Today two series start, that involve maybe two main title candidates, Heat and the Spurs.
Miami Heat – Brooklyn Nets
It is impossible to look at the regular season as an indicator for the playoffs, especially since no question that though Brooklyn made it 4 – 0 , but could have just as easily been 0 – 4 , but in my opinion , two things are clear :
1) Nets with a handicap can be a great bet, especially on the road, where they will get 7 – 8 points line in their favor.
2) Nets specifically chose to play Heat and Toronto in the playoffs and not Chicago and Indiana .
Nets played unevenly during the series with Toronto, but nonetheless always made at least one strong run and it’s absolutely clear that with such a list of veterans and role players in great shape, they can create problems against any team on a given day.
Under the rim, there is an obvious advantage for the Nets . Plumley , Blatche , KG – they are more than able to answer Heat frontcourt, especially if Haslem doesn’t get hot from mid range.
Clearly the duo LeBron and Wade better than Johnson and Pierce, but both are well aware of their rivals from Miami and I expect them to break even at in 1 – 2 games in the series.
Williams and Livingstone certainly better than Chalmers and Cole, but then of course the health of Williams will play a huge role.
Bench with Kirilenko, Thornton, Teletovich and others (sometimes Thornton starts , sometimes Livingston , sometimes KG starts on the bench ) – not inferior in my opinion to Heat’s bench.
4 – 3 or 4 – 2 win for the Heat SU wise. but the Nets will make 4 wins (at least) ATS in my opinion.
San Antonio – Portland
223 game in the playoffs for Popovich as a coach, 11 for Stotts .
The difference between the players on both teams is similar as well.
Experience is the key to this series imho.
Portland didn’t play amazing basketball against the Rockets (Aldridge did the first two games though), but won three equal games. Two in OT and one with a great last second three point shot by Lillard, while losing by two points before the shot .
They played against Houston, team that doesn’t have too much playoff experience both players and coach wise.
I can safely assume that had they played the Spurs, SAS were able to win at least one of these matches.
Pop said that Game 7 against Dallas, Was their best game of the season and it was so.
Green will not worse guard Lillard worse than Beverly. Splitter and Duncan should do their thing in this series on both sides of the floor, especially since Splitter was in great shape against Dallas and I did not see any reason why it should change.
Dallas scored and made comebacks playing with Blair and Dirk together. Portland doesn’t have their “own Blair” that can come of the bench in the frontcourt.
In my opinion, the main key to this series for Portland, whether Batum can stop his very good friend, Parker. If he can, Portland has a chance to stretch the series to seven games.
If not, then 4 – 1 here for the Spurs.
4 – 1 main bet, 4 – 2 as a back up play.
SAS takes all three games at home and at least one on the road.
Good luck to all!