Atlanta Hawks -11.5 vs New Jersey
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The Eastern Conference is considered the stronger of the two Conferences this season in the NBA as it is loaded with powerful teams like the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks, but we should really add another to that list.
The Atlanta Hawks (2-0) have had a couple of blow out wins to start the season and want to prove they are capable of mixing with the more 'well-known' teams.
The Hawks crushed the New Jersey Nets (1-2) in their opening game of the season and followed that up with an impressive home win against the Washington Wizards, a team they have dominated in recent games. Much of their success has been based around a strong defensive effort, while they have surpassed 100 points in both games this season.
The New Jersey Nets have big plans for their future as they get ready to move to Brooklyn, while they are still seemingly trying to entice Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic to be the face of the franchise. They fought back from a large deficit to win their opening game of the season against Washington, but they have been crushed in their last 2 games and have failed to even reach 80 points.
The absence of Brook Lopez continues to hurt the team, while Deron Williams, one of the best PGs in the NBA, has failed to really perform up to expectations so far.
He admitted he needs to play better, but he does not really have the personnel around him to help the team when he is not on form.
A slow start has hurt the Nets all season, trailing in each game they have played by double-digits after the 1st Quarter, leaving them in a big hole to claw their way out of.
There is also the fact New Jersey are trying to find their identity with new pieces in the rotation and things may just get a little worse before they get better.
I am going to back the Atlanta Hawks to continue their flying start to the season by covering the big spread for the following reasons:
First, the Hawks are on fire at the moment and I think they will come out and look for another simple win before going on their road trip in the next few days.
Second, the Nets have been struggling for points in their last couple of games, failing to break 80 points as a team and they could have a hard time against the Atlanta defence which is playing very well.
Third, Atlanta have dominated their recent games against New Jersey, particularly at home where they have won by at least 11 points in their last 5 games.