Bulls-Hawks Game 3 Spread - 2011 NBA Playoffs

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
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Bulls-Hawks Game 3 Spread - 2011 NBA Playoffs

The Bulls-Hawks Game 3 spread was listed at -2.5 in favor of Chicago Friday afternoon at Sportsbook.comwith a total of 178. 

The Atlanta Hawks play their franchise’s most significant home game since 1997 when they host Chicago in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference Semifinal series tied at 1-1. In that ’97 playoff season, the Bulls came into Atlanta tied 1-1, but proceeded to win the next three games as Michael Jordan eventually won his fifth NBA title.

Atlanta has been able to put itself in a 1-1 scenario with an outstanding Game 1 win, 103-95. The Hawks shot 51.3% FG that night and were only out-rebounded 46-45. Wednesday’s Game 2 was much different story, as Atlanta made just 33.8% of its shots and was dominated on the glass, 67-44. Chicago won that game 86-73, holding the Hawks to 30 points below their Game 1 output.

The Bulls continue to be led by Derrick Rose, who scored a game-high 25 points in Game 2, but needed 27 shots to do so. Hawks backup point guard Jeff Teague, who is filling in for injured starter Kirk Hinrich, has done a great job in keeping Rose out of the paint and forcing the league MVP to settle for jump shots. Rose is shooting 21-for-54 (38.9% FG) in the series, and has only gotten to the line six times in the two games. Rose had 10 assists in Game 2, but turned the ball over eight times. Another star Chicago player struggling in the series has been Carlos Boozer, who has been bothered by a turf toe injury. Boozer is averaging 11.0 PPG on 43.5% FG in the series, which is well below his regular-season numbers of 17.5 PPG on 51.0% FG. The two Bulls that starred in Game 2 were Joakim Noah (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Luol Deng (14 points, 12 boards) who have been consistently great all season.

The Hawks will need much better performances from Jamal Crawford and Al Horford in Game 3 to take the series lead. Crawford scored just 11 points on 2-of-10 shooting in Game 2, while Horford scored six points, going 3-of-12 from the floor. Teague (5.2 PPG in regular season) led his team in scoring with 21 points (7-14 FG) in Game 2, while Joe Johnson continued his strong play in the postseason with 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Johnson had 34 points in Game 1 of this series and has connected on 46.2% of his three-pointers in this postseason.

Chicago has done a great job on the road this season, going 26-17 ATS (61%) as the visitor, while the Hawks are just 19-25 ATS (43%) at home this season. But the Bulls haven’t had recent success in Atlanta. After winning six straight games at Philips Arena from 2005 to 2007, Chicago lost its next five visits there. But the last meeting in Atlanta was complete dominance by the Bulls, who out-rebounded the Hawks 52-31 and out-shot them 54.4% to 45.3% in a 114-81 blowout win on March 22.

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