Hawks V.S. Thunder
Its New Years Eve and the Atlanta Hawks are on the road again. Unfortunately for them, the road has not been a friendly place. While the Hawks have been dominant at home, their road record, a paltry 9-8 speaks volumes to the pain of leaving home. Currently they are riding a nine game home (keyword: home) winning streak into Oklahoma City where they will face Kevin Durant and his talented young Thunder squad. The Hawks have lost their last 6 of 8 away from home, and this next matchup could add to that total. Marvin Williams, one of the teams important role players, also may not be available for the game (Day-to-Day) with an injured back.
Currently, the statistics favor a Thunder victory by far. According to data gathered by Accuscore, the Thunder are 74.4% likely to win the matchup, with key numbers showing up in their favor (Hawks are shooting 43.8% overall, whereas the Thunder are forecasted to shoot 45.9, the Thunder hold a distinct rebounding advantage of 45.8 to 39.1, and currently the Thunder commit three fewer turnovers a game than the Hawks.) The one number the Hawks having going for them is the three-point shot, a stat in which they have made 7.1 shots at field goal percentage of 38.3% compared to the Thunders 4.5 made on 32.1% shooting.
The line total is currently (5) OKC and Ive got to put my bet in with Kevin Durant and the Thunder. The Hawks match up terribly with the Thunder, and Mike Bibby will not be able to keep up with Russell Westbrooks agility and determination to drive it to the hole. Nobody can really guard Kevin Durant effectively, and the Thunders second unit, which features James Harden, is much more talented than the Hawks bench. Historically, the Thunder hold a 34-23 record when it comes to home games. The Hawks less than respectable home record, and the fact that the Thunder are coming off a dominant win at New Jersey (114-93) in front of an energized (not to mention sold out) home crowd, will catch up to them. The Thunder will play with more energy and enthusiasm than the Hawks and OKC will beat the spread by at least two points. Book it.
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