Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks Preview: Will the Hawks show up in a must-win Game 3?
“Game 3 in the 404. #BelieveAtlanta”- @ATLHawks
On Friday night, the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks face off in an ever-so-important Game 3. With the Heat leading the series 2-0, the Hawks have their backs against the wall heading home for the next two games. Ideally, the Hawks will take care of their homecourt on Friday and Sunday and tie this series up before heading back to Miami.
Miami Heat Preview
The Miami Heat earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference despite having many injury issues.
Miami’s depth has played a huge factor so far. Led by Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo, the Heat have jumped out to a commanding 2-0 series lead. The sharpshooting duo of Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro has given the Heat solid scoring options off the bench.
Just two years ago, the Heat found themselves in the NBA Finals against the LA Lakers. Many of the key contributors from that playoff run are still on the floor for Miami this season. Coach Erik Spoelstra has plenty of experience leading playoff runs himself. He coached the LeBron James-led Heat to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances that led to two championship banners.
“Best 2-way player in the game”- @MiamiHEAT
Atlanta Hawks Preview
The Atlanta Hawks dug themselves into a hole to begin the series. With star Trae Young being the Heat defense’s main focus, Atlanta needs the role players to step up and help Young get some softer defense.
The Hawks’ struggles have stemmed from their poor 3-point shooting. Atlanta has failed to shoot above 30% from deep in the first two games.The Hawks need to improve on their shooting in order to make this a competitive series.
The injury to center Clint Capela has also been a big factor. Capela’s 11.9 rebounds per game have been missed as well as his interior rim protection.
Atlanta has a lot of obstacles to overcome to get back into this series, but you just can’t count Ice Trae out of any situation.
LEAN: Miami Heat ML (-120)
After going back and forth on this game for the last 24 hours, the eventual consensus was a lean on the Heat’s moneyline. The Hawks have won 20 of their last 23 games in Atlanta, but the Heat just have a deeper, more experienced team. Look for Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler to try to take advantage of the absence of Capela and work on getting inside the paint for easy buckets.