The Chicago Bulls entered the 2014 NBA Playoffs as the fourth seed. Hosting the fifth seeded Washington Wizards for the first two games, they probably didn’t expect to be in a 2-0 hole out of the gates. Barely a week later, they’re suddenly down three games to one, entering a must win situation in their game five battle at home.
The good news is that the Bulls will have a chance to keep the series alive on their own court, despite not being able to beat the Wiz in Chicago in two tries to start the series.
While Chicago tries to fight off elimination, two of the NBA’s best playoff series continue on later in the night, as we get two fiery matchups between the Thunder and Grizzlies, as well as the Clippers and Warriors.
For quick breakdowns and our picks, read on:
Washington Wizards (5) @ Chicago Bulls (4) – 8:00 PM ET
The Bulls headline our picks because their series could end tonight. While the Wizards appear to be dominating with a 3-1 lead, most of these games have actually come down to the wire. Ironically, the normally defensive-minded Bulls have not been consistent on that end of the floor, while their offense only comes in spurts.
Chicago needed an insane shooting night from Mike Dunleavy to claim their only win of this series in game three, so their backs are probably against the wall even more than we think. Still, it’s a huge game and they’re on their home court, so we’ll give them a chance to pull it out and keep the series alive.
Pick: Bulls 93, Wizards 89
Memphis Grizzlies (7) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (2) – 9:00 PM ET
Three straight overtimes. Is there more that needs to be said? Both the Thunder and Grizz simply play solid defense and great team basketball, making this game impossible to call confidently. The biggest thing is that it’s in OKC.
We can probably hang our hat on another overtime with the way this series is shaking down, and at the minimum it should go down to the wire. OKC gets the slight nod due to it being on their home floor, although it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Grizz flex their muscle in a close win.
Pick: Thunder 96, Grizzlies 94
Golden State Warriors (6) @ Los Angeles Clippers (3) – 10:30 PM ET
Los Angeles has a dark cloud hanging over them thanks to Donald Sterling being a racist, but if they can be professional the Clippers still have enough talent to win this series. They’ll need to take care of business with the series reverting back to L.A. on Tuesday night though, a scene head coach Doc Rivers said doesn’t feel like a “safe haven” anymore.
The Warriors need to look at tonight as the perfect opportunity to jump all over L.A. and kick them while they’re down. If they can’t, the series might be one step closer to drawing to a close.
Pick: Clippers 112, Warriors 106