Tonight we got no less than 4 games, with 2 series on a verge of a sweep and two with the home team trailing 0 – 2 and I will write my thoughts on the games.
After last year’s best first round ever, with no less than 5 series going to Game 7, this year, it appears that most series will end either 4 – 0 or 4 – 1 and Clippers are the last hope to see 7 games series and after the heavy beating they took, that also doesn’t look too promising.
Houston proved to be the better team than Dallas at this moment, but it still took historic game from Dwight Howard (franchise record for rebounds in playoff game with 26) and personal record for Harden (42 points) together with more than amazing game by Brewer and Smith from the bench, to win the game and probably the series, by 3 points.
Tonight we got four games with two teams trying to avoid that 0 – 3 series score, that no team have ever came back from (Nets and Blazers), while two other teams – very young teams, try to get their first playoff win, to have something more to build on in the next years.
NO and Milwaukee had very similar game in Game 3. Both managed to build huge leads, with Bucks leading by 18 points early in the second quarter, while Pelicans entered the fourth quarter leading by no less than 20 points.
But, the veteran teams knew how to close the gap, though obviously GSW’s comeback from 20 points in the 4th quarter is much more impressive, we need to remember that both teams (Bulls and GSW) closed the gap in a single quarter, just different one.
Bucks proved much more maturity than the Pelicans, since they trailed by 8 points with a minute and a half to the end of the game and made a big comeback of their own.
Still, Butler and Rose in Milwaukee and Green with Curry in NO, proved to be too much for the young teams.
The thing about young teams, they usually don’t give up even trailing 0 – 3, because they want to feel that playoff game win taste, even if they know that they won’t go to the next round.
It’s always dangerous to back the team trailing 0 – 3, because team can always come after quiting already, but I think it’s worthy to take a chance on both of them tonight.
NO Pelicans +7, 1.93 odds – 4 units play – Pinnacle
NO Pelicans to win, 3.66 odds – 2 units play – Pinnacle
I will also try to take both teams for 4.5 points teaser:
Pelicans +11.5 and Bucks +9, 2.00 odds – 4 units play – Pinnacle
As for the Nets and Blazers game, Blazers are the only favorites, out of all the teams that trailed 0 – 2 in the first round this season, that are made favorites. The others, Nets, Celtics, Raptors, Bucks, Pelicans and Mavs (the game closing line was even money on both teams to win) were favorites or PK.
It’s very hard for me to see injured Blazers, facing a team that is already 8 – 1 on them the last two seasons, favorites, despite the possible motivational edge. Maybe even on the opposite. Memphis are injured as well and the last thing they want is to be dragged in to more games than needed, before going to the next round.
Nets are just losers. They kicked the bucket each time they had a chance, including the loss to the Hawks, in regular season, where Hawks couldn’t care less and still won in Brooklyn – something that would have made Nets to miss the playoffs, had Pacers won in Memphis in the last day of the regular season.
They had big chances to win Game 1 & Game 2, but failed to do that. Hawks don’t play anywhere near the level of basketball they played in regular season and had they played any other team that could have finished 8th (Pacers, Celtics or Bucks) I think they would have had real problem.
Nets coming close to win both games in Atlanta, means that Hawks will come ready and won’t feel they got the series in hand. On the other hand, Nets have both skills and the experience both among players and among coaching staff to make it a series, no doubt about that.
Nets have two very obvious advantages on offense and that’s Lopez and JJ, but tons of defensive minuses that Hawks been exploiting in all the games teams had this season, scoring in bunches.
Zero desire to play the Hawks here and strong leans toward the Over and the Nets.
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Best of luck everybody!!!