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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Must See Sports – Fourth Weekend of April 2014

Last week's advantage/disadvantage record, excluding series: 3-4
2014 Advantage/Disadvantage Record, excluding series: 31-29
2014 Advantage/Disadvantage Record (series only): 0-1

It’s playoff time in the NBA. Get your dose of what to watch from The Daily Hat Trick.

Thursday, April 24

NBA Playoffs – First Round

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies, Game 3 (series tied at 1-1)

Memphis is a matchup problem of OKC; they always have been. I’m not convinced that Russell Westbrook is 100% healthy, either, in spite of an impressive Game 2 stat line. The Thunder have had trouble in the postseason in Memphis before and the Grizzlies have momentum returning to the FedEx Forum.

Advantages: Game – Grizzlies, Series – Thunder

Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors, Game 3 (series tied at 1-1)

This series is tough to predict. The Clippers responded to a close Game 1 loss by absolutely hammering the Warriors in Game 2. The series shifts to Northern California, but I don’t know if the Warriors confidence isn’t a bit shaken after the 40 massacre in Game 2.

Advantages: Game – Clippers, Series – Clippers

Zach Randolph bringing it to the Durantula. The Thunder are going to have to do more than clap to get out of the first round. 1
Friday, April 25

NBA Playoffs – First Round

Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets, Game 3 (series tied at 1-1)

The Atlantic Division champion Raptors, by far, have the greatest talent-to-name-recognition ratio in the NBA. This is a young, physical, deep team with a shooter in DeMar DeRozan at the 2 spot who will become a household name among basketball fans before this series is over. Still, Brooklyn has demonstrated that they have gelled and have saved their fuel for the stretch run in the playoffs. With this series returning south of the Canadian border, I like the Nets in this game.

Advantages: Game – Nets, Series – Nets

If you don't know Kyle Lowry, left, and DeMar DeRozan, right, you'd better recognize! 3

Saturday, April 26

NBA Playoffs – First Round

San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks, Game 3 (series tied at 1-1)

The Mavs demonstrated that they are a smart, deep group of veterans who can beat anyone when they play well together and get hot. Mavs Head Coach Rick Carlisle showed that he will go as far as it takes, like the entire length of his bench, to outsmart Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Still, outcoaching Popovich doesn’t happen often and the Spurs have Tony Parker while the Mavs have no answer for him. Look for the Spurs to adjust and win in Game 3.

Advantages: Game – Spurs, Series – Spurs

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies, Game 4

The Thunder are not returning to OKC down 3-1; period.

Advantage: Thunder

In a German accent: "Whaaat do they mean we're old?" 4

Sunday, April 27

NBA Playoffs – First Round

Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets, Game 4

The young Raptors may be awe struck at what perennial All-Stars and future Hall of Famers can do in the postseason, age notwithstanding.

Advantage: Nets

Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors, Game 4

I don’t expect the high-scoring Warriors to be swept in their homestand.

Advantage: Warriors

Not everything is cold in Canada. 2

Monday, April 28

NBA Playoffs – First Round

San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks, Game 4

The Spurs crush the peasant revolt here.

Advantage: Spurs

Tuesday, April 28

NBA Playoffs – First Round

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers, Game 5

I personally expect this series to go the distance and I expect L.A. to return to the Staples Center to deliver a win to their fans.

Advantage: Clippers

Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 5

This game is almost a coin toss, considering how I expect the momentum of the series to be by then. But I will defer to the home court advantage.

Advantage: Thunder

Andre Iguodala, left, is stepping his game up for Blake Griffin, getting dunked on, right, and Lob City. 5

Wednesday, April 30

NBA Playoffs – First Round

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors, Game 5

Returning the series north of the border, I think the Raptors stave off the inevitable in Game 5.

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