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The Pacers Aim For The Dagger, While The Warriors And Spurs Fight To The Finish

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/16/2013 6:34:23 PM

For the upcoming weekend, the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors – if they can prolong their seasons on Thursday night – would face daunting tasks on the road.

Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 6:

New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers – Saturday, May 18

The playoffs bring a level of ferocity in competition that would earn the respect of MMA betting specialists. In this series, Indiana has consistently won the battles within a game against New York. When people in the online sports betting legal realm size up this contest, they’ll realize that The Knicks have stagnated far too much at the offensive end of the floor.

They flourished in the regular season precisely because they were able to run a drive-and-kick offense with point guard Raymond Felton getting into the paint, forcing defenses to collapse, and then making the pass to a wing shooter. This has not happened against Indiana.

The Pacers, especially wing defender Paul George, have locked down Carmelo Anthony and have made life much more difficult for the superstar, who had enjoyed his best regular season as a pro over the previous six months. Anthony has been out of sorts in this series, and although George is crowding him on a number of his jumpers, he’s still missing several open looks.

What’s especially shocking about Anthony’s disappointing performance in this series is that he’s coming up small in fourth quarters. Anthony did not score a point in the fourth quarter of both Game 3 and Game 4, so it’s no wonder the Knicks lost both of those games by 11 points (and were actually less competitive than the final margins indicated).

If this series does indeed reach a Game 6 (it’s not yet official, given that Game 5 is being played Thursday night in New York), expect Indiana to close out the Knicks and advance to meet the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

NBA Betting Pick: Indiana

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 7:

Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs – Sunday, May 19

Even people interested in football betting more than basketball betting should find this event quite interesting. Ultimately, though, the Spurs should have more resources to call upon. The numbers point to a San Antonio victory in Game 7 because the shooting percentages of Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have markedly dropped off since Games 1 and 2, which featured torrid shooting from each player (Curry primarily in Game 1, Thompson primarily in Game 2).

It has steadily become harder and harder for Curry and Thompson to hit shots as this series has moved along, not just because Curry has suffered an aggravation to a persistent ankle injury, but because San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has made effective defensive adjustments, chiefly by finding Kawhi Leonard to stop Thompson and identifying Danny Green as a perimeter defender who can contain Curry.

Golden State has needed big games from rookie Harrison Barnes and role player Jarrett Jack to stay in this series, but if Game 7 does take place this Sunday, the Spurs – with battle-tested veterans such as Tony Parker and Tim Duncan on the floor – are likely to handle the moment with more poise and composure. The history of the NBA tells us that talented young teams such as Golden State do not succeed in their first big playoff test against an accomplished and older team. It would be surprising if the Warriors beat the Spurs here. Take San Antonio.

NBA Betting Pick: San Antonio

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