Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks Game 3 Preview
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 5:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: TNT
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Betting on the Washington Wizards (+135)
John Wall has been fantastic in these playoffs but Bradley Beal sent a clear message Wednesday night that the Wizards’ backcourt isn’t all about Wall.
Wall scored 32 points on 9-for-20 shooting from the field and 12-for-15 from the foul line, while Beal added 31 with four three-pointers in the Wizards’ 109-101 Game 2 home win. Washington entered this playoffs series with a decided backcourt advantage and the Hawks haven’t done anything significant to slow down the tandem.
It wasn’t just the flashy plays of Wall and Beal that have propelled the Wizards to a 2-0 series lead. Washington’s improvement on the boards in Game 2 also helped the team ground Atlanta. After getting outrebounded in Game 1 (60-47), Marcin Gortat and the Wizards flipped the table on the Hawks in Game 2, getting the upper hand in the rebounding battle, 43-41.
With Wall and Beal seemingly unstoppable right now, the other Wizards doing the dirty job perfectly should only keep Washington humming moving forward.
Betting on the Atlanta Hawks (-155)
Atlanta has some soul searching to do if the Hawks are to climb out of a 0-2 hole against the Wizards. Hopefully for them, they’ll find answers when the series shifts back to Atlanta for Game 3.
The biggest problem for the Hawks right now is John Wall, who is just gutting their defense at will. When Wall isn’t getting buckets from the field, he’s being fouled and making free throws. Limiting Wall’s production and forcing him commit turnovers aren’t easy but that’s what the Hawks need right now.
Apart from that, the Hawks need Dwight Howard to recover from a pathetic Game 2 performance in which the big man scored just six points and grabbed just seven rebounds.
Howard was outplayed by Marcin Gortat in Game 2 and if the Hawks big man needs further motivation for Game 3, he just has think of the way someone who used to be his back up in Orlando performed better than him the last time out.
Paul Millsap, meanwhile, has been steady in this series. He put up 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Millsap’s versatility is causing headaches for the Hawks, who often resorted to fouling him so far on the series. Millsap was 14-for-15 from the free throw line in Game 2.
Atlanta (-3) wins, 105-103.
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