NBA Picks for December 27th 2011: Atlanta Hawks vs. New Jersey Nets Pick
Atlanta Hawks vs. New Jersey Nets
NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks -4.5 (December 27th 2011)
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Atlanta is the last team to take the floor in the Eastern Conference this season as all other teams have played at least one game. I think this is an advantage as any extra preparation time this season is a big edge because of the limited preparation time heading in. There have been a few changes to the Hawks roster, notably the loss of Jamal Crawford but most everything else is in place. Atlanta will be without Kirk Hinrich for a while but point guard Jeff Teague is in control to run the floor.
New Jersey is coming off a win last night at Washington and I think it provides a perfect letdown opportunity. The Nets trailed by as many as 21 points before rallying to win thanks to a massive edge on the glass including an 18-8 advantage with offensive rebounds. The Nets shot only 39.5 percent from the floor including 23.1 percent from long range (6-26) and despite being the home opener and only the second game of the season, New Jersey could be mentally drained after last night.
The Hawks fell off last year as their regular season win total dropped by nine victories but despite bowing out in the second round yet again in the playoffs, they were able to finally take out nemesis Orlando in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Whether they can carry that over into this season remains to be seen but this is a confident team. “We have a sign in the locker room, ‘No more excuses,’” coach Larry Drew said. “We’re at a point in our careers now where it’s time to take that next step.”
Getting off to a good start is priority number one for Atlanta and while it lost both meetings in New Jersey last season, the situation is much better here. The Nets closed last season by going 0-7 ATS in their last seven home games while going 2-8 ATS in their final 10 games when playing with no rest. The Hawks were just a game under .500 on the road last season which was their best road record in years so winning on the road is no longer an issue. 3* (501) Atlanta Hawks. Get more NBA picks for December 27th 2011 from Matt Fargo at Touthouse.com.