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Cavaliers Look to Go Up 2-0 on Hawks

The NBA Eastern Conference finals best of seven series continue on Friday with Game 2 from Atlanta when the Atlanta Hawks host the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers won Game 1 to take a 1-0 lead in the series and home court advantage.

Atlanta will be feeling the pressure tonight, as they do not want to head to Cleveland for two games down 2-0.

One of the biggest factors that will come into play is the health of DeMarre Carroll a small forward for the Hawks who hurt his knee late in Game 1.

The current line on the game has Atlanta favored by 1 point with the point total sitting on 197.5. The line opened with Cleveland -1 but swung in Atlanta’s favor after just a few hours. However, Cleveland remains a big favorite at 2 to 1 to win the series after opening 6 to 1, while Atlanta is sitting at 9 to 2.

The Cavaliers start of the series was very solid with scoring shared by a number of players. LeBron James finished with a team high 31 points. J.R. Smith hit 8 shots from 3-point territory and finished with 28 points. The game was tight through most of three quarters before the Cavaliers when on a run of 22-4 to put it away.

The 186 total points was well UNDER the posted 199.5 for the game. The UNDER has cashed in 5 of the past 6 games Cleveland has played on the road during the playoffs this season.

Atlanta’s Carroll was injured during the fourth quarter. He had an MRI on Thursday that was negative for any major damage. The team listed his injury as a sprain and he is questionable for the game, which means he will likely play by not be 100%.

The Cavs have their own injury problem with Kyrie Irving not anywhere near 100% due to his foot and knee bothering him. In Game 1 he played just 27 minutes with only 10 points scored.

The Hawks lost Game 1 in their previous series against Washington but rebounded to win Game 2 and hope to do that tonight in Game 2 of the conference finals.

Atlanta is 2-5 against the number in its 7 home playoff games this season.

If Carroll cannot play, the big question is who will guard James. Kent Bazemore stepped in for Carroll after he was injured in Game 1, although he is undersized against James. Paul Milsap is a bigger player but does not have the quickness needed to stay with James.

The Atlanta offense also needs a shot in the arm. Jeff Teague had his own way with the injured Irving, but Milsap hit just 3 of his 11 shots and the entire team hit just 17% from three-point territory.

The play here is the UNDER and the Cavaliers with the points.

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