The 2014 NBA Playoffs kept things going on Wednesday night, as the Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat took 2-0 series advantages over the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Bobcats, respectively. The shocker of the night’s action was easily in San Antonio, where the Dallas Mavericks ended a long losing streak to the Spurs to pull their series to one game apiece.
Tied series is the theme of Thursday night’s NBA action, as the Los Angeles Clippers head to Golden State to take on the Warriors, the Indiana Pacers go to Atlanta to battle the Hawks and the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to Memphis to play the Grizzlies.
All three of these series are tied 1-1 and appear to have the potential to go either way as we head into game three. Let’s take a closer look at each matchup and try to come away with a pick:
Indiana Pacers (1) @ Atlanta Hawks (8) – 7:00 PM ET
The Pacers look destined for an epic series loss after bowing out in game one, but stormed back in game two at home and started to look like a number one seed. The Hawks will have the home court advantage and still know they can compete with Indiana based off of their game one win, but it won’t be easy to go up two games to one.
Paul George has been beastly through two games and no one should expect anything different in game three. While the Pacers should enter as the favorites, a lot of their success should still hang on the shoulders of center Roy Hibbert, who is seemingly losing confidence with every passing game.
Pick: Pacers 96, Hawks 88
Oklahoma City Thunder (2) @ Memphis Grizzlies (7) – 8:00 PM ET
The Memphis Grizzlies gave the Thunder a serious fight in game two and almost didn’t come away with the win, thanks to an insane four-point play by Kevin Durant. One ferocious overtime later, though, and the Grizz are tied up at 1-1 and might start feeling like they can actually upset the Thunder in this series.
Things will surely get more difficult in a hurry for OKC as they head to Memphis, but it’s hard to imagine Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant not pushing the pedal to the floor here in game three.
Pick: Thunder 105, Grizzlies 99
Los Angeles Clippers (3) @ Golden State Warriors (6) – 10:30 PM ET
Blake Griffin fouled out in just 19 minutes in L.A.’s game one loss to the Warriors and clearly wasn’t happy about it. He stormed back in game two, dropping 35 points en route to a fabulous blowout for the Clips. Golden State’s game one performance initially offered up the potential of this being a very tight series, but the way Los Angeles responded may have shifted things a bit.
The Warriors hold the minor edge in game three, however, as they’ll host this one and should be well rested after not playing a full game in the game two blowout. With that said, it’s beyond clear that David Lee and Jermaine O’Neal are no match for Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. If the Clips can keep flexing their muscle down low, they should take back control of this series.
Pick: Clippers 103, Warriors 100