Happy Wednesday. Yesterday was a solid day at the office. I went 1-1 on two outright dogs to end the day slightly positive. We’re now 4-2 on second round plays and 31-15 on the playoffs overall. The Bucks were sunk by a barrage of threes in Boston, losing the battle behind the arc by an absurd 51 points. Boston has been pretty efficient from three so far in this series, and Milwaukee managed to make just three triples last night. That should bode well for the Bucks moving forward; games like this aren’t particularly replicable. There are improvements to be made when it comes to creating offense, however, and the Bucks will likely need to sacrifice some of the interior domination their big-heavy lineups provide for the sake of creation on the offensive side. That will be an interesting game of give-and-take as the series continues. The Grizzlies made up for the Bucks’ loss in the night’s second game, giving us two 1-1 series on the bottom half of the playoff bracket. Ja Morant ate his way to a near 50-point game, and the Warriors have very little in the way of defensive answers with Gary Payton II now out. Going home with a 1-1 tie will do the job, and the Warriors have no shortage of experience, poise, and offensive counters. But Morant appears to be ready for the stage after an up-and-down first round. We might have two really good series on our hands here. It’s hard to say the same about tonight’s series, but we’ll see. Both the Suns and Heat will look to go up 2-0 on the Mavs and (for now) Embiid-less Sixers, respectively. Let’s find some winners.
NBA record: 242-213-8 ATS (27-41 Underdog ML), 13-16-1 O/U, 5-8 parlay, 0-2 props
- Heat -8
There’s just no reason to bet on the Sixers here. The Heat didn’t shooting particularly well in Game 1 (43.5%). They were rather abysmal from deep (25%). They made one less free throw than Philly. And they won by 14. The Sixers won’t shoot 6-34 from three again, but both teams are due for some offensive bouncing back. Miami’s ability to win on the offensive glass is likely somewhat sustainable with Joel Embiid out too. You take away the MVP candidate, and the remaining pieces aren’t up to the task. It’s not exactly a surprise; it’s just the reality for most teams. It’s been an especially impactful problem in Philly during the Embiid era. That won’t stop tonight. Miami rolls to 2-0.
- Suns -6
The Suns led by 21 with just under nine minutes left in Game 1, but they covered by just one point after Dallas nearly knocked the back door all the way down. The line is the same tonight, and I like Phoenix to cover it again. The Mavs were the better team from three and produced 11 less assists in their seven-point loss, which is generally a less than ideal sign. A good shooting game that largely depends on individual efforts should not lead to a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Phoenix is simply the better team here, and they go up 2-0 at home without much difficulty.