NBA: NBA Playoffs Friday Triple-play
The Boston Celtics looked like a bunch of old geezers the latter part of the schedule, but have found playoff basketball the perfect tonic for what ailed them. San Antonio is elderly at certain positions and too small to match up with Dallas, yet they return home 1-1. The Utah team bus can officially use their handicap sticker for parking with all their injuries, yet they could go up in the series over Denver with a win tonight. That is the backdrop for all three games tonight on the NBA playoff schedule. Let’s take a closer look at each before heading over to the LIVE ODDS page on Sportsbook.com and hitting the confirm button on our wagers.
Boston at Miami 7:00E ESPN
The Heat were a popular wager twice in Boston and they came up short both times as the Celtics went back to what they do best, play defense and take good shots. Playoff basketball can do that for team, the daily grind of the regular season is replaced by focusing on the strengths and weakness of just one foe, creating a singular mindset.
Boston is 13-1 and 10-4 ATS against Miami in just over three seasons of playing the Heat. This provides a certain comfort level not easily achieved, even performing on the postseason road.
“We’re figuring their backs are against the wall and they’re thinking that if they don’t get Game 3 then this is pretty much over,” Kevin Garnett said. “I know that’s what I would be thinking so we’re going to have to be ready for that.” Garnett’s team is 19-7 ATS off a home blowout win by 20 points or more.
Miami is 7-23 ATS at home after playing consecutive road games yet is not showing panic outwardly. “Minor adjustments, of course, but energy, effort, mental, things like that. Those are the things we’ve been so good at so far this year,” Heat forward Udonis Haslem said. “We’ve got to get back to that.”
Sportsbook.com has Boston catching four points, with total of 182 and they are 22-11 ATS as visitors when the total is between 180 and 189.5 points over the last two seasons. The C’s are 10-2 UNDER off a home win by 10 points or more this year. The Heat will attempt to get off the canvas and are 28-13 ATS after allowing 105 points or more, coupled with 9-0 OVER mark off an embarrassing road loss scoring less than 80 points.
Dallas at San Antonio 9:30E ESPN
Tim Duncan, he of the aching knees, having lost a step of quickness, is masquerading as the player he was 10 years ago, averaging 26 points and 12.5 rebounds against Dallas. The Duncan drop-step is back and the lack of quickness has been replaced with smarter positioning to release shots faster before opponent can gather itself.
“For two or three weeks there toward the end of the season, I was starting to wear down a little bit,” Duncan stated. Off the 102-88 thumping, the Spurs are 10-3-1 ATS after breaking the century mark in points.
The Mavericks have looked a little too dependent on offense from Dirk Nowitzki thus far in the series, benefitting from his near perfect 36-point performance in Game 1 and sagging noticeably when he was 9-24 from the field, totaling up 24 points Wednesday night.
Dallas is 14-3 ATS in road games off an upset loss as a favorite and needs production in the paint from their centers. In the opener Erick Dampier and Brandon Heywood totaled 15 points, in Game 2, a meaningless two points.
The Spurs are 3.5-point pick at the AT&T Center where they have covered seven of previous nine. Dallas is spirited 26-15 ATS on the road and 13-3 UNDER revenging a home loss.
Denver at Utah 10:30E ESPN2
If the shoulders of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer look a little bigger, it’s for good reason; they are forced to carry the load for Utah. Williams had 33 points and 14 assists in 114-111 upset in Denver and Boozer added 20 points and 15 rebounds as the injury-riddled Jazz tied the series.
“D-Will and Booze, they had their way,” said Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups noted after the contest.
The action moves to Salt Lake City were the Jazz are 32-9 and 26-13-2 ATS, winning by 9.5 points per game. That places the onus on Denver and they are 29-12 ATS after consecutive tilts as a home favorite over the last two seasons.
“We missed some easy shots, some lay-ups and we kind of felt it at the end. But we know what we have to do. We’ll get one over there. It’s playoff basketball.” Johan Petro said.
Denver will have turn up defensive intensity, since it has been on low wattage, with Utah shooting 54.7 and 52.9 percent in initial two contests of the first round. It will be up to interim coach Adrian Dantley to convince his players to work as harder on the other end of the floor and they are 13-3 ATS after allowing 105 points or more three straight games.
The Jazz are a 2.5-point pick before what should be a roaring crowd and Utah is 8-1 ATS after two straight as an underdog this season. With the way this series is being played the listed total of 215.5 seems like forgone conclusion, however the Nuggets are is 8-0 UNDER away from home after a combined score of 215 points or more in two straight skirmishes and coach Jerry Sloan’s club is 15-4 UNDER in home whites after scoring 110 points or more.
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