Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder will meet at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma for their 2nd match-up in this season.
Last time these two teams met each other, Oklahoma City Thunder walked away as a winner, but only by 3 points (99:102). The game was close till 3rd quarter, when Hawks let down their guard and gave up 28 points, whereas only scored 15 of their own. Last quarter was great to watch, as Hawks tried their best to close the margin of 14 points. They got close to doing so, but just failed short of 3 points in the end. The best scorer of the match was Westbrook with 32 points, followed by Millsap (24 points).
Looking at Oklahoma recent form, they won their latest fixture against Suns (114:101) and with that ended their 2 game losing streak. This was their 2nd win in the last 5 games, which is quite bad, as they held a 6 game winning streak prior to defeat to Houston Rockets (99:102) on 10th of December. In the match against Suns, Thunder accumulated their lead in first 3 quarters of the match and 19 point deficit was just too much for Suns to come back from. Home side shot 50.6% from the field with 13 turnovers and 12 steals. On the other hand Suns shot 43.3% from the field with 16 turnovers and 5 steals. If we draw a line, Oklahoma was clearly a better team from the start. The best scorer of the match was Booker with 31 points, followed by Westbrook with 26 points
Atlanta Hawks are coming from a defeat against Hornets (99:107) in hopes to bounce back with a win tonight. Looking at Hawks performance in past month, they had a tough end of November with 7 consecutive losses. With such a bad record there is only one way to go, and that is up. Hawks managed to do so and now have 3 wins in the last 5 games played, which is not exceptionally great but surely a huge improvement. Looking at the match against Hornets, Hawks did not perform up to par in the 2nd quarter as they let their opponents score 31 points, whereas Hawks only scored 20. If they had not perform so badly a win would be quite possible. All in all the FG% was close (Hawks 46.5%, Hornets 48.9%). The best scorer of the match was Hardaway (21 points), with Millsap closely behind with 20.
Verdict & Prediction
The promising fact for Hawks before this match is that they won 2 of their last away games against Bucks (110:114) and Raptors (121:125). Those two wins are only wins out of last 7 away games, but morale boost after terrible record surely is present. Thunder on the other side hold 2 consecutive victories at home stadium. So comparing forms of these two teams they seem to come off as equally strong going into the next match, but my money is on Hawks. Why? On one side we have got a team whose performance is dropping (Thunder) and on the other side a team that is improving (Hawks). As mentioned before, Hawks improved a lot from the past month and a win over Raptors on Saturday (121:125) is in my eyes a sign of a good things to come. Adding 2.5 points advantage to the away side should be enough for a winning pick.
Prediction: Atlanta Hawks +2.5
Odds: 1.86 SBOBET