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Last night, the Sixers were able to even their series against Toronto with a big win on the road. This was a very defensively minded game as the final scored ended up being just 94-89. Kawhi Leonard had a huge game and Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry performed well, but it was everyone else who was the problem. Outside of those three players, the rest of the team combined for just 13 points. Philadelphia dominated the boards in this one and got a big game from James Ennis off the bench. Jimmy Butler led the Sixers with 30 points.
The other game saw the Nuggets really put their stamp on this series with a big win over the Blazers. This game was tight throughout, but the Nuggets really started pulling away in the second half. Nikola Jokic had a huge game, abusing the Blazers centers, and ended with 37 points. The 12 steals by Denver was impressive, but I think Portland looks at their seven missed free throws in this game as a real lost opportunity. Despite the win, you definitely got the feeling watching this one that this is going to be a tight series.
Finally, in the NHL we saw a huge scoring game between the Stars and Blues. We took the over on this one in yesterday’s tips so it was nice to see the Blues take this one 4-3.
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NBA Betting Tips:
Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks: I just cannot see the Bucks going down 0-2 in this series. They had an easy first round match-up, almost too easy, and didn’t come out with the same spring in their step. There were open threes missed and defensive lapses. I think the team really ups their energy in this next game as they now know the level of intensity they need to bring to this series.
Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors: This series is huge and there is already a lot of talk coming out of game one. What I noticed about the game was just how little scoring and how few shots were taken. In the regular season, both of these teams shot in the high 80s of field goal attempts per game, but neither of them broke that number in game one. I think that is by design and we are going to see another defensive minded battle here. The total is set way too high for what that might look like.
NHL Betting Tips:
Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets are the story of this NHL playoffs thus far and they head for their first home game of this round with a 1-1 tie. Both of these games have been extremely tight and I’m expecting no different here, but the home ice should mean a lot to this team. They played huge last round in their home games and I think that carries over here. I fear overtime between these two teams, but I just have a hard time seeing Columbus lose this game.