Coming off a huge 121-114 victory over LeBron James and the mighty Miami Heat, the Atlanta Hawks will be looking to make it 2-for-2 this week as they will be in central Florida for a battle with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
Currently holding a win-loss mark of 21-19 and sitting third in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks are just one game ahead of the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls in the standings. Involved in such a close race roughly halfway through the campaign places matchups with teams such as Orlando in the “must-win” category. However, the Magic have already taken two out of three from Atlanta this season.
For the Hawks to turn the tide against their division rival, they must continue to ride the wave of strong play from forward Paul Millsap who has averaged 20 points on 47.5 percent shooting over the last four games. Playing his first season in Atlanta, eighth overall in the NBA, the 28-year-old out of Louisiana Tech could well be on track for his first All-Star selection.
Through 39 games, Millsap is averaging 17.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks. Needless to say, he is more than living up to the two-year, $19 million contract he signed in the offseason. If the Hawks are to maintain their place in the East without two-time All-Star Al Horford in the mix, Millsap must continue to lead the way for head coach Mike Budenholzer’s squad.