LOCK OF THE CENTURY: NBA Elimination Games
Big NBA night as four different teams face elimination on the same day since 2003. While it is obvious that it is a must-win game for the teams down 3-1, a couple of the other teams need to close things out tonight to give themselves the best possible preparation and rest for the 2nd round. Games picked in chronological order.
Orlando Magic +10.5 at Indiana Pacers
I wouldn’t touch this game with a ten-foot pole. 10.5 points is just too big of a spread on which to gamble. It doesn’t matter that the Orlando Magic team is the biggest collection of quitters in pro sports. Having said that…gun to my head I like Indiana to cover at home. The Pacers have blown the doors off of the Magic twice in this series and Orlando doesn’t have the ability to rebound from a tough OT loss at home in Game 4. The Pick: Indiana Pacers -10.5
Boston Celtics +1.5 at Atlanta Hawks
This is the easiest game on the board. No idea why the Celtics are underdogs in this one. Yeah, Atlanta is the home team, but it took every bounce and call to fend off the Celtics in game 1. Then they couldn’t beat the Celtics without Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo in Game 2. The Celtics just decimated the Hawks in Game 4 to put a stranglehold on the series. Game 5 on the road for a team up 3-1 can often be a trap game, but the Celtics know that they need to close out the Hawks now so they can rest their aging stars. Just as much of a must-win for Boston as it is for the Hawks in many ways. The Pick: Boston Celtics +1.5
Philadelphia 76ers +5 at Chicago Bulls
No Rose and no Noah has the Bulls down 3-1 in the series heading home. They had chances to win both games in Philly, but faded down the stretch. I feel like the Bulls will try to make a statement tonight and defend home court, but 5 points seems like a huge spread coming off of 3 straight losses. This is another game that I wouldn’t touch, but with a gun to my head I am going with Philly. The injuries are too much for the Bulls to overcome and the Sixers have the closers needed to finish in the 4th. The Pick: Philadelphia 76ers +5.
Denver Nuggets +5.5 at Los Angeles Lakers
If Andrew Bynum is mentally ready to go(which is apparently a big if) then the Nuggets are dead. They have battled hard in this series and have a bright future, but much like the Celtics, the Lakers will be pushing hard to close this out so they can have a little vacation before their series with the Thunder. Only one of the three Lakers’ wins has been by more than 5.5 points, but I think they surpass the spread with free throws down the stretch. The Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -5.5
So it was written, so let it be done. 60% of the time I am right every time.
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