Milwaukee Bucks (46-36 SU, 53-28-1 ATS) vs. Atlanta Hawks (53-29 SU, 48-34 ATS), 8:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, April 28, 2010, Philips Arena, Atlanta, Ga. TV: TNT
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bucks +8.5/Hawks -8.5
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The Atlanta Hawks appeared to be cruising towards an easy victory in their first round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks had a 2-0 series lead after earning two home victories over the Bucks, but Milwaukee turned it around and won two games of its own at home to tie the series up at 2-2. Now, the series moves back to Atlanta for the all important Game 5, which far more often than not decides the winner of the series.
The Hawks won Game 1, 102-92, and then won Game 2 in Atlanta as well, 96-86. In Game 3 in Milwaukee, the Bucks won, 107-89, and then they won Game 4 to tie the series up, 111-104. In their Game 4 victory, the Bucks shot 55 percent from the field and 7-for-18 from 3-point range and held the Hawks to 48 percent shooting from the field and allowed them to shoot 10-for-19 on 3-pointers. Both teams shot very well at the free throw line, as the Bucks were 28-for-32 and the Hawks were 18-for-21. The two teams were even in rebounding and the Bucks turned the ball over five more times than the Hawks.
Brandon Jennings, John Salmons and Carlos Delfino contributed a balanced offensive effort for the Bucks in Game 4. Jennings scored 23 points and added six assists, and Salmons and Delfino each scored 22 points. Delfino shot a remarkable 6-for-9 on 3-pointers. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 10 points and Ersan Ilysaova scored 11 points off the bench. The Hawks were led by Joe Johnson, who had 29 points and nine assists. Josh Smith had 20 points and nine rebounds, Mike Bibby scored 15 points, and Jamal Crawford, who was recently named the 2010 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, scored 21 points off the bench.
In the series, Jennings is scoring 19.8 points per game. In the two wins, he’s had at least five assists in both games, while he only had a combined five assists in the two losses. Jennings only has a total of two assists in the last three games. Salmons is averaging 20.3 points per game in the series to lead the Bucks. He is 18-for-18 at the free throw line in the four games, but is just 1-for-12 on 3-pointers. Salmons has shot better than 66 percent from the field in both wins, but less than 44 percent from the field in both losses. Ilyasova has been very consistent, scoring at least 11 points in all four games, and exactly 11 points in three of the four games. He has also made exactly one 3-pointer in each game and has shot at least 50 percent from the field in all four games and exactly 50 percent in three of the four games.
Johnson has been carrying the Hawks in this series, averaging 25.8 points per game and scoring at least 22 points in every game. Smith is averaging 15 points and 11.3 rebounds per game in the series. Despite shooting 2-for-12 from the field in Game 3, Smith is still shooting 55 percent for the series. He is shooting 69 percent from the field in the other three games. Crawford is averaging 13.5 points per game in the series, Mike Bibby is averaging 12.5 points per game, and Al Horford is averaging 13.3 points per game.
The Bucks are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games as underdog, 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 road games, 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games as an underdog, and 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 playoff games as an underdog. The Hawks are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as a favorite, 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games, 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. The over is 11-1 in the last 12 meetings between these teams and 5-1 in the last six meetings in Atlanta. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these teams. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams. The Bucks are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games in Atlanta.
Ryno’s Pick: I expect Atlanta to win the game straight up, but for the Bucks to cover the +9 point spread.