NBA Betting: Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks Game 3 Pick
The Atlanta Hawks salvaged a split in the Windy City in the second round of NBA playoffs betting action, and they’re back at it back at Phillips Arena on Friday night for Game 3 against the Chicago Bulls.
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As we’ve said time and time again for the Hawks, the key is going to be getting off to a good start. In Game 1, Atlanta opened up on a 9-0 run and never really looked back. In Game 2, it was down 25-19 after one quarter and 48-37 at halftime, and it never really seriously posted a tremendous threat beyond that. The really bad news though, is just how bad this team was outside of Jeff Teague on Wednesday night. Teague, filling in for the injured Kirk Hinrich, definitely proved his worth, shooting 7-of-14 from the floor and accounting for a team high 21 points. The rest of the team shot just 19-of-63 from the floor, a dreadful 29.7 percent. Jamal Crawford was one of the bigger offenders, going just 2-of-10 off the bench and scoring just 11 of the bench’s 13 total points in the game, while Al Horford wasn’t much better at 3-of-12 shooting. The only positive that Horford can say is that he did have six assists and 14 rebound to show for his work. Getting 16 points out of Joe Johnson just wasn’t enough in a game in which one of the team’s top stars wasn’t in the fold. Hinrich will once again miss Game 3 with his hamstring injury, giving more time once again to Teague.
It’s not like Chicago really did anything all that remarkable offensively in Game 2. It only shot 39.3 percent from the floor and 22.7 percent from beyond the arc. The only notable number that stands out on the page from a scoring perspective was the 25 points put up by Derrick Rose, but then again, we’ve come to expect that sort of performance from the league’s newly crowned MVP. Joakim Noah scored 19 points, while Luol Deng had 14, but no one else scored more than eight points. Kyle Korver had his worst shooting night of the playoffs, going 1-of-9 from the floor and 1-of-5 from beyond the arc, while Carlos Boozer made just four of his 12 shots. The real difference though, came on the glass. The Bulls absolutely cleaned up, grabbing 44 defensive rebounds, five more on the boards than the Hawks had in total. Chicago also had 14 offensive rebounds, seven of which came from Noah. The former Florida Gators had 14 rebounds, but Deng and Boozer both reached double digits as well. Rose had six rebounds and 10 helpers.
We are now at the point that the Bulls should be taking this series over. Home court advantage will be key for the Hawks, but missing Hinrich is going to hurt more than Head Coach Larry Drew probably wants to admit. Beat the NBA betting odds by taking the visitors on Friday night.
NBA Free Pick: Chicago Bulls