The Atlanta Hawks had a very inconsistent run during this road trip, winning just three out of seven games. However, they have the momentum on their side after beating the San Antonio Spurs in their last match.
The New Orleans Pelicans, meanwhile, have been in better form after winning four of their last six games. But they lost to the Orlando Magic in their last outing as they played with just eight players on the night.
Fixture: Atlanta Hawks vs New Orleans Pelicans | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Friday, April 2, 2021; 9:00 PM ET (Saturday, April 3rd, 6:30 AM IST).
Venue: Smoothie King Arena, New Orleans, LA.
Atlanta Hawks Preview
The Atlanta Hawks got back to winning ways against the San Antonio Spurs after dropping two consecutive games against the Suns and the Nuggets.
Capela scored 28 points and claimed 18 boards, while Young added 28 points to go with 12 assists, as a total of five players scored in double digits for the Hawks. The Atlanta Hawks' bench was on fire in that game, outscoring the Spurs' bench 41-29.
Key Player - Clint Capela
Clint Capela has been one of the most underrated players this season. His performances have been phenomenal for the Atlanta Hawks as he continues to improve with each game. In his last five outings, Capela has been averaging 19.4 points, 14.6 rebounds, and two blocks per contest.
His main challenge on the night will be to limit Zion Williamson's threat (if he plays) inside the paint as much as possible. If Capela matches up well with Zion, the Hawks will fancy their chances of going back home with a second consecutive win.
Point Guard - Trae Young l Shooting Guard - Bogdan Bogdanovic l Small Forward - Tony Snell l Power Forward - Solomon Hill l Center - Clint Capela.
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans' chances of qualifying for the play-in tournament are fading away with each loss that has come their way recently. In their last outing, the Orlando Magic pipped them 115-110 in overtime.
Despite playing with just eight players, Van Gundy's side did not let the game look one-sided. They competed until the very last minute with the hope of claiming their third win on the bounce.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker was the top performer of the night in the absence of Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram — the three best players on the Pelicans' roster this season. Alexander-Walker scored 31 points and claimed eight rebounds, shooting 54.2% from the field and a 57.1% clip from downtown.
Key Player - Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Nickeil Alexander-Walker has been in terrific form in the absence of Lonzo Ball. He is now playing in the point-guard position for the New Orleans Pelicans and will be key to their hopes of winning this tie as well. In his last five outings, Alexander-Walker has been averaging 20 points per game, shooting 46.9% from the field.
Along with running the offense for his side, he will be tasked with neutralizing Trae Young as much as possible. Young has been fantastic for the Hawks and is a great playmaker. Limiting his threat will give the injury-hit New Orleans Pelicans a solid chance of winning this game.
Point Guard - Nickeil Alexander-Walker l Shooting Guard - Eric Bledsoe l Small Forward - Brandon Ingram l Power Forward - Zion Williamson l Center - Steven Adams
Hawks vs Pelicans Match Prediction
Both teams are missing key starters for this match, but the Atlanta Hawks appear to be the healthier side.
The New Orleans Pelicans have listed Zion and Ingram as day-to-day. Their starters from the last game played an average of 39 minutes, which could hamper their chances of winning this tie.
These factors make the Atlanta Hawks the favorites for this matchup. However, the New Orleans Pelicans are an unpredictable side and it will likely be a close game.
Where to watch Hawks vs Pelicans?
The game between the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans will be televised locally on Bally Sports New Orleans and Bally Sports Southeast. Fans can also live-stream the game via the NBA League Pass.