NBA Picks: Top 'Over/Under' Recommendations for Friday's Playoff Games

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, May 14, 2015 8:03 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 14, 2015 8:03 PM UTC

In the past 35 years, the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors have a combined zero conference finals appearances. By Friday night, that number could be two, although I think Hawks lose. Here are my total picks for the two Game 6 matchups.

Washington vs. Atlanta (197 points)
This total has dropped 2.5 points from the close of Game 5, which was an 82-81 Atlanta win on the first buzzer-beater of Al Horford's career, coming  on a putback layup off an offensive rebound. That was by far the lowest-scoring game of this series. At least one team had reached 100 points in the first four games. That 199.5 total was the highest of the series. I expected big bounce-back game from Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver in Game 5 after they combined for only 11 points in Game 4. But they weren't much better as Carroll was 4-for-11 from the field for 10 points and Korver just 1-for-5, all from long range, for three points. Something  seems wrong with these two. Carroll was probably just playing way over his head for a while. But Korver was an All-Star and the NBA's best 3-point shooter during the season. The Wizards are clearly not letting him get open looks as Korver has totaled just 15 points in the past three games. If you guard him behind the arc, Korver has no other shot. He has made only two shots from 2-point range in this series.

I felt good about taking the 'over' in Game 5 once it became known that Wizards guard John Wall was going to return from a three-game absence with his wrist/hand fractures. He played pretty well in 37  minutes with 15 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. Bradley Beal had another good game with 23 points. But Paul Pierce was quiet with 11 and was only 3-for-9. The Washington bench was terrible, going a combined 3-for-21 for nine points. Otto Porter was really good in Games 2-3 off the bench but hasn't been in the past two. With Wall back, former starter Ramon Sessions became a forgotten man off the bench as he had as many points as I did in 17 minutes. Will Bynum didn't even play after contributing in Games 3-4. if Washington loses this, is Coach Randy Wittman fired? Might the Wizards want Tom Thibodeau instead?

Free NBA Pick: With Korver and Carroll slumping and both benches doing nothing, go 'under.' Plus, as NBA odds makers know, Wall is still obviously less than 100 percent and that hurts the Wizards' offense.

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Golden State vs. Memphis (194 points)
This total closed at 198 for Game 5 and it stayed way 'under' in Golden State's 98-78 romp, the Grizzlies' fewest points scored in these playoffs and Warriors' fewest scored in this series in a victory. That it was so low scoring also went against common sense because Memphis' best perimeter defender, Tony Allen, missed the game with a hamstring injury. So theoretically the Grizzlies should have scored more because they started Jeff Green ahead of Allen. Green is a better offensive player than Allen, who played only 16 minutes in Game 4 because he couldn't hit an open jumper. But Green had only 10 points on Wednesday and taking him off the bench made that unit just about worthless. Vince Carter had to play 20 minutes and was 3-for-10 for eight points and a minus-23 rating. Allen will play in Game 6 and presumably start again.

Without Allen causing havoc, the Warriors were terrific from the 3-point line, hitting 14-for-30. Klay Thompson, the guy Allen usually guards, broke out of his slump with 21 points and hit 3-for-4 from long range. Steph Curry hit 6-for-13 from deep and had 18 points. I don't think the Warriors can count on 16 points off the bench from Andre Iguodala again. Which Draymond Green shows up? The guy with seven points in Game 5 and six in Game 3 or the one with 16 points and 10 rebounds in Game 4? The two games he has hit at least 45 percent of his shots from the field, the Warriors have reached triple digits. The Grizzlies have no shot of getting to 100 points regardless.

Free NBA Pick: 'Under' 193.5 with your NBA picks at 5Dimes. It has hit in all five games so why change now even if this is the lowest total of the series? Memphis will play desperate and that means better on defense.

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