Where: Phillips Arena; Atlanta, Georgia
When: 7:30 p.m. EST
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Charlotte Hornets take on the last place Atlanta Hawks tonight on the road. It is the second game of the current road trip, and comes two days after the Hornets fell short in New Orleans. Amazingly, Charlotte hasn’t been eliminated from the playoffs, but their chances are less than 1 percent at this point.
Atlanta will be without, most notably, Kent Bazemore, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. But their injuries don’t stop there — Malcom Delaney, DeAndre Bembry, and Antonius Cleveland will also miss tonight’s game.
Charlotte has it’s own injury problems as well, as Jeremy Lamb is questionable tonight with back spasms. If he can’t go, he will join Cody Zeller and Michael Carter-Williams on the inactive list. Lamb’s absence could spell trouble for the bench, but it would give Dwayne Bacon more playing time, and potentially move Willy Hernangomez into the rotation (Clifford had been going with Treveon Graham as a small ball four and Frank Kaminsky at center). If you’re among those wanting more run for the young players, tonight could be your night.
Regardless of who does or doesn’t play, tonight will likely be a dreadful affair. Kemba Walker looks understandably gassed, as does the majority of the starters. The competitiveness remains — that was evident on Thursday — but they are playing more for pride or a spot on next season’s roster more than anything. But the Hawks less talented, and without Bazemore they aren’t much deeper Dennis Schroder. Expect a close game, but Charlotte should edge it out in the end.