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NBA Play-off Games Preview 12.05.2019

Two of the semi-final’s series are already in the history books, we’ll take a brief review at them. The other two series both reach to Game 7, which will be played late this night. No early game for us unfortunately (both games start at 01.00 UK Time).

 

Milwaukee Bucks – Boston Celtics 4-1

 

Giannis quickly re-established his regular-season form and took control of this series after his team unexpectedly lost Game 1 on their home floor. Celtics could blame only themselves though, not for the elimination, but for the lack of proper fight and effort in almost all the next 4 games. They just couldn’t replicate their exemplary paint defense from Game 1 throughout the whole series. Whether it’s a good adjustment from Budenholzer? Or Kyrie just can’t lead a team all by himself for a deep play-off run?

Boston management will do their job analyzing for sure. It will be an interesting summer for Celtics, with all the question marks around Kyrie and Anthony Davis free agency.

 

Golden State Warriors – Houston Rockets 4-2

 

Game 6 was a basketball thriller at its best. Warriors had all the reasons to be worried in Houston. Rockets defeated them in their two home games in the series so far. Kevin Durant was ruled out of this game on Friday night with a muscle strain. Steph Curry was scoreless in the first two quarters of the game. All odds seemed to be stacked heavily against Golden State this night in Texas. Only that Houston couldn’t take advantage of Curry’s early struggles and the score was tied at half-time. The third quarter was also an even one and then Warriors just erupted and showed their old face in the fourth. Curry and Thompson started raining 3’s. Draymond was put a few crucial defensive efforts. Iguodala and Shaun Livingston turned a few years back on the clock. Harden scored 35 points, Chris Paul – 27, but this just wasn’t enough, and Rockets got eliminated by a better team once again. Was it the closing of Houston’s championship window in this line-up? Probably yes.

 

Philadelphia 76ers - Toronto Raptors

 

Sixers were on the brink of elimination in Game 6, or so it seemed on paper. They were at home, but Embiid was very evidently not on 100 % in Game 5. Raptors had crushed them in that game and everyone Kahwi to lead his team and finish the series. Only that Jimmy Butler had other plans. He took over the leading role for Philly in Game 6 and was a force on both ends of the floor. Embiid played and seemed healthier than the previous game. Harris, Ben Simmons and Redick helped Butler in a balanced offensive effort and that was enough to bring Game 7 in this series.

Prediction: Default spread is set at 6.50 – 7.00 points here for Raptors to cover and seems about right. The home court really matter in every Game 7, let alone in Toronto with its frantic fans and support all over. Raptors really lost the second game here, but won convincingly their other 2 home games in the series. If they are to win, it will probably be a double-digit win again. I’m not inclined to give up 7 points in Game 7 though, so will just pass the game betting-wise.

 

Portland Trail Blazers - Denver Nuggets

 

This series developed in quite a similar fashion to Raptors – Sixers’ one. Blazers’ backcourt duo of Lillard and McCollum was on fire in Game 6 on their home floor and lead their team to 11-point win. Denver lost only one home game against Portland and the spread of 5.50 points in their favour seems spot-on. This series is all about better long-range shooting percentage in any given game though, and making fewer turnovers in the crucial moments, as both teams are quite turnover-prone.

Prediction: No value to be had on Denver to cover the spread here. Maybe Portland +5.50 has a touch of juice in it. OVER 212 line seems to be the better choice though, as these teams just can’t stop shooting the ball fast on most of the possessions. It’s Game 7 though, so just a half-stake for me.

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