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The Nuggets Face A Critical Moment, While The Celtics Play For Survival

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/25/2013 7:29:16 PM

The NBA playoffs are finally beginning to create some dramatic storylines after a largely dull start in the early part of this week. The Denver Nuggets could be in some trouble this weekend.

Eastern Conference First Round, Game 3:
New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics – Friday, April 26

In online poker games that unfold nightly on 94-foot-long slabs of hardwood, you need a big-time dealer. Boston doesn’t have this presence, since Rajon Rondo is out for the entirety of the season. This is why New York has been able to establish a 2-0 lead in this series. The Knicks are likely to win the series at this point, but Game 3 in a 2-0 series is typically the time when an inferior club throws all of its energy into the fray, coming up with that one good performance which averts a series sweep. Boston might lose the series in five games, but that means the Celtics will get this contest on Friday.

NBA Betting Pick: Boston

Western Conference First Round, Game 3:
Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors – Friday, April 26

Legal online sports betting experts know that the Denver Nuggets won 57 games in the regular season, but they also know that in 2007, the Dallas Mavericks – winners of 67 games in the regular season – lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Golden State Warriors, who won only 42 games before pulling off one of the biggest first-round upsets in NBA playoff history. Denver’s regular season means nothing now. The Nuggets, who entered this series with a 38-3 home-court record, no longer have home-court advantage. They have to win at least once in Oakland to capture this series. The task will be difficult, but after playing no defense in Game 2 on Tuesday (giving up more than 130 points is an embarrassment for the Nuggets), expect Denver to fix its problems and grab a crucial victory on Friday night.

NBA Betting Pick: Denver

Western Conference First Round, Game 3:
San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Lakers – Friday, April 26

Even the ranks of online football betting students who simply can’t be bothered to do much of any analysis on the NBA would say that if the Los Angeles Lakers have an opening in their series with the San Antonio Spurs, it’s going to emerge (and has to emerge…) this Friday night in the City of Angels. The Lakers know that while the Spurs are not fully healthy, they were at least able to put Manu Ginobili on the floor in the early stages of this series. Ginobili had not played in nine straight games near the end of the regular season. He had not scored in double figures in a game since March 20 against Golden State. He had not played at least 13 minutes in a game since March 27 against Denver. He received 12 tune-up minutes in a meaningless regular-season finale against Minnesota on April 17 but did not look good, scoring only two points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field. However, in Game 1 against the Lakers on Sunday, Ginobili poured in 18 points in 19 minutes. His scoring flurry midway through the second half opened up the game for the Spurs and enabled them to cruise down the stretch.

In Los Angeles, the Lakers will get a chance to play before their home fans and create a level of energy that will force Ginobili and the rest of the older Spurs to play at a higher – and harder – level in order to keep up. The Lakers should be able to play this game the way they want to, and that will enable them to make this series even more interesting as it heads to Game 4 on Sunday.

NBA Betting Pick: Los Angeles Lakers


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