Jordan’s NBA Picks: 67-48 (Playoffs: 13-10)
LA Clippers (49-37 SU & 47-38 ATS) at Golden State (60-26 SU & 37-48 ATS)
Wednesday, 10:30 PM EST, TNT
Free NBA Pick: UNDER 1H
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
The spread for this game is higher than most playoff spreads in my recent memory, but nonetheless, there could be some money to be made in the right spot. For Game 5, I’m once again heading to a first half play to try and pad our bankrolls heading into the second round.
1st Half Defense
All season there has been conversations and speculation surrounding the Warriors’ defense. Some of that was quelled once Andrew Bogut made his return to the team, but still there was mainstream talk about whether the Warriors could stop good teams.
Assuming the Warriors and Rockets win SU on Wednesday and move on to face one another in the second round, we will get a first-hand look at how good the Dubs’ defense is.
So far in this series they have been spectacular, especially in the first half. The Clippers earned their lone win in Game 2 thanks to a big third quarter, but they have been outmatched by Golden State in the first half.
The Warriors are averaging 130.7 points per 100 possessions in the first halves of the first four games, while holding the Clippers to just 100 points per 100 possessions. A net rating of +30.7 is nothing to scoff at, but if there was ever a time for the defense to be ramped up, it’s now.
Golden State does not want to watch the Rockets potentially win their game only to lose and go back to Los Angeles for a Game 6. They are going to continue following the formula of clamping down in the first half defensively.
However, I think the Clippers will come out somewhat resilient on that end as well. They are starting JaMychal Green at center again in Game 5 and while Green is not a great defender, he has been playing tough on that end and is holding players he defends to below-average numbers
The Sharp Pick
With this being a do or die game for the Clippers, I think they will come out and defend as well as they can to try to stay alive. The Warriors on the other hand will do their thing on offense, but will also likely have a fire under them defensively early on.
Even if the Warriors score 60-plus points in the first half, I doubt it will be in the high 60s or low 70s like we’ve seen in other games of this series.
We saw three Game 5’s go very badly for the road dog on Tuesday and while that could be a similar result, if the Clippers’ tank offensively in the first half, it makes an under play even better.
First Half Score Prediction: Clippers 55 – Warriors 64