We preview the Eastern Conference Finals & share Series Price NBA Picks noting that for the most part the NBA Odds aren’t giving the Hawks any chance against LeBron James and company.
Cleveland Cavaliers (-225)
The Cavaliers are not the healthiest team in the NBA right now, but they took care of Chicago in six games despite all of their personnel issues. Now a lot of people believe that them beating the Bulls is an automatic trip to the NBA Finals, because I haven’t found anyone yet who believes the Hawks will win this series, with the possible exception of Hawks fans. However I’m not completely on the Cavs bandwagon for this price from Bovada.
At -225 NBA odds, and with all of the injuries they are faced with right now, the Cavs are not going to sweep this series by any means. However while they could still win in five games, the Hawks’ ability to protect home court and play defense might be able to extend the series enough to give them a chance. The Hawks won the season series against the Cavs, and even though that means very little right now, they do have some matchup issues that could give the Cavs problems. That could be said about the Hawks too matching up with the LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, however with those two guys seemingly banged up a little bit, the Hawks are going to have multiple options in trying to defend them.
The biggest question mark around the Cavs is will both of their stars still have huge series if they have to defend a great player? The Cavs got Chicago with Irving defending Mike Dunleavy and James guarding Joakim Noah during the semi finals, but in this series Irving will either have to chase around Jeff Teague or Kyle Korver, and James might have to run around with DeMarre Carroll or even Paul Millsap. This may be troublesome for the Cavs stars if they don’t have enough energy to score on the other end.
Atlanta Hawks (+185)
Like I said above, I really don’t want to count the Hawks out, but with the Cavs getting healthier by the day, and with the Hawks having some serious issues rebounding the ball, the Cavs might have enough to squeeze by even if they aren’t at 100%. Tristan Thompson destroyed the Bulls on the glass last series, and if he is killing Chicago, he is going to dominate the Hawks on the boards.
However the Hawks present some issues for the Cavs too, and it should not go unnoticed. Al Horford is going to destroy whoever is trying to defend him in this series. If they put Timofey Mozgov on him he is going to blow right by him, and if they go small against him he is going to post up or shoot over them. Millsap is also going to be a lot for the guy trying to defend him. Combine that with the Hawks deeper bench, and I am not ready to give any of these teams the nod here. While one of them is going to win, I suggest trying to find value in other series props, as well as the game NBA Odds. Right now I would say the Cavs can win this series in six games, but at their respective prices from Bovada, I can’t place NBA picks on either of them right now.