March 22nd, 2011- By Bryan Cross
The Atlanta Hawks match up with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night at home in Phillips Arena. The Hawks try and gain one on a team atop the Eastern Conference playoff standings as the season approaches the conclusion in the coming weeks. For Atlanta, they are in solid position to earn a post-season berth, but now look to move up the ladder in conference standing.
It might be tough however, as Chicago (50-19) has won nine of their last 10 games, as compared to Atlanta (40-30), who comes in just 4-6 over the course of that same stretch. The Bulls are also coming off of a 40-point victory in their last outing, but remember their last trip to Atlanta on Mar. 2 resulted in a loss. Since then however, the Bulls went on their nine of 10 run, including a home-victory over the Hawks.
NBA MVP candidate Derrick Rose recalls his performance against Atlanta then, in which Chicago blew a big halftime lead.
“I made some careless passes,” said Rose of the loss. “The game was definitely on me. … But I guarantee it won’t happen again. Careless. Careless. We let one escape for real.”
The 132-92 victory over Sacramento allowed Chicago to continue to stay even with the Boston Celtics at the top of the Eastern Conference Playoff standings.
“It’s fun,” Rose said. “I can’t complain about anything right now. We’re winning games, playing good basketball and the city is going crazy.”
On the other side of the court for the Hawks, they have not enjoyed much success lately, but a victory over the Eastern conference leaders on Tuesday night could go a long way to change the direction of the rest of the season.
Atlanta did get a win over the weekend against Detroit, and look for their second-straight at home against the Bulls.
“We just wanted to keep everybody on the same track so we could stay focused with the playoffs coming up,” said Al Horford. “I think it went well.”
Atlanta/Chicago Betting Line: NBA Betting odds at Bodog Sportsbook have set Chicago as a 4.5-point favorite on the road of the home team Atlanta, with the over/under sitting at 181 points. The Hawks come into this one with a 31-39 record against the spread, while the Bulls sport a 43-24-2 record against the spread.