Mavericks 3s fall (finally), they handle Warriors in Game 4 to extend series — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Sometimes, the best adjustment is a playoff series is just to make your shots.

Mavericks 3s fall (finally), they handle Warriors in Game 4 to extend series — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Celtics turn for ECF blowout, beat Heat by 20 to even series 2-2 — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Miami missed their first 14 shots, scored 11 points in the first quarter and 33 points in the first half.

Celtics turn for ECF blowout, beat Heat by 20 to even series 2-2 — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Smart returns, makes all the difference as Celtics rout Heat to even series — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Smart had 24 points, 12 assists, and changed the flow of the game.

Smart returns, makes all the difference as Celtics rout Heat to even series — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Report: Marcus Smart aiming to return for Game 2; Horford likely out — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Miami could use Smart’s physical defense and veteran ball handling savvy.

Report: Marcus Smart aiming to return for Game 2; Horford likely out — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

NBA Conference Finals Predictions

Eastern Conference:

#2 Boston Celtics over #1 Miami Heat 4-2

The Miami Heat seem to always fly under the radar, don’t they? Even after cementing the top seed in the conference, the conversation seemed to revolve around the other contenders, such as the defending champion Bucks, or the 76ers, Nets, and this round’s opponent, the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics are certainly worthy of the attention, with their torrid pace from February on. Boston’s surge came on the back of its top ranked defense, a scheme that plays well in the postseason. Jayson Tatum is emerging as a superstar before our very eyes, while the C’s possess stars, Jaylon Brown, Marcus Smart, and Al Horford.

The Heat, meanwhile, possess one of the best players in the NBA in Jimmy Butler, who has gone through stretches of dominance in the playoffs before when he carried the Heat to the finals in 2020. Also on the roster are capable role players Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and the emerging Max Struss. Kyle Lowry is questionable to start the series due to his hamstring problems.

Expect games where both teams fail to reach triple digits, as both the Celtics and Heat have top notch defenses. Butler will once again carry the Heat, and may steal a game or two, however, Boston’s defense is one where they may be able to contain Butler enough to where Miami will need someone else to step up. Tatum, on the other hand, has a stronger supporting cast on his side and will lead the Celtics back to the finals.

Western Conference

#3 Golden State Warriors 4 #4 Dallas Mavericks 3

Well, the Dallas Mavericks have are attention now, don’t they? That was a dominant and statement win on the road in Game 7 over the 64-win Phoenix Suns. And here’s the kicker: the Mavs will be underdogs once again in this series.

Dallas, of course, has its one superstar in Luka Doncic. While it is preferred to have more than one scoring option, I have to wonder which of the Warriors will draw the assignment of guarding Doncic. If someone is able to give him fits (unlikely), it will be up to folks like Spencer Dinwiddie (30 points in Game 7 at Phoenix) or Jalen Brunson.

Golden State obviously has more scoring punch in Steph Curry, Kyle Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and youngster Jordan Poole. Dallas’ wings must get out and distract the Warriors’ shooting outside to slow down the 3-point threat.

I’m having trouble picking against the Mavericks in this series, however, when I look at Golden State’s scoring options, I see no other choice but to pick the Warriors. Look for Doncic to be Superman, but fall just short of the finals.

In Game 6, Heat and 76ers show they’re on different levels — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Doc Rivers stepped onto the court and called timeout before Bam Adebayo even finished his pick-six dunk.

In Game 6, Heat and 76ers show they’re on different levels — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

High-scoring Heat rout 76ers in Game 2, take 2-0 series lead — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Bam Adebayo threw a beautiful looping alley-oop pass to Jimmy Butler, whose cut to the rim was freed by a perfectly timed Tyler Herro backscreen.

High-scoring Heat rout 76ers in Game 2, take 2-0 series lead — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Warriors hang around in physical game, but too much Ja Morant wins it for Grizzlies — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Morant took over late, scoring the Grizzlies’ final 15 points.

Warriors hang around in physical game, but too much Ja Morant wins it for Grizzlies — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Led by Al Horford and Grant Williams, Celtics bottle up Bucks in Game 2 — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

As Giannis Antetokounmpo walked into the tunnel, a Boston fan pushed him in the arm.

Led by Al Horford and Grant Williams, Celtics bottle up Bucks in Game 2 — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

NBA 2nd Round Playoff Predictions

Eastern Conference:

#1 Miami over #4 Philadelphia 4-2

I really thought the Raptors would win Game Six last night to force a seventh game, however, the Sixers quickly dispatched that notion. However, I believe the James Harden “curse” of not getting out of the second round continues another season

#2 Boston over #3 Milwaukee 4-1

The defending champs are shorthanded in this series, missing Khris Middleton, while the Celtics’ defense is for real.

Western Conference:

#1 Phoenix over #4 Dallas 4-2

The Suns got a big boost with the return of Devin Booker for the series close out win over New Orleans. I like them to move forward.

#3 Golden State over Memphis/Minnesota 4-1

Regardless of who comes out of the Grizzlies/Timberwolves series, they will run into a buzz saw in the Warriors in round two.

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