Put Your Money Where LeBron is & Take the Cavs +120 vs. Hawks for Your NBA Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, May 22, 2015 3:27 PM GMT

Friday, May. 22, 2015 3:27 PM GMT

It's the Cavaliers vs. Hawks 2nd game in this series and the NBA odds are rooting for the Hawks tonight, even though the Cavs were the ones to win game 1. Take a look at our NBA pick for this matchup before placing yours.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks (-2-) 8:30 ET TNT
At 8:30 ET Friday evening on TNT TV, the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of their Round 3 NBA Playoff, best of 7 series. As predicted, Cleveland was the victor in the first game of this series by a 97-89 score. It did not represent the competitive nature of the contest. Atlanta appeared in control early in the 4th quarter, before Cleveland emerged at crunch-time, but still the Hawks are favored tonight on the NBA odds.  

In that Game 1 contest, the Atlanta big men, Horford (16/7) and Millsap (13/7), did their job on the interior. With Teague adding 27, the Hawks should have had a solid opportunity for victory. A closer look inside the Game 1 statistics shows that Atlanta was outrebounded 49-37 and shot just 4 for 23 (17%) from behind the arc. Again, Kyle Korver, one of the NBA’s best 3 point shooters, could convert just a pair of 3 pointers and total only 9 points while becoming a virtual nonfactor in the game. Cleveland’s big men had a solid performance with Mozgov logging 10/11 and Thompson 14/10.  Irving (knee) played limited minutes, especially in the 4th quarter.  But, mid-year acquisition, JR Smith, was huge for Cleveland scoring 28 points with 8 boards.  In the end, however, it was LeBron James who took over the game in the 4th quarter, scoring 31 points while adding 8 boards and 6 assists.  

The victor of tonight’s game may be a function of who sits and who plays. Midway through Game 1, Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll, writhed on the floor in pain with a knee injury. He left the game on crutches.  Although Carroll was in an upbeat move, and moving without crutches on Thursday’s off day, he remains a game time decision and is listed as doubtful for tonight’s contest. The Hawks would clearly miss his presence.  Of great concern for Cleveland is No. 2 scorer, Irving. He is plagued by an injured ankle, as well as tendonitis in his knee.  This is an injury that, although quite painful, would not be of a structural nature.  Though listed as questionable, it is the opinion of this bureau that Cleveland HC Blatt would lean on him heavily at crunch-time, if Cleveland needed it. Though LeBron again tweaked his ankle in Game 1, it is not the type of injury that will prevent the superstar from missing game time.  

Unlike Game 1, Atlanta is a 2 point favorite in this contest.  Must point out the key stat that I emphasized in Game 1.  Since beginning 19-20 through mid-January, the Cavs have gone 43-11. Conversely, the Atlanta record in the All Star break was an identical 43-11.   Since that time, however, roughly coinciding with the loss of all-star defender, Thabo Sefolosha, the Hawks have gone just 25-17. LeBron is by a wide margin the best player on the floor in this game.  For our NBA picks, we put our money on him to win this game again at crunch-time.

NBA Pick: Take Cleveland Cavaliers at The Greek

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For tonight's lone matchup we offer you two NBA picks ATS & Total

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