NBA Playoff Picks, Saturday, May 19, 2012

Per the apparent playoff format, there are two games today.

The first is Game 3 of the San Antonio-LA Clippers series. The Clippers are down 2-0 after two huge lopsided losses to the Spurs in San Antonio. Now the series finally comes to LA, giving Clipper Nation hope that the Clippers can secure at least one, or hopefully two, key wins before returning to San Antonio.

I think the Clips will be able to win both LA games before returning to San Antonio. The Clippers aren’t a particularly great home team, but I think the move back to their home court will at least swing some much-needed momentum to their side–and take some from the dominant Spurs. The Clippers will bring their offensive firepower up to the Spurs’ level in Game 3 at home, utilizing the skill sets of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Their defense should also benefit from being at home; look for Reggie Evans and DeAndre Jordan to each have a solid game. I’ll take the Clippers in a close one: Clips by less than 5.

The second game tonight is Game 4 of the OKC-LA Lakers series. The Lakers avoided falling into a deadly 3-0 hole by winning Game 3 on their home court. Now the series stands as a 2-1 lead for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City definitely has the ability to win this game and take a 3-1 stranglehold on the series headed back to Oklahoma. However, I see the Lakers winning another close game similar to Game 3. LA is a team that relies on home court advantage (+6.0 home differential, -4.3 away). They will use that strong home court advantage–and maybe some clutch Kobe Bryant shooting–to pull out a close battle, tying up the series 2-2.

Computer Prediction by DynamicPicks:

San Antonio @ LA Clippers

Projected win: LA Clippers, 51.4% – INCORRECT

Projected ATS win: LA Clippers +5, 58.1% – INCORRECT

Take either the Clippers straight up or the Clippers +5; both have extremely good value.

———-

Oklahoma City @ LA Lakers

Projected win: LA Lakers, 53.6% – INCORRECT

Projected ATS win: LA Lakers +1, 62.3% – INCORRECT

There’s practically no difference between the straight up and the spread on this game. Take either, as they both have good value.

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