The Atlanta Hawks, who rank as the NBA's surprise team this season, make their final appearance in Capital Center this year against the Bullets tonight. Game time is 8:05 p.m.
Washington has won two of the first three meetings between the clubs this year, but neither of the triumphs were easy agains the clawing, scrambling Hawks, who are battling for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Forward Tom McMillen, the former Maryland all-America who was traded to Atlanta from New York in the fall, is now starting and scoring 15 points a game.
Atlanta has been struggling lately without leading scorer John Drew, who has a sprained ankle. A team official said Drew's injury is "on a day-to-day basis" and he might be able to play tonight.
The Hawks commit more fouls than any other club in the league, mainly due to Coach Hubie Brown's philosophy of aggressive, chest-to-chest defense.Atlanta will use various kinds of zone defenses, including half-court traps, which are legal in the NBA.
For the Bullets, the game represents the midway mark of a grueling weekend. They played at New Jersey last night and will meet the Nets again tomorrow afternoon in Capital Centre. Once the weekend is completed, Washington will have only eight regular-season games left.
Atlanta is contending with New York, New Orleans and Cleveland for the fourth, fifth and sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.