Phoenix Suns are the only team, to date, to seal their place in the NBA Conference finals and that might prove to be a key advantage over their rivals.
Following a 4-0 series win over Denver Nuggets, the Suns can sit back and get some crucial rest ahead of a Western Finals showdown, with either Utah Jazz or Los Angeles Clippers.
Confidence was high in the Phoenix camp after sending last season’s champions, LA Lakers, packing earlier in the play-offs and they now look in a strong position to claim their first ever NBA title – with Monty Williams’ men now into
Clippers in the Ascendency
It’s now 2-2 in the Western Conference semi-final between the Clipper and the Jazz, after back-to-back wins for LA.
The Clippers, now
11/4 to win the Western title, look to be in a strong position to reach the last four, especially with Utah struggling at the hoop.
Having finished top of the standings in the regular season, the Jazz may have peaked too soon after failing to score above 117 points in any of their last four matches.
Injuries Hitting Nets Chances
Often at this stage of a campaign, injuries can be a decisive factor and Brooklyn Nets are the team being hardest hit.
The Nets, my pre-season tip, are tied at 2-2 with Milwaukee Bucks but will be without two of their ‘Big Three’ for Game 5 on Wednesday.
Both James Harden and Kyrie Irving will be sidelined for the clash at the Barclays Center, due to hamstring and ankle problems respectively.
Their absence will pile the pressure on Kevin Durant to deliver the goods and the two-time NBA champion is
5/1 to score the first field goal of the game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to be finding his top form at just the right time for the Bucks after scoring a combined 67 points in the last two matches. Giannis is
20/23 to score over 32.5 points on Wednesday.
Embiid Key to Philly Hopes
Philadelphia 76ers title hopes rest on one man – Joel Embiid – but injury problems loom over the four-time NBA All-Star.
The 27-year-old has been struggling with a knee injury throughout the Eastern Conference Semifinals series with Atlanta Hawks and was 0-12 during the second half of Monday night’s 103-100 defeat.
When you consider that in the first three games against the Hawks, Embiid averaged 35 points and 10 rebounds per game, it shows just how important he is to the 76ers cause.
If they can patch up their star Center, Philadelphia look too strong for the Hawks with the series currently tied at 2-2 ahead of Game 5 on Thursday. Doc Rivers’ team can be backed at
10/27 to win the Semifinal Series and
11/4 to win the Eastern Conference.
*All odds correct at time of writing