First NBA Playoff Weekend Of The Series Is Over
All of the teams in the NBA playoffs have now played their first game and so far, it is looking good for the home teams with 7 out of 8 wins this season for the team with home-court advantage.
The Cavaliers drew first blood against the Celtics, winning 113-100 in Cleveland and the Grizzlies triumphed in Memphis, winning 100-86 against the Trail Blazers. The Hawks held firm to defeat the Nets 99-92 and the Clippers were comfortable in beating Spurs, 107-92.
There are just two NBA playoff games on Monday, but there is a full week of NBA playoff action to come.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls
In the aftermath of the Game 1 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, it was understandable that a great deal of focus was going to fall on Derrick Rose. This is a player that has had so many expectations placed on him but has failed to be there where and when it matters for so many reasons. However, with 23 points and 7 assists in his first post-season game in close to the three years, he is definitely back and the Bulls are all the better for it. The 103-91 win saw the Bulls take a 1-0 lead in the 7 game series and with another game at home on Monday, there is a genuine chance for the Bulls to place themselves in a strong position before they head off to Milwaukee.
The Bulls were delighted to see Rose back and his form in the playoffs indicates why. Without Rose, the Bulls went 7-15 in the post-season in the past three years but with Rose, they are 15-15 and a lot more likely to win games. They should be confident of adding to that record on Monday but of course, once the action starts, history goes out of the window.
In the opening game of the series, Jimmy Butler grabbed 25 points, which is his career best in post-season and he, alongside Pau Gasol, is a big factor in how this team has managed to find form this season even with a number of challenges and issues to overcome. The Bulls have 7 of their last 8 against the Bucks and this includes 4 consecutive victories in Chicago. The Bucks were in a good run of form at the end of the season, three out of five wins, but with three of their starting five making their playoff debut, the game at the weekend may have been a bit of a culture shock.
Taj Gibson picked up a knee strain late on in the game but he is expected to play in this game and Kirk Hinrich will be monitored after missing the last three games with a knee injury.
The Bucks are 41-42 for the season which includes an 18-24 record on the road, and their last 10 game record stands at 5-5. The Bulls are 51-32 for the season, including a 28-14 record in Chicago. This includes a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. For average points scored, the Bulls lead 100.8 to 97.8 and for average points against, the Bucks lead 97.5 to 97.7.
Taking the Chicago Bulls with a -7.5 handicap, with odds of 1.90, is likely to make great sense in this game. Bet Now!
New Orleans Pelicans @ Golden State Warriors
While the Warriors performed well and did the business in the opening game of their playoff series against the Pelicans, they also realised that this is going to be a tough battle where they will need to perform at their best in a number of games. Game 2 once again takes place in Oakland, a place where the Warriors have won 19 games in a row and 40 games out of 42 games this season. This is a tremendous record, which is a formidable record and one that will have many opponents quaking before the game starts. The Pelicans will be wary, but they should be looking to win this one to give them a stronger chance of causing an upset when they take the series back to New Orleans. If the Pelicans are going to succeed, they need Anthony Davis to stand up and take control of the play.
David grabbed a total of 35 points and 7 rebounds in the first game, and even though he had a nervous start, he grew into the game and the Pelicans will be looking for more from the player in Game 2 in the series. The Warriors as a whole were very strong early on but the way that the Pelicans managed to fight back near the end of the game will give the Golden State side a lot to think about in the build-up to this game and it will also give the Pelicans a lot to be hopeful for as this series continues.
Jrue Holiday will need to be a key player for the Pelicans and aft6er he missed 41 games of the regular season, his return before the end of the campaign was very welcome. In Game 1 he managed 5 points and 5 assists but he will be expected to provide more as the series continues.
The Pelicans have a 45-38 record so far this season and this includes a 17-25 record on the road. The Pelicans are 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Warriors are 68-15, including a 40-2 record at home and in their last 10 games, they are 8-2. The Warriors lead 109.9 to 99.3 for average points scored and for average points against, the Pelicans lead 98.7 to 99.8.
Taking the Warriors with a -11 handicap, at odds of 1.90, should be a great bet for Monday. Bet Now!