The Miami Heat (28-34) host the Atlanta Hawks (22-42) this evening looking to bolster their playoff hopes. With the Hornets and Magic both dropping games on Sunday, the Heat are now just half a game behind in the fight for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Heat come into the game off a big 28-point win on Saturday night over the Brooklyn Nets, a game which also saw them secure back to back home wins at the AA since January. Miami big man Kelly Olynyk starred that night and the team will be hoping he can carry over his hot form in which saw him lead all players in points with 25.
It was a complete team performance as the team registered 36 assists to set a new season high, so coach Erik Spoelstra will be keen to see more of the same against a young Hawks team who have shown signs of growth in recent weeks.
Atlanta will be on the second of a back to back and arrive in Miami with a win against the Chicago Bulls under their belt. After going through four overtime periods in a previous game vs the Bulls, the Hawks got the job done in regulation as the beat Chicago 123-118 last night. Center Alex Len led the scoring with 28 and shot a very respectable five of eight from behind the arc for 62.5 percent.
Hawks are led by young rookie Trae Young, who has been in very impressive form of late. Young has averaged 32 PPG, while shooting 48 percent from the field and 51 percent from deep since the All-Star break. That’s enough to see him sit fifth overall in the league, Trae is also averaging 4 rebounds and 9.5 assists, as he looks to make a late run at the Rookie of the Year crown.
Tonight’s game will be the fourth and final game between the two teams this season. The Hawks have beaten the Heat in all three of the previous games this year and will be hoping to complete a season series sweep over Miami for just the fourth time in franchise history. The Heat are 65-53 all time against the Hawks and have won 41 out of a possible 59 contests at home against Atalanta.