The Atlanta Hawks go for the season sweep of the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night from the Raptors' one-season home of Tampa, Fla. The Hawks, though, will be without John Collins, Tony Snell, De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish for sure, probably will not have Danilo Gallinari and may also be down leading scorer Trae Young. Toronto, meanwhile, is without second-leading scorer Fred VanVleet and opened as a 1.5-point favorite on the NBA odds at William Hill Sportsbook.
Atlanta managed to win 105-101 in Charlotte on Sunday despite playing without all those guys listed above – Charlotte led by six entering the fourth and had been 22-0 this season when leading entering the fourth quarter. Bogdan Bogdanovic stepped up big time with a season-high 32 points and Clint Capela, who is having a monster year and leads the NBA in rebounding, had 20 points and 15 boards.
Relative unknown Brandon Goodwin started for Young and finished with 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds. This writer would guess that Young plays here. He's averaging 25.4 points on the season and 32.5 points in the two wins over Toronto this season. Snell hit the game-winning buzzer-beater the last time these teams met on March 11 in Tampa, which the Hawks won 121-120 despite trailing by 15 points with six minutes to go.
VanVleet, averaging 19.8 points, 6.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds this season, hasn't played since April 2 due to a strained left hip flexor. Whenever he is cleared, he would then have to miss an additional game due to a suspension. Toronto sits 11th in the East currently and would miss the play-in tournament. The Raptors have made the playoffs each of the past seven seasons.
VanVleet, Kyle Lowry Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby -- four of the team's top-six scorers this season -- have combined to miss 53 games due to injury or COVID protocols. Lowry just returned from injury Sunday when the Raptors lost 102-96 at the Knicks. Anunoby missed that for rest but should play Tuesday. VanVleet should be the only key player out.
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