Tonight the Miami Heat (29-9) take on the Atlanta Hawks (23-15) in the final game of the regular season series against the two. This is a possible playoff matchup and the Heat are 2-1 against the Hawks this season, one of the wins being a triple-OT thriller without LeBron or Wade for Miami.
The Heat head into this game 16-2 at home and the Hawks are 11-9 on the road. Miami is finally back on the winning track and looking to build another winning streak. The status of Dwyane Wade is unknown after turning his ankle against New Jersey, but LeBron James and Chris Bosh will lead the way. Miami needs another big game from Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier and a lot of rebounds to put out the Hawks comfortably.
Atlanta will be without their All-Star and highest-paid player, Joe Johnson, who remains injured. Josh Smith and Jeff Teague will be asked to step it up in his absence. The Hawks will also be without Al Horford, who has been out for the whole season. Boxing out Smith and Zaza Pachulia will eliminate Atlanta’s ability to get second chance points. For a team that has been dealt with some very unfortunate injuries to two of their star players, Atlanta has hung tough, so Miami needs to watch out.
With Bosh back in the lineup, Miami looks to play the way they did during the 10-game winning streak. Depending on Wade’s health, it is important for Miami to get a solid game from the bench. It should be a good one between two of the East’s playoff teams, but expect Miami to match Atlanta’s energy and outduel them.