Hawks-Wizards Game Four Preview

HAWKS' BACKS AGAINST A WALL...EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE NOT AGAINST A "WALL"

John Wall sat out Saturday's third game of the Eastern Conference series matching the Washington Wizards and the number one seeded Atlanta Hawks. Washington won anyway! And, now Atlanta's backs are against a wall down 2-to-1 in the series...even if they're not facing the best player on the opposing team!

Could Atlanta lose in the Eastern semi's? Can you believe that the question is being asked about BOTH number one seeds right now? Atlanta and Golden State seemed so dominant during the regular season. Playoff basketball is a whole different animal.

To get ready for Game Four of Hawks/Wizards, let's take a look at the last two boxscores...the games played since Wall suffered multiple fractures to his left wrist...

GAME TWO STATS
Atlanta 106, Washington 90
Shooting Pct: Washington 43%, Atlanta 44%
Three-Pointers: Washington 12/22, Atlanta 10/29
Free Throws: Washington 8/14, Atlanta 22/25
Rebounds: Washington 40, Atlanta 44
Turnovers: Washington 16, Atlanta 10
Vegas Line: Atlanta by 6.5, total of 198

Washington hung around for a long time...but ultimately collapsed in the fourth quarter once the game got away from them. The most interesting development in the series so far is that Washington is outshooting Atlanta from three-point land! This was supposed to be the treys of Atlanta vs. the long two's of Washington. Here, even in a loss, Washington made more and had better accuracy. This was a victory earned at the free throw line, as Atlanta was +14 in makes in a game they won by 16. At this moment...it seemed that hope was lost for Washington without Wall because of that fourth quarter collapse. The market sure assumed so by making Atlanta a 4-point road favorite in Game Three...

GAME THREE STATS
Washington 103, Atlanta 101
Shooting Pct: Atlanta 44%, Washington 47%
Three-Pointers: Atlanta 7/23, Washington 10/28
Free Throws: Atlanta 22/29, Washington 19/29
Rebounds: Atlanta 38, Washington 43
Turnovers: Atlanta 10, Washington 13
Vegas Line: Atlanta by 4, total of 196.5

But Washington won anyway! In fact, Washington jumped to a huge lead that completely evaporated down the stretch. Another horrible fourth quarter without Wall! Washington led by 21. Then it was tied with seconds to go. Paul Pierce banked in the game winner to push the Wizards to a series lead. Great drama. Can you score a series upset when you're getting crushed in every fourth quarter without your star guard?!

An update of three-point shooting stats for the series:
Washington: 31 of 75 for 41%
Atlanta: 30 of 90 for 33%

That's one more make with a much better percentage. That being said...moving forward...it's hard to imagine Washington maintaining 41%, while Atlanta is likely to push things up a few percentage points at the very least. Atlanta is still in decent shape considering that and the fourth quarter issues Washington is having without Wall. Win Monday, and the Hawks regain home court and prohibitive favorite status in the series.

Monday's Vegas Line: Atlanta by 4, total of 198.5

Frankly, the market still sees Atlanta as very likely to go through anyway. If they're favored by 4 on the road...and would be again in Game Six if Wall is unable to contribute beyond cheering from the sidelines...we're looking at the Hawks ultimately finding a way to advance.

Is the market wrong?

JIM HURLEY has been working very closely with his full team of experts to get the right read on Monday's Game Four and the rest of the series. The market's been surprisingly out of touch with postseason developments thus far. The quants weren't expecting all the series underdogs to take two of the first three games! Be sure you have an experienced, trusting hand guiding your investments from this point forward!

You can purchase the final word for Monday right here at the website with your credit card (the best bets from this game, Golden State/Memphis, and baseball). If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453 during normal business hours Monday. Be sure to check on combination packages that include basketball, baseball, and this Saturday's Preakness Stakes!

NBA Playoff coverage continues in the NOTEBOOK tomorrow...as we work our way deeper into what's been a fascinating...and potentially STUNNING second round.

Tuesday: Game Five of Chicago/Cleveland
Wednesday: Game Five of Memphis/Golden State
Thursday: Game Six Preview from either Chicago/Cleveland or LAC/Houston
Friday: Game Six Preview from either Washington/Atlanta or Memphis/GS

Come the weekend...we could have some amazing Game Sevens to preview. Or, conceivably, all the pre-series favorites could already be eliminated! Holy Cow!

The quants are in shock, particularly those in the major media who are getting exposed as analytical pretenders. Many of the old school guys are in "see, we told you so" mode...though that could easily be premature given how due the three-point teams are to start making some shots. Who knows what's ahead this week? JIM HURLEY! Sign up now with a PROVEN WINNER!

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