Down goes Boston, down goes Boston! Like an aging fighter, they hung in the ring for eleven rounds or so, but in the last three minutes, the beating got to be too much and they couldn’t punch back.
For the second straight game the Heat closed on a furious run, shutting out the veteran Celtics over the final four minutes and turning a small deficit into a double-digit, series-clinching win.
They might know their Conference Finals opponent by the end of the night, if Chicago can earn the series-clinching win tonight in Atlanta. Will they?
Let’s get on to tonight’s free picks…
Today’s Free NBA Picks:
Chicago Bulls -3.5 @ Atlanta Hawks (Total: 181.5)
Want a weird stat? How about this one. The Chicago Bulls are 31-2 when Keith Bogans scores six or more points. So I suppose the key to tonight’s game is Bogans!
Obviously, I’m kidding, but there is certainly some truth to the fact that the Bulls are only at their best when someone besides Derrick Rose contributes offensively and helps carry some share of the heaviest individual burden in the NBA that falls on Rose.
Whether it is Deng, Boozer, Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver, or yes, even Keith Bogans – if someone else can score some points, the Bulls are tough to beat. I like them to close it out in Atlanta tonight. I know these teams have traded games the entire series, but something seemed to finally click for Chicago for the first time in this postseason in Game 5 two nights ago.
Atlanta has a history of folding up shop when things get to crunch time. And not just “Atlanta” as a franchise, but this nearly exact Atlanta team (Jeff Teague excluded). Tonight? I think their history comes back to haunt them and the Bulls finally put together a second consecutive quality performance.