Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA play-in match on Friday evening. The home side missed the first chance to secure a place in the playoffs but will have another shot. The visitors were successful in their previous game, and they want to continue in the same fashion.
Cleveland’s form is on a decline, and they need to bounce back to enter the post-season. The hosts need to improve their performances, and they have a chance to do that in front of their fans. On the other hand, Atlanta has been pretty confident lately. The away side wants to pick up where it left off and secure a playoffs ticket.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Can they improve their game?
The Cavaliers didn’t snatch the first opportunity to get to the post-season after losing to the Brooklyn Nets 115-108 in their most recent match. Although Darius Garland produced 34 points, five assists, two steals, and a rebound, they didn’t have a solution for Kyrie Irving, who led the Nets to the victory. Nevertheless, Cleveland has another chance to enter the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks. On the other hand, the hosts should start playing much better, as they cannot be happy with their current form. The Cavaliers booked only three wins in the previous 12 games, and they clearly need to improve.
Darius Garland has been the Cavaliers’ most productive player during the regular season, with 21.7 points, 8.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per contest. Jarrett Allen and Collin Sexton average 16+ pts per game, while Evan Mobley contributes with 15 points per match and tops the rebounds and blocks charts with 8.3 and 1.7, respectively. Five other players are producing a double-digit number of points per game for Cleveland. Regarding the selection issues, Jarrett Allen is the only player that could be out of the contest.
Expected Line-Up: Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley, Moses Brown
with best odds
Atlanta Hawks – Will they celebrate another win?
The Hawks have significantly raised the level of their performances over the past few weeks. They suffered just two defeats in the previous ten games, and that streak saw them being competitive for the playoffs spot. Atlanta needed to beat the Hornets to stay in the game for the post-season ticket, and they produced an excellent display. They celebrated a convincing 132-103 win in front of the home fans, thanks to a very good 52.1 field goal percentage. Trae Young was their key player again, producing 24 points, 11 assists, three rebounds, one steal, and a block for 34 minutes on the court.
Young has led the Hawks’ offense throughout the regular season with 28.4 points on average, followed by a team-high 9.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds. John Collins has contributed with 16.2 pts, 7.8 rebs, and a block per contest, while Bogdan Bogdanovic averages 15.1 points, four rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.1 steal. Clint Capela dominates the paint for Atlanta, producing 11.9 rebs per match, followed by 11.1 points. On the other hand, John Collins and Lou Williams won’t make appearances in this game, while Bogdan Bogdanovic is questionable.
Expected Line-Up: Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, Danilo Gallinari, Clint Capela
Expert Pick #1 – Atlanta Hawks -2 @-110
Atlanta has been in a much better momentum, and I expect them to continue in the same fashion. Although they play away from home, the Hawks should seal their playoffs ticket by winning and covering the number. Therefore, I’ll back them as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 223 @-110
Cleveland’s most recent games have been very efficient, and 11 of their last 15 went over the margin. Since Atlanta has also been pretty productive, I believe this game can go over a 223 margin. That’s why I’ll take the Over as my second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Atlanta Hawks Over 112.5 @-110
The Hawks have been on fire in the last two matches, producing 130+ points in each of them. They could pick up where they left off to score more than 112 pts in this one. It’s going to be my third pick at the same odds as the first two.