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Hawks Bulls Betting – Chicago Is A Huge Favorite Over Atlanta

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/29/2011 2:15:27 PM
hawks bulls betting

There was perhaps some question as to the balance of power in this Eastern Conference semifinal series between Chicago and Atlanta… until Thursday night.

NBA Betting Overview: (5) Atlanta Hawks vs. (1) Chicago Bulls

Pundits throughout the sports betting community were not about to pick the Atlanta Hawks to upset the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the NBA postseason. Heck, the professional basketball world felt that Orlando would beat Atlanta in round one and set up a confrontation between Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It’s true that Atlanta has been underestimated this season. New coach Larry Drew has squeezed a lot more out of his team than a lot of people appreciate. The Hawks have a flinty, feisty edge about them this year. They’re still not a terribly distinguished offensive team; they settle for too many jumpers and still lack the sound ball movement of upper-tier offenses. They’re not particularly powerful near the rim and they don’t have an imposing big man who can take charge within six feet of the basket. Nevertheless, it’s instructive to note that Atlanta’s defense doesn’t suffer anymore as a result of its offense. It’s easy for basketball players and teams to allow offensive frustrations to drag down their defensive effort at the other end of the floor. The Hawks have addressed this issue, and that’s why they were able to fight past Orlando in the first round. Even when they couldn’t hit the side of a barn, the Hawks defended. Atlanta shot poorly in the series, including 39 percent from the field in Game 6 on Thursday, but the fifth seed in the East was able to make Orlando shoot even worse from the floor. That’s why the Hawks find themselves in round two for the second straight season. This is a team worthy of respect, and that’s a new reality for the Atlanta franchise.

However, something happened on Thursday night at the end of Game 6 which MLB baseball betting experts know is important in the larger scheme of things. Kirk Hinrich, acquired this past season, injured himself while taking a tumble. Hinrich did not look like a player who is going to be healthy enough to play at full speed for extended minutes in this series against the Bulls, his former team. Hinrich was the man who took the ball hard to the basket and provided a lot of rugged perimeter defense for the Hawks. In many ways, Hinrich was the “glue guy” who gave Atlanta a lot of its newfound resilience and grit. Without this key cog, Atlanta is going to have a very difficult time defending Rose, the leader of the NBA Most Valuable Player race, and Luol Deng, a dangerous three-point shooter. Atlanta is going to be hard pressed to defend Chicago at all points on the floor, and since the Hawks’ backcourt – Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford – will have to use so much energy on defense, Atlanta’s not likely to have the depth or the fresh legs it needs to stay with the Bulls over seven games. This has the feel of a five-game series, whereas a healthy Kirk Hinrich probably would have been able to give Atlanta enough reason to expect a longer best-of-seven battle. Take Chicago in five games, because the loss of Hinrich really matters.

Atlanta Chicago Series Betting Pick: Chicago in five games.

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