The NBA Playoffs are well underway in the US, as both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors look to make it through to the finals for the third consecutive year. The likes of the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs are hoping to cause an upset over the coming weeks, however the next few days see some quality encounters in Round 2 of the playoffs, with results perhaps not as cut and dry as they potentially seem.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors – 4th May 00:00 – Cleveland lead 1-0
The Raptors head to the Quicken Loans Arena having already been on the receiving end of a Lebron James masterclass during the first encounter between the two in the playoffs. The 13x NBA All-Star is searching for a fourth NBA title, however the rest of the Cavaliers roster are yet to fire in the postseason. Both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have been poor by their high standards, however they are still the overwhelming favourites to extend their lead in the Series on Thursday morning. Toronto narrowly overcame the Milwaukee Bucks in Round 1, with the likes of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka needing to up their game if they are to have any chance against the reigning champions. The Cavs ended the regular season with a 3-1 record against the Raptors, with their only defeat coming without their big three players, James, Love and Irving.
Cavaliers to win against the Raptors @ 1/4 (SkyBet)
San Antonio Spurs vs Houston Rockets – 4th May 02:30 – Houston lead 1-0
With the Rockets having dominated the opening game of the series, eventually running out 126-99 winners, San Antonio face a battle to level things up at the AT&T Center on Thursday morning. Offensively, Houston are undoubtedly one of the most exciting teams in the Western Conference, however their defensive frailties are likely to offer San Antonio a chance in the series. With Patrick Beverly seemingly the only Rockets player interested in defence, the emphasis is on the likes of James Harden and Ryan Anderson to help outscore their opponents. The Spurs only just survived a gruelling series with the Grizzlies, with Gregg Popovich’s men needing to quickly rediscover their form before it is too late. Kawhi Leonard is Spurs danger man, with power forward LaMarcus Aldridge hoping to stamp his authority on the series.
Spurs to win against Rockets @ 2/5 (William Hill)
Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards – 5th May 02:00 – Boston lead 2-0
The Celtics took a 2-0 lead with a 129-119 win over the Wizards last time out, with Isaiah Thomas scoring 53 points, becoming just the fourth player in history to score half a century of points in a postseason game. With the series now heading to Washington for Games 3 and 4, the Wizards are in desperate need of rediscovering the form that led them to finish fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Wizards to win against Celtics @100/30 (Betway)
Utah Jazz vs Golden State Warriors – 5th May 04:30 – Golden State lead 1-0
With many predicting that the Warriors will hand the Jazz a series whitewash, Golden State did little to discredit such an opinion in Game 1, coming out on top by 106-94. Stephen Curry top scored with 22 points, with the Jazz once again taking on the number one seeds at the Oracle Arena again on Friday morning. Utah’s decision to go with a smaller starting line-up against Golden State backfired, with Boris Diaw set to return to action from the start of Game 2.
Jazz to win against Warriors @15/2 (Paddy Power)