Game 3 Of The Latest NBA Playoffs Get Ready To Begin
All of the Conference semi-finals are sitting at 1-1 after the first two games. The Wizards grabbed a big away win by 98-104 against the Hawks but the team from Atlanta rebounded with a home win by a score of 106-90 in the second game of the series. At the same time, the Warriors defeated the Grizzlies by 101-86 in the opening game of their series before the Memphis team grabbed a big away win in Game 2 by a score of 90-97.
The Bulls were winners in Cleveland in Game 1 of their Conference semi-final, winning by a score of 92-99 but the Cavs bounced back in Game 2, winning by a score of 106-91. The Los Angeles Clippers performed very strongly in Houston in Game 1, winning 101-117 but in Game 2, the Rockets bounced back to win 115-109 and level the series off. This means that there is all to play for as we head into the weekend.
There was a boost for the Bulls before their next game with the Cavs in that Jimmy Butler was awarded with the Most Improved Player in the league award. There were a total of 129 first place votes on offer and Butler grabbed 92 of them, earning a total of 535 points. Draymond Green from the Warriors was runner-up, grabbing 11 first place votes and 200 points while Rudy Gobert from the Jazz picked up 12 first place votes and 189 points in total.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls
The Bulls may have been sitting pretty at the end of Game 1 but they were blown away by an ultra-aggressive LeBron James at the end of Game 2 in this series. The Cavs were never behind in the game and with 33 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, LeBron clearly came out on top in the game. It seems like a safe bet that the headband will be present on Friday night when the Cavs try to take an away victory that will give them an advantage heading into the home straight of this series.
Jimmy Butler missed games against the Cavs earlier in the season but he was guarding James in this series so far, and he knows that he needs to be more aggressive. It may be that the confidence provided by his award on Thursday will provide him with added impetus to take down one of the biggest names in the sport. However, the return of JR Smith provides the Bulls with something else to think about even if the absence of Kevin Love remains a blow for the Cavs.
Derrick Rose offered up 14 points and 10 assists on Wednesday but it was the fact that he missed 14 of 20 shots in the game that most people are focusing on.
The Cavs are 58-30 with a 24-19 record on the road and a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. The Bulls are 55-38 with a 29-15 record at home and they also have a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. The Cavs lead on average points scored 103.1 to 100.7 and for average points against, the Bulls lead 97.2 to 98.4.
It is likely to be a close one in Chicago but taking the Bulls at -1.5 at odds of 1.90 seems a decent bet. Bet Now!
Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers will be slightly deflated that they weren’t able to follow up their initial win in Houston with a second one, but they will take some joy from the fact that they managed to win without Chris Paul. If Blake Griffin is able to stay in top form, they will have a great chance to get through this series. Chris Paul is back training on the court but it seems as though the Clippers are in no rush to get him back into action. When you think how long it has taken Chris Paul to reach this stage of the NBA season, it would be easy to get him involved as quickly as possible but there is no point in risking him if the team can stay alive while he recuperates.
Griffin turned in excellent performances through six of the eight quarters against the Rockets so far but of course, the final two quarters of the second game in the series saw the Rockets take control, which leaves us with a 1-1 score line in the two games.
While Griffin has been the main man for the Clippers, it was the showing of James Harden that had a big impact for the Rockets, helping them to level the series at 1-1. He delivered 16 points in the last quarter, and with 32 points in the game, it was a perfect way for Harden to bounce back after serving up 20 points in Game 1, the lowest points total he has offered up in the Playoffs.
The Rockets are 61-28 for the season which includes a 26-16 record away from home and an 8-2 record in their 10 games. The Clippers are 61-30 with a 32-13 record at home and they hold a 6-4 record in their last 10 games. For average points scored, the Clippers lead 106.6 to 104.6 and for average points against, the Clippers are ahead 100.6 to 101.3.
Taking the Clippers at -4, with odds of 1.90, is a good way to start your weekend of NBA betting action. Bet Now!