The two teams are having fairly mediocre seasons and could struggle to qualify for the playoffs. However, Jimmy Butler and co have been on a roll of late, overwhelming teams with their defense and shooting. The Miami Heat will enter this clash on a five-game win streak.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks have fallen to 11th in the Eastern Conference standings after making a subpar 14-19 start to the season. They are grappling with several injury issues and find themselves languishing in 23rd in the league in both defense and offense.
Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat: Injury Updates
The Atlanta Hawks are presently battling with injuries to many key players. Shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic remains sidelined for the foreseeable future due to an injured knee; he has reportedly begun 1-on-1 activities with contact.
Forward De'Andre Hunter is also ruled out until further notice due to a right meniscus injury on his knee. He has reportedly been moved to weight-bearing exercises and some on-court work during his rehab; Hunter will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Kris Dunn recently had a PRP injection to help with his right knee discomfort, and there is no timetable on this return.
To exacerbate their woes, the Atlanta Hawks have listed star point guard Trae Young doubtful due to a groin and foot injury. Danilo Gallinari (forearm) and Cam Reddish (Achilles) are also listed as questionable for the game.
The Miami Heat have been plagued with a few injury issues of their own this campaign.
Guard Avery Bradley will not suit up against the Atlanta Hawks due to a calf injury and will reportedly miss three to four weeks of action. Starters Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo are listed as probable for the game following respective hip and knee injuries.
Backup guard Gabe Vincent is also listed as questionable due to a knee injury. Meanwhile, Meyers Leonard is unavailable following a season-ending procedure on his left shoulder.
Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat: Predicted Lineups
Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo will start the game if Trae Young sits out. Kevin Huerter could start as the two-guard alongside Rondo in the backcourt.
The absence of Cam Reddish means Danilo Gallinari could start instead. But if Gallinari is ruled out as well, Solomon Hill may start at the small forward position.
John Collins should retain his position at power forward. Clint Capela, who has impressed this season as the starting center for the Atlanta Hawks, should start the game too. Tony Snell and Onyeka Okongwu are likely to be the key bench rotation pieces for this match.
The Miami Heat have much of their starting lineup compromised. Star center Bam Adebayo is listed as questionable, which means Kelly Olynyk could start as the center.
Andre Iguodala is expected to start in place of Kelly Olynyk if the latter takes up Adebayo's position. Iguodala is versatile enough to play either forward position, which should make it easier for coach Erik Spoelstra to rotate Jimmy Butler as well.
Meanwhile, guards Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson should retain their usual roles in the backcourt. The absence of Tyler Herro has reduced the efficacy of the Miami Heat bench, so Kendrick Nunn and Precious Achiuwa are expected to get more minutes than usual.
Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat: Predicted Starting 5s
G - Rajon Rondo, G - Kevin Huerter, F - Solomon Hill, F - John Collins, C - Clint Capela.
G - Goran Dragic, G - Duncan Robinson, F - Jimmy Butler, F - Andre Iguodala, C - Kelly Olynyk.