With a record of 18-28 you can say that the Hawks have played a solid basketball and been better than expected. But coming from a b2b game and facing the Lakers (29-19) will be a tough nut to crack. Keep in mind that even Kobeless LA beat the Hawks easily and won their first meeting 106-95, while having a safe lead midway through the last quarter.
The Hawks beat the Nets yesterday in a close game mainly thanks to JJ`s 37 points and 8 assists. Bad thing is that the game went to the OT and Joe Johnson played 50 minutes. With a flight from New Jersey back to home that can`t feel good tonight for neither of the Hawks players. Joe Johnson will also find it a bit harder than usual to score against Kobe Bryant`s D. While Kobe Bryant scored 37 and 39 points in 2 meetings last year, Joe Johnson netted 26 and 20 points in those games.
The Lakers are maybe a bit underestimated here due to their recent up and down games. But they have their reasons as Odom, Walton and Brown have been out with injuries, Kobe suspended for one game (unfairly we think) and they have had relatively tough schedule. Odom is backing the lineup and seems to be getting better with every game. Brown and Walton are listed as doubtful and will be most probably out.
The Lakers lost to the Pacers 84-95 as Bryant had one of his few off shooting nights, but a furious Kobe had his point to prove in the next game and the Lakers killed the Wizards 118-102, while Kobe scored 39 points. There is a different quality between those two teams. Kobe will do a good job at both ends and we expect the Lakers to take advantage of the Hawks fatigue tonight covering the spread. Medium stakes!
read other analyses from www.nbatip.com