Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks
The Chicago Bulls look to win and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals as they visit the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night for game six. The Bulls are 3-point favorites over the Hawks with n over/under of 179 points.
The Atlanta Hawks have the talent to compete in this series, but their effort is far from consistent. Most recently, the Hawks were a headache for three quarters in Chicago, and then got beaten down in the fourth as the Bulls executed sharply on both ends of the court and the Hawks were plagued by mental errors and poor shot selection. The Hawks will likely need Jamal Crawford to come through in the clutch in the fourth quarter here to have any chance at forcing game seven. Crawford was a ghost on Tuesday night scoring just two points.
The Chicago Bulls can already taste a showdown with the Heat, and so can the NBA’s marketing department. Derrick Rose delivered another classic performance in game five scoring 33 points on the night while attempting 13 foul shots. Perhaps the most important contribution though was that of Taj Gibson, who went 5-5 in the fourth quarter to ice the game while playing outstanding defense. The Bulls bench production was rock solid in the latest meeting and figures to be a propelling force once more if they can replicate the effort on the road.
The Bulls are still an inexperienced ball club in the fact that this team has never closed out a second round series on the road before. I look for Atlanta to prove fiery in the early going and take a substantial lead over the Bulls. I think the Bulls will fight and claw back to make the game respectable but still see the Hawks winning game 6 and forcing a game 7. Certainly take the Hawks plus the 3-points and even take them with the money-line if you feel as confident as I am in this game.
Atlanta Hawks +3 Chicago Bulls