Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks 2/15/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks Matchup Preview (2/15/22)

After an impressive upset win over the Suns a couple of weeks ago, the Hawks have lost four of their last five games. That stretch includes a shocking home loss to the Spurs in which they allowed San Antonio to shoot 56.3% from 3-point range. On Sunday, they dropped a road game against the Celtics in which they only put up 95 points as they looked lifeless outside of Trae Young (30-10-4) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (26-2-6). Atlanta has been slogging through this season after breaking through to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, and they need to start playing with more urgency if they want to find themselves in the playoffs in an increasingly competitive conference.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, had won four straight games before dropping one to the 76ers, and they’ll head into Atlanta looking for a bounce-back win. Cleveland has yet to suffer back-to-back losses this calendar year, and they’re only a couple of games back from the #1 seed in the East at the moment. The introduction of Caris LeVert to the lineup has been an interesting wrinkle in this season after his acquisition at the trade deadline. Still, the emergence of All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen has made this Cavs team really click. With playoff seeding at the top of the Eastern Conference very fluid, every game matters for this young Cavaliers team.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Odds

These teams have played twice this season, each taking one of the games, and the Hawks have more recently beaten the Cavs as a 2.5-point road underdog. However, it’s important to note that Darius Garland did not play in that game. Cleveland has won 13 of its last 17 games, but it’s 2-4 straight up and ATS in its previous six road games. Still, I have difficulty buying into Atlanta, given they are without John Collins in the frontcourt. The Cavs’ elite defense should do enough to slow down the Hawks’ elite offense, especially with the way Atlanta has looked lately. With just a 2-5 SU and ATS record in their last seven games, I’m not confident in betting on Atlanta. With such a short spread in this game, I’ll always be looking just to place my wager on the ML as you never know what will happen with late-game free throws. However, I trust the Cavs as the more consistent team to get a bounce-back win to boost their Eastern Conference standing.

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How To Watch

Date: 2/15/22
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Philips Arena – Atlanta, GA
Channel: Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

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Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Caris LeVert
SF: Isaac Okoro
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen

Cleveland Cavaliers Analysis

It’s been an incredible breakout season for the Cavaliers, and J.B. Bickerstaff is a top candidate for Coach of the Year. The Cavs had been on a four-game winning streak, but they lost to the 76ers on Saturday as Joel Embiid could not be contained – the MVP candidate finished with 40 points, 14 rebounds, and ten assists. The Cavs have an elite frontcourt defense, making the Embiid performance more impressive, but the Hawks don’t have anyone capable of that sort of effort, especially with John Collins out. Cleveland ranks fourth in the NBA in defensive rating and third in three-point shooting percentage allowed, making this a tough matchup for Atlanta. Look for Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen to excel in the pick-and-roll game while the Cavs win the battle on the boards. The integration of the typically ball-dominant Caris LeVert will be interesting to continue to watch play out, as will his fit on defense. Whether or not LeVert will be a part of the closing lineup for this team has yet to be determined.

Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup

PG: Trae Young
SG: Kevin Huerter
SF: Bogdan Bogdanovic
PF: Danilo Gallinari
C: Clint Capela

Atlanta Hawks Analysis

With John Collins out at least through the All-Star break, the Hawks will likely move Danilo Gallinari into their starting lineup for this game. This season, Gallinari is shooting 39.1% from 3-point range, so he fits well with the Hawks’ 3-point dominant offense. Atlanta ranks third in the NBA with a 37.3% 3-point shooting rate and second in offensive rating. Trae Young is the driving force in the Hawks’ elite offense, and he’s averaging 27.7 points and 9.4 assists per game on a career-high 45.4% from the field. Second-year big man Onyeka Okongwu has been an emerging impact player for this team after missing the season’s start. He could be called upon to pick up more minutes than usual with Collins out against this stout Cavs’ frontcourt. The Hawks’ issues have come on the defensive end, where they rank just 28th in defensive rating, and their poor defense is the biggest reason they currently sit outside the playoff picture.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks Daily Fantasy Picks

On Tuesday, Darius Garland will likely be one of my favorite DFS targets as the Hawks have a poor perimeter defense and have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to point guards. Garland was actually inactive for both of his team’s prior meetings against the Hawks this year, but in the Cavs’ win back in October, Ricky Rubio put up 23 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are always quality options as well, and without John Collins, Cleveland should have even more of an advantage in the paint in this game. Kevin Love is also a good option as the Hawks allow the fifth-highest 3-point shooting rate in the NBA.

I don’t typically target players in DFS against the Cavs as they are one of the best defenses in the NBA. However, there are worse spots to look for value on a Tuesday slate with only six games. Certainly, don’t chase Joel Embiid’s dominant performance against Cleveland with a Clint Capela play. Still, his ownership will probably be minuscule given the matchup, and he’s going to get all of the minutes he can handle with Collins out. Bogdan Bogdanovic is questionable for this game but assuming he plays; you can look to feed the hot hand as he’s gone over 20 points in each of his last two games with his usage rate on the rise.

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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