NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 28, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, LT Profits Sports seeks that one single playoff play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Playoff Play of the Day Monday.

After a miracle three-point shot at the final buzzer of Game 3, the eight-seed now has a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the one-seed Monday night when the San Antonio Spurs (63-22, 30-12 away) again pay a visit to those Dallas Mavericks (51-34, 27-15 home) for Game 4 of their NBA Playoffs first round series from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX at 9:35 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Dallas as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4½ with odds of -108.

The Spurs finished with the best regular season record in the NBA at 62-20 but their defense has not shown up the last two games. Or is it simply a case of the Mavericks being a bad matchup for the Spurs defensively? After all, San Antonio finished sixth in the NBA in points against and eighth in field goal percentage allowed, and yet Dallas topped 100 points three times in four regular season meetings despite San Antonio sweeping the season series.

In fact, the Spurs had beaten the Mavericks nine straight times coming into this series, a streak that San Antonio extended to 10 with a Game 1 victory. Dallas finally broke through by taking advantage of 24 San Antonio turnovers in Game 2, a fact that left many skeptical about the Mavericks’ chances to win this series even after taking away home court advantage with that win.

We must admit that we were among that group as we expected San Antonio to bounce back in a big way with a decisive win in Game 3. And it looked like they were well on their way by opening up a nine-point lead at one point on their way to a 34-point first quarter. However, the Mavs showed their resiliency by fighting back, something they continued to do right until the very end when veteran Vince Carter hit a three-pointer from the corner for the 109-108 upset.

Yes, that was probably a lucky shot and the Spurs probably would have won that game eight times out of 10 if they were in that same situation up two points with 1.7 seconds left, but a big takeaway from that game was Dallas’s ability to hang with the top seeds and get basically whatever it wanted offensively. And that was with Dirk Nowitzki held below 20 points (18) for the third straight playoff games, which had not happened since 2001.

And remember that the Mavericks are home underdogs again for this contest, so even if the proud Spurs do rise up and even up this series, we could still cash this ticket if Dallas continues to go head-to-toe with them.

Unbelievably every possession of the final 1:37 of Game 3 ended with points on the board, and there were nine of those possessions during that time with the Mavericks having the good fortune to get the ball last. These playoffs have had a lot of exciting games, but you would be hard pressed to find a better finish than that one. Then again, those last nine possessions were a good indication of how much defense was played (or was not played) in the contest.

Now normally we would expect the better team to make the defensive adjustments, but that is what we thought the Spurs would do for Game 3, and Dallas went on to shoot 51.2 perent from the field. When you then factor in how good the Dallas defense played against San Antonio during the season, maybe the Mavericks are one team that the Spurs simply cannot successfully adjust against.

That in itself makes Dallas a dangerous home underdog, so take the points in Game 4 on Monday.


NBA Pick: Mavericks +4½ (-108)

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