NBA Conference Semis Keep On Raging
The action is coming fast and furious in the NBA and the Conference semi-finals are still raging on. We have another two massive games unfolding on Wednesday night and we are still no clearer on who is going to make it through to the next round.
On Tuesday night, two matchups came to the end of Game 5 and we have a similar series in both of them. There was a home win to take the series score to 3-2 but after that, things become a bit different.
The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Bulls by 106-101, taking a 3-2 lead and showing great strength to bounce back from 2-1 down earlier on in the series. With just one more win needed to make it to the Conference Final, LeBron and the boys have a goal in sight but things aren’t necessarily going to fall into their laps, you can expect the Bulls to roar back in the next game.
The Rockets bagged a big win against the Clippers, defeating the Los Angeles side 124-103 in Houston and they have new found optimism for the series. They may be 3-2 down to the Clippers, leaving the Los Angeles side needing one win to make their way through to the Conference Final, but this was a must-win game for the Rockets, and they did the job that they needed to.
Both of the Wednesday night games are tied at 2-2 before we begin so we know that on Thursday morning, there will be 4 sets of 3-2 score lines across the matchups.
Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are certainly looking and feeling a lot more confident at the moment but there may be a boost heading the way of the Washington Wizards. There were rumours that John Wall was going to be out of the series but it seems as though there will be a game-time decision made on whether Wall is able to get involved with this match. The Wizards are looking to book their first trip to the Eastern Conference in 36 years and you can see why they are keen to give their star man as much time as possible to get ready for this game.
There were media reports that Wall was likely to be ruled out of the post-season but after the swelling in his hand subsided on Tuesday, he is now rated questionable. It is his non-shooting hand, so that is of some benefit to the team but he clearly still needs to be in good shape because it would be a risk if he was thrown in. This is the sort of risk that sometimes pays off, but it can also be the sort of move that puts a player at greater risk of further injury, so there is a big decision for the Wizards and Wall to make before the action begins on Wednesday evening.
A positive note for the Hawks on Monday was the fact that Jeff Teague stepped out of his slump and served up 26 points in the game. This was a playoff high for him and his key 3 point shot with just over one minute of the game remaining was a big factor in the overall score line. Paul Millsap also returned to the team and he grabbed 19 points, putting a bout of flu behind him and with Al Horford offering up 12 points, there were a number of key players involved in the win.
We are now technically down to a series of 3 and the Hawks, as top seeds, will be favourites to push on from this point. They had notched up 13 out of 14 wins against the Wizards before succumbing in Game 1, but they know that they can pull out wins against this opposition, so now would be the ideal time to show that they can.
The Wizards haven’t reached the Eastern Finals since they lost the NBA Final in 1978/79 and they know that missing the chance to take a 3-1 lead could come back and haunt them. Bradley Beal was in excellent form, offering up a playoff high of 34 points but it wasn’t enough to drag the team to victory.
The Wizards hold a 52-38 record so far this campaign and this includes a 20-25 record on the road and a 6-4 record in their 10 most recent games. The Hawks are currently 66-26, with a 39-7 record at home and a 6-4 record in their 10 most recent games. With respect to average points scored, the Hawks have an advantage of 102.5 to 99.1 and for average points conceded, the Hawks lead 97.2 to 98.0.
Things are now starting to point towards the Hawks and taking the Atlanta Hawks with a -8 handicap, and odds of 1.90, seems like a decent bet for Wednesday. Bet Now!
Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors
There was always expectation that Stephen Curry would regain the MVP form in this series and even though they had wilted against the Grizzlies in two games, they were looking to bounce back strongly in Game 4. They did, and Curry managed to grab 33 points in the 101-84 win.
The Grizzlies defence has been strong all season, so it was always going to be a tough task for even the Warriors to dominate all of the games, but now that we are into a 3 game series, there is an expectation that the Warriors will step up and take care of business.
The Grizzlies are 61-30 for the season which includes a 26-19 record on the road and a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. The Warriors hold a 73-17 record for the season and this includes a 42-3 record at home and an 8-2 record in their last 10 games. For average points scored, the Warriors are way out in front, 109.2 to 98.1 and for average points against, the Grizzlies lead 95.0 to 99.5.
You can find the Golden State Warriors with a -9.5 handicap, at odds of 1.90, for this game. Bet Now!