The Atlanta Hawks know their first round playoff opponent. They know when they are playing their first postseason game. Now, they have to figure out a way to remain healthy and go into basketball's second season with a win.
Expect a lot of Jeff Teague and Zaza Pachulia when the Hawks take on the Charlotte Bobcats in the season finale at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday (8:00 p.m., SportSouth, 97.9 FM).
One has a feeling that this one will have a preseason feel, with Atlanta's starters playing a few quarters and getting some rest. Charlotte also has nothing to play for, so I am thinking those of us who are forced to watch will see more of a pickup game than an NBA caliber basketball game.
Let's just say, this meaningless game will be on here, but in the background as we hope no one gets hurt or into a fight.
Speaking of fighting, there was some fight in the aforementioned Hawks reserves when they took on the Miami Heat on Monday. The second unit helped rally Atlanta back from a 20-point deficit to tie it at 88 with just over 3:00 left in the game. But it was too much LeBron James down the stretch as Miami ultimately pulled out a 98-90 win to secure the No. 2 spot in the East.
Atlanta has dropped five straight contests going into the playoffs -- its longest streak since Feb. 2008. They don't want to go into the postseason with the streak hitting six.
Charlotte has likewise struggled, losing 16 of 23 to fall out of contention for the final playoff spot in the East. The Bobcats finally broke through in April, posting a 105-103 win over the hapless New Jersey Nets on Monday.
The Hawks have taken two of three from Charlotte this season.