The Rajon Rondo situation in Dallas has reached a boiling point. Will Rondo and the Mavericks get their act together for tonight's difficult matchup with the Hawks? Our NBA odds preview is inside.
Early Wednesday morning, the Hawks were favored in NBA odds by six points on their home court against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks.
The O/U is trading at right around 202.5 right now.
The Hawks have cooled off a little bit, but they're still holding on to the top seed in the Eastern Conference by a considerable margin. They're 44-12, which puts them 7.5 games up on second-seeded Toronto, so they're still in a great spot and can afford to have a slip-up here and there because of their stellar play in recent months.
Atlanta has been off since Sunday's win over Milwaukee, a victory which snapped a two-game losing streak. The Hawks locked in defensively and outscored the Bucks 31-22 in the final quarter to secure the 97-86 win on the road. They shot just 40.2 percent from the floor overall, but they got a balanced effort across the board, with six different players, including all five starters, reaching double figures in scoring. Paul Millsap, however, was the standout, as he racked up 23 points and 16 rebounds (eight offensive) in 32 minutes of highly efficient basketball.
Now, after a stretch of having to play four of their last five contests on the road, Atlanta will return home, where they've gone a terrific 25-4 this season. Nonetheless, it's not going to be a walk in the park against the talented Mavericks this evening.
While the Mavs may have won and picked up their straight victory in the process last night, it didn't come without drama. There was a dispute between starting point guard Rajon Rondo and head coach Rick Carlisle on the court, and it was there for the public to see.
Rondo, as you probably know, was one of the most "prized" acquisitions of the season so far, but the move hasn't exactly panned out yet. The former Celtic has been incredibly inconsistent and doesn't seem to be gelling with Dallas at all, which has to be a concern to all those involved. Carlisle is a hands-on coach that likes to call a lot of plays, but Rondo has been to known to want to do things his way. However you want to spin it, it's hard to see this arrangement working out too well, assuming nothing changes.
Still, the Mavericks keep on winning, as they're now 7-3 over their previous 10 games overall. They're 39-20 overall, which is good for the fifth seed in the loaded Western Conference, but it's going to be interesting to see how this situation with Rondo pans out. What's more, Dallas is still without Chandler Parsons because of injury, and it's been Richard Jefferson and Al-Farouq Aminu that have been receiving more playing time as a result.
Though the Mavs have won three in a row and have the talent in place to give the Hawks a run for their money, we're going to shy away from the road team with our NBA pick in this spot.
We're a little worried about the whole Rondo/Carlisle situation, and Dallas will also be playing its second game in as many nights, this after a hard-fought game with Toronto last night. The Mavs were already shorthanded without Chandler Parsons, and now they'll have to contend with a well-rested Hawks team with heavy legs.
In short, this situational spot for Dallas does not set up nicely whatsoever. Some may be hesitant to back the Hawks at this kind of number, but we think they'll execute on a much more consistent basis (on both ends of the court) on their way to the win and ATS cover.
NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks -6 at BetOnline