The Nets head to Atlanta on Friday for a date with the Hawks. They very nearly met in the ECF last year, but Brooklyn could not take care of their own business against the Bucks. These teams are on slightly different paths this season, with injuries taking out all of the Hawks wing players at the moment, making it tough to find any consistency or options.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot has been starting at small forward after sitting for much of the year prior to their last stretch. They are without Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter for an extended period, while Cam Reddish has also been missing time. In addition to that, Kevin Huerter has been banged up, and Solomon Hill has been confirmed to be out for the year. At least they have Trae Young.
The Nets lost to the surprisingly hot Rockets on Wednesday night, in a game where Kevin Durant was sitting for rest purposes. It has been eight years since he has logged this many minutes through his first 23 appearances of a season. And it is starting to look like James Harden may no longer be that guy out there. His play has dipped, and he has struggled in the clutch.
The teams will each put their best effort out there, and the better squad will win. Watch for a lot of Atlanta lobs.
Betting Odds & Lines
The spread for Friday night is close, set at ATL -1. The over/under is sitting at 223.5 points. The BKN moneyline is -104, while ATL is -117.
Nets Seeking Eighteenth Win
17-8 is a very good start for the Nets when their situation is considered. Joe Harris has been out for a long period of time, while Blake Griffin has slipped even further, now out of the rotation. Kyrie Irving is unable to do any activities with the team, and Nicolas Claxton missed a month. But, they are sitting pretty.
Kevin Durant has continued to dominate, and more importantly, stay healthy. Patty Mills has been a perfect addition, his shooting giving them a significant lift. They have also gotten a massive boost from the return of LaMarcus Aldridge, whose offensive game has given them the scoring they have needed.
It will be on James Harden, though, to try and get his team past the feisty Hawks.
ATL Seeking Fourteenth Win
At 13-12, the Hawks are not where they expected to be. They don’t have their wing players, so the rotations have become a little funky. Onyeka Okongwu is also yet to debut, leaving them without a viable backup center option. They have been hesitant to use Gorgui Dieng for more than a few minutes at a time.
Trae has scored the most points in the NBA and is #2 in total assists. He has been carrying them for long stretches, putting his best foot forward. It is no surprise to see him playing so well after watching him tear up the #1 team in the East during a second-round upset.
This will be a thriller.
At home, Atlanta will hold on to knock off the Nets. Perhaps, this can set them on a new streak.
- Hawks -1
- Over 223.5
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