Fri, Jan 13, 3:05pm by Staff Writer
In the Eastern Conference the Celtics and high-flying Hawks face-off in Atlanta, while the Spurs take on the Suns. The Hawks will be looking to continue their red-hot form against the Celtics. The Spurs will be looking to continue their domination of the Suns. At www.australiangambling.lv we have crunched the numbers to give you the best bets for the weekend hardcourt action.
Celtics @ Hawks
Philips Arena, Atlanta – Saturday 14 January, 12.00pm AEDT
TV: Live on ESPN
The Hawks have quietly gone about their business this last month racking up a seven game run that included an impressive win against the Spurs (114-112). The Hawks lead the Southeast Standings 22-16, and despite trading Kyle Korver to Cleveland they are still favourites to win their division.
The Hawks warmed up for the Celtics with a mismatch against the struggling Nets. Dennis Schroder had 19 points and 10 assist, while Dwight Howard grabbed 14 points and 16 rebounds.
The Celtics travel to Atlanta without Avery Bradley, James Young and Tyler Zeller. Celtics
big-man Al Horford returns to Atlanta for the first time against his former team. He won’t be
expecting a warm reception on court, with the Hawks big-man Dwight Howard looking to
make a point to home fans after an off-season trade.
For the Celtics Isaiah Thomas is doing everything asked of him. Against the Wizards earlier in the week he closed out the game with 38 points, and owned the real estate beyond the arc with five 3-pointers.
This game will be a dogfight, and these two sides have some history from last year’s playoff series. This will go down to the wire, but you can’t ignore the form of Isaiah Thomas. I’m going to tip the Celtics to end the winning run of the Hawks with a close win.
BEST BET: Celtics to win at $2.31
Spurs @ Suns
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix – Friday 13 January, 12.00pm AEDT
TV: Live on ESPN
The basketball gods have not been kind to the Spurs, and it’d been a Jekyll and Hyde performance of late. The Spurs coach Greg Popovich needs to unlock their defence, otherwise it will be a short trip to the playoffs in March. Could the solution be a trade for LaMarcus Aldridge?
In the receb loss against the Bucks the Spurs put together 100-point game for the 15th consecutive time. The game against the Suns should be a good opportunity for the Spurs to fine tune their defence, and keep a firm grip on second spot in the Western Conference behind the Warriors.
The Spurs will be counting on Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Danny Green to drive the offence. Aussie fans will be hoping that Patty Mills will be able to find his scoring range after a couple of quiet games.
The Suns will be heading to the lottery at the end of the season, but they have a point to prove against the Spurs. Eric Bledsoe’s scoring form has won a few admirers in the league, including LeBron James. Bledsoe leads the Suns this season with 20.4 (PPG) and 5.8 assists per game.
The markets haven’t been released yet but expect the Spurs to start overwhelming favourites having won the past nine matches between the teams.
This matchup hasn’t been kind to the Suns. The Suns have been able to put together a win against their arch rivals from San Antonio since early in the 2014-15 season. This time will be no different. Expect the Spurs to click into high gear and blitz the Suns for the win.
BEST BET: Spurs to win by a big margin
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