NBA Playoffs – First Round

The NBA playoffs start tonight. So I thought I’d write a quick post on the first round matchups and my predictions:

The (L)East

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

Before the season who would have said that the Celtics would get into the playoffs? …Don’t’ lie. No one. This tells you 2 things:

  • The East is terrible, as has been compared unfairly to a dumpster fire. (Unfairly for dumpster fires).
  • Also it shows how good a coach Brad Stevens is by getting this rag tag bunch of scrubs and cast-offs to the playoffs.

I’ve watched the Celtics more as the season has gone on and Stevens can coach the shit out of every possession. With approximately 64 picks in the 2 drafts, and the best young coach in the game, the future looks bright for Boston…

…But in the immediate future I expect them to lose this series to LeBron’s team. In fact I would back the 4-0 series scoreline at 3.25 (+225 US) if I didn’t have such faith in Coach Stevens somehow winning at least 1 game.

Cavs in 5 Update: Cavs won in 4, no Stevens magic.

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards

Only people who live in these 2 cities, gambling degenerates and insatiable basketball fans will be watching this series. (I’ll leave you to decide which group I belong in!). I believe the value’s on Washington here at 2.6 (+160) and I’ve had a little of that.

Washington in 6 Update: Washington won in 4, surprisingly. +1.6pts

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks

Bulls in 5. That is all. Update: Chicago won in 6

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets

Atlanta have been coasting for a long time, everyone is well rested relative to the league except Millsap. I think people have forgotten what a great team Atlanta is and will show that a team like Brooklyn doesn’t belong in the playoffs.

Atlanta in 5 Update: Atlanta won in 6

The West

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans

Amazingly the Pelicans beat the Spurs on the last day of the regular season to make the playoffs. What that really means is that after playing 82 games, their reward to play another 4. And that’s 4 games against the best team in the league. GSW have been historically good: they have the 8th best MOV ever in the NBA. Plus they have the best offensive and defensive eFG%. The only intrigue here is if New Orleans manage to somehow win 1 game, I doubt it.

GSW Sweep at 3.40 (+240) Update: GSW won in 4. +2.4pts

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks

Every though it’s obvious that to stop Houston you need to target Harden, Dallas have been pretty awful for remainder of the season. Dirk is now totally immobile and teams know that there’s no point of guarding Rondo.

Houston in 5 Update: Houston won in 5

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers

We’ve got 2 beat up teams here. Mike Conley looks likely to play so I expect Memphis to qualify, but no bets here.

Memphis in 6 Update: Memphis won in 5

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs

The best first round matchup is definitely between the Clippers & the Spurs. The Clippers went 14-1 to finish the season and their reward is facing the Spurs. Unlucky. Blake Griffin wasn’t happy about it either:

You probably never want to play the Spurs in the first round if you had your choice

When the odds for the first match of Spurs @ Clippers came out they were 2.10 (+110). I’ve had a bit of that thank you very much.

Chris Paul is the Clippers. I’ve briefly posted previously about the MVP discussion, but CP3 will definitely NOT get the recognition he deserves for this season. He’s been amazing, on both ends of the court. If they are gonna get out of this series he will need to play well. Unfortunately for him the Spurs have the best wing defender in the game: Kawhi Leonard. When the reigning finals MVP isn’t guarding Paul, the Spurs will probably have their backup point guards hound him constantly. I doubt he’ll have an easy time bringing the ball across the court, and this is a player who’s played a shit load of minutes this season:

Another thing I’m sure we’ll see is Popovich using the hack-a-Jordan approach when trailing. I’m not a fan of this from a viewer point of view, and because I don’t think it’s +EV. But who am I to question coach Pop?!

Spurs in 6 Update: Clippers won a classic series in 7. Spurs lost the 1st game -1pt

Bets Summary: 2-1. +3 pts

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