Home teams (and favorites) “took it on the chin”” Monday night with both the Hawks and Mavs winning in Chicago and LA, respectively. However, home teams got a measure of revenge last night, as the Heat opened a 2-0 lead over the Celtics with a 102-91 win in Miami while the Thunder evened their series with the Grizzlies with an 111-102 win in Oklahoma City. James Jones, who set a Miami postseason record with 25 points off the bench in Game 1, was scoreless in 19 minutes while attempting just one shot. However, Miami’s “Big 3” was great. LBJ followed a poor shooting performance in Game 1 by scoring 35 points (five rebounds and seven assists as well), Wade added 28 points and Bosh (who was just 3-of-10 on FGs in Game 1) had 17 & 11. The trio accounted for 80 points or 78% of Miami’s scoring.
While Miami’s “Big 3” scored 80 points, Boston’s “Big 3” (Allen, KG and Pierce) accounted for just 36 points on 39.5 percent shooting. Miami used a late 14-0 run to put away the Celtics and will take a 32-0 series lead to Boston for Game 3 which isn’t scheduled until Saturday. Can Boston come back? Let’s note that only four teams have ever come back from a 2-0 series deficit in the conference semifinals and won the series. The list includes the Rockets over the Suns in both 1994 and 1995, the Lakers over the Spurs in 2004 and the Spurs over the Hornets in 2008. Want to make it personal? This is now the ninth time Boston has fallen behind 0-2 in a best-of-seven series in its playoff history. The Celtics have gone one to win just ONE of those previous eight series (over the LA Lakers in the 1969 NBA Finals).
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol dominated the Spurs frontline in the opening round and then led Memphis to a 114-101 win in Game 1 vs the Thunder, by going for 34 points and 11 rebounds (Randolph) and 20 points and 13 rebounds (Gasol). Much changed in game 2, as Randolph made only 2-of-13 from the floor (15 points / 9 rebounds) with Gasol making just 3-of-9 FGs (had made 9-of-11 in game 10) while adding 13 points and 10 rebounds. Durant had 26 and Westbrook 24 for Oklahoma City last night but is was the bench, led by Harden (21 points, a playoff career high) and Maynor (15) which was the difference, outscoring its Memphis counterparts 48-29 in the 111-102 Thunder win. However, the news wasn’t all good for the Thunder, as Serge Ibaka hurt his right knee with 2:09 remaining in the game. He hobbled to the locker room after fouling Conley and crashing to the floor along the baseline. Like the Boston/Miami series, this one resumes on Saturday in Memphis. Will Ibaka be ready to go? "We've got three days off," he said, "so I hope to be OK." Oklahoma City had better hope so.
With a 2-0 SU and ATS performance by the home teams last night, they are now 3-3 SU and ATS in the second round. That makes them 35-14 SU and 20-26-3 ATS in the 2011 playoffs to-date. Home dogs are 7-4-1, so that leaves home favorites 13-22-2 ATS and all favorites an even worse, 17-29-3 ATS. After under bettors went 26-17 (60.5 percent) in the first round, they’ve yet to ‘cash a ticket’ in the second round, as all six games so far, have gone over. Followers of the Zig-Zag Theory were 14-18-3 ATS in the first round and last night lost with Boston while winning with Oklahoma City. That leaves them 15-19-3 ATS (minus-5.9 net games) heading into plays tonight on the two home teams.
It’s a TNT doubleheader tonight with the Hawks in Chicago for Game 2 at 8:05 ET with the Bulls favored by 8 1/2 points (total is 180). The Mavs are in LA for Game 2 at 10:35 ET with the Lakers favored by seven points and a total of 186 1/2.