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2014 NBA Betting – Picks For Games On Friday, May 9

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/8/2014 9:02:24 PM

Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 3:
Indiana Pacers @ Washington Wizards – Friday, May 9

The Indiana Pacers saw exactly what they needed to see on Wednesday in Game 2 of this series – not just a victory that tied the series at one game apiece, but an inspired performance by Roy Hibbert. It is Hibbert who holds the key to the Pacers. If he’s playing extremely well, Indiana is a championship contender. If he’s doing virtually nothing, the Pacers are not going to get out of this round against a talented Washington team.

Heading into the series, the smart money suggested that if Indiana somehow regained the form it displayed in the first three months of the season, the Pacers would be able to overtake the Wizards. If Indiana failed to return to its old and winning ways, then Washington was going to take control in this series. Game 3 feels like a decisive moment in this series, because it will either show that Hibbert is back to stay, or it will indicate that Hibbert’s 28-point performance in Game 2 was an oddity and little else. Hibbert was 10-of-13 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. He grabbed nine rebounds and truly carried his team when other players such as Paul George and Lance Stephenson continued to struggle from the field. Seeing Hibbert play well is going to give the Pacers a ton of confidence as they head to Washington for Game 3. It seems that anything could happen in this game, and it’s also the case that if Indiana won Game 2 without a big contribution from Hibbert, the Wizards would probably be in better shape. Yet, since Hibbert is showing signs of rounding into form, that’s the best thing the Pacers could possibly want. For that reason, Indiana will probably be able to do just enough to win on the road, in what should be a very close game.

NBA Betting Pick: Indiana

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 3:
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Clippers Friday, May 9

When this series began, it felt like the best series of the second round of the NBA playoffs. These are two extremely talented teams with all sorts of gifted offensive players. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook power Oklahoma City, while Blake Griffin and Chris Paul ignite the Clippers’ attack. In the first two games of the series, the simple story is that one team has played great while the other team has been sluggish. These teams have not been able to play well at the same time. In Game 1, it was all Los Angeles. In Game 2, Oklahoma City, needing a win to even the series and have a shot at regaining control heading into Game 5, managed to blow out the Clippers. Which team is going to control Game 3 and put the pressure on the opposition in Game 4? One big thing to realize is that the Clippers just don’t have an intimidating home court. Clipper games are often attended by visiting-team fans. Are the Clippers ready to turn Staples Center into a playoff arena that’s difficult for non-Laker opponents to handle? It doesn’t seem like it.

Take the Thunder here.

NBA Betting Pick: Oklahoma City

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