The Eastern Conference Finals continue on Friday night and we will see the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Philips Arena to take on the Atlanta Hawks, in game 2 of their best-of-7 series. The game has a start time of 8:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Current Vegas betting odds have the Hawks listed as 1.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 197.
Analysis: The Cleveland Cavaliers came off their 6 game war with the Chicago Bulls a bit beat up, but that didn't stop them in grabbing the 97-89 game win 1 win of the Hawks. The Hawks scored 51 point on the Cavs in the First half, but the Cleveland defense really locked down after the break, allowing Atlanta just 38 2nd half points. Cleveland has gone 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. the Southeast Division, but just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games playing on 1 days rest.The Cavaliers have been a solid offensive team on the road this year, scoring 102.0 ppg on 44.5% shooting overall and 34.6% shooting from long range. Defensively on the road the Cavs have allowed 99.7 ppg on 46.3% shooting overall and 32.4% shooting from long range.
The Atlanta Hawks came into the playoffs as the top seed in the East and have really struggled with both Brooklyn and Washington before putting those teams away in 6 games. The Hawks really looked vulnerable in those two series and the Cavs took advantage of that by taking game 1. This series may be over pretty quick. Atlanta has gone 25-12-1 ATS in their last 38 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record, but just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 home games. The Hawks have scored 102.5 ppg on 46.8% shooting overall and 37.3% shooting from long range at home this year. Defensively they allowed 94.7 ppg on 43.8% shooting overall and 33.6% shooting from long range at home for the year.
Pick: I know that home teams after losing game 1 are a good bet to bounce back in game 2, but Im not buying it. The Cavs are just too good and too physical for the Hawks in this series. Atlanta also may be missing Carroll and that is a big blow for hem defensively. The Hawks really appear to be a team that is built for the regular season. They just don't have the guns to compete in the post season. They struggled with the lowly Nets and then probably would have been knocked out in the series vs the Wizards had John Wall not been injured. The Cavs are the better team here and will make it two in a row on this floor.
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The Hawks Can Hang with the Cavaliers to Game 7--Buy/Sell?
Pro handicappers Steve Fezzik and Teddy Covers debate whether or not the Atlanta Hawks can contend with the Cleveland Cavaliers to make the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference finals a seven-game series. Fezzik thinks the Cavs will win in six, pointing out that neither he nor Teddy thought the Hawks would even advance to the finals in the first place. As Fezzik says, were it not for a lucky Paul Pierce three-pointer and John Wall's broken hand, they would be talking about a better team, the Washington Wizards, not the Hawks. Teddy likes the Hawks against the spread though, pointing out they are able to win on the road, even though Fezzik claims the refs will be against them. With one road win and likely two home victories, Teddy thinks a Game 7 could easily happen, while Fezzik thinks the Hawks are a pro basketball longshot.