Eastern Conference Semifinals Game #4: Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards

2015 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game #4
#1 Atlanta Hawks at #5 Washington Wizards
Wizards Lead Best of Seven Series  2-1
Verizon Center – Washington, DC
Monday, May 11, 2015, 7:05 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Atlanta -3 1/2
Current Line: Atlanta -4 1/2 (-105)
Opening Total: 199
Current Total: 197 1/2
Opening Money Line: Hawks -180 / Wizards +155
Current Money Line: Hawks -190 / Wizards +165

The Hawks look to even the series against the Wizards Monday night in Washington.
The Hawks look to even the series against the Wizards Monday night in Washington.

The Washington Wizards were without All-Star point guard John Wall Saturday. Wall missed a second straight game with a broken hand in the Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Atlanta Hawks.He is also doubtful for game four Monday night. Still, Washington leads the series 2-1 and looks to put Atlanta on the brink of elimination with a win.

The two teams split both games in Atlanta, and game three was in Washington. The Wizards stole home court with a 104-98 win in game one and the Hawks tied the series with a 106-90 win in game two.

Many thought game three would be similar to game two without Wall. However, Washington dominated from the start, taking a 10 point lead at the end of the first, and expanding it to 13 by halftime. At the end of the third, the Wizards led by 19. They would lead by 21 with 10 minutes to go in the fourth, and led by 20 with under 8 minutes to go in the fourth.

Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer removed his starters and played a smaller line-up of reserves who hadn’t played together much. Whether the Wizards got complacent or the Atlanta reserves energized the team isn’t important. The Hawks would rally with a 17-0 run to trail by 3 with three and a half minutes to go. The Hawks tied it with 14.1seconds left on a three pointer from Mike Muscala. Washington inbounded the ball and held for the last shot. Veteran Paul Pierce hit a 21 foot bank shot at the buzzer to give the Wizards a 103-101 win. It was one of three playoff games over the weekend that ended with a buzzer beater along with  Derrick Rose in game three against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron James in game four of the same series.

Three players scored 17 points for the Wizards, Nene Hilario, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter, Jr. Hilario had 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Beal also had 8 assists and 3 rebounds. Porter had 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Marcin Gortat had 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. Pierce had 13 points and 7 rebounds.

Atlanta guard Jeff Teague had 18 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Dennis Schroder also scored 18 points and added 5 assists and 2 rebounds. DeMarre Carroll scored 14 points and added 4 rebounds and 2 steals. He had scored 20 points or more for six straight playoff games before game three. Al Horford had 12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks.

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Atlanta is coached by Mike Budenholzer, who was named NBA coach of the year. The Hawks are 53-36-2 this season and the total is 45-47. Atlanta was a 4 point favorite in game three and the total was 196.5.

Washington is coached by Randy Wittman. Washington is 39-47-3 ATS and the total is 42-45-2.

Atlanta is outscoring teams 103-97 this season. The Hawks are in the top ten in both categories. Atlanta is shooting 46.6% from the field and 38% from 3 point range. The Hawks are #4 or better in both categories. Atlanta is #5 in free throw shooting at 77.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 43.9% from the field and 34.1% from 3 point range. The Hawks are #7 or better in both categories. Atlanta averages 40.6 rebounds and opponents average 43.6 per game. The Hawks are #28 in rebounding. Atlanta averages 25.7 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 9.1 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.

In the playoffs, forward DeMarre Carroll averages 17.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists  per game. Paul Millsap averages 15.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Kyle Korver averages 15.5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Jeff Teague averages 14.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 2 steals per game. Al Horford averages 14.3 points, 10 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game. Horford suffered a dislocated pinky in game one of the Brooklyn and has been playing with his hand taped but is probable.  Dennis Schroder averages 9.3 points and 3.3 assists. Thabo Sefolosha is out for the season with a broken leg.

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Washington is outscoring teams 99-97 this season. The Wizards are #8 in points allowed in the NBA. Washington is shooting 46.5% from the field and 36% from 3 point range. The Wizards are in the top ten in both categories. Washington makes 74.2% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 43.3% from the field and 34.4% from 3 point range. Washington is #2 in field goal defense. The Wizards average 44.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 41.5 per game. Washington is in the top 10 in both categories. The Wizards average 24.1 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 7.4 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.

In the playoffs, Bradley Beal averages 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.5 steals per game. John Wall averages 17.3 points, 4 rebounds, 12.5 assists and 1 block per game. Marcin Gortat averages 17.3 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks per game.  Paul Pierce averages 15.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

Atlanta is 6-2 ATS after allowing 100 points or more, 20-7 in Monday games, 29-14-1 on one day rest, 2-5 after failing to cover, 3-8-1 overall and against Eastern Conference teams, 2-6-1 against teams with winning records, 1-4-1 in road games, 3-13-1 in second round games, and 0-4-1 against teams with winning records. The over is 6-1 in this series recently including 4-1 in Washington. The Hawks are 5-2-1 ATS in this series recently.

Washington is 4-0-2 ATS at home, 3-0-1 against teams with winning road records, 8-1-1 against teams with winning records, overall and against Eastern Conference teams, 6-1 after a cover, 5-1 after a straight up win, and after scoring 100 points or more, 9-3 in Monday games, 8-18-2 against Southeast teams, 2-7-2 on one day rest, and 6-23-2 after allowing 100 points or more. The home team is 4-1-1 ATS in this series recently. The underdog is 9-4-3 ATS. The Wizards are 5-2-2 ATS at home against the Hawks recently.

Atlanta hasn’t looked like the team that won 60 game this season during the playoffs. This is virtual must win game for the Hawks. I think they respond and pull out a close game to make this a best of three series.

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