Happy Thursday. We’re back baby. The Bucks won an absolute thriller of a game last night, grabbing revenge for their Game 4 collapse in the process. Giannis was sensational with another 40 and 10 effort that was the only reason Milwaukee was still alive at half, and Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, and Wes Matthews all came up with big shots and plays down the stretch. This was a championship win from a championship team, and the Bucks are now just one game away from another trip to the ECF. The Grizzlies also won, absolutely demolishing the Warriors to give further heed to the “better without Ja” talk. Morant is a special offensive player, but it’s silly to dismiss the talk; Memphis was nearly 2 points better per 100 possessions when Morant sat during the regular season, though that hasn’t held up in the playoffs. In any case, the Grizzlies aren’t done quite yet despite facing an uphill climb at 2-3 down. Those two results (the Bucks’ outright win and Memphis covering +4) gave us a 2-0 day. The second round record is now 9-8-1. The playoff record is 36-21-1. Let’s keep the momentum going tonight. Both Philly and Dallas are looking to keep their seasons alive down 2-3 ahead of a Game 6 at home.
NBA record: 247-219-9 ATS (28-41 Underdog ML), 13-16-1 O/U, 5-8 parlay, 0-2 props
- Sixers -2
I talked about Philly having all the momentum the other night, and then they went out and got absolutely clobbered in Game 5. The Heat got the secondary production they needed from Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Victor Oladipo, who combined for 47 points. They shut down the Sixers on the other end. They made their threes (13-33). They controlled the glass (+10 rebounding) and the paint (+20 on points in the paint). They produced 12 more assists than the Sixers. It’s no surprise they won by blowout; they absolutely dominated the game. So what do the Sixers have left in the tank for their response?
Embiid needs to be more of a presence on the inside. Some more threes need to fall. Someone, whether it be Harden, Harris, or Maxey, needs to step up and produce as an individual scorer. The Sixers have the players to make this happen, and they’re 4-1 at home in the postseason. It’s not going to be easy to come into Philly and win this game, and I don’t think Miami gets it done.
- Mavs +110
I don’t think the Mavs are going down easy either. They’ve controlled the series in Dallas. Their role players have stepped up. They’ve done what they’ve needed to in limiting the Suns’ guys too. Luka won’t go out quietly after the Game 5 shenanigans from Devin Booker. The Mavs fought back twice in Games 3 and 4 when they seemed down and out, and I expect them to do it again.