16 NBA PLAYOFF GAMES IN BOOKS and SQUARES ARE UP/HOUSE IS DOWN!
These 2018 NBA Playoffs started as wide open for all teams to have a chance in Round 1, as every team has some serious flaws. So far, the Favorites are (9-7), with 5 Underdogs winning Outright. When the Warriors win, the House usually loses.
The surprise team so far has to be the New Orleans Pelicans. They lost star Boogies Cousins and looked like they’d miss Playoffs. Then in final month Anthony Davis just went off, playing ike best player in the league. That’s carried over to this first Series vs. Blazers, as the Pelicans have shocked us all, winning not one, but both games on the Road. It’s not only been Davis though, as Jrue Holiday has been simply unstoppable so far in Games 1 and 2.
Last night we saw the Utah Jazz steal a win in a tough place to play, Oklahoma City. How did they do it? All stud Rookie Donovan Mitchell, as this kid has been the best Playoff Performer thus far. He scored 55 points in his first 2 Playoff games, most ever by any player. And really very few baskets were easy. He’s been Houdini in the lane throwing in what looked like terrible shots where he was fully covered like a blanket, and time and time again he’s made big baskets when the Thunder have tied game or taken the lead. It’s funny as he looks and plays exactly like his Idol, Russ Westbrook. These two teams are almost Identical, and this series has 7 games written all over it.
The Spurs have really been the only team that has been just plain “BAD”. Now things got even worse as HC Popovich’s wife passed yesterday. He will not be on the sidelines for Game 3, but I’d fully expect these guys to give their very best effort tonight to pay respect to Coach Pop and his wife and family. This is not the Spurs team of old, as they have to work too hard on every possession to score.
Cleveland may have grabbed Game 2 to even the Series, but after a early 13-0 lead, they won by only 3, basically again being outplayed by 10 most of the game. It’s really all Lebon and nobody else for the Cavs, and the Pacers are now in mindset they can pull the Upset and win this Series. Oladipo has been top 5 overall in the Playoffs so far, as he’s upped his game to All Star level right now. This is not going to end well for Cavs fans hoping Lebron stays on after this season. He is GONE, GONE, GONE.
The Bucks trail the Celtics 2-0 games and head home but hard to fathom this Bucks team winning 4 of the next 5, as only stud Giannis A. has played solid basketball. The Bucks have no flow on Offense, and simply change their rotations so much nobody ever seems to get into sync. Give Celtics credit, they are down some serious starpower, but the young guns, Rozier, Tatum and Brown have really looked like vets who’ve played 10 seasons. Add in Al Horford has been just outstanding and really taking ball to hoop with a vengeance…the clear difference maker as he’s hitting Free throws at such a high level, the Bucks can never seem to make hay and put super pressure on Celts to possibly implode.
Last the Wizards have just been awful and will need a complete change overnight to contend in this Series. Wiz Bradly Beal has been horrific and Wall has started slow both games too. Beal is (3-11) on 3’s and just (1-7) in 4th quarters, missing all 4 three balls he’s taken. He had a (-34) in Game 2, worst of anyone in Playoffs so far. The Raptors though are a totally different team away from Home, so a win by Wiz here is not out of question at all. Wall had a solid Game 2 second half, and I expect home crowd to juice up his energy and I can see Wall getting 30 in Game 3.
It looks like Utah and Oklahoma City will be the one series now that will surely go 7 games, and it’s going to be great to see if Mitchell can keep up his record breaking Playoff start. He is NO rookie, this kid is a SUPERSTAR.
*Gary Greene is one of the most respected Sports Handicappers in the country for over 30 years and one of the most profitable sports bettors in the world.