Kevin Durant Makes History and Picks/Predictions 8.0- June 16 & 17
Halfway through the second round, things just got interesting. Suns-in-4 guy was correct in his post-brawl prediction, but now Chris Paul may be out due to health and safety protocols. The Clippers tied the series up at 2-2 and Kawhi Leonard now may be out for the series, shifting the lines for Game 5 from Utah -2.5 to Utah -7. KD’s 49-17-10 game carries the Nets to a Game 5 win, with Harden being the best decoy in NBA history.
Hawks vs 76ers
Philly (-6.5) choked away Game 4, with Joel Embiid missing 12 shots in the second half and missing chances to put the Hawks away. Danny Green’s 3-and-D prowess is badly missed by the 6ers as the shift of Steph Curry’s brother to the starting lineup hurts them defensively and weakens their bench. Trae Young has continued to struggle offensively against the size of Simmons and Thybulle, but still sets up his teammates. John Collins has become a nonfactor other than defending Simmons. Philly will be energized in front of their home crowd and the Hawks will continue to attack Curry and Korkmaz as the weak defenders.
The Pick: Over 223.5
As mentioned earlier, an injury is expected to sideline Kawhi for tonight’s game and possibly for the rest of the series. If that is the case, the Jazz should escape easily. The Jazz (-7) were concerning because they had no answer to the Clippers small lineup deployed against Rudy Gobert lineups. Jordan Clarkson needs to have a big game off the bench and offset his -50 plus/minus so far this series. Joe Ingles is struggling against the Clippers defenders since he has started and also had to run the bench unit. The Clippers will struggle offensively without Kawhi as their go-to option. They simply don’t have the scoring, shot creation and ball-handling without him. Utah will run away with this Game and the series with Kawhi sidelined.
The Picks: Jazz -7 and Utah team Over 114 (-120)
The Prop Lock: Donovan Mitchell Over points 33.5
Bucks vs Nets
KD’s historic Game 5 helped the Nets edge out the Bucks in James Garden’s return, although he was incredibly ineffective. The Bucks have to blame this loss on themselves and KD being the best scorer in the game when healthy. Giannis taking a fadeaway jumper over Harden with under a minute and no double team is inexcusable. They went away from their successful actions in dribble drives from Giannis and Khris Middleton as the go to guy down the stretch. The under is 5-1 in the last 6 Nets games, with the loss being last night. The Bucks defense is stellar at home and the Nets have struggled in Milwaukee. Can KD repeat his Game 5 performance? I don’t think so. Bucks need to attack Harden on offense until he gets healthy.
The Pick: Under 220
Hawks/76ers Over 223.5
Nets/Bucks Under 220
Chirp me if I've let you down, or send me some love if I made you money. My Twitter is @PetesPix33. With my record being what it is, I wouldn't blame you if you faded my picks, however, this is still the week we get back on track. So you should probably tail me (responsibly).