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Division Rivals Meet As Wizards Host Hawks

An improved Washington Wizards side still has plenty to prove.

An improved Washington Wizards side still has plenty to prove.

The Washington Wizards host the Atlanta Hawks in a showdown between Southeast Division rivals Tuesday night.

Tip-off at Verizon Center in Washington is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.

With both teams currently placed in the Eastern Conference’s top eight, the matchup – a first of four between the sides this season – will provide an early chance to see how both teams are fixed for the season ahead.

The Story So Far

After years of mediocrity, Washington (9-3, 5-1 home) has evolved into a well-rounded team and right now looks like one of the East’s top contenders. Looks could prove deceiving though.

The Wizards have taken advantage of a soft Eastern Conference through the early part of the season, boosting its record against sub-.500 teams. Against legitimate competition things have been different.

Randy Wittman’s side currently sports losses to the Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Dallas Mavericks, all teams with winning records. In order to prove they can contend, the Wizards need to beat contenders.

The weekend saw the Wizards do just that. On Friday night the side beat the Cleveland Cavaliers at Verizon Center, before hitting the road Saturday and emerging with a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Now they’ll look to make it three in a row with a visit from the Hawks.

Atlanta (6-5, 1-4 road) has yet to show its true colors, continuing to wallow in near-.500 obscurity.

Mike Budenholzer’s side has just one quality win to its name, a home victory over Miami on November 14. Like the Wizards, the Hawks have come up short against winning opponents, losing to the Raptors, Cavs and San Antonio Spurs. A home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last Tuesday marked a low point on the season so far.

Right now, the Hawks need to earn quality wins, starting with Tuesday’s game in D.C. A win over the Wizards would double as a vital divisional success, which could prove to be the difference in about five months’ time.

Impact Players

Point guard John Wall is proving to the catalyst for Washington’s offense, averaging a near double-double (19.4ppg, 9.1apg). The return of Bradley Beal has been big also. In three games the shooting guards has averaged 16.7 points off the bench.

Veteran forward Paul Pierce has proven to be a solid addition to the team, tallying 13.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 27.5 minutes per game. He netted 25 points and pulled down 10 boards in Saturday’s win over the Bucks.

With five regular players averaging double digits, Atlanta’s offense relies on a team effort. Forward Paul Millsap has emerged as the spearhead of that offense, averaging 17.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest.

Point guard Jeff Teague adds 16.9 points and 6.9 assists per game, while Al Horford, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll are scoring 10-plus points. Korver is averaging better than 50 percent from beyond the arc.


Atlanta leads the all-time head-to-head series 145-137.

The Wizards are 4-1 in their last five games against the Hawks.

During the 2013-14 season, Washington took the season series 3-1, marking the first time since the 2006-07 campaign the Wizards won the season series. The Wizards won both games played in the capital a season ago.

Injury Report

Washington forwards Nene Hilario (foot) and Otto Porter (hamstring) are both listed as day-to-day, while Martell Webster (back) is out indefinitely.

Atlanta has no injuries to report.

Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks will look to earn a quality win against Washington.

Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks will look to earn a quality win against Washington.

Betting Report

Below you’ll find Betting Sports’ breakdown of odds and betting trends.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards odds for 11/25/2014

Betting lines for this game have been slow to be released. At the time of publication, only BetOnline had issued lines for the game. Use the link above to get the latest odds once they’re available.

Moneyline: We’re still awaiting the moneyline on this one but here’s some food for thought.

Washington is 9-2 against Eastern Conference opponents and 2-1 within the division. Atlanta is 5-3 against the East and 1-1 in Southeast Division play.

Washington has won four of the last five head-to-head meetings.

Spread: BetOnline has the opening spread at 6.5 in favor of the Wizards.

Washington (6-6-0 ATS) has fared marginally better than Atlanta (5-6-0 ATS) against the spread this season.

Washington is 2-4-0 ATS at home but 5-3-0 ATS when playing as the favorite.

Atlanta is 2-3-0 ATS on the road and 1-3-0 ATS as an underdog.

Washington is 6-1-2 ATS in its last nine meetings with Atlanta, and 3-1-1 ATS when hosting the Hawks during that stretch.

Total: The total opened at 199.5.

Both Washington (8-4-0 O/U) and Atlanta (7-4-0 O/U) have favored the over through the early part of this season.

The total has gone over in six of the last eight head-to-head meetings, but under in five of Atlanta’s last seven trips to the capital.


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