With the No.8 seed already locked up for the Atlanta Hawks, should coach Mike Budenholzer consider resting his starters against the Charlotte Bobcats? The amount of injuries the team has suffered through this year might make you say yes, but I don’t see any reason to stop the momentum that Atlanta has built up over the past few weeks.
Resting your players can definitely be beneficial, but now is not the time to for the Hawks to think that way. The Bobcats are a formidable opponent and also a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, so they should provide the perfect opportunity for Atlanta to get a taste of what playoff basketball will be like. Both teams already don’t like each other very much considering they play each other four times because they are in the same division, but the intensity should be even higher in their contest on Monday.
Atlanta and Charlotte both want to ride positive momentum going into the postseason, and I know the Bobcats especially want to end their current three-game skid against the Hawks this season. A win for them would be huge, but even more so for the Hawks. After going through a nightmarish losing streak in the months of February and March, they want to build upon their recent stretch of great team basketball. Over the last eight games, they have won six of them, which includes a current three-game winning streak.
What’s been even more impressive is that Atlanta is not necessarily beating up on some weak opponents either. The Hawks have managed to beat the Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat, three of the top five teams in the East. Add another win over the Bobcats, and this means Atlanta may be starting to heat up at the right moment with the NBA Playoffs right around the corner.