The Atlanta Hawks are back on the road on Sunday afternoon to kick off their first round series vs. the Miami Heat. Game 1 will tip early Sunday afternoon, with the Hawks looking to ride momentum of two play-in wins despite the absence of Clint Capela to start the series.
Trae Young exploded for 32 points in the second half of Atlanta’s win in Cleveland on Friday night. The Hawks will need more of that in the absence of Capela, who has arguably been their second most important player over the past two season. Onyeka Okongwu figures to draw the starts at center vs. Miami in the meantime.
The Heat will be getting their center Bam Adebayo back from Covid protocols in time for Game 1, and Atlanta may be getting back a key piece as well. John Collins is questionable and will reportedly make an attempt to play in Miami on Sunday per The Athletic.
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins – out since March 11 due to foot and finger injuries – will attempt to play in Game 1 of series vs. Miami on Sunday, sources tell me and @ChrisKirschner. He has been upgraded to questionable.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 16, 2022
The No. 1 seed Miami Heat would have been a tough matchup even if the Hawks were at 100%, so the frontcourt hobbling into this matchup is obviously far from ideal. Atlanta can still probably say they have the best player in the series in Young, so they could find themselves in close games late despite their banged up interior.
To what extent Collins can impact the game could be a rather large variable as the series progresses. Capela appears likely to miss the first four games of the series at minimum, so the Hawks will need something from Collins at some point.
Miami was 29-12 at home during the regular season, while Atlanta was 16-25 on the road. The Hawks were somewhat dangerous on the road last postseason, and they’ll need to replicate that by trying to steal a win on the road in Game 1 or Game 2 any way they can. The Heat have not played since last Sunday, but the last game where they deployed their full starting lineup was Apr. 9 when they beat the Hawks in Miami.
For the Hawks, Capela (right knee hyperextension) and Lou Williams (back) are out, while Collins (foot, finger) is questionable.
Miami lists PJ Tucker, Dewayne Dedmon, Markieff Morris and Haywood Highsmith as questionable for Sunday’s game. Gabe Vincent is probable to suit up for the Heat.
The Hawks are a 6.5-point underdog on the road vs. the Heat as of early Sunday morning. The point total is sitting at o/u 218.5.
Game Date & Time: Sun. Apr. 17, 1 pm ET
Location: FTX Arena
TV: TNT, BSSE
Streaming: TNT App, Bally Sports App
Radio: 92.9 The Game
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