Hawks vs. Cavaliers and Clippers vs. Pelicans with Paul George out – The Athletic

The final two spots in the NBA Playoffs are on the line Friday night when the 2022 NBA Play-In Tournament concludes with the Hawks vs. Cavaliers and Clippers vs. Pelicans. The Clippers announced on Friday morning that Paul George will miss the game due to entering health and safety protocols. The Pelicans, who were 3.5-point underdogs, are now underdogs by only 1.5 points.

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, The Athletic’s writers will make their picks, straight up. We put our picks and all series coverage, plus the latest odds, all in one place for fans to easily digest and follow. Our in-depth NBA coverage is linked below the picks

No. 9 Atlanta Hawks at No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers – 7:30 pm ET

Team Spread Total Moneyline

-2.5

222.5

-135

+110

Atlanta beat Charlotte 132-103 in Wednesday’s elimination game thanks to a strong third-quarter performance that saw the Hawks outscore the Hornets, 42-24. De’Andre Hunter scored 22 points and Trae Young scored 24. Next up? Another elimination game, but this time on the road against Cleveland. While the Hawks are playing their strongest basketball of the season, Cleveland has limped to the finish line.

The Hawks opened as 1.5-point favorites on the road and the line quickly climbed to three points (it’s currently at 2.5). Cleveland won the first matchup between these two teams this season, but Atlanta won the last three, including a 131-107 win on March 31. The last three games between these two teams hit the over (which is 223.5 right now), as well .

Cleveland’s defense will need to find an answer on how to stop Hunter and Young – something it hasn’t been able to do. The Hawks have the experience of making the Eastern Conference Finals last year.

The winner of this game will face the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Writer Straight Up Pick

James Edwards III

Brandon Funston

Jason Jones

Michael Beller

Or Moyal


No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans at No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers – 10 pm ET

Team Spread Total Moneyline

-110

-1.5

214

-110

The Clippers announced on Friday that Paul George will miss the game due to being in health and safety protocols.

The Pelicans beat the Spurs, 113-103, on Wednesday night to advance to Friday’s elimination game in Los Angeles. Trade deadline acquisition CJ McCollum led the way with 32 points for New Orleans in the win; Brandon Ingram added an additional 27.

New Orleans won three of the four matchups between the teams this season – the Clippers secured a 119-100 victory at home in their most recent matchup in early April. The game total came in under in three of those four games (it’s 214.5 as of Thursday afternoon).

The winner of this game will face the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Writer Straight Up Pick

James Edwards III

Brandon Funston

Jason Jones

Michael Beller

Or Moyal


More NBA Playoffs coverage: News | Podcasts | Odds

(Photo of Paul George: Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images)

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