Happy Friday. Yesterday was an NBA-less day in the middle of the second round, which didn’t feel right. From what I’ve seen, the Fiserv Forum is to blame after they booked a concert for tonight, which theoretically took away last night as an option too due to set-up. This theoretical part I haven’t looked into but it seems plausible and I have no idea what the other explanation would be. Whoops. As a result, the 1/4 series in both conferences will jump the 2/3 series and play their Game 3s tonight. Both the Sixers, who are potentially without Joel Embiid once again, and the Mavs will be fighting for their lives at home as they look to avoid 0-3 deficits. On Monday night, I went 2-0 to push the second round record to 6-2 and the overall playoff record to 33-15. Let’s find some more winners tonight.
NBA record: 244-213-8 ATS (27-41 Underdog ML), 13-16-1 O/U, 5-8 parlay, 0-2 props
- Heat -3
Joel Embiid might play. He’s been ruled out, but that could still change if he makes some additional progress before game time tonight. I’m not really sure why the system works like that, but that’s not important. What is important is this – I think the Heat cover this line regardless, and it’s a bargain of a line if Embiid is indeed out.
Miami is good. I had them winning this series in seven from the start of the playoffs. I still doubt that they have a title-winning ceiling with the defensive deficiencies of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson and the offensive deficiencies of some of their other key pieces, but this is a really solid, well-coached, experienced team.
And it’s hard to say those things about the Sixers right now. Doc isn’t Spo, and Philadelphia has gotten absolutely nothing from anyone outside of Maxey, Harden, and Harris this series. There’s not a whole lot of reason to expect that to change tonight either. They’ve been outmatched, plain and simple, and understandably so with one of the league’s best players on the sidelines. Three-point shooting is a potential sign of promise; the Sixers have shot 14-64 (21.9%) so far, which should be unsustainably bad for any NBA team regardless of who’s healthy. Some expected improvement there won’t be near enough to win the series, but things should flip at some point in a way that could help them win a game or two. And while getting back a game-wrecking force is the kind of thing that offers some hope, it’s hard to believe that that’s what Philly gets tonight if Embiid does manage to get out there. There’s a reason that it’s such a question mark. He’s not anywhere close to one-hundred percent. The dude is a warrior, but it’d be a truly legendary performance if he comes back tonight and carries the Sixers to a win. Unfortunately, that’s probably what they need to avoid the 0-3 hole.
- Suns PK -110
This is simply too good of a line to pass up. Phoenix has been pretty dominant so far despite Luka averaging 40 points, 8.5 boards, and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 9-21 (42.8%) from deep. There’s not a whole lot of room for improvement there from Doncic. Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie could theoretically be better, but the Mavs as a whole have shot above 40% from three in both games. And there’s not a whole lot of room for Brunson and Dinwiddie to expand their creative volume next to Doncic. They just need to hit the shots they’re getting, which is a bit of tougher ask against a really good Suns defense. Chris Paul has been clinical. Devin Booker is scoring pretty well. The Suns are simply ripping through the Mavs, and Dallas has no answers defensively. Phoenix should win this game, and I think they will.