Hawks vs. Magic Game 5 Line: Pacers vs. Bulls Game 5 Line

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Hawks vs. Magic Game 5 Line:  Pacers vs. Bulls Game 5 Line

We have the Hawks vs. Magic Game 5 line and the Pacers vs. Bulls Game 5 line for the first round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs.  Both games can determine who moves on to the next round.  All odds courtesy of Sportsbook.com here


Sportsbook.comLine/Total: Orlando -7 & 178


Sometimes a playoff series can be analyzed by intricate strategies, X’s and O’s, and exhaustive minutiae. Orlando versus Atlanta is not one of those series, if you were to listen to Stan Van Gundy characterize it. While responding to the dazzling series that Hawks reserve guard Jamal Crawford is having through four games (24.0 PPG, the second-highest average by a reserve in the playoffs since 1976) the coach said: "Jamal is playing with unbelievable confidence. Everything he throws up, he knows it's going in," Van Gundy said. "We're at the opposite end of the spectrum. We have a lot of guys throwing it up, and they have no idea if it's going in." Orlando is shooting 40.3% from the floor and was below this mark in its Game 4 loss (39.2% FG), which included a dreadful 2-of-23 on three-point attempts (8.7%). With four games in the books, and facing a 3-1 deficit approaching Tuesday’s Game 5 in the Amway Center, the task before the Orlando Magic is as simple as elementary school math. Deposit the ball in the basket and win the game, or summer recess begins Wednesday morning.

Ever since Dwight Howard exploded for 46 points and 19 rebounds in a Game 1 loss, the chorus of experts saying that the Magic needed to give its All-Star center more help to win this series has been deafening. Game 4 proved that the Magic are still in search of that support. While Howard scored 29 points to go with 17 rebounds, the second leading scorer Sunday night, Gilbert Arenas with 20, was a DNP-CD in Game 3. Arenas only played in Game 4 because Jason Richardson was suspended by the league for a physical altercation late in Game 3. After Arenas’ points off the bench, the only other Magic player in double figures was Brandon Bass with 11. Jameer Nelson (13.1 PPG, 6.0 APG) has seen his output decline steadily throughout the series, from 27 in Game 1, to 13 in Games 2 and 3, to just six points on 3-for-12 shooting in Game 4. Nelson, a 40% shooter beyond the arc in the regular season, has made just one three-point FG in the past three games, going 1-for-14. If he cannot find the stroke soon, he may start perfecting that stroke with extra practice time a lot sooner than he anticipated.

While Orlando has been lopsided offensively and strong defensively, the Hawks have been balanced offensively and stronger defensively. Atlanta had four players hit double figures in its Game 4 88-85 victory, with Crawford scoring 25, Joe Johnson chipping in 20, and Kirk Hinrich and Al Horford adding 14 apiece. While Orlando holds an overall +34 rebounding advantage over the first four games, the Magic have done nothing with the extra possessions, as Atlanta’s defensive effort has stymied Orlando’s perimeter game. After a series-opening 45.3% FG allowed, the Hawks defense has forced the Magic into shooting 34.6%, 42.5% and 39.2% in the past three contests. As a team, Atlanta’s perimeter efforts defensively have been even more impressive, as they are forcing the Magic (36.6% three-point FG in the regular season) into shooting a dreadful 21.9% (21-for-96) from beyond the arc this series. "They're playing good defense. I'm not taking anything away from them. But we're getting good enough looks," Van Gundy said. "I don't know what to tell you about the shooting. I really don't."

Returning home down 3-1 and facing a must-win situation, the Magic will undoubtedly turn to their top gun, Howard, for another clutch effort. Sunday after the game, he turned to them first, asking for the same. "I just told them," Howard said, "if they don't believe we can still win, stay in Atlanta.



Sportsbook.comLine/Total: Chicago -8.5 & 186.5

A sprained ankle is not going to keep Derrick Rose out of Game 5, but the Pacers would love to take him out of the game themselves as they did Saturday with smothering defense.

The Indiana Pacers have been tough all series and were finally rewarded Saturday with an 89-84 win over the Bulls. Danny Granger (22.0 PPG, 49% FG in series) led the way with 24 points and had four big free throws in the final 14.1 seconds. Paul George played terrific defense and held Derrick Rose to 15 points on 6-of-22 shooting. Roy Hibbert (10.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG in series) also stepped up big with 16 points and 10 rebounds to give the Pacers a solid inside presence. Ex-UConn guard A.J. Price (8.8 PPG, 6-of-13 threes in series) provided a nice spark off the bench scoring 10 points to spell a banged-up Darren Collison. Indiana has not been good on the road this year (13-30 SU) but hope to take advantage of a hobbled Rose and steal a game at the United Center.

The Bulls are up 3-1 in the series but have won those three games by a combined 15 points. Derrick Rose (28.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.3 APG in series) has had a rough past two games, averaging 19.0 PPG, but shooting 25% from the field. Rose and Chicago need to get back to driving the ball to the hoop and not settling for long-range jump shots. In the Saturday 89-84 loss, the Bulls went 3-for-20 from three-point land and had zero fast-break points. Joakim Noah (11.5 PPG, 11.3 RPG in series) played well on Saturday, scoring points and grabbing 14 rebounds. If the game comes down to the wire again Tuesday, the Bulls will be hoping for a better shot than they got from Carlos Boozer on Saturday, who on a broken play was forced to take a long-range three and missed.

Indiana is 3-1 ATS in the series but just 21-25 ATS as an underdog this season. The Pacers are 1-12 SU and 4-9 ATS in their past 13 games at the United Center. With that said, Chicago is 1-7 ATS in its past eight home games. One thing Chicago has done very well is bounce back after upset losses, going 10-3 ATS.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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