NBA Playoff Action Continues
The action comes thick and fast in the NBA Playoffs with three more games to look forward to today.
The Nets put up a brave showing in Atlanta before being downed by the Hawks by a score of 96-91, with the Hawks going 2-0 up in the series. Tim Duncan delivered a Masterclass in Los Angeles with the Spurs winning in overtime to tie the series at 1-1. Duncan offered up 28 points and 11 rebounds in the 107-111 win for the reigning champions. The Grizzlies took a 2-0 lead in their series, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers by a score of 97-82 in Memphis.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics
The Celtics have played well at times during their two Playoff games against the Cavs so far, but they know that now that they are at home, they need to improve significantly. No one was really backing the Boston side to overthrow the Cavs from the tournament but there will be a desire to keep the series going for as long as possible and providing the Boston fans with something to cheer.
The fact that Boston held a lead in the second quarter in both of the Playoff games so far is encouraging but after this, they fell away as the Cavaliers pulled together strong runs to blow them out of the way. A 53-25 run in Game 1 and a 32-9 run in Game 2 made the difference between the two teams. In the second game, the Celtics hung on in there and they can be proud of taking it to the final quarter in the manner that they did, but even then that was an opportunity for the gulf in class to open up between the two teams.
LeBron James offered up 30 points, with 15 of them coming in the final quarter and this is the sort of quality that the Celtics are up against. The last time Boston hosted a Playoff game was back in 2013, losing in six to the Knicks, but the return to Boston will boast a lot of memories for James. He travelled to the TD Garden with the Heat on the brink of elimination but an astounding 45 points and 15 rebounds kept Miami in the series and he eventually grabbed the Championship that season.
The Cavalier starters have outscored the Celtics starters 176-86 up to this point while the Celtics bench, including 44 points and 17 assists all from Isaiah Thomas, have a 106-36 lead over the reserves from Cleveland.
The Cavs are 55-29 for the season so far, including a 22-19 record on the road and an 8-2 record in their last 10 games. The Celtics are 40-44 for the campaign so far including a 21-20 record at home and a 7-3 record in their last ten games. For average points for, the Cavs lead 103.2 to 101.2 and for average points against, the Cavs lead 98.6 to 101.3.
You can still see the Cavs taking the spoils in this game and taking the Cleveland Cavaliers with a -4.5 handicap, at odds of 1.90, is likely to be of benefit. Bet Now!
Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks
The Bulls have remained strong at home but now they need to hope that they can perform just as well on the road. They are heading 90 miles to Milwaukee but they be praying that the wheels do not fall of their Playoff run! They who be looking to grab a 3-0 series lead and they face the Bucks who have only been beyond this stage since 1990.
Jimmy Butler managed to play for 46 minutes on Monday and he helped himself to a career high of 31 points in a 91-82 win for the Bulls, which was the 9th game in a row that the Bulls have won at home. Derrick Rose offered 23 points in Game 1 but he only offered 15 in Game 2 after going scoreless in the opening half of the game.
The tension of the Playoffs can cause problems and this is something that was notable in Game 2 with a number of players receiving technical fouls and Zaza Pachulia was ejected. With the Bucks not winning a Playoff series since back in 2001 looking for hope or inspiration, the fact that they defeated the Bulls 95-91 on the 1st of April this year may be of benefit. This was the first win in 10 home games against the Bulls.
The Bulls are 52-32 for the season so far with a 23-18 record on the road and a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. The Bucks are 41-43 for the campaign, with a 22-18 home record and they have a 5-5 record in their last 10 games. With respect to average points scored, the Bulls lead 100.7 to 97.6 and for average points against, the Bucks narrowly lead 97.4 to 97.5.
Taking the Bulls with a -2.5 handicap, at odds of 1.90, is likely to be a decent bet in this game.Bet Now!
Golden State Warriors @ New Orleans Pelicans
While the statistics indicate that the Warriors are a great deal ahead of the Pelicans, the games have not exactly ran that way. Yes the Warriors have won both games and hold a 2-0 lead in the series but the first two games of the series have only been decided late on and the Warriors know that they are heading to the city where they last lost a game. All of which means that the game in New Orleans may be a bit more exciting than what people would imagine or give credit for.
Anthony Davis has grabbed a lot of points in the two games, picking up 35 points in Game 1 (with 20 in the final quarter) and 26 on Monday in the second game. He also managed to play 45 minutes, which is a career high for a game that didn’t have any overtime. This will be the first Playoff game in New Orleans since 2011 and the home side will be keen to avoid defeat in their first home game. NBA stats indicate that no team has bounced back from losing their first three games, so there is a need for the Pelicans to take this game if they harbour hopes of making it beyond the series.
This 2-0 lead for the Golden State side is the first time they have held a 2-0 lead since 1989, and they haven’t managed to take a 3-0 lead since 1975. That was the year that the team grabbed their only NBA Championship since they pitched up in California, and no doubt people will start discussing this on a regular basis if they do move into a 3-0 lead.
The Warriors are 69-15 and 28-13 on the road this season and they have an 8-2 record in their last 10 games. The Pelicans are 45-39 this campaign with a 28-13 at home, while the New Orleans side is 5-5 in their ten most recent games. With respect to average points for, the Warriors lead 109.8 to 99.2 and for average points against, the Pelicans lead 98.6 to 99.7.
Taking the Golden State Warriors with a -5 handicap, at odds of 1.90, should liven up Thursday night. Bet Now!