off a disappointing home loss to the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics hit the road again with 2.5 games to make up on the Hawks. They’ll face the Cavs, who have lost eight of 10 but did beat Boston last time the Celtics were in the Q.
The Brooklyn Nets continue their eight-game road trip in Portland tonight. They won’t have Joe Johnson, who is still taking this cautiously with the playoffs approaching. The Hawks are chasing the Nets for the final home-court spot in the East and could use some help from the Blazers tonight.
The Indiana Pacers are in Houston to face the Rockets while the Knicks host the Grizzlies, but both teams are significantly ahead of the Hawks at the moment. Unless the Hawks go on a huge run, it’s reasonable to say that fourth place is the ceiling for the regular season.
The Philadelphia 76ers host the Milwaukee Bucks. Should the Sixers lose, Atlanta is in regardless of the result tonight in Toronto. The Hawks could, of course, avoid having to rely on the 76ers by winning tonight, since the magic number is one. I’d personally rather see the Bucks lose, because you can never have too much breathing room.
Teams to root for: Heat, Rockets, Grizzlies, Blazers, Cavaliers