Fri, Mar 18, 2:36pm by Kevin Pitstock
Game: Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks
Date/Time: Saturday March 19th, 2011 / 11:30am AEST
A big game in the NBA will be played on Saturday between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks. These two teams are both heading to the postseason out of the Eastern Conference. The final 20 games of the season, both will look to pick up wins to better their positioning. Currently, the Heat are in third within the Eastern Conference; 3.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls for the top spot. Atlanta is in fifth; 3.5 games behind the Orlando Magic. If the postseason started today, the Heat would host New York, and the Hawks would play at Orlando.
Miami Heat Overview:
The Heat were downed Wednesday night by the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the loss, the Heat got 21 points and 11 rebounds from big man Chris Bosh. Bosh is the team’s leading rebound man, picking up nearly 9 per game. The Heat are led in scoring by former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James. James is scoring 26 points per game, and also dishing out 7 assists per game.
Miami is one win away from matching last seasons win total. The Heat rank 9th in the league in scoring, as they are averaging 101.5 points per game. The defense for Miami has also been good; allowing 94.5 points per game, which is 5th in the league. Miami will come back home after this game and take on the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
Atlanta Hawks Overview:
The Hawks are looking to get back into the win column, after their loss to Denver on Wednesday. Atlanta was unable to get any offense going, as once again they were held under 90. The Hawks have struggled to score all season, picking up just 95.5 points per game. The Hawks are led by their two All Stars from the Eastern Conference, Joe Johnson and Al Horford. Johnson is scoring 19 points per game, while Horford is ripping down just shy of 10 rebounds per game.
Atlanta would have to win their final 14 games to match their win total from last season. The Hawks won 47 games the season before, so this will be their third straight trip to the postseason. Atlanta will take Saturday off, before hosting the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
In the Eastern Conference, you just never know what will happen. It appears the Bulls are the lone consistently hot team in the conference, while the Celtics, Heat, Magic and Hawks win some, and then fall back and lose some. This game has several key players, but when it comes down to it, guys like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will come through in the end. Look for the Heat to win this game.
Our pick: Miami Heat -4.5 over the Atlanta Hawks. Bet the Miami Heat and all the NBA games at Sportsbet.
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