Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Atlanta Hawks (21-11 22-10 ATS) vs. Miami Heat (16-15 15-16 ATS) American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL 7:30 PM EST Monday January 4, 2010 on NBA TV
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Hawks -1.5 / Heat +1.5
Over/Under: 195.5

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In a match up tonight of two struggling teams the Miami Heat host the Atlanta Hawks. Both of these teams have lost 3 games in a row and both are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Hawks are in 2nd place in the Southeast Division trailing the Orlando Magic by 2.5 games while the Heat are in 3rd place in the division trailing the Magic by 7 games.

Neither team is playing any defense in their recent struggles and the Heat are really having trouble on offense only scoring just over 88 points in their 3-game skid. The Heat really need Dwayne Wade to score, as when he does not score at least 30 points the heat are 10-13. In the first meeting between the Heat and the Hawks this season Wade was held to 15 points and the Hawks won by 15 points.

This season Miami is 10-9 at home and Atlanta is 9-7 on the road.

In their last game the Heat lost to the Charlotte Bobcats 107-97 on Saturday. The high scorer for the Hawks in that game was Dwayne Wade going for 29 points on 9/19 shooting and he also dished out 11 assists in the game. For the game the Heat shot 36/78 for a FG% of 46.2%. On defense the Heat allowed the Bobcats to shoot 35/67 for a FG% of 52.2%.

The Hawks lost to the New York Knicks 112-108 in OT on Friday night, as the Knicks’ Nate Robinson, who had not played in 14 games, blew up for 41 points. The high scorer for the Hawks in that game was Joe Johnson going for 28 points on 12/30 shooting. For the game the Hawks shot 46/100 from the floor for a FG% of 46%. On defense the Hawks allowed the Knicks to shoot 45/88 for a FG% of 51.1%.

This season the Hawks rank 5th in scoring (104.9 ppg) and the Heat rank 23rd (96.8 ppg). On defense the Heat rank 9th in points allowed (96.7 ppg) and the Hawks rank 14th (98.2 ppg). Both teams are pretty even on the boards, as the Hawks have a rebounding differential of +0.5 rpg and the Heat are at -0.4 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Hawks rank 5th (98.82) and the Heat rank 14th (90.12).

Atlanta is 4-0-2 ATS in their last 6 Monday games, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game, and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on the road.

Miami is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest, and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 home games.

The match up of the shooting guards tonight is a sweet one with Joe Johnson (21.8 ppg) facing Dwayne Wade (26.4 ppg). Wade is the key to the Heat’s success and the Hawks will key on him while Johnson is just one of the scoring options the Hawks have. Both players will have a big scoring game tonight, especially Wade.

Al Horford (14 ppg 10.1 rpg) will have a big game on the boards tonight, as Heat C Jermaine O’Neal may not play because of a hip floxor / groin injury.

The Heat are 4-0 when scoring at least 95 points against the Hawks since the start of the 2008-09 season, including the playoffs, and they are 0-8 when they do not hit that mark.

On the injury front neither team is reporting any significant injuries.

Jason’s Pick: Both teams are really struggling, but the Hawks need to win to keep pace with the Orlando Magic in the Southeast Division. I think Wade will have a big game, but he will not get much help on offense. If O’Neal can’t go the Heat will not have much inside presence and that will really hurt them. The Hawks will win this game and snap their losing streak while Miami’s losing streak will be extended to 4 games. Take the Hawks and the points in Miami tonight.