Last evening, both Oklahoma City and Indiana went on the road with their respective series’ tied at one. Both came away with very solid wins on the road as the Thunder won in Los Angeles and the Pacers were victorious in the nation’s capital.
In the other two series’ resuming tonight, the road teams look to win in foreign lands as well but they hold 2-0 leads in their respective series and are looking to put Brooklyn and Portland against the wall. I’m breaking down both games so read on!
Miami (-1.5) at Brooklyn, Heat Lead 2-0 - It’s really pretty simple when you look at this series; Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett need to play better. Williams accomplished the rare ‘Hibbert’ for himself by going scoreless in game two. Garnett hasn’t been much better in this series and that needs to change immediately.
To be fair, game two was a heck of a lot closer than the final score indicated but a loss is a loss especially when it comes in the playoffs. For the Heat’s part, they are getting the job done without LeBron James having to be ‘LeBron James.’ He’s averaging just 22 points through the first two games against the Nets.
If that trend of balance continues through the rest of this series then Brooklyn can start making plans for the offseason. In some ways, I think the worst thing that happened to the Nets was sweeping the Heat during the regular season. It’s created a very strong attention to detail not to mention some serious fire for Miami.
As much as I would like to think the Nets will climb back tonight, I can’t go there. Take the Heat to cover and earn a 3-0 lead in the series.
Keep an eye on… Miami is 13-3 straight up when playing on the road in Brooklyn… The Nets are 6-12 against the spread in their last 18 games against Miami… Brooklyn is 18-3 straight up in their last 21 games at home… The Heat are 2-4 against the spread in their six games against the Nets… Since the Big Three came together in Miami, they’ve won at least one road game in every playoff series they’ve been in.
San Antonio (-1.5) at Portland, Spurs Lead 2-0 - The Blazers gained the balance I thought they’d need in game two but it appears to be the other end of the court that appears to be the problem. Not only did the Spurs knock own 60% of their three-point attempts (12 of 20) but San Antonio has also had their way in terms of running their offense and everyone is getting in on the act.
The Spurs had seven players score in double figures ranging from 20 points to 10 points as balance is clearly no problem for them. One thing San Antonio is doing at the other end is limiting the Blazers’ fast break opportunities. Portland had just ten fast break points while the Spurs themselves had 17.
San Antonio appears to have learned lessons from their seven game series with Dallas as their play has reflected a sense of urgency they just didn’t have all the time in round one. I really like them to cover tonight and roll to a 3-0 lead in the series.
Keep an eye on… San Antonio is 12-6 straight up in their last 18 road games… The Blazers are 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five games… The Spurs are 3-10 against the spread on the road in Portland in their last 13 games… Portland is 1-6-1 against the spread in their last eight home games at home.