NBA Weekly Overview – Week of 8/24/2020

August 24, 2020by Lobo Grande1
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NBA Weekly Overview – Week of 8/24/2020

NBA Playoffs: Paul George vs. Luka Dončić - Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks

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One week into the NBA Playoffs, and we’ve already had so much action. Wow, it is good to have sports back. The Eastern Conference has been a bit of a snooze with two 4-0 sweeps and another one possibly looming today. The only speck of excitement we got was the Bucks going down to the Magic in game one, but they have bounced back quickly and are showing no mercy. The Western Conference, on the other hand, has provided some excellent entertainment. The all-mighty Lakers dropped game one to the Cinderella Blazers, Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray having scoring battles to the death, and Luka Dončić putting the Dallas Mavericks on his one leg and carrying them to a 2-2 series tie. And then there’s the Thunder making the 4-5 matchup a series by beating the Rockets in overtime in game three.

For a day or two, it looked like this first round was going to be a bit of a dud, but fear not, we have some matchups that are gaining steam. One of the really smart things that I think the NBA did is not make teams wait around for other series to end if they're ready to play their next. For example, the Celtics and the Raptors both swept their round one opponents but are set to square off on Thursday, even though some round one series will likely still be going on. Yes, this may cause some issues later down the road, but the risk there is minimal. And is there anything worse than your team winning a series handily and being rewarded by having to wait a week and a half to play again? Good work, NBA. Here are a few things I’m looking at this week.

Matchups to Watch

Los Angeles Clippers (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7)

I had this matchup as one to watch last week and I have no problem putting it here again. At the time of this writing, this is the only series that is tied at 2-2 and showing some promise of a potential game seven. There are a lot of things to keep an eye on in this one this week.

First, we have to start with Luka. He is must-watch TV at this point. He's a budding superstar that's taking the leap into true NBA stardom right in front of our eyes, and I can honestly say he’s one of the more exciting players I’ve watched in my lifetime. He is banged up, but that doesn’t even seem to matter. Can Porziņģis get healthy and help this team try to knock off the two-seed? It’s starting to get really hard to bet against them.

On the flip side, you have the Clippers who, in my opinion, are still a series championship contender. If that shot from Luka doesn’t fall in OT, the whole narrative is different with them being up 3-1. They have the star power, they just need to harness it. All eyes are on Paul George this week, as we look to see if he can figure it out. If he can get going, I think the Clippers move on to round two. However, the Dallas Mavericks at +260 is starting to look a little tempting.

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Houston Rockets (4) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (5)

The Rockets took a commanding 2-0 lead in this series, and it was looking like it may be over quickly. The Thunder managed to bounce back in game three and take the Rockets down in OT. It goes without saying that game four will be a massive one for both sides.

In what is likely one of our final afternoon NBA games of the season (sad!), OKC will aim to tie the series up and put Houston on their heels. Chris Paul is just one of those players that you can’t just cross off. You know he isn’t going down without a fight. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Thunder flipped this series and gained the momentum back in game four. There’s some value on them at +350 to win this series.

Series Bets

Let’s check in to see how we’re doing after last week’s series bet picks.

Lakers over Blazers 4-1 (+240) – This one has some legs with Portland stealing game one. I feel good about this one after three games, with it now sitting at -155.

Pacers over Heat 4-3 (+800) – *Shoveling cash into brick oven meme*

Celtics Series Winner (-480) – I told you it wasn’t sexy, but there’s nothing unsexy about winning easy money.

Here are a few more I’m looking at:

Dallas over LA Clippers 4-2 (+750) – unlikely, but not unfeasible with how Luka is playing right now.

Heat over Pacers 4-1 (+380) – Can the Pacers walk away with some pride and win game four?

Thunder Series Winner (+360) – If they can take game four, the momentum of this series gets flipped and this has legs.

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