Should the worst team in the NBA be laying points, especially this many, to any opponent? My answer is no. Brooklyn is four games better than Atlanta in the standings. It's not a fluke. The Nets are the better team.
The spot is ripe, too, for the Nets to defeat the Hawks. Atlanta is returning home following a five-game, nine day road swing fat and happy after upsetting the Nuggets in Denver two nights ago. Focus could be a real problem for the youthful, rebuiilding Hawks especially knowing nine of their next 10 games will be played at Philips Arena their home base.
By contrast, the Nets should be extremely fired-up after being embarrassed at home by the Pistons, 114-80, Wednesday night. That was the Nets' worst home loss of the season. Brooklyn had been below-the-radar prior to that loss having lost by only one point in overtime to the Raptors in their previous game and coming within five points or fewer during their past five games before that.
The Nets have the second-best ATS mark in the league at 25-16, including covering six in a row until the Detroit debacle. The Nets have covered 73 percent of their last 15 away games, too. Brooklyn still aspires to be a playoff team, at this point, being six games out of the final playoff spot in the East. The Hawks have no such aspirations.