NBA Playoff Update
Kelso Grabs 25 Unit Win on Celtics in Eastern Finals Game 1!!
NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS STARTS TONIGHT AS WARRIORS-ROCKETS COLLIDE, PLUS WE RE-CAP BOSTON'S BLOWOUT WIN IN GAME 1 OF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS ...
Now, who says that "you can't always get what you want"?
Everybody in hoops-land wanted a Golden State Warriors versus Houston Rockets showdown - and wanted it badly! -- in the NBA's Western Conference Finals and it's finally here and you just know the good folks at TNT want a go-the-distance set. After all, in that last round of playoff action we got a sweep and three separate five-game series wins.
Hey, that's not a whole lot of b-ball "inventory", you know!
So, we've cleared the decks in the West and we're just where everyone thought we be with Warriors-Rockets and before we get you our preview, two quickie questions come to mind:Number one, are the #1 seed Rockers being "disrespected" in the series price that now has Golden State - 220 / Houston + 180? Hmm ...
Secondly, can the Rockets win this series if they don't win a single road game? We ask that 'cause Golden State has won all six of their home playoff tilts and if truly believe that G-State's not gonna lose at home than the Rockets - obviously -- must hold serve in all four of their home games. Is that reasonable?
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS PREVIEW
GOLDEN STATE at HOUSTON - Game 1, 9:05 p.m. ET, TNT
Okay, saddle up! The Golden State Warriors are the NBA's most potent offensive team (averaging 113.5 points per game) while the Houston Rockets are right behind 112.4 ppg) and suffice to say the 24-second shot clock won't be in play much in this clash-of-titans series.
Still, don't sleep on the fact that the visiting Warriors - a 1-point underdog here in Game 1 - can come out and squeeze you on "D" when necessary and that's why we reason F Draymond Green is every bit or more important here than scoring stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson - a trio that's averaging nearly 74 points a game between 'em - as Green's intangible plays, ability to draw fouls and unique ways to get under opponents' skin will be huge here against a Houston team that sports MVP-to-be James Harden (28.5 ppg in 10 playoff games this spring) and PG Chris Paul (see 40-point game in the close-out victory against Utah in that last round) but needs a uber-dependable third- and fourth-scorer here if this is gonna be survive-and-advance time for head coach Mike D'Antoni's crew.
Gut feel? If the Rockets pull this conference finals surprise, then back-seat TV commercial singer Trevor Ariza (shooting just 38 percent from the floor this post-season) has to be a star in at least two of Houston's wins ... got it?
Here's the 2017-18 regular-season head-to-head matchups between the Warriors and the Rockets (all home teams in CAPS):
|10-17||Houston||+ 9.5||GOLDEN ST||122-121|
|1-4||Golden St||- 4.5||HOUSTON||124-114|
|1-20||HOUSTON||+ 3||Golden St||116-108|
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
BOSTON 108- CLEVELAND 83 - Celtics lead series 1-0; Game 2 is Tuesday at 8:35 p.m. ET on ESPN
Somebody get the number of that truck! The Boston Celtics - yes, a + 240 underdog for this conference finals set against the Cleveland Cavaliers (- 285 at the start of this round, down to - 125 while heading into Game 2) - surely meant business with this resounding series-opening home win on Mother's Day afternoon but what were the odds that Boston F Marcus Morris would win his "personal battle" with Cleveland's LeBron James hands down? Morris scored 21 points, snagged 10 rebounds and haunted/harassed James into seven turnovers as the Celtics unbelievably opened up a 21-point first-quarter lead and cruised to the finish line on a day when Cleveland missed 22-of-26 three-point attempts ... egads!'
Now, Boston boss Brad Stevens sure has it right when he says his club must be ready to take on a champion's punch right from the start of Game 2 when James likely won't defer to his less-talented teammates, so expect 10-to-12 FG tries in the first quarter alone by "The King" and then we'll see how things stack up after Boston sported a 36-18 lead after a single quarter in Game 1.
Keep in mind that seven different Celts were a + 14 or better in Game 1 (Jason Tatum's + 27 was ridiculous) and now we'll see if Boston can shoot 51 percent here after draining 43-of-84 FGs in the opener.
Here's the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Cavaliers and the Celtics (all home teams in CAPS):
NBA PLAYOFF POINTSPREAD CHART
Here's the pointspread breakdown this post-season - note we've only included the four teams that are playing in these conference finals:
Note: NBA Playoff Betting Favorites are 36-27-1 ATS (against the spread) for a .571 winning rate with one Pick 'Em game while heading into Game 1 of Warriors-Rockets tonight.