Atlanta host Cleveland in a potential Eastern Conference playoff semi-final preview on Sunday.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks won in Cleveland earlier this week and after a horrendous run, losing seven in a row in the latter half of last month, they seem to have rediscovered their form ahead of their own postseason bid.
The Cavs have been in mixed form for a while now and they’re under real pressure from Boston Celtics for top spot in the East. On the road they’ve managed just four wins in their last 10 games and in truth they don’t look like the team that claimed the Championship last year.
Kyrie Irving is still struggling with a knee injury, LeBron James has played the second-highest minutes per game in the league and if Cleveland are to repeat last season’s success they need a fit and healthy team. As such both Irving and James could see their involvement limited in the remaining regular season games, despite the fact Boston can still catch them.
Player-for-player the Cavs should beat the Hawks every time they meet but given the lethargic performances put in by the champions recently an Atlanta win is by no means out of the question. Whether or not the Cavs have dropped off with one eye on the playoffs remains to be seen, but Atlanta seem to have picked up as they bid to hold on to fifth spot and the value is with the hosts this evening.
The Hawks head into this clash on the back of consecutive wins over the Celtics and the Cavs – despite resting a few key men themselves in Cleveland - and are worth backing at odds against in the money line.