Gameday Dish: The Southeast Heats Up

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s almost Game Time and I’ll be joining Rick Kamla and Steve Smith in the NBA TV studio in Atlanta tonight to follow the action throughout the league.

Just down the way at the Philips Arena, the Hawks will play host to the Charlotte Bobcats. Both teams in the competitive Southeast Division are 7-3 in their last ten games and furiously jockeying for playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

The Bobcats will be without key contributor Gerald Wallace and the Hawks may have to go without their leader, Joe Johnson, who is listed as day-to-day.

As it stands right now, Atlanta is tied with Boston for third place in the East and Charlotte is one game ahead of Miami for sixth place in the Conference standings.

The third seed is very important, in that it allows the team which claims it to avoid Cleveland and LeBron until the Conference Finals. Also, Charlotte understands that every game from here out is of major significance because the team is tightly bunched within one and a half games of the fifth through eighth seeds in the East.

On paper, it seems that the Bobcats will have a tough time tonight in Atlanta. The Hawks have a 26-7 mark at home, while the Charlotte squad is 10-24 on the road this year. However, with the now Jordan-owned Bobcats making a strong push to land their first appearance in the NBA playoffs, look for Charlotte, coming off a big win over OKC, to give the Hawks a tough test tonight in Atlanta.

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