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Preview: Hawks, Hornets square off in Charlotte

SB Nation logo SB Nation 4/11/2021 Zach Hood
Bogdan Bogdanovic holding a basketball © Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (28-25) will take on the Charlotte Hornets (27-24) Sunday afternoon looking to win for the sixth time in seven games following a win over the Chicago Bulls Friday evening. To the surprise of some, Atlanta and Charlotte could be in the running for a home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, as the Hawks (fifth) and Hornets (fourth) sit as the top two teams in the Eastern Conference outside of the big three that includes the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers

Charlotte has battled some brutal injury luck of late, with LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward both currently sidelined indefinitely. Neither has been ruled out for the season, but the Hornets have seemingly lost their best two players for the bulk what’s left in the regular season.

The Hawks have of course been no stranger to the injury bug either, as De’Andre Hunter, John Collins, Cam Reddish, and Kris Dunn are all currently on the shelf. The Hornets nor Atlanta have used their injuries as an excuse of late, as the two teams have been able to maintain their playoff positioning with key players out (partially due to the mediocre teams behind them in the standings).

Charlotte ranks 17th in the NBA with a -0.7 net rating, ranking 18th in offense (110.5) and 13th in defense (111.2). Atlanta sits tenth in the league with a +1.8 net number, ranking ninth in offense (114.1) and 21st in defense (112.3).

Injuries

For the Hawks, Danilo Gallinari (right foot soreness) and Trae Young (left calf contusion) are questionable. Tony Snell (right ankle sprain) is out. Collins (ankle), Hunter (knee), Reddish (Achilles) and Dunn (ankle) remain out.

The Hornets will obviously be without Ball (wrist) and Hayward (foot), and Malik Monk (ankle) will also miss the game Sunday.

The Line

Atlanta opens as a four-point favorite over Charlotte, but the status of Young will heavily impact the number. If he’s unable to go, this spread will be much closer to a pick ‘em. The status of Gallinari is also something to monitor, but the big piece to track is obviously whether Young is in or out for the Hawks this afternoon.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Sunday, Apr. 11, 1:00 pm ET

Location: Spectrum Center

TV: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass (out of market)

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta); Hawks Radio Network

Streaming: Fox Sports Go

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