NBA Picks: Hawks -1.0 to Bounce Back vs. Cavaliers in Game 2

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, May 21, 2015 6:20 PM GMT

Will Cleveland display the killer instinct needed to take a commanding 2-0 series lead? Can they cover Friday's NBA odds? Read this enlightening piece & give yourself the ultimate wagering edge.

NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 2
The Hawks will take on the Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Friday at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta. According to the NBA betting odds at Bookmaker, Atlanta is a 1.0 point favorite, and the posted total is 197.0.

 

Game 1 Recap
Cleveland took the opening game of the series 97-88. One of the key contributing factors in the win for the Cavaliers was their huge 60-43 rebounding advantage, and that included a dominant 10-2 edge on the offensive glass. As a result, the Cavaliers were able to attempt nine more field goal attempts than Atlanta. Cleveland went 21-for-25 (84%) from the free throw line and Atlanta was only able to reach the charity stripe just ten times in the entire game. The thirteen point advantage from the free throw line by Cleveland, in addition to having eight more second chance opportunities provided by their offensive rebounding prowess, offset the superb shooting by the Hawks in Game 1. Atlanta sustained a nine point loss despite shooting 58.5% from the field, and making thirteen three-point shots.

 

Injury Report
The Atlanta Hawks received a major scare on Wednesday when DeMarre Carroll went down with an apparent serious knee injury. However, a MRI conducted on Thursday morning indicated no structural damage to the knee, and he’s been upgraded to questionable for Friday’s Game 2. Carroll is averaging 16.2 points per game, and shooting a sizzling 42.6% (26-61) from beyond the three-point line during these playoffs.

There’s little doubt after watching star Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving play in Game 1, he’s not remotely close to being 100% healthy as a result of a lingering knee injury. LeBron James sustained what appears to be a minor ankle sprain during the second half on Wednesday. In old news at this juncture, Cleveland sustained a huge blow in their opening round playoff series versus Boston when Kevin Love was the lost for the remainder of the season due to a dislocated shoulder.

 

Final Analysis
The loss suffered by the Hawks in Game 1 was just their eighth in forty-eight home games. Atlanta has gone an impressive 6-1 SU&ATS in seven games this season following a home loss. Atlanta knows full well that falling behind in the series 2-0, and having to play three of the next four at Cleveland would be nothing short of a death sentence regarding their chances of advancing. I look for the Hawks to display a high degree of urgency on Friday, and combining that with an energized home crowd will make the difference in this outcome. I’ll have a strong lean toward the home team for one of my NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Play on Atlanta -1.0 over Cleveland at Bookmaker