Tuesday Playoff Tips
May 7, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
The home teams split on the first day of second round action, as the Thunder rallied past the Grizzlies, while the Knicks were tripped up by the Pacers. These series won't be wrapped up fast, but both Memphis and New York don't want to fall behind 2-0. We'll begin in the Big Apple, as Indiana seeks its third straight playoff road victory.
Pacers at Knicks (-6, 183) - 7:05 PM EST - TNT
After Miami fell to Chicago last night, Indiana and New York must feel a little better about themselves heading into Game 2. The Pacers are playing with confidence following consecutive road wins, which includes a 102-95 triumph on Sunday as five-point underdogs. The Knicks didn't shoot well, starting with their top two guns, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith.
Anthony's high-volume shooting was displayed on Sunday, making just 10-of-28 attempts from the floor for 27 points, while Smith hit 4-of-15 shots off the bench for 17 points. Indiana's Paul George continued his solid postseason play by slowing down Anthony on defense, while putting up 19 points before fouling out. After grabbing a six-point halftime lead, the Pacers held the advantage throughout the second half, as the 'over' of 181 ½ cashed easily.
The Knicks opened up as a -185 series favorite, but that has shifted in Indiana's favor now (-155). New York moved to +135 in this 1-0 hole, which means the Knicks would have to win at least one game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, as the Pacers are 3-0 so far in the postseason at home.
New York allowed at least 100 points for the first time this postseason, this coming after the Knicks limited the Pacers to less than 80 points in the first two home meetings. Indiana has won six of its last 10 away contests, while covering five of its past eight in the role of a road underdog. The Knicks aren't used to losing at home, but New York bounces back by owning an 8-3 SU/ATS record off a defeat at Madison Square Garden.
Grizzlies at Thunder (-2 ½, 186) - 9:35 PM EST - TNT
Oklahoma City is figuring out life without Russell Westbrook, winning three of five games since the All-Star guard suffered a knee injury in Game 2 of the first round. The Thunder rallied past the Grizzlies in the semifinals opener, 93-91, but Memphis took home the money as 3 ½-point road underdogs. Kevin Durant's game-winning jumper lifted OKC to its third home playoff win in four tries, but the Thunder is just 1-3 ATS at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Following Quincy Pondexter's buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the third quarter, the Thunder mounted a comeback by outscoring the Grizzlies, 29-18. Durant put up a game-high 35 points, while Kevin Martin stepped up off the Thunder bench to score 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting. The OKC frontcourt was clearly bothered by Memphis' strong frontline as Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins combined to shoot 2-of-16 for just seven points.
Memphis needs to improve its free-throw shooting in Game 2 after converting just 14-of-24 from the charity stripe. Pondexter missed two of three free throws that could have tied the game late in regulation after getting fouled on a three-point shot, but the lone made foul shot guaranteed a cover for Memphis backers who had the Grizzlies at +3. The series prices have obviously changed after Game 1, as the Grizzlies are +140 to win four of the next six contests.
Westbrook's injury has slowed down the pace for the Thunder, as OKC is 4-1 to the 'under' in five games since his absence. The Grizzlies hit the 'under' for the first time in four road postseason contests on Sunday, while Memphis improved to 8-1 ATS the last nine games overall. The Thunder is 6-1 ATS the previous seven games off a non-cover at home, including a 3-0 ATS record in the postseason.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at email@example.com
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