What a memorable and profitable night in the NBA Playoffs it was last night! I went 3-0 and really none of the games were even very close. Nights like that only happen a handful of times every year so you have to take a moment and appreciate them when they do. My 2022 NBA Playoffs picks vault up to 10-5 (66.7%)
NBA Playoffs: Pelicans (+7) @ Suns $$
If the Pelicans are able to pull off this series win, it would go down as the greatest upset in NBA Playoffs history. Let’s be very clear, it could realistically happen. The untimely injury of Devin Booker’s hamstring is obviously the biggest story. With Devin in the lineup, the Suns likely close out this series in six games. But he isn’t in the lineup so we should just get past it.
The second biggest story of the series actually goes to the quietly spectacular emergence of rookie Hebert Jones. The young star is blossoming into a premium defensive specialist. He is the equivalent of a lockdown DB in the NFL. In game 4, Jones held Chris Paul to just 4 points on 2 of 8 shooting. Paul managed 11 assists as he usually does, but that was mainly due to him not being able to create his own quality shots. That combined with the absence of their preferred first option in Booker, and the Suns suddenly find themselves in serious trouble.
De’Andre Ayton is still a problem for the Pelicans, but if they can hold him under 25 points they have a very real chance of winning this series. Meanwhile, CJ McCollum and Brandom Ingram are both playing great ball on the other end of the court. The Pelicans are youthful, energetic and confident right now. I have a difficult time understanding why they are still considered the lesser team. Regardless, this (+7) spread for this matchup is much too high.
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