The Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers go at it tonight on ESPN, representing two of the best teams in basketball. The Hawks have stepped up against just about every top opponent this season, aside from Cleveland. The Utah Jazz are climbing positions in the West, and they are looking for a 2-seed. A win over the Lake-show would bring that closer to a reality and give them a nice confidence boost moving forward, but can they win on the road in L.A.?
Atlanta Hawks @ Cleveland Cavaliers (-5.5) (4-2: 8:00 PM ET – ESPN): It’s hard for me to go against the curve here, so I’m not going to. The Hawks have been ousted by the Cavs 8 straight times headed into Friday’s double header on ESPN. 8 in a row. How man times in those 8 games have the Hawks and Cavs been seperated by fewer than 5 points? Once. March 1st of 2009 – more than a year ago. There are numbers that mean nothing, and there are trends to pay attention too. I’d say 8 in a row is something to look at. I’ll take the Cavs at home.
Utah Jazz @ LA Lakers (-4.5) (4-2: 10:30 PM ET): The Jazz have won 8 of their last 10 games and they’ve been solid during the second half of the season, climbing all the way to home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. But in their last 20 games they’ve only beaten two teams with winning records, Boston and Phoenix. The Lakers have won 4 of the last 5 against Utah. The Lakers have been playing pretty ugly basketball of late, but I think they turn it around on Friday Night. I like them to cover at home.