The Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks will settle what has been a bitter playoff fued when they get together this afternoon in Atlanta. Game seven in this first round series is set to tip off at 1:00pm ET at the Philips Arena and it will be broadcast live on ABC.
2009 NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks Game 7 at BetUS.com have the Hawks as a -5.5 against the spread home favorite. The game total is set at 180.5 with the over and under receiving -110 odds.
Miami responded to a physical game five loss in Atlanta by stepping up their defensive intensity. The Heat limited the Hawks to 37 percent from the floor and only three Atlanta players reached double figures in points. The Hawks could not even find the bucket from the charity stripe, hitting on just 61.1 percent of their attempts from the line.
Point guard Mike Bibby led Atlanta with 20 points; Joe Johnson and Ronald Murray each had 13 in the lopsided loss.
The Heat shot 47.3 percent from the field in their season saving 98-72 win. Dwyane Wade lead all scorer with 41 points as he attacked Atlanta's physical style by getting into the lane and drawing numerous fouls. Wade made the Hawks pay for their aggression as he nailed 16 of his 17 attempts from the free throw line. As a team, the Heat connected on 21-of-24 of their foul shot attempts.
Rookie forward Michael Beasley , who had been fighting through a bit of a sag, showed up big for coach Erik Spoelstra on Friday night. The Kansas State product had 22 points and controlled the paint by reeling in 15 rebounds, four of which were offensive.
Miami is 1-2 at Philips Arena in this series and they will certianly need another big effort from Wade if they are to advance past the Hawks on Atlanta's home floor. Wade is averaging 27 points per game at Philips in the three games played there in these playoffs. As a team the Heat are averaging a lackluster 87.7 per game in Atlanta. They are being outrebounded 34.6 to 40 at Philips as well.
Josh Smith, who riled the Heat with a botched between the legs windmill dunk in Game five, has been a potent force for the Hawks at home in this series. If he plays to his potential, Miami will have a hard time getting by Atlanta this afternoon.
The winner of today's game will go on to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semi-finals.
Miami Heat +5.5 (-110), Over 180.5 (-110), +205 (Moneyline)
Atlanta Hawks -5.5 (-110), Under 180.5 (-110), -245 (Moneyline)