Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers – Bakers Life Fieldhouse at 00:00
Some more NBA action tonight as the Atlanta Hawks roll into Indiana to face the Pacers at Midnight UK time. The Hawks have been one of the success stories of the 2015/16 season so far jumping out to a 20-12 record. They have won their last 6 straight (currently the longest active streak in the NBA), and continue to use their aggressive turnover abilities to good effect.
The Hawks are currently the only team in the NBA to average more than 20 points off turnovers and when you rank third in forced turnovers in the league, this can spell disaster for their opposition.
Atlanta had to do it the hard way on Boxing Day coming back from 15 points down before a wild turnaround saw them finish 19 point victors. Paul Millsap continues to show his all round effectiveness leading the Hawks on both points scored and rebounds. Against the Knicks he had an all round stellar effort with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Life gets easy when you have a guy that can do it all.
The Pacers aren’t exactly clicking at present. Currently 17-12 for the season, this has been dinted somewhat by a current 5-7 run including defeats to the likes of the Kings, the Blazers and the Grizzlies, all sitting at .500 or below. The key to the Pacers winning is in their defence. When opposing teams are held to below 90 points, they win (9-0 record in the trend). Allow more than 90 and their record slumps to 8-12.
Forward Paul George is a high point for the Pacers. After spending nearly all of last season on the sidelines, George has returned to form landing Eastern Conference player of the month for November. He will need to be on prime form to subdue a hot Hawks outfit.
When you consider the Hawks have put up 100 points in each of their last 6 outings, it’s hard to see how the Pacers are going to be able to keep them below that magical 90 point mark.
The Hawks have now won the last 4 match ups against the Pacers and despite Indiana bringing a strong home record of 10-4 into the game, the Hawks being outsiders and therefore receiving points looks to be the way to play here.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Atlanta +3.5 at 1.95
Prices correct at time of writing.
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