We’re now into the semifinals of the conference playoffs in the NBA and a pair of intriguing Game 2’s will go in the books on Wednesday night. The Golden State Warriors nearly paid off big time on the betting lines in Game 1 but how will they pick up the pieces in Game 2? Meanwhile, the Miami Heat were surprised in Game 1 but can they bounce-back in Game 2?
Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat
Odds: Heat -12
It was supposed to be a big night in Miami on Monday, as the Heat were coming off a sweep of Milwaukee and LeBron James was receiving his fourth MVP trophy while Chicago was supposed to roll over after winning a huge Game 7 on the road in Brooklyn to get to this point. However, the scrappy and shorthanded Bulls had other plans as they shocked the Heat 93-86 behind 27 points from Nate Robinson while holding Miami to 39.7% from the floor and outrebounding them 46-32. James had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Heat, who looked like a team that had eight days off and they came out rusty.
There will be none of that on Wednesday as the Heat know very well what Chicago can do: Miami have now lost three games since February 23rd, and two of those came against the Bulls, including a loss that ended their 27-game winning streak on March 27th. The Heat will need more out of their secondary players, especially Chris Bosh (nine points on 3-of-10 shooting, six rebounds) and Dwyane Wade (14 points, 7-on-16 shooting), but they’ll get it as they tie up their Eastern Conference semifinal at one game apiece.
Pick: Heat -12
Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs
Odds: Spurs -7.5
This Game 1 was the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Chicago-Miami as it went to double overtime before the Spurs pulled out a 129-127 squeaker over the Warriors thanks to a Manu Ginobili basket with 1.2 seconds to play. The Warriors showed their inexperience by losing a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter, and they were brutal from the free-throw line, making just 14 of their 24 attempts. The matchup at the point was a thing of beauty to watch as San Antonio’s Tony Parker put up 28 points, eight boards and eight assists, while Golden State counterpart Stephen Curry had 44 points and 11 dimes, but he made a couple of poor plays down the stretch and Parker’s experience won out over the younger Curry.
The Warriors haven’t won in San Antonio since Valentine’s Day, 1997, a span of 30 games and they had an excellent chance to do it on Monday, but in the fourth quarter, they looked way out of their element and the Spurs are too good of a team to keep letting get back up. Golden State learned that the playoffs require your attention for 48 minutes, or at the very least, you’ll end up playing an extra 10 against a team that has plenty of experience and they don’t panic when they get down. The Spurs won’t let the Warriors get a lead like that again and they’ll take a 2-0 NBA betting lead back to Golden State.
Pick: Spurs -7.5