This is ought to be entertaining. It’s a battle of two dynamic backcourts, with the season series also tied at one a piece heading into this head-to-head finale.
Catch the game tomorrow at 7:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Atlanta Hawks (37-38, 21-16 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Trae Young
- Dejounte Murray
- DeAndre Hunter
- John Collins
- Clint Capela
True to being the face of ‘NBA purgatory’ this season, the Hawks are in a hot-and-cold stretch. They have alternated wins and losses for seven consecutive games, and they have been either .500 or one game within that line over their last 28 contests.
In short, it’s anyone’s which Hawks team will show up every game. Still, their offense is good so that’s something to hang on to. They are fourth in the league in scoring and have poured in 125 points per game in that aforementioned seven-game span.
Talent is also across the board. Trae Young and Dejounte Murray are classic offensive and defensive guards, John Collins is a downhill forward, Clint Capela is an automatic double-double, and you got shooters all around, namely DeAndre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Saddiq Bey.
In two games facing the Cavs this season, Young has put up 29.5 points and 9.5 assists per game, and Murray is adding 18.0 points, 6.5 boards, and 7.0 dimes.
The Hawks are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a losing road record, which the Cavs have right now.
AWAY: Cleveland Cavaliers (48-28, 18-20 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- Darius Garland
- Donovan Mitchell
- Isaac Okoro (day-to-day)
- Evan Mobley
- Jarrett Allen (day-to-day)
These surging Cavaliers are showing they’re the new dogs out East. They are 9-2 in their last 11, and currently riding a four-game winning streak. In that whole stretch, they are scoring 113.6 points with a +8.1 net rating. Of course, as you’re probably aware, they also allow the fewest points per game (106.5) this season overall and also the number one-rated defense in the league.
Countering the Hawks backcourt is Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, who are also dynamic on their own, boasting buckets, dimes, and timely playmaking. The former is averaging 29.5 PPG and 5.5 APG on 60.6% shooting in the season series, while the latter has 24.0 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 2.0 SPG. They should be able to perform as such tomorrow.
Jarrett Allen, who’s posting a double-double in the season series, is once again listed as day-to-day despite already coming back from injury, so he’s probably more likely to suit up. Evan Mobley is quiet in two games vs. Atlanta this season but he has 20.2 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.3 BPG on 61% shooting in his last six.
The Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
Handicap: The Cavs (-1.5) win and cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total hits the over (234.5).