It's NBA playoff Friday and we have two big game sixes on the slate. Boston is coming off a double digit collapse at home and now they need to steal a game on the defending champions' home court to prolong the series to Sunday.
Memphis had another impressive showing dismantling Golden State without their star Ja Morant. Can they pull off another improbable upset in the Bay. We break down both games, totals, and throw in a few props as well.
Let’s break it all down, with the odds as always presented by DraftKings Sportsbook - which has an incredible offer for first time users below.
Boston at Milwaukee - Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 6
Spread: Milwaukee (-1)
Boston's Game 5 loss was gut wrenching, no doubt about it. Boston was controlling the game, holding a 14 point lead with 10 minutes remaining. The team got caught in bad habits, with zero ball movement on the offensive end, forcing a collection of bad shots that led to easy transition opportunities for the Bucks offense on the other side of the court. I do think what we saw in the previous 40 minutes of that game is more indicative of what Boston is. Jayson Tatum was dominant in that last game with 34 points, while Jaylen Brown had 26 points and Al Horford showed he’s aging in reverse.
Boston has been the best team in the NBA since the calendar year turned to 2022. They rank No. 1 in the NBA in overall defensive efficiency. While most teams don’t have a single answer for the Greek Freak. Boston can throw multiple guys at him and Grant Williams has been one of the most impressive defenders in the playoffs thus far. Dating back to January 6th, Boston is 11-2 coming off a loss.
Meanwhile, the Bucks missing Kris Middleton in a huge close out game is a big loss. Middleton was at times, the man in big situations like this during the postseason last year. In this spot and at this time, Boston is the more talented team here. Jayson Tatum has had a stellar postseason. Al Horford is peaking during year 15. The Bucks are getting a lot of public love in this spot. Getting them at -1 seems too good to be true. You really have to rely on one of Bobby Portis, Grayson Allen, or Pat Connaughton hitting big shots late. We will ride the Celtics that are the better defensive team and overall have shot makers over the floor. We will get a game 7 in prime time on Sunday.
The pick: Boston ML -105
Brook Lopez over 5.5 rebounds: +100
Bobby Portis got hot late and Lopez sat on the bench for most of the second half in Game 5. I don’t expect that to be the case here. Lopez has out rebounded this number in every other game in this series. I think Lopez will get at least 15 rebounding opportunities if he plays his normal 25-30 minutes in this contest. The Celtics play undersized Al Horford at the 5. Brook Lopez can clean up the glass just enough.
Jayson Tatum over 29.5 points
I hate taking the over on big totals, but star players show up in big spots. Tatum is not going to disappear from the limelight. Tatum has scored 30 and 34 over the last two contests. He had double digit three point attempts in both. This game Jaysom Tatum proves he was one of the NBA elites.
Pat Connaughton over 10.5 points:
If Boston sells out on Giannis, someone is going to be open in the corner. The man the Bucks want to open is Connaughton. The former Notre Dame Irish has scored in double digits in four straight games and has played over 30 minutes in the last three. Connaughton is a veteran that is trusted in these spots. We will take him here.
Memphis at Golden State - Western Conference Semifinals Game 6
Spread: Golden State (-8)
Memphis is 21-6 without Ja Morant this season. Included in those wins are a 73-point beatdown of Oklahoma City and Wednesday night’s 134-95 victory in Game 5. Four of the six losses came within two possessions. “We’re deep,” Taylor Jenkins said at the podium last Wednesday evening. Memphis may be the deepest team in the league. Will the depth be good enough to beat Golden State on the road to force a Game 7?
Golden State showed a poor effort in Game 5. I imagine they have to come out on fire going into Game 6. The Warriors, who are accustomed to making every shot they take, have shot below their season averages in four of the five games this series. Klay Thompson has been a shell of the player that once torched Memphis and the rest of the Western Conference in the playoffs. He is averaging 16.2 points on 38.1/28.3 shooting splits for the series. While Curry has had two 30 point outbursts at home, he is only shooting 32 percent from three during the series. Credit to the Memphis defense, but there seems to be something funky with this Golden State team right now. One can also make the argument, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are just due to explode.
Now comes the fun part, where do we go in this game? The Warriors know how to win and close out the series. Can you really count this young gritty and Memphis team out? The angle I’m going in this game is the over. Memphis has shown it can score even without their star Ja Morant. Curry and Thompson are due to hit some shots. Memphis plays at the second fastest pace in the league. We know Golden State can explode at any given time. I know I’m betting against sharp line movement. Instincts say to take over in this one.
The pick: over 218.5
Jaren Jackson over 17.5 points
Jackson has scored over 20 points in both games Morant has been out during this series. He has taken 31 shots total. Jackson’s size and athleticism gives Golden State some problems. I do think Memphis has a chance to keep it close and they are going to need a big game from Jackson to do it. Take over.
Steph Curry over 27.5 points
Felt like this number was purely disrespectful for the greatest shooter of all time. In a game of this magnitude, Steph usually delivers. Thompson and Poole have struggled, so expect Curry to be more aggressive in this one. The combination of Melton and Brooks have given Curry trouble. I think we see a dominating performance from Steph tonight.
Follow Austin Montgomery on Twitter @AMontgomeryLive
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