NBA Picks: Rebounding & Defensive Efficiency to be the Difference in Cavs-Hawks Game 1

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 11:45 AM UTC

Wednesday, May. 20, 2015 11:45 AM UTC

This will be a great matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals.  I am backing the Hawks and the small line to take care of business at home.

<p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="330" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p><strong>The Line</strong><br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="Find the NBA odds that are right for your bet">NBA odds</a> makers have come out with basically a pickem with <a href="" target="_blank" title="Atlanta Hawks Playoff Profile &amp; NBA Futures Odds Value">Atlanta Hawks</a> at -1. I know the public will probably want to back the Cavaliers in this spot but winning a game in Atlanta is never easy and the Hawks style of basketball might present some problems that the Bulls did not.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><a href="" style="text-align:center" target="_blank" title="NBA Picks for Hawks vs. Cavaliers Series Price"><em>Click here to read our Cavaliers vs. Hawks series price picks</em></a></p> <p><strong>It is Still the Defense</strong><br /> With the Hawks going with pace and space and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Cavaliers a Worthy NBA Pick to Clinch the East Title at Even Odds?">the Cavaliers</a> running more isolation plays each teams plays to a specific strength.  Defensively things could get interesting with the Cavaliers recent upswing on that end of the floor.  The issue I having though with the Cavaliers is they have not played elite defense against a good offensive team.  Sure their stats look good recently but that was against the overmatched Celtics and the offensively inept Chicago Bulls, both teams which ranked in the bottom half of the league in offensive field goal percentage.  The Hawks have continued to play stellar defense against two teams higher ranked offensively than the Celtics and Bulls in Brooklyn and Washington.  On the year the Cavs ranked 17<sup>th</sup> in opponent field goal shooting, the Hawks 6<sup>th</sup>, the Cavs ranked 22<sup>nd</sup> in opponent turnovers, the Hawks 6<sup>th</sup>, and the Cavs ranked 11<sup>th</sup> in scoring defense, the Hawks 3<sup>rd</sup>.  Cleveland has done a good job defending beyond the arc and limiting second chances, but without Kevin Love I expect them to get outrebounded today.</p> <p>In the last three games the Hawks and Cavs rank 1<sup>st</sup> and 2<sup>nd</sup> respectively in defensive efficiency, but again, completely different matchup comparing the Wizards to the Bulls. This should be a good game but the Hawks were 3-1 against the Cavs this year for a reason, winning the last three they played. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Best O/U &amp; ATS Plays for East Finals Game 1">I look for that trend to continue tonight with the Hawks winning</a> by close to double digits, so let's back them with our <a href="" target="_blank" title="Calculated NBA Picks &amp; Betting Odds Analysis">NBA picks</a>.</p> <p><strong>NBA Pick:</strong> Take the Hawks</p> <p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,43,227,999996,93,238,123,139], "LineTypeId":5, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p> <p style="text-align:center"><a href="" target="_blank" title="Over/Under Cavaliers vs. Hawks NBA Picks"><em>Here's our Over/Under NBA Pick for Cavs vs. Hawks Game 1</em></a></p>
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