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NBA player Dwight Howard

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 4:44 PM GMT

The Hawks have been one of the hotter teams of 2017 and it’s starting on defense for them. If they can continue that and Dwight Howard can shut down Brook Lopez tonight, Atlanta will easily get a cover here.

  Atlanta Hawks vs Brooklyn Nets

 

The Hawks have been incredibly undervalued recently, as they have won and covered five games in a row, with the last three coming on the road. Atlanta’s defense has been their best attribute pretty much all season and it’s been especially true lately.

The Hawks have allowed an average of just 95.6 points per game over their last five games and against a team like the Nets, that number may improve. Without Jeremy Lin, the Nets have been solid, but against a good defensive team like Atlanta, I doubt they get more than 90 to 95 points.

The Hawks will oblige the Nets by playing fast, but even with their fast pace, the Hawks’ defense has not been harmed. Considering the Hawks have already beaten up on the Nets once this season at home, I see them doing it once again on the road in Brooklyn.

The biggest reason other than the Hawks’ team defense is a healthy Dwight Howard. With Lin on the shelf, Brook Lopez has been one of the loan sources of offense for the Nets. Howard has stepped into a time machine with his defense this season, so if Lopez isn’t dropping 25 or 30 points tonight, the Nets are going to lose big.

 

Free NBA Pick: Hawks -7½ Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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