Posted: 5/1/2012 10:57:16 AM
Hawks -4 (-103) to win 30 units
Rajon Rondo is out. Usually I’d be very cautious to go against a team that lost a star player for a game since the other team might overlook them. However, I don’t think the Hawks will be thinking it will be an easy game over the Celts tomorrow. They lost to Miami in triple overtime early in the year at home when LeBron and Wade rested. Less than 2 weeks ago the Celtics benched Garnett, Rondo, Allen, and Pierce in a game against the Hawks in Atlanta. The Hawks barely won that game winning by 5 points in a close 4th quarter. Just from that they’ll already know it’s gonna be a tough game tomorrow even with Rondo suspended. The Hawks had never beaten the Celtics with their full lineup this year until Game 1, so now knowing they can beat them they’ll be confident.
Pierce and Garnett struggled in Game 1. However, Joe Johnson of the Hawks was horrible going 3-15 from the field. So I think with Johnson vs. Pierce and Garnett vs. Smith, I don’t think the Celtics stars are going to be amazing tomorrow. Teague has been playing terrific of late and should shut down Bradley again. The Celtics have lost 4 playoff games in a row in Atlanta, I don’t see why tomorrow would be any different with Atlanta knowing the importance of home court.
Nuggets +5 (-107) to win 30 units and Nuggets ML (+193) to win 20 units
The Nuggets got punched in the mouth in Game 1, getting dominated in the 1st quarter. After that they played the Lakers tough only getting outscored by 2 points in the remaining 3 quarters. The Lakers shot a very high shooting percentage so the Nuggets couldn’t get out in transition. I expect those numbers to regress against a calmer Nuggets team in Game 2. Denver played the Lakers very tough this season, not losing any of their previous 4 meetings by more than 6 points so they know they can play with LA. Denver got down 0-2 to the Thunder last postseason so they will have a great sense of urgency in this one and I don’t expect them to get down on themselves after a poor Game 1. Also Denver did well against the Lakers in the rebounding battle so they were not completely getting chewed up. I’m expecting a better defensive performance from them in Game 2.