The Detroit Pistons are looking to keep on a roll on Friday night in the first game of a long road trip through the middle of the month in NBA betting festivities when they take on the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena.
You would like to think that the Pistons are out of the playoff discussion, but another win over the Washington Wizards on Thursday at least keeps them in the discussion. They have now won five out of six games, and if that keeps up over the course of the rest of the season, there is a chance to run down the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks – albeit a small one – to get into the postseason. This isn’t the most talented team in the world, especially if Rodney Stuckey sits this one out once again, but there are definitely some things here to work with. The best big man on the court is likely to be Greg Monroe, who is good for 16.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He doesn’t have a ton of help in the post, though both Jason Maxiell and Jonas Jerebko are both capable rebounders as well. Ben Gordon, Brandon Knight, and Tayshaun Prince are all averaging at least a dozen points per game as well, and these are the men that really have to keep stepping up if the boys from Motown are going to become Eastern Conference contenders once again.
Atlanta has covered three games in a row coming into this one, and it is right in the thick of the fight for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference because of it. The Hawks are level with the Orlando Magic in the Southeast Division, and there is still a real shot that they are going to end up falling anywhere from No. 3 to No. 8 depending upon how things go down the stretch. When you look at the Atlanta roster, it is easy to be underwhelmed. Joe Johnson still doesn’t strike us as the star to lead a team to a title, though his 19.0 points per game can’t be dismissed. Josh Smith is having a good year with Al Horford out of the fold, and he is averaging 18.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Jeff Teague has rounded into a solid guard, limiting the minutes for Kirk Hinrich. Willie Green is the spark off of the bench, though we have also seen others like Tracy McGrady put in solid contributions as well.
The Final Word: The Hawks are a good team, but we just don’t think that they are as good as their record suggests. In the end, we think that this is a heck of a lot of points to be giving to the Pistons, and not only do we think that they are going to stick inside of that number, but we think that they could start this road trip off with an outright upset as well.
Detroit Pistons @ Atlanta Hawks Pick: Detroit Pistons +9
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.