The Atlanta Hawks look to keep their clean slate in the 2020-21 NBA season. The Hawks are one of the four unbeaten teams in the league after one week. But they will get their first true test of the season when they take on the betting favorites to win the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center.
The Nets looked unstoppable after two games but the team has slowed down in its last two assignments. Brooklyn lost by two points to the Hornets and then with their stars resting, the Nets dropped a five-point assignment in OT to the Grizzlies.
The Hawks are 3-0 for the first time since 2017 and they are one of only four NBA teams who have yet to taste defeat this season. In their last game, the Hawks defeated the Detroit Pistons 128-120 while shooting 47.6% from behind the three-point arc. Trae Young scored 29 points to lead the Hawks and he is averaging 34 points and 7.3 assists per game so far this season.
John Collins is putting up 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1. 7 blocks per game while also shooting 53.8% from the floor. Newcomer Bogdan Bogdanovic is contributing 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while Kevin Huerter is also scoring 13.7 points per outing. Important for the Hawks will be veterans Rajon Rondo and Clint Capela. Rondo had 12 points and 8 assists in his Hawks debut while Capela is 7.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game this year.
The Hawks are the top-scoring team in the league at 124.7 points per game this season. Atlanta is 14th in scoring defense at 112.0 points per game allowed. They are also 8th off the glass at 48.3 boards grabbed per contest. The Hawks are averaging 25.7 assists per game, tied for 12th overall.
The Brooklyn Nets are the betting favorites to win the Eastern Conference and they have the second-best odds to win the 2021 NBA title. And why not? With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving looking good as ever, they have one of the deepest teams in the league. However, coach Steve Nash still has to balance picking up wins and resting KD and Kyrie. In their last game, both sat out against the Grizzlies and Memphis took advantage and won in OT.
Irving leads the Nets at 29.3 points and 6.0 assists per game while shooting a torrid 56% from the field. Durant has been equally impressive at 26.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. The Nets also have Caris LeVert who is putting up 17.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game while leading the second unit. Brooklyn’s support team also has Chris Chiozza, Joe Harris, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarot averaging in double-digit scoring. Jarrett Allen leads the team with 11.8 rebounds per game while veteran DeAndre Jordan is swatting away 2.0 shots per contest.
The Nets are allowing only 104.0 points per game this season while scoring an average of 115.8 points per game. They are 6th in the league in rebounds at 49.0 boards grabbed per contest and are 15th in passing at 24.0 assists per game.
The Hawks are 4-1 SU in their last five games played. Atlanta is 4-1 SU in their last five December games. The Hawks are 3-13 SU in their last 16 games played against the Atlantic Division. The Nets are 2-7 SU in their last nine games played. Brooklyn is 1-4 SU in their last five games played at home, and 1-5 SU in their last six games played against the Eastern Conference. Head to head, the Nets are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games played against the Hawks.
The Hawks are 3-0 to start the season, their best start in four seasons.
Trae Young has been lights out for the Hawks and he’s gotten the needed support from newcomer Bogdan Bogdanovic. Rajon Rondo has added another facet to this team while Clint Capela has been a solid inside presence along with John Collins. With the young ones and young once jelling well, the Hawks have been fun to watch.
Brooklyn has emerged as the betting favorite to win the Eastern Conference this season. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have looked like a devastating one-two punch for the Nets and with the two playing together, they have looked nearly unstoppable. Brooklyn is coming off back to back losses and they need to win this game to get back on track. With a well-rested KD and Kyrie, the Nets should be ready for the Hawks.
I think this is going to be a very good offensive battle. The Hawks have shown they can put up points on the scoreboard but if you put them side by side with this Brooklyn team, the Nets are scary, even minus Dinwiddie. I like the return of KD and Kyrie to be the difference here. Brooklyn’s stars are simply too unstoppable.
Prediction: Brooklyn Nets
Atlanta is 1-2 ATS in three games played this season. The Hawks are 0-2 ATS in their two road games played this season. Brooklyn is 2-4 ATS in their last six games played. The Nets are 4-2 ATS in their last six games as the betting favorite. Head to head, the Nets are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Hawks. Brooklyn is also 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games against the Hawks.
The Hawks have impressed by winning their first three games of the season. However, they have not faced an elite team yet. The Nets may be 2-2 but we know this team is better than that record, especially with KD and Kyrie playing together. Both players rested during their loss to the Grizzlies and should be back and ready here. The Nets have lost two in a row. Steve Nash would prefer they get over the .500 mark again and reestablish themselves as the top dogs in the East. Look for a bounce-back win for the Nets here. I’ll eat the chalk with Brooklyn.
Prediction: Nets -6.5
The total has gone under in two out of the three games played by the Hawks so far. Atlanta has seen the total go under in five out of their last six games played on the road. The over is 15-4 in the Hawks’ last 19 games played against the Eastern Conference. The total has gone under in six out of Brooklyn’s last seven games played. The under is also 6-1 in their last seven December games and 5-1 in their last six Wednesday games. Head to head, the under is 13-6 in the last 19 games played between these two teams.
These teams have combined to score an average of 227.9 points per game in their last 10 meetings, and 229.0 points per game in their previous three head to head meetings. However, please take note that Kevin Durant didn’t play in any of these games. With Durant and Irving leading the offense, the Nets have become an elite offensive team. Both stars are coming off rest days so they should be locked and loaded in this game. The Hawks have relied on their offense to win their first three assignments. Atlanta is scoring an average of 124.7 points per game this season. With both teams having their scorers in this game, it should be a track meet.
Prediction: Over 239.5
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