Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards Game 2 Preview
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
When: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBA TV
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Betting on the Atlanta Hawks (+180)
The Hawks had a lot of difficulties in Game 1’s 114-107 loss. They were visibly unable to match the Wizards’ energy and it showed in the inability to handle the ball, which had them committing 19 turnovers.
There are, however, a couple of positive things to look at, among those are their great patience and team play. Despite the defeat, we saw glimpses of the resiliency they had in last week’s big, 26-point comeback victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, as they refused to be put away by the Wiz until the final buzzer.
Adding to that is the poise shown by rookie Taurean Prince, who was active all over the floor. He became the team’s third option behind Dennis Schroder (25 points, nine assists) and Paul Millsap (19 points), contributing 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting.
With coach Mike Budenholzer being a disciple of the Gregg Poppovich coaching tree, Atlanta can be expected to have plenty of good adjustments for Game 2. Schroder will continue to being a shify point guard, while Millsap, their main weapon on offense, should have a bounce back performance on the boards. Though he reached his usual numbers in scoring, he only grabbed two rebounds in 34 minutes of play, which is disappointing for a veteran power forward.
The Hawks are only 2-6 in their last eight games on the road, but they are a decent 5-3 ATS in the same span.
Betting on the Washington Wizards (-220)
Things simply clicked for the Wizards in Game 1. All starters reached double figures – John Wall dished 13 assists and recorded a postseason-high 32 points, Bradley Beal and Markieff Morris each scored 20-plus (the latter also blocked four shots), Marcin Gortat had his usual 14-point, 10-rebound double-double, and Otto Porter chipped in 10 points and nine boards.
Through that win, the Wiz are now an even more confident bunch. We can project a similar type of production on Wednesday, especially on the aggressive backcourt duo of Wall and Beal.
Wall has greatly embraced the leader role, and his ability to distribute the ball and kick out to his main shooters – Beal, Morris, Porter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic – is perfect for the Hawks, who allowed the third-highest threes in the regular season.
Having said all of that, though, it’s also easy to see Game 2 be a lot closer than the opener. The Hawks, though short in momentum and rhythm, are still more battle-tested in the playoffs than Washington’s upstart core.
The Wizards are 15-5 in their last 20 games at home (10-10 ATS). They are also 4-1 against the Hawks this season (3-2 ATS).
The Wizards (-5.5) win a close one, 102-100, and fail to cover the spread.
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