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Key Moments Arrive For Warriors And Knicks

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/13/2013 7:45:43 PM

It’s almost a must-win situation for the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers. Golden State has to win in San Antonio to move forward in its series.

Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 4:
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers – Tuesday, May 14

Sport betting lines will probably lean to Indiana in this contest. New York certainly has the kind of scorer, Carmelo Anthony, who can take a team on his back in a difficult spot such as this one. It is worth noting that last season, the Indiana Pacers held a 2-1 series lead in this round of the playoffs and hosted the Miami Heat in Game 4, only to lose thanks to an avalanche of points from Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

Carmelo needs to have a dominant superstar “takeover” game here, and it’s certainly possible that he could. However, an equally urgent question for the Knicks is this: “Will anyone be able to help him out?” Much as LeBron needed Wade to come alive in Game 4 of the Miami-Indiana series last year and help the Heat regain home-court advantage against the Pacers, Carmelo needs a major contribution from at least one member of his supporting cast. Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Jason Kidd – all these players, who have been so instrumental in making the Knicks a factor in the NBA over the past six months, played poorly on Saturday in Game 3 of this series.

Felton, the second-best Knick for most of the season, didn’t score in the first three quarters of Game 3. Chandler, probably the third-best Knick and certainly the team’s anchor in the paint, was dominated by Indiana center Roy Hibbert in Game 3, as Hibbert collected 24 points and 12 rebounds. Could New York get three high-impact performances from its roster in Game 4? Yes. Will the Knicks get that three-pack and even this series heading back to the Big Apple for Game 5? It’s highly doubtful. Expect the Pacers to establish a 3-1 lead in this series with their defense and their rebounding prowess.

NBA Betting Pick: Indiana

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 5:
Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs – Tuesday, May 14

In a mean game of poker, you need a high-level dealer, someone who knows what he’s doing. For the San Antonio Spurs, this person is Tony Parker, the man whose 32 points in Game 3 of the series on Friday enabled San Antonio to regain home-court advantage against Golden State.

When the best online betting sites tackle this clash, they will view it as a third chance for San Antonio to play its first strong home game of the series. San Antonio trailed by 16 points, 104-88, inside the final four minutes of Game 1 last Monday, and then got thrashed in Game 2. The Spurs were lucky to steal Game 1, and in many ways, that’s why San Antonio even has home-court advantage to begin with. Expect the Spurs to be able to regain the winning edge they didn’t possess in the first two games of the series. Golden State superstar Stephen Curry will be playing through ankle pain after aggravating an injury in Game 3.

Curry might still be able to produce, but it’s quite likely that he’ll have to be great, not just good, for Golden State to win another road game against the Spurs. The Warriors controlled the early stages of the series, but San Antonio – with its veteran experience – is more likely to flourish at the back end of this series, now that it has been able to plant a seed of doubt into Golden State’s youthful roster.

NBA Betting Pick: San Antonio


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