Orlando at Detroit (-6 ½, 184 ½)
Game 1 was a reality check for the Magic. After pushing the Raptors aside by dominating the paint and hitting from downtown, they were ones getting pushed around in the paint by the Pistons and couldn’t hit anything outside (2-of-15) either.
Detroit wants to turn this series into a battle royal, wearing out Dwight Howard in the trenches at both ends of the floor. The Magic can play that kind of scrappy game for a while, but the Pistons are built for that stuff. Orlando needs to make some outside shots to open things up a bit for Howard underneath.
San Antonio at New Orleans (-2, 182)
So are you a Hornets believer yet?
Betting against the Spurs has been a great way to burn your bankroll for years, but they’re up against some stiff competition in this series. New Orleans is becoming a really tough place to play – with or without the greasy hardcourt following that mascot gaffe – as the whole city gets behind the team.
You know San Antonio isn’t backing down, but the Spurs were having the same problems with New Orleans as Dallas did – namely, Chris Paul.
“The way I put it is he runs an organized playground,” Spurs coach Greg Popovich told reporters. “When Chris takes control of the basketball ... he has an uncanny ability and special awareness of where his teammates are and how to get the ball to them. And if that doesn’t work, he’s a helluva scorer.
“His decision-making skills are tremendous, but when you put his individual skills with that, it just makes it impossible.”
Check out yesterday's Pick 'n' Roll here.
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