Hawks vs. Cavaliers NBA Picks: Can The Underdogs Cover ATS?

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 6:01 PM GMT

The Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers resume their Round 2 Playoff series of the 2016 NBA post-season with Game 2. See my game preview & NBA pick inside.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 
 The game is scheduled for an 8:05 ET tip as televised by TNT TV. Cleveland will host the game as a (7-) point favorite, after being favored by a like number in Game 1. 

After sweeping Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, courtesy of a near triple/double by LeBron James, Cleveland defeated Atlanta all 3 meetings of the regular season, including margins of 14 and 12 points on this court. With the 104-93 Game 1 victory, it extends the 2-year run in this series to 8-0 SU for Cleveland with every victory this season on this court by 11 or more points. 

In Game 1 on Tuesday night, the Hawks trailed by 18 points. They eventually stormed back to take a brief lead, before Cleveland closed with a rush in the final 4 minutes to win by the final 11 point margin. Again, LeBron James was dominant against Atlanta. He scored 25 points, dished out 9 assists, had 7 rebounds and authored 5 steals in his 40 minutes on the floor. Unlike last year’s playoffs, however, James was aided by Kyrie Irving, who scored 21 points and Tristan Thompson, who grabbed 14 boards.

Again, Atlanta faces the same conundrum in Game 2: commit a second player to stop James on the interior and Thompson is unguarded in going for the rebound. One adjustment which would clearly help Atlanta would be scoring from Atlanta’s 3-point threat, Kyle Korver, who attempted just 1 shot as Cleveland guard, JR Smith, blanketed him on every Atlanta offensive possession.   

That did, however, loosen Dennis Schroeder, who scored 27 points, including 5 triples. The only key injury from Game 1 was Cleveland’s Kevin Love (shoulder). Love was cold in Game 1, shooting just 4/17 for 17 points. Should he return to form, the Atlanta problems become even greater!

 

Conclusion
The Cleveland dominance in this series must not be ignored, particularly, if their “big 3” of James, Irving and Love, all score to their averages. But, Atlanta proved their mettle in Game 1, when they stormed back from 18 down, only to fall short. 

That gives a huge psychological edge to the Hawks in Game 2, who qualify under a strong NBA situational flip/flop play, which finds any greater than .580 road dog of 7 or more points, who comes off exactly one loss to be a better than 67% play in NBA Playoff action. I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on the Atlanta Hawks tonight

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Free NBA Pick: Hawks +7.5
Best Line Offered: at YouWager