NBA Playoffs Keep On Going
There is no time to draw breath at the moment with the NBA Playoff games continuing to come thick and fast. All four of the series have now moved beyond Game 1 and Game 2 is looming for all of the teams who are still dreaming about NBA glory. There are two games taking place today and there are two games to look back from Sunday.
Monday was a day for the away teams in the Conference Semi-Finals as both home teams slumped to a defeat in their opening game of this round. The Cavaliers lost out 92-99 to the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets fell 101-117 to the Los Angeles Clippers.
In other NBA news, there was a boost for the Golden State Warriors going into Game2 in their series against the Grizzlies with the news that Stephen Curry was made the MVP for this season. He is the second Warriors player to receive this award, with the previous winner being Wilt Chamberlain when the franchise was based in Philadelphia.
Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks
They did it last year and they have done it again this year. In the Conference Semi-Final, the Washington Wizards have opened up against the top seeds in the Eastern side with a 1-0 lead. They fell at this stage last season, a lack of experience shining through over the series, but it may be that they have more about them this campaign. They are definitely showing a bit of form and they go into this game looking for their 8th win on the road in 9 post-season games.
The Wizards will be hoping that they learned a lot from the series against Indiana last season where they won the opening game before losing three in a row before eventually bowing out at the end of Game 6. The Wizards are yet to taste defeat in the Playoffs this season and they looked sharp in the 98-104 win in Atlanta on Sunday. Bradley Beal grabbed a career equalling 28 points in the Playoffs while John Wall offered up 18 points and 13 assists.
Beal and Wall both have minor niggles going into this game but they are both expected to play in this game. They also both expect the Hawks to be stronger in this game and a lot more like the team that managed to grab 60 wins over the course of the season. The Hawks had a very short period of recover after finally squeezing past the Nets in the last round while the Wizards enjoyed a week’s rest. That was likely to have had an impact on the game on Sunday and it may be that this match will be played out between two teams who are slightly more evenly matched with respect to fitness and energy levels. The Wizards play an up-tempo game and any weakness in fitness for the Hawks was always likely to be exploited by a team that was fresh.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Hawks, there were some big showings in the game with Al Horford picking up 17 points and 17 rebounds alongside 7 assists.
The Wizards are holding a 51-36 record this season with a 20-24 record on the road and a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. The Hawks are currently 64-25 with a 38-7 record at home and a 4-6 record in their 10 most recent games. With respect to average points scored, the Hawks have the edge with 102.4 to 99.1 and for average points against, the Hawks have a narrow advantage of 97.1 to 97.7.
Taking the Hawks at -6, at odds of 1.90, is likely to be a sound bet for Tuesday. Bet Now!
Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors
While the Grizzlies knew that Stephen Curry was in line for the MVP this season, they received a personal showing of his class and talent this season in Game 1 of the series. They will be hoping that Curry is not so influential on Tuesday night but with Memphis still likely to be missing Mike Conley, this is going to be a difficult challenge.
There is no doubt that Curry will come into this game on a high but he will want to ensure that he plays to his best form. It can be easy to take your eyes off the ball after receiving a strong personal accolade but Curry knows that supporting the team and getting them through this round will provide him with a better memory when he eventually looks back on the season.
Curry was very hot in the 101-86 win on Sunday with 22 points and 7 assists. Klay Thompson delivered 18 points so it wasn’t a one-man show, but it is easy to see why Curry received the MVP award for this season.
The loss of Conley was a big blow for Memphis, but the Grizzlies knew that an away trip to the Warriors was going to be difficult. The home side have notched 21 home wins in a row and they had a 39-2 record at home during the regular season. With thirteen players seeing action for the Warriors in Game 1, they should be well rested and this is a pattern that the team will likely use throughout the series if they can.
The Grizzlies are 59-29 for the season which includes a 25-19 record on the road and a 6-4 record in their last 10 games. The Warriors are currently 72-15 for the season which includes a 42-2 record at home and a 9-1 record in their 10 most recent games. With respect to average points for, the Warriors lead 109.8 to 98.3 and for average points against, the Grizzlies lead 95.1 to 99.7.
With the Golden State Warriors available at -10.5, at odds of 1.90, they look to be a decent bet to turn up the heat on Memphis on Tuesday. Bet Now!