NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 1, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, LT Profits Sports seeks that one single playoff play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Playoff Play of the Day Thursday.

Look for defense to rule the night Thursday in what is an elimination game for the number one seeds in the Eastern Conference down 3-2 in their NBA Playoffs first round series as those Indiana Pacers (58-29, 22-21 away) pay a visit to the eight seeded Atlanta Hawks (41-46, 25-17 home) for Game 6 from Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on NBA TV.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 187 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -103.

The Hawks are on the verge of history as if they can finish off this upset, they would set a record for the worst regular season record ever (38-44) of any team to win an NBA Playoffs series! However, that deed is not done yet as the Indiana defense stepped up in a must win here in Georgia in Game 4 and we would not be surprised to see a similar effort here.

Granted, “effort” and “Pacers” may not have gone hand in hand very often since the All-Star break as there could very well be some dissension in the Indiana locker room that nobody outside the club knows about. Regardless, it seems unfathomable for what was possibly the best team in the NBA before the break to be 9-29-1 ATS in the last 39 games including the playoffs.

But that aside, we are focusing on the total here and although Game 5 went ‘over’ as the Hawks went into Indiana and led by as much as 30 points en route to a 107-97 win, that game got out of hand quickly when the Hawks made nine three-point field goals in the second quarter, on the way to going 15-for-27, 55.6 percent from beyond the arc for the game. Do not expect a replay of that in this contest.

Instead, look for a replay of the previous three games which all went ‘under’ including the two games in Atlanta during this series that produced just 179 and 183 total points respectively. Indiana appeared to save it season the last time the teams played here in Game 4 with a 91-88 triumph to avoid going down 1-3 and regain home court advantage in the series, which unfortunately from a Pacers’ perspective they gave right back on Monday.

Still, the Hawks were six games below .500 during the season for a reason, and when the Pacers put their foot down for one of the few times in recent months, Atlanta shot 35.7 percent and committed 14 turnovers in the Game 4 home loss. Expect to see that same Indiana defensive intensity again tonight with the Pacers this time literally playing to keep their season alive.

And remember that despite the second half struggles, the Pacers did still finish second in the NBA in points against at just 92.3 per game, they led the league in field goal percentage allowed at 42.0 percent and they were fourth in three-point defense at 34.5 percent, making the Atlanta three-point barrage on Game 5 even more of an anomaly.

Expect the performances of both teams to “normalize” here and for this contest to more closely resemble the other two games played in Atlanta this series, so go ‘under’ in Game 6 on Thursday.

[gameodds]5/284103/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Pacers, Hawks ‘under’ 187 (-103)