Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies (Lakers 1-0)
The Lakers are now 2-0 in the playoffs this season and started this series with a huge 128-112 victory in Game 1. James and Davis both combined for 43 points. But it was all about Reaves and Hachimura. Reaves finished with 23 pts and 3 threes. Meanwhile, Hachimura nailed 5 of 6 three-point attempts in a stunning display. So despite playing on the road, the Lakers are now favourites in Game 2 and they're 5-1 in their last 6 road games.
The Grizzlies playoff campaign didn't start well as they went down to the Lakers in Game 1 and Ja Morant suffered a hand injury. He's currently 50/50 to play in Game 2 but it's probably more on the doubtful side. So the Grizz will need the likes of Jackson Jr. and Bane to lead them to victory. Jackson Jr. played well in Game 1 with 31 pts and 2 blocks. If Morant can't play, Tyus Jones will likely get the start and he's performed well when Morant has missed time this season.
The head-to-head odds are tight in Game 2 as the Ja Morant injury is a factor. However, the points look a bit more predictable in terms of a low-scoring affair this time. The Under has saluted in 10 of the last 11 meetings at this venue and it's hard to see the Grizzlies defence playing that badly in 2 straight games.
Memphis has won 14 of their last 16 at home. Los Angeles has lost 12 of their last 18 in Memphis.
Head to Head Record
The Lakers are 3-1 in the season series.
Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks (Heat 1-0)
The Heat have bounced back nicely from their play-in loss at home against the Hawks with back-to-back wins. They took down the Bucks in Game 1, 130-117 result as Jimmy Butler dominated. He finished with 35 pts and 11 assists in 43 minutes of action. However, a hand injury to Tyler Herro is a big blow as he'll be out for the next month. So that will open up playing time for the likes of Robinson and Oladipo off the bench.
The #1 seeded Bucks are coming off a disappointing loss in Game 1 against the Heat but a back injury to Giannis is the talking point. He hurt his lower back in Game 1 after just 11 minutes of action and they couldn't recover. He's probably doubtful to play in Game 2 so that will be something to monitor. Bobby Portis has played well when Giannis has missed time this season so he'll the major beneficiary. Middleton comes off an excellent 33 pt display in Game 1 and that's a positive sign for the Bucks if Giannis can't suit up.
With the uncertainty about Giannis, picking a winner is a tough one. Instead, we loved the look of Jimmy Buckets in Game 1. He scored 35 pts and had a total of 27 field goal attempts. With Herro out injured, he should continue to have similar usage in Game 2 to hit the 30+ point mark again.
Milwaukee has won 16 of their last 21 on their home court. Miami holds a 1-7 record in their last 8 at this venue.
Head to Head Record
Since 2021, the head-to-head is tied at 5-5.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets (Nuggets 1-0)
The Timberwolves are looking to bounce back from an ugly game 1 performance as they were crushed 109-80. They scored just 36 total points in the second half so that will need to improve in Game 2. Edwards led the team with 18 pts but ultimately, they shot just 37% field goal percentage and were awful at the line at 56.3%. So they'll be heavy underdogs in Game 2.
The Nuggets made a statement in Game 1 with an overall performance on both sides of the court. Their offence was led by Jamal Murray (24 pts) and Jokic only played 28 minutes in the blowout. So that will keep him fresh in the long run, especially if the Nuggets keep up this form. Porter Jr. also got a double-double with 18 pts and 11 boards. He's struggled with injuries in the regular season but looked good in Game 1, which is another pleasing sign for the #1 seed in the West.
After a 29-point thrashing in Game 1, it's hard to back against the Nuggets doing the same in Game 2. They've now won their last 2 against them at home by an average of 31.5 pts and have covered in 11 of their last 16 in Denver.
Denver is 21-4 in their last 25 at this venue. Minnesota is just 2-9 in their last 11 in Denver.
Head to Head Record
The Nuggets are 3-2 in the 5 meetings this season.