Fri, Mar 4, 2:29pm by Kevin Pitstock
Game: Hawks vs. Thunder in NBA
Date/Time: March 5th, 2011 at 11:30 AM AEST
The Atlanta Hawks will host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. The bad news for this game is the NBA’s leading scorer Kevin Durant is doubtful for the game with an ankle injury. Durant is scoring 28.4 points per game for Oklahoma City.
On New Years Eve, the Thunder downed the Hawks in Oklahoma City 103-94 behind 33 points from Durant. The Thunder come into the game as the top team in the Northwest Division, while Atlanta is in third place in the Southeast Division, and fifth in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta Hawks Overview
Atlanta is coming off a big win over the Bulls on Wednesday night. In the win, big man Al Horford poured in 31 points and ripped down 16 rebounds, while guard Joe Johnson dished out 9 assists. The Hawks moved within two games of the Orlando Magic for second place in the division, and the fourth seed in the conference.
Atlanta is scoring 96 points per game, which ranks 24th in the league. Luckily for Atlanta, they have been pretty solid on the defensive end, allowing opponents to score just 95.1 points per game. The Hawks are seeking 16 more wins to match their win total of 53 from last season.
Oklahoma City Thunder Overview
The Oklahoma City Thunder will have a tough time without their main offensive threat. Other than that, the Thunder have point guard Russell Westbrook that loves the bright lights. Westbrook is dishing out nearly 9 assists per game, and averaging 2 steals per game. The Thunder are scoring 104.3 points per game, which is the 5th highest in the league.
The Thunder would start the postseason at home if they started today. Oklahoma City leads the Denver Nuggets by 2.5 games and the Portland Trailblazers by 4 in the Northwest Division. The Thunder won 50 games last season, so a 13-10 record would match last years total.
This should be a pretty good game, despite no Kevin Durant. This game will stay close for awhile, but look for the Hawks athleticism to shine through late in the game. Joe Johnson is due for a big game, and we look for him to score upwards of 40 in the game.
The Atlanta Hawks are -7.5 for this game. Surely, the odds would be lower if Durant were playing. If Durant is able to play, he will not be 100%. Look for the Thunder to stick around for awhile, but Atlanta pushes it to 10 by the end of the game. We are betting the Atlanta Hawks -7.5.
Our pick: Atlanta Hawks -7.5. Bet the Hawks at Sportingbet
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