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Nets, Trail Blazers Face Uphill Climb Heading In To Game Two On Thursday

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/7/2014 7:06:20 PM

The lower seeds put on a show in one of the most exciting and dramatic opening rounds that the NBA playoffs has offered in more than a decade. Now, the Brooklyn Nets and Portland Trail Blazers find themselves facing even tougher matchups, with both teams down a game on the road against title favorites heading in to their respective game two’s on Thursday night.

Brooklyn Nets @ Miami Heat
Thursday, 7:00 PM ET
Game 2 – Heat lead 1-0

The Nets went seven games against a Toronto Raptors’ team that nearly eliminated them on the final possession of the final game, but this match up is much tougher. There was a lot of talk about how Brooklyn swept the four-game season series against the Heat, but LeBron James and company proved that didn’t matter with a dominant 107-86 victory in the series opener. Four of Miami’s five starters finished with double-digit point totals, led by LeBron James, who scored a game-high 22 points. Containing LeBron is one of many tough challenges that the Nets will face, especially after their own offense struggled in game one. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for just eight points, and Brooklyn will need more from those two in order to have any chance in game two. At this point in their careers, that might be too high of an expectation. LeBron and the Heat are focused on finishing off this series as quickly as possible in order to stay healthy and get plenty of rest for the next round, so look for Miami to come out with another dominant performance and win game two.

NBA Betting Pick: Miami Heat

Portland Trail Blazers @ San Antonio Spurs
Thursday, 9:30 PM ET
Game 2 – Spurs lead 1-0

Portland is another team that faces an even tougher challenge after advancing to the second round as a lower seed. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge shone in round one, but even though they combined for 49 points in game one against San Antonio, they still lost by 24 points. Tony Parker set the pace for the veteran Spurs in the opener, scoring a game-high 33 points, while Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan combined for another 28. The Spurs are the deeper and more experienced team, and a much tougher match up for the Blazers than the Houston Rockets were in round one. It will be up to Lillard to be more efficient in game two, as he was just 6-for-15 from the field in game one. That said, he is going to need some help, and that means Wesley Mathews, Nicolas Batum, and Mo Williams need to improve after they were a combined 8-for-29 from the field in the opener. San Antonio is a tough place to play, ad while the Blazers still have some fight left in them, look for the Spurs to secure another impressive home win and maintain home advantage in the series as it shifts back to Portland.

NBA Betting Pick: San Antonio Spurs

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