I was correct in my pick of the Spurs (-8) last night as they won 109-99 at Denver. Tonight I like the Indiana Pacers-Atlanta Hawks match-up.
The Indiana Pacers have dropped 5 straight games. On Monday they were defeated 110-98 at Houston. During their current skid 4 of their 5 losses have been by a margin of less than 10 points. They’ve been held under 100 points in 4 of their last 5 games. 11 times this season they’ve scored under 90 points. They are 7-17 on the road this season. They have lost their last 4 road games. They are 4-5 versus Southeast division opponents. They are 26th in the league in points per game with 95, 5th in the league in rebounds per game with 45.4 per game, 21st in the league in assists per game with 20.7 per game, and 4th in the league in points allowed with 97. Guard George Hill leads the team in scoring with 14.2 points per game. Center Roy Hibbert leads the team in rebounding with 7 rebounds per game. Guard Donald Sloan leads the team in assists with 4.6 per game. Tonight is the 3rd game of a 5 game road trip. Their next game is Friday at Miami. The Atlanta Hawks come in to tonight’s contest winners of their last 13 games. They have won 27 of their last 29 games. The team had a record of 7-6 on November 26th. They have the best record in the Eastern Conference. 14 of their last 27 wins have been by a margin of less than 10 points. They’ve scored 100 or more points in 9 of their 13 wins (during their streak). They’ve held their last 6 opponents under 100 points. They are 17-3 at home this season. They have won their last 4 home games. They are 10-2 versus Central division opponents. They are 7th in the league in points per game with 103.1, 25th in the league in rebounds per game with 41 per game, 2nd in the league in assists per game with 26 per game, and 1st in the league in points allowed with 96.3. Guard Jeff Teague leads the team in scoring with 17.2 points per game and leads the team in assists with 7.3 per game. Forward Paul Millsap leads the team in rebounding with 7.9 rebounds per game. Tonight is the 2nd game of a 7 game home stand. Their next game is Friday at home versus Oklahoma City.
Atlanta was victorious in their first 2 meetings with Indiana this season. On November 1st the Hawks scored a 102-92 home win versus the Pacers and on December 8th the Hawks notched a 108-92 victory at Indiana. Tonight is the last meeting of the season between the 2 teams.
Pacers vs Hawks Prediction
What a difference a year makes as last season through 43 games the Pacers had a 34-9 record. Now they are sitting 13 games below .500 w/out the services of their star Paul George. Meanwhile the Hawks had a 22-20 record through 42 games a season ago and now the Hawks are the top team in the Eastern Conference and currently the hottest team in the league. Atlanta has completely bought in to coach Mike Budenholzer’s system and it’s paid off big time. The Hawks have been a dominant home team and I don’t think the Pacers will be able to score enough to keep it close.
Take the Hawks -11