The Denver Nuggets stayed alive last night thanks to big nights from Ty Lawson, Kenneth Farried and Andre Iguodala. They still gave up 100 points, but were able to generate enough offense to extend the series and force a Game Six in Golden State.
Tonight the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets will attempt to do the same thing; win a Game Five in a series they trail 3-1, but the big difference tonight is that these two teams will be trying to accomplish that task on the road as opposed to the friendly confines of their home gym…
Can either pull it off? Let’s dig inside the matchups and take a look.
Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers -7 (Total: 187.5)
The Pacers and Hawks appear destined to go seven games, if for no other reason than neither team seems to have any remote chance of winning on the road. So far this series has seen margins of 17,15,21, and 11 points. That’s four straight covers for the home team.
I think the trend continues tonight. Indiana has been good at home and is the better team, despite how poorly they played in Atlanta. They know tonight is a MUST win game, and they are a tough enough team to physically rise to the occasion. I expect Paul George’s physical assault on the basket to continue tonight, and look for David West and Roy Hibbert to be big against Atlanta’s less talented interior.
Free Pick: Indiana Pacers -7
Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder -8.5 (Total: 208)
The Rockets were unlucky in Game Three, losing a tough game on Kevin Durant’s triple-rim bouncing three pointer. They were LUCKY in Game Four, as the Thunder mishandled the last possession and STILL had an open Serge Ibaka layup to force overtime. Thus, the series continues tonight back in OKC where the Thunder rarely lose.
However, the last three games of this series have been very close and very competitive; all since Russell Westbrook’s injury. It appears Houston has figured out how to contain the Thunder a bit (though Durant is still running wild), but more importantly, as flourishing offensively in Westbrook’s ballhawking absence.
I like Oklahoma City to close out the series tonight, but I think it is going to be a competitive and entertaining game. Don’t expect Houston to go down without one heck of an offensive effort, spearheaded by James Harden and his battery of accompanying outside shooters; Patrick Beverly, Chandler Parsons, Carlos Delfino, etc.
I like a close game tonight, or at least close enough to get the Rockets inside the 8.5 point spread…
Free Pick: Houston Rockets +8.5