Consistency Key for the Hawks’ ATS Victory Tonight vs. Heat

Megan Rochester

Friday, November 14, 2014 11:12 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 11:12 PM UTC

Do my eyes deceive me, or did oddsmakers open with the Atlanta Hawks at a 2.5 advantage against the Miami Heat tonight?  Being Georgia-bred, it’s nice for me to see my hometown Hawks finally doing well.  They are coming off of three solid wins, but are they good enough, yet, to take on the Heat and cover the spread? I think so.

New Kids on the BOARDS in Atlanta
Hawk’s Paul Millsap faced off with his former team, the Utah Jazz, on Wednesday. Did you guys know that the Hawks mispelled his name on his jersey in that game? * shakes her head*

Well, that didn’t seem to bother him much since he went .500 percent from three, sinking 4-of-8 from downtown. Oh, and the boy didn’t just camp out behind the arc. He was all over the place, finding his shots, driving the lane, going strong on the boards. He finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds! If he is that on for tonight’s game, we are in for a nice show.

Hawks’ Jeff Teague has also been putting up significantly effective numbers - 20 points, 8 rebounds and 7-12 FG against Utah on Tuesday. Al Harford is also looking strong on the boards with no less than 6 rebounds per game in the last 5 games.  This is a perfect trio to handle Miami’s leading scorer, Chris Bosh, who hasn’t scored more than 24 points in the last 5 games.

Fortunately for the Hawks, they won’t be seeing Dwayne Wade out on the floor tonight at all as the Heat want to rest his sore hamstring. The sportbooks have taken that into consideration by bumping the spread up to 4.5-5 point advantage for the Hawks, but without Wade, covering 5 points should be simple. As many of you out there know, Wade is a key player for the Heat. He was worth an average of 20 points 6 assists, and 4 rebounds in the last 5 games that will be sorely missed tonight. This will be the Heats' first game without Wade this season, so lets crunch a few numbers before you guys start locking in your NBA picks.


Hawks Won’t Fold Under the Pressure
The Hawks were down 9 points at the start of the second half of the Jazz game, and then came back for a win. They also came back in both of their Knicks games in the second half to take the win. So, what does this tell us about the Hawks? Well, at first I thought maybe the Hawks are a second half kind of team, but then after a little research, I realized they aren’t a second half team at all. They are a consistent team. The Hawks average 47.9 points in the first half and 50.3 in the second. That’s only a differential of 2.4 points between the two halves. The Heat, however, average 51.3 in the 1st half of their games and 44.8 in the second – a difference of 6.5 points more in the first half.

Now, here is the secret to success for the Hawks.  Their offense sells tickets, but their defense wins the games. These guys morph into the Hulk under the boards. They average 41. 3 rebounds per game at home, while the Heat averages 22.0 on the road. 

If they can keep their offense consistent and their defense strong, they will win this game


Hawks can Share the Load
The Hawks played the Pacers on the 1st of November gaining their first win of the season. However, the Heat faced them 10 days later last Wednesday for their second loss of the season.  So what was the difference in these two games who called for 1 victory and 1 loss? Again, here we see consistency on the offense and hard work on the defense for the Hawks.

The Hawks stayed consistent the entire game. They finished with a FG percentage of 50.7%, a free throw percentage of 76%, and all of the starters worked as a unit and had between 10 and 25 points each.

Their defense covered the rest of the work. 34 defense rebounds, 10 steals and 6 blocks sealed the win for them that night.

The Heat, however, depend on only a few players each night to come out and carry the load for the team. Against the same Pacers  team, the Heat had only 2 players score more than 9 points, 42.6 FG percentage with only one player shooting at .500 percent, and 44.4 FT percentage with only one player making over .500 percent. Chris Bosh and Dwayne were the only two who performed at all that night. Are you surprised? Didn’t think so. The Hawks won’t be caught by surprise by the Miami offense either. Their team defense will be ready.  

Another SBR Capper Predicts a Hawks Cover Tonight

New Floor New Team
Have you seen the Hawks new court design? Simply beautiful. Don’t write the new hardwood off it as cosmetic.  These small changes and a good start changed the energy for Atlanta. A new design for a new team, and this Hawks team takes pride in their shiny new toy.

So far this season, all of the teams who have stepped on the Phillips Arena floor to challenge the Hawks in their nest have walked out with the big L stamped on their forehead. Throw down on the Hawks to cover as small odds favorites tonight for Megan’s hometown winner. 

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