Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):
|1:00 PM||Dallas Mavericks||San Antonio Spurs||Spurs|
|3:30 PM||Charlotte Bobcats||Miami Heat||Heat|
|7:00 PM||Washington Wizards||Chicago Bulls||Bulls|
|9:30 PM||Portland Trail Blazers||Houston Rockets||Rockets|
Things to Watch For
In the Mavericks-Spurs game, look for Tony Parker to attack Dallas’ defense every time he gets an opportunity to do so. San Antonio’s ball and player movement will result in numerous layups at the front of the rim or wide-open corner threes. How many points the Spurs score from each of these two areas will largely depend on how well the Mavericks react to Parker’s initial penetrations.
Miami will begin its postseason run against a team that it has defeated 16 straight times, a team that will be playing just its second playoff series in franchise history and a team that has never won a single game in the postseason. So look for the two-time defending NBA champions to take advantage of Charlotte’s lack of playoff experience and do what the East’s top-seeded team (the Indiana Pacers) couldn’t do Saturday evening: Protect their home court.
The Chicago Bulls will wall off the paint and make it difficult for John Wall to penetrate the lane. And even when Wall does break down Chicago’s perimeter defenders look for Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson to give support.
Both the Trail Blazers and Rockets ranked in the top five in three pointers made and attempted during the regular season so look for a lot of threes to be taken—and made—in Game 1 of their first-round matchup. But, in my opinion, how Damian Lillard (who is making his postseason debut) handles Patrick Beverly’s incessant, annoying pressure—and not who rains down the most threes—to a large degree, will ultimately determine the outcome of this game—as well as the series.
|Brooklyn Nets 94||Toronto Raptors 87||Nets||Nets|
|Golden State Warriors 109||Los Angeles Clippers 105||Clippers||Warriors|
|Atlanta Hawks 101||Indiana Pacers 93||Pacers||Hawks|
|Memphis Grizzlies 86||Oklahoma City Thunder 100||Thunder||Thunder|
Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 2-2
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Playoffs: 2-2
***Unlike my regular-season game-by-game predictions, which are made well before the beginning of the season, my game-by-game playoff predictions will be made day-by-day as the playoffs progress. This is mainly to avoid the mess that will be made whenever one of my predictions goes awry.***