Hawks set to play Heat in play-in tournament

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The Hawks still have one more game left to play in the regular season, but it will not affect the standings. The play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference is set, with Atlanta clinching the 8-seed, setting up a date with the 7-seed Miami Heat around the corner.


If the Hawks beat the Heat on the road, their spot will be secured in the playoffs as the 7-seed, and they will take on the Boston Celtics. However, if Atlanta loses, they will travel back home to play the winner of the Bulls and Raptors. If the Hawks win that game, they will be the 8-seed and face the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, but if they lose, they will be eliminated.

I’m not sure the Hawks could have asked for a more difficult matchup in the play-in tournament than the Heat on the road. This is a team that brutalized Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs last season with their hard-nosed defense. The Heat may come into the postseason with the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference, but they boast the talent, coaching, and experience to make a deep run in the playoffs again this year. It will be a tough task for the Hawks next Tuesday, but hopefully, they learned something from last season’s beatdown that can give them some confidence heading into this matchup.

Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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