J.R. Smith is back and ready to finish off the Boston Celtics in Game 5 Wednesday. Here is a look at some NBA playoff notes to help with your handicapping.
Smith back in Knicks lineup
New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith will be back in the lineup for Game 5 versus the Boston Celtics.
Smith served a one-game suspension for throwing an elbow at Boston's Jason Terry in Game 3.
The Knicks lost Game 4 97-90 in overtime.
Smith seems to think that the series would be over if he was in the lineup rather than serving a suspension, according to Newsday.
"Oh yeah, it would've been over," Smith told Newsday after practice Tuesday. "I'd have been playing golf [now]."
The Knicks will look to close out the series tonight at home. They are 9-point favorites and the total is 182.
Harden ill, expected to play; Lin, still out
The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston Rockets star James Harden will play in tonight's Game 5 matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is, however, suffering from flu like symptoms, reports Rocket's beat writer Jonathan Feigen on twitter.
Harden is third in playoff scoring with 25.3 points per game.
The Chronicle also reports that the Rockets "did not sound optimistic that (Jeremy) Lin would be able to play."
Lin suffered a chest injury in Game 3 and did not play in Game 4.
The Rockets staved off elimination as they won Game 4 105-103.
Lin's replacement, Patrick Beverley, was excellent in the starting role. The rookie scored 16 points in 37 minutes in the Game 4 victory.
Houston is an 8.5-point on the road Wednesday night. The total is 208.
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
Most books had lines open with the Knicks as 8-point favorites and have since moved to 9-point favorites.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers
Most books had lines open with the Pacers as 6.5-point favorites and have have gone up to 7-point favorites.
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Most books had the Thunder open as 8.5-point favorites and that line has held firm.