It sounds like there’s a strong chance the Charlotte Bobcats’ 11-game losing streak to the Atlanta Hawks comes to a close tonight.
Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker (groin injury) went through morning shootaround fine and is expected to play tonight after missing two games.
Meanwhile the Hawks plan to sit out three starters, as they have nothing tangible to play for tonight.
Power forward Paul Millsap, shooting guard Kyle Korver and small forward DeMarre Carroll will all be out with various nagging injuries, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
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The Hawks have clinched the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and can’t get to seventh seed. However the Bobcats are still playing for seeding. They are currently seventh in the East, but could still finish sixth ahead of the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards must lose at least one of their remaining two games for the Bobcats to have any chance to jump to sixth. The Wizards play the defending-champion Miami Heat tonight.
However the Heat might not be at full strength. With the Indiana Pacers closing in on the top seed in the Eastern Conference, there has been speculation Heat superstar LeBron James might sit out tonight’s game. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra declined to say Monday morning whether James would play tonight.
While it’s unlikely both the Heat and Bobcats lose tonight, that combination would lock in Heat-Bobcats as a first-round series.