Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers -8 ET TNT
If the Celtics proved anything in Game 1 it was that this series isn’t going to be a laughing matter. The Cavaliers needed every little bit of the contributions they received surrounding LeBron James in order to earn the home victory. A primary concern for the Cavaliers is that they received quality games from their main guys with the exception of Antawn Jamison who went 2-6 for only 7 points. Outside of that, the Cavaliers played pretty normal if not a bit better than usual.
For the Celtics, they got a nice boost from Rajon Rondo with his 27 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assist performance. While Rondo’s play won’t get much better than that, the Celtics can HOPE for better play from Ray Allen who had 14 points on 6-14 shooting and EXPECT a Game 2 bounce back from team leader Paul Pierce who only had 13 points on a horrendous 5-17 shooting.
Behind Paul Pierce, I’m taking the Celtics to take Game 2 on the road, swinging the series back to Boston in their favor. Nothing like a little more early in-series concerns for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Celtics- 95 Cavaliers- 91
San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns- 10:30 ET TNT
Should I start off by asking Phoenix Suns fans whether or not Jason Richardson can finish breakaway dunks? If I were too, it wouldn’t be completely be irrelevant to the series as Suns fans know. But instead the better question is will Richardson’s strong first round play against the Blazers carry over into Round 2?
It’s clear the Suns success relies heavily upon Richardson’s play and if he can continue to have the hot hand from outside the Spurs are going to have problem from jump. But it’s a two way street from the guard position, the Spurs will have tough time winning games if they cannot contain Richardson’s hot shooting and the Suns will have a much harder time winning if they can’t slow down George Hill. That’s right I said it, George Hill. He’s the ultimate difference maker in the Spurs advancing over the Mavericks in the first round. The Mavericks couldn’t find a solution to stop him, as Hill went onto average nearly 20 ppg in the last 4 games of the series. The same way the Blazers approached using young guard Jerryd Bayless on Steve Nash is something we should see the Spurs doing with George Hill. With the Suns inside the “Purple Palace” for Game 1, I see the Suns taking Game 1.
Suns- 107 Spurs- 99