With only 16 teams left in the playoffs, coaching is going to mean a lot more in a matchup-oriented battle. The NBA Playoffs and the NBA Odds are determined a lot by matchups in the playoffs, but what about some coaches who could play a little more conservative?
Warriors vs. Pelicans
Making it into the playoffs probably saved Monty Williams’ job, so after he is done with his dance off against Anthony Davis, (just Google it) he is going to have to figure out how to stop the NBA’s best team. While I doubt Williams will rest his starters at all during these playoffs, even if they get behind, the Warriors could be the team to rest some of their players if they get a big lead. Steve Kerr has already shown that he is willing to pull his starters in the 4th quarter if they have a big lead, and in the early rounds of the playoffs, don’t be surprised if he does it again. This could limit the NBA odds value of the Warriors ATS, however don’t expect much of it with this young team, just be aware of it.
Rockets vs. Mavericks
The Mavs are going to have to play a perfect series in order to beat the Rockets, and even if they can keep it close, I doubt they’ll win. However, the Rockets are not without their own injury concerns, specifically to their All-Star caliber center, Dwight Howard. Howard missed most of the season with knee surgery, and if the Rockets are up big or down big in any game this postseason, Howard’s minutes will be the first one to get cut. Be careful of this if you are playing Howard in any of your DFS lineups, however I doubt the Rockets tear up the Mavs enough to put the bench in the 4th quarter much.
Hawks vs. Nets
Much like the Warriors, the Hawks will probably be faced with blowing out the Nets at least once or twice during their first round series, and even though they may not “rest” anyone, there are some injury concerns with this team right now. Paul Millsap missed five of the Hawks last six games after spraining his shoulder in a meaningless game, but as early as Tuesday he said he was still feeling some soreness. While that may have gone away by now, there is a chance that he may not be 100% just yet. If that’s the case, Millsap might see his minutes restricted if the Hawks have a big lead against the Nets. Atlanta beat the Nets in all four regular season meetings, and they won all four by an average of 17 points. It’s very possible we see the Hawks win some of these games by big numbers, so keep this in mind while making your NBA picks.
Clippers vs. Spurs
This series is going seven games, and I sincerely doubt that either team blows out each other. However we have seen in the past that if Gregg Popovich sees his team falling behind, he could bench some of his starters. This being the playoffs and not the regular season don’t expect Tim Duncan to come out of the game in the 2nd quarter and never get back in the game, but if the Clippers are winning by 20 points at the end of a 3rd quarter, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Popovich throw in the towel.