When the Atlanta Hawks take on the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, Quin Snyder will make his coaching debut.
After Nate McMillan was let go during the All-Star break, Snyder takes over. The Hawks won two straight games under interim coach Joe Prunty, including the thrilling 129-127 victory over Brooklyn on Sunday.
Snyder, who signed a contract with Atlanta for five years, is best known for his eight years as a bench player for Utah from 2014 to 22. He led the Jazz to six straight playoff appearances, leading the team to a 52-20 record and the best record in the NBA in 2020-21.
Snyder’s ability to coexist with Atlanta star Trae Young, who frequently argued with McMillan, may be the key. Young is one of the most explosive offensive players in the league, despite his weaknesses on defense, averaging 27.0 points and 10.2 assists. On Sunday, he scored the game-winning basket as time ran out to defeat the Nets.
Dejounte Murray stated that the players will determine Atlanta’s fate.
Since the All-Star Game, the Wizards have lost two consecutive games. Washington has just lost to Chicago, 102-82, on Sunday. Kristaps Porzingis (sore left knee) and Monte Morris (sore lower back) were both late scratches for the Wizards’ game.
Bradley Beal leads the Wizards with an average of 22.7 points and 5.3 assists. His field goal percentage is 51.5 percent, a career high. Beal has averaged 21.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per 30 games against Atlanta.
This will be the first of four meetings between the rivals in the Eastern Conference over the next six weeks due to a scheduling error. The Hawks have won the series in consecutive seasons, winning it 3-1 last year. The last six meetings between the teams have been won by the Hawks, while Washington hasn’t won in Atlanta since Dec. 5, 2018.
In order to finish in the top six in the Eastern Conference, both teams currently have a chance to advance to the playoff play-in. No. 1 is Atlanta. 8 and were 2 1/2 games behind sixth-place New York going into Monday. No. 1 is Washington. 10 with Chicago trailing by just half a game; Atlanta is 2 1/2 games ahead of the Wizards.