The Pistons are in Atlanta to take on the playoff bound Hawks tonight in the second of a back-to-back-to-back.
Detroit's lost two of three against Atlanta this year and haven't beaten the Hawks in Atlanta since before I moved here four years ago (seven straight). I will be at the game tonight with a laser pointer, disrupting all of the Hawks' shots and I have a guy on the inside who will be putting flubber on their rim before each half. The streak ends tonight, on Vernon Macklin night.
Game Tips at 7:30 p.m. ET; Hawks -9.0
The Pistons are looking to continue to finish out the season with a bang while simultaneously killing all Anthony Davis odds. The Hawks have already clinched a playoff spot and are now in a three-team battle for the best of the 4-6 seeds.
The Hawks play their final five games at home starting tonight and have won five of their last seven, including a win in their most recent game on Monday night against the Raptors in which rookie Ivan Johnson scored 21 points. Better than his 21 points, though, was his post-game quote:
"We was better than what we played (Sunday) night, we just stepped it up more. It happens, it's the NBA where amazing happens," Ivan Johnson told the league's official website.
For Detroit, rookie Vernon Macklin is hopefully going to get an opportunity to see some serious minutes. After supposedly being the best player in practice last week, he is finally being activated for tonight's game. There's no word on who will be deactivated, but Ben Wallace or Walker Russell are good guesses.
The last time Detroit played Atlanta, Brandon Knight was coming off a horrible five-game stretch. Now, he's playing some of his best basketball in his young career with four straight games of seven or more assists and averaging almost 22 points per game on over 60-percent shooting. Hopefully, his success continues and I'd like to witness at least one oop to Macklin.
Keys to the game:
Moose the Mack: It's time to see what Vernon Macklin can do.
BENCH: The Pistons are in the middle game of a back-to-back-to-back. The bench could play a huge role in this game.
Don't let Jeff Teague get 9 or more assists: Weird stat via the STATS LLC preview -- the Hawks are undefeated when Teague has nine or more assists. He had 11 against the Pistons in the last game.
Questions of the game:
What will Vernon Macklin's final line look like?