We’ve got a full slate of Game 2’s on Thursday, highlighted by yet another battle between Damian Lillard and LeBron James. For it, DraftKings Sportsbook is hosting an NBA Pick’em pool for cash prizes with a guaranteed prize pool that grows as entries grow. If you live in NJ, NH or WV, make your predictions for the NBA Pick’em pool here. For more DraftKings Sportsbook pool action, check out DraftKings Sportsbook Pools.
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Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat: Game Result
It’s hard to fault the Pacers too much for dropping Game 1 — Victor Oladipo (eye) being held under nine minutes of action is cruel — but if Tuesday’s fourth quarter made anything incredibly clear, it’s that the Heat are simply capable of another gear. Credit part of that ability to Goran Dragic, who entered Miami’s starting five after primarily being used as a bench piece throughout the regular season. In the nearly 23 minutes of action that he, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler shared the court in the Heat’s 113-101 win, Miami outscored Indiana by 48.8 points per 100 possessions. That’s insane.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Game Result
For as bad as the Lakers’ offense looked in the seeding games in the bubble, the Trail Blazers’ defense was just as poor. In fact, Portland surrendered 120.4 opponent points per 100 possessions, despite going 6-2 to close out the regular season. That’s why I’m pretty confident that the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be able to help their team bounce back following a disappointing loss on Tuesday. Heck, if that’s not enough there’s even more statistical evidence to suggest Game 1 was a little bit of a fluke. According to Second Spectrum, Los Angeles had the worst “shooting luck” performance of any squad in a game dating back to 2013-14, scoring 46 fewer points than expected. If that’s not calling out for normalization, I don’t know what is.
Who Will Have More Points, Rebounds and Assists?
So, take in everything I just laid out above about the Lakers’ inability to score in Game 1, then realize that James was still able to dish out 16 assists in the loss. Yes, 16 assists in a contest where Los Angeles only mustered 22 in total and shot a paltry 34-for-97 from the field. I mean, literally half of the Lakers’ made field goals were assisted by the former first-overall pick. James actually finished the night with an eye-popping 26 potential assists - more than any other player in the first eight games of the playoffs. If Los Angeles is going to make some shots, James is obviously on triple-double watch once again.
Pick: LeBron James
Giannis Antetokounmpo Points: O/U 34.5
There’s a couple of ways to look at this prop. On the one hand, Antetokounmpo is an absolutely dominant offensive force that averaged a mind-numbing 34.9 points per 36 minutes in 2019-20. Coming off an embarrassing loss in Game 1, you’d assume the Greek Freak will be fired up to crush any hope the Magic have of making this series competitive. On the other hand, Mike Budenholzer rarely — even in the playoffs — let’s Antetokounmpo see the court long enough to make these high volume totals happen. Consider that in the 26 playoff contests the reigning MVP has appeared in since 2018, Antetokounmpo’s only registered at least 35 points three times.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets: Game Result
Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Game Result
James Harden Points: O/U 36.5
Anthony Davis Points: O/U 29.5
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