Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks - 5/2/16 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Atlanta Hawks (52-36) at Cleveland Cavaliers (61-25)
NBA Basketball: Monday, May 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Quicken Loans Arena)
The Line: Cleveland Cavaliers -7.5 -- Over/Under: 200.5 See the Latest Odds
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks collide in Game 1 tonight at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavaliers will be well-rested and full of confidence after sweeping the Pistons in the first round of the playoffs. LeBron James steered the offense with averages of 22.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game for the series, Kyrie Irving averaged 27.5 points with 4.8 assists per game while Kevin Love averaged 18.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game as the Cavaliers advanced to the second round completely unscathed. As a team, the Cavs were absolutely red-hot from behind the arc in the first round against the Pistons as they averaged 41.3 percent shooting for the series, but in what was otherwise a pretty close series, the difference between the teams came down to scoring in the fourth quarter where the Cavs just had more weapons to turn to compared to the less experienced Pistons.
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Meanwhile, the Hawks come into this game high on confidence as they took down the Celtics by 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs. Jeff Teague led the charge with averages of 16.5 points and 6.0 assists per game for the series, Paul Millsap averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds while Al Horford averaged 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists as the Hawks outlasted the less experienced and shorthanded Celtics. Overall, it wasn't the most confidence inspiring performance from the Hawks in the first round, but they passed the test and are more than capable of causing an upset or two against the Cavs.
In ATS trends, the Hawks are 5-14-1 ATS in their last 20 Conference Semifinals games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games, while the Cavs are 4-1 ATS in their last five when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 2-7 ATS in their last nine Conference Semfinals games.
Head to head, the Hawks are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings overall and 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings in Cleveland.
The Cavs swept the Hawks last season on their way to the NBA Finals and they've won the last seven meetings overall so they're deservedly heavy favorites in what should be an entertaining series. I really liked the way the Hawks bounced back against the Celtics to close out the series but I don't have them winning any more than one game at the most in this series. Take the well-rested Cavs to come out firing and win this one by double digits against a Hawks team they've dominated over the last couple of seasons.