Game Preview, Injury Report, Projected Starting Lineups

Game Preview, Injury Report, Projected Starting Lineups
Game Preview, Injury Report, Projected Starting Lineups

The Atlanta Hawks are back at State Farm Arena tonight and they will continue their quest to move up in the Eastern Conference Standings. With a win tonight or a loss by the Nets, the Hawks will clinch a spot in the play-in tournament.

Atlanta comes into this matchup with the Pistons as winners of five of their last six and they sit a half-game behind the Chicago Bulls coming into tonight’s game.

The Hawks have seven games left, including tonight’s game, and this is one of the only games where they will play an opponent that they are head and shoulders above. Atlanta has to play Dallas, Denver, Miami, Minnesota, and Indiana, games where they will be underdogs, even if Trae Young were to make his return. It might seem crazy to label a game against the NBA’s worst team as a must-win, but the Hawks don’t have many games left where they will be favorites.

Let’s preview tonight’s game at State Farm Arena.

Game Preview

The Hawks have been hoping to get healthy for this stretch run at the end of the season and they are getting close to being 100% healthy. Jalen Johnson and Kobe Bufkin came back last game and made impacts and now Atlanta will just be waiting to see if they can get Trae Young and Onyeka Okongwu back in time for the play-in tournament and the playoffs if they advance.

The Hawks’ offense is coming off of a great shooting night vs the Bulls and it was a balanced effort. Atlanta has been relying on Dejounte Murray to create and carry the offense and he won Eastern Conference Player Of The Week because of it. Murray will be the best player on the floor tonight and against the Pistons defense, he could be in for a big night.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is playing incredible right now and has been very efficient from the floor. Just two games ago, Bogdanovic scored 38 points against the Milwaukee Bucks, and on Monday night against the Bulls, he was 6-7 and scored 20 points. He is playing well and at the right time for Atlanta.

The guy that has been playing excellent as of late is forward Vit Krejci. Krejci keeps improving as a shooter and defender and he went 6-6 from three in the last game vs Chicago. Just last week, he scored 13 points in the third quarter against the Celtics. He is quickly improving and becoming a threat for the Hawks every time he steps on the floor.

One thing I am watching tonight is the starting lineup. Jalen Johnson came back last game but did not start, and the Hawks kept Krejci and De’Andre Hunter as the starting forwards. Johnson is one of the Hawks’ best players and should get back in the starting lineup, but in place of whom? Keep an eye on that.

Hunter has had two down games in a row in terms of shooting and the Hawks will need him to find his groove again soon. Hunter had two excellent games vs the Celtics last week and can be one of the Hawk’s best players when he is hitting shots.

Clint Capela and Bruno Fernando will get the minutes at center tonight and Capela has been a double-double machine over the last 15 or so games. Fernando has been bringing the energy every night off the bench as well. Both of these players will play critical roles tonight as Detroit has one of the best rebounders in the NBA on their team, Jalen Duren. Duren can get the Pistons extra possessions and is one of the few threats on the team.

Garrison Matthews and Kobe Bufkin will be two key guys coming off the bench for the Hawks. Matthews has been one of the top three-point shooters in the NBA and Bufkin has shown flashes, especially on defense, of being an impact player, even as a rookie.

The Hawks come into this game 5th in PPG, 20th in field goal percentage, 7th in three-point attempts, 14th in three-point percentage, 6th in free-throw attempts, 2nd in offensive rebounding, and 15th in turnovers. Per Cleaning the Glass, Atlanta is 9th in points per 100 possessions, 16th in effective field goal percentage, 10th in turnover percentage, 5th in offensive rebounding percentage, and 10th in free throw rate.

Detroit is one of the worst teams in the NBA for a reason and defense is near the top of the list. The Pistons are 26th in PPG allowed, 23rd in field goal percentage allowed, and 21st in three-point percentage allowed. Per Cleaning the Glass, Detroit is 27th in points allowed per 100 possessions and 22nd in effective field goal percentage allowed.

The Pistons offense is not ranked a lot better, but they have players that can give the Hawks defense problems. If Cade Cunningham plays, he will be the guy Detroit relies on to try and win this game, but Duren and guard Jaden Ivey are players to watch as well. Detroit is 25th in PPG, 21st in field goal percentage, 27th in three-point attempts, 27th in three-point percentage, 14th in free throw attempts, 12th in offensive rebounds, and 29th in turnovers. Per Cleaning the Glass, Detroit is 27th in points per 100 possessions, 27th in effective field goal percentage, 28th in turnover percentage, 18th in offensive rebounding percentage, and 14th in free throw rate.

The Hawks’ defense played a solid game against the Bulls on Monday night, but they still have one of the worst defenses in the NBA. Atlanta is 27th in PPG allowed, 27th in field goal percentage allowed, and 28th in three-point percentage allowed. Per Cleaning the Glass, Atlanta is 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions and 29th in effective field goal percentage allowed.

Injury Report

Trae Young, Onyeka Okongwu, Saddiq Bey, AJ Griffin, and Mo Gueye remain out for Atlanta.

Cade Cunningham and Marcus Sasser are questionable for the Pistons.

Viewing and Betting information

Tip-off time: 7:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass, Bally Sports Southeast,

Spread and Over/Under: The Hawks will be favorites at home tonight, as they are currently 11.5 point underdogs according to the latest odds from the SI Sportsbook and the over/under is set at 224.5.

Projected Starting Lineups


G- Bogdan Bogdanovic

G- Dejounte Murray

F- Vit Krejci

F- De’Andre Hunter

C- Clint Capela

Keep an eye on the Hawks’ starting lineup and see if they make any changes.


G- Cade Cunningham

G- Jaden Ivey

F- Troy Brown

F- Tosan Evbuomwan

C—Jalen Duren

The article is in Czech

Tags: Game Preview Injury Report Projected Starting Lineups


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