Today is the second day of the NBA playoffs and has a great lineup on tap. In one of those matchups, the Boston Celtics head south to take on the Atlanta Hawks in the opening game of their quarterfinal series in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtic ended their season as the Atlantic Division champs by winning 7 of the last ten games they played. Boston relies on the veteran savvy of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. All three were members of the Celtics NBA championship team in 2008. Rajon Rondo will be the team’s playmaker if his back holds up.
Atlanta completed their season in similar fashion, winning seven and losing just three in their last 10 games. The Hawks do not have one superstar on the team and will rely on Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. Jeff Teague will be the court general for the team as he leads them in assists. Head to head Boston was 2-1 this season against Atlanta. The Celtics also covered the spread in two of those three games. The total ended UNDER two out of the three games.
The line is currently sitting at 1 ½ points in favor of Atlanta after opening at 3 ½. The total is just 178 ½. Smart money is behind Boston in this plus the points with the total cashing out to those who take the UNDER.
In another great matchup on Sunday, the Memphis Grizzlies host the Los Angeles Clippers. The Grizzlies were one of the NBA’s hottest teams to end the season winning six straight and hope to carry that over into the playoffs. Marc Gasol has been big for the Grizzlies underneath this season, while Rudy Gay has lead the team in scoring and Mike Conley in assists.
The Clippers just missed winning the Pacific Division by a game. They ended their season on a down note with two consecutive losses, but have played very consistently all season. Los Angeles relies on the inside game of Blake Griffin their leading scorer and rebounder and the backcourt leader ship of Chris Paul who is second on the team in scoring and the leader in assists. Paul has had a nagging groin injury that could affect him over a long series.
The teams played one another three times on the year with Los Angeles winning two of three outright and two of three against the spread. The three games ended UNDER. The line opened on Friday with the Grizzlies as 2-point favorites and has increased to the current 5 ½ points. Take Los Angeles plus the spread to cash out and the total to end UNDER.