The Atlanta Hawks will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead on Saturday as they travel to face the Brooklyn Nets in a critical Game 3 for the hosts.
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn.
When: Saturday April 25, 20:00 (UK time)
The Hawks had their way in Game 1 and made their team basketball a vital part of the win as they outscored the Nets with their depth and multiple scoring options, although their rivals did fight back late on.
Brooklyn had their chance to take it to overtime in Game 2, only for point guard Deron Williams to miss an open jumper which in turn led to Atlanta putting the finishing touches to a close win.
With the series switching to Brooklyn on Saturday, the Nets know that they can’t afford to fall 3-0 behind to the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and so they will likely come out firing in front of their home fans.
The Hawks front-court has been banged up with Al Horford and Paul Millsap suffering with knocks, but they have gritted their teeth and got on with the job and are fully aware that this Nets team is no pushover.
Brook Lopez continues to be a threat while Joe Johnson still has it in his locker to pull out a monster game to turn the tide, however, coach Lionel Hollins will need a complete team effort to overcome their opponents.
They will be buoyed by the fact that they won seven of their last nine games at the Barclays Center in the regular season, while the Hawks struggled on the road down the stretch as they dropped six of their last eight.
In addition, the No.1 seed aren’t rebounding well and Kyle Korver is struggling, so Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer knows he needs to see improvement across the board particularly with tougher assignments to come.
Nevertheless, the focus will be on the Nets this weekend and this is a case of putting their foot down and taking charge of the series with a road win with their unmatched depth and talent. Prediction: Hawks to win.