Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NBA Conference Finals Predictions - Game 1

  The second round of the NBA playoffs finished on Sunday afternoon with the Houston Rockets completing their comeback from a 3-1 hole to win game seven. That unexpected turn of events turn of events left me 90 mythical dollars to the plus side and 4-3 in my playoff series predictions to go along with my $150 mythical regular season profit.

My second round picks blog post was somehow highly listed on the bing search engine for ‘NBA second round playoff predictions’ last week. This led to increased traffic for this Broken Pawn blog and a sense of responsibility on my part to continue the predictions to the rest of the playoffs instead of writing about my epic trip to the Waffle House in Liberty, Missouri last weekend. .

The series odds favor the Warriors at -750 and the Cavaliers at -230 with the underdog Rockets at +550 and Hawks at +195. I think the Warriors will win the series in 6 but I don't like the 7-1 odds. I like the Cavaliers to win in seven but the series will be razor close and the determining factor will be the health of Cavaliers’ guard Kyrie Irving who has been hampered by knee issues. For the Conference finals I will switch from picking the winners of the series to picking individual games using the Sportsbook.ag lines for entertainment purposes only.

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors – Game 1 Tuesday
I was not convinced the Warriors were championship material until they came back from trailing the Memphis Grizzlies two games to one to win three straight including two in Memphis. The Warriors dismantled Memphis by being just as if not more physical as the most physical team in the NBA. Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s defensive switch of putting center Andrew Bogut on Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was a masterstroke and has convinced me that he will be able to pinpoint and exploit the weaknesses in the Rockets’ talented but flawed roster. As good as the Rockets have played it seems to me that Rockets all-star guard James Harden doesn’t work well with center Dwight Howard on the offensive end and won’t be able to cover any of the Warriors guards on the defensive side of the court. The Warriors are favored by 10 points and I expect them to cover and win me $100 on a $105 wager.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks – Game 1 Wednesday
In LeBron James the Cavaliers have the best player in the series but the Hawks will be able to use a number of different players (Al Horford, Paul Milsap, Kent Bazemore, DeMarre Carroll) to make him work for everything he gets on offense and occupy him on defense. The Cavs were able to get past the Bulls without point guard Kyrie Irving at 100 percent but if Irving is still hobbled I expect Hawk’s all-star point guard Jeff Teague to wreak havoc with his speed against the other Cavalier guards. On defense the Hawks have no one to match up with the Cavalier's massive center Timofey Mozgov but if Irving is still hurt the Hawks will be able to scheme around their lack of size. Irving will play in game one but I don’t see him being in game shape and will go with the home team Hawks giving a point and wager $110 to win $100.

No comments: