Dallas Mavericks (37-21 SU 24-34 ATS) vs. Atlanta Hawks (36-20 SU 34-23 ATS) Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA 7 PM EST Friday February 26, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Hawks -3.5 / Mavericks +3.5
Man, things could not have worked out better for the Mavericks after they traded for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson, as they have won 5 straight including beating the defending champion Lakers in their last game. Even though there is still a lot of basketball to play it looks as if the Mavs may be a legit threat in the West.
The Hawks are one of the better teams at home this season and they have won 2 in a row and are 6-4 in their last 10 games. Atlanta is tied with Boston in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.
This season the Hawks are 22-6 at home and the Mavericks are 18-12 on the road.
The Hawks have won 6 of their last 7 home games.
Caron Butler (16.7 ppg) was the big name in the trade for the Mavs, but he may not play tonight after a negative reaction from medication.
Dallas is winning because of their newfound defense, as they have not given up more that 100 points in 6 straight games and since they pulled the trigger on the trade they have held opponents to 43.6% shooting.
Maybe the main reason that the Mavs have been playing great D is the play of C Brendan Haywood (9.9 ppg 10.7 ppg). He has been a defensive stopper in the middle and in 2 games against the Hawks this season he has averaged 16 ppg and 9.5 rpg.
Atlanta is a high scoring team ranking 9th in the league in ppg and while they do have 4 starters averaging in double figures led by Joe Johnson (21.7 ppg) they are thin on the inside. C Al Horford (13.8 ppg 9.4 rpg) is their only real stud in the paint and he will need help defending Haywood, especially on the boards.
The Hawks are very athletic and can get out and run and the Mavs have to keep up with them and try to make this more of a half court game.
The Mavs had a great win in their last game beating the L.A. Lakers 101-96
on Wednesday night. The high scorer for Dallas in the game was Dirk
Nowitzki going for 31 points on 10/19 shooting and he also grabbed
9 boards. For the game the Mavs shot 35/80 for a FG% of 43.8%. On defense
the Mavs allowed the Lakers to shoot 38/78 from the floor for a FG% of 48.7%.
The Hawks also won on Wednesday night beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-92. The high scorer for Atlanta in the game was Josh Smith going for 27 points on 9/13 shooting and he also grabbed 10 boards. The Hawks did not have the best shooting game going 33/81 from the floor for a FG% of only 40.7%. On D the Hawks allowed the T-Wolves to shoot 36/79 for a FG% of 45.6%.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Hawks rank 7th (94.05) and the Mavs rank 8th (93.20).
Dallas is 6-16 ATS in their last 22 games, 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games against teams with a winning record, and is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog.
Dallas has an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 games against teams with a winning record and has an Under record of 5-2 in their last 7 road games against teams with a winning home record.
Atlanta is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5 and is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. win.
Atlanta has an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 games against teams with a winning record and has an Under record of 8-3 in their last 11 games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5.
In the last 4 meetings between these 2 teams the total has gone Under and the Mavs are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against the Hawks.
On the injury front neither team is reporting any significant injuries.
Jason’s Pick: The Mavs now have a real legit C in Haywood and they are playing with a ton of confidence. Even though the Hawks are playing well, Dallas is on a roll and I think they will come out on fire and win this game. Take the Mavs and the points, as they will win their 6th straight game tonight.