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Posted at 11:15 AM EST.
8:30 PM EST. After the Portland Trail Blazers knocked off the Denver Nuggets in a highly emotional Game 7 to advance to the West finals for the first time since 2000, they promptly got smoked in Game 1 by Golden State last night. Trust us when we tell you that Golden State was not sharp last night but Portland was so flat that it seemed like they were down 25 points throughout the entire game. We mention that because the Raptors are in an even bigger letdown spot than Portland.
Before we discuss that aforementioned letdown spot, let us remind you that the Bucks wiped out the Celtics and barely broke a sweat in doing so. After losing Game 1 to Boston, the Bucks got serious and punished the Celtics by 21, 7, 12 and 25 points respectively over the next four games. There was no big celebration but a mismatch it was and it should not be ignored how Milwaukee crushed the C’s with relative ease.
In the NBA, teams represent cities with one exception. The Toronto Raptors represent a country and we cannot overstate the euphoria that followed Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer beater that the local media called “18 years of waiting for the demons to vanish. The ball bounced once, twice and then a third and fourth time. It bounced, some are saying, for 18 years before going in and it has been played over and over about a million times since Sunday. The media in Canada is treating a second round win like the Raptors won the NBA championship. Seriously, an NBA Championship might even be anti-climactic because of probably the most overhyped second round victory in the history of sports. There is no encore to be had here in Game 1 or probably in this series. It is absolutely impossible for the Raps to ignore the media attention and almost just as impossible for them to not suffer a massive letdown here. Fade situations really don’t get better than this one.
By contrast, Milwaukee’s second round victory over Boston came with little fanfare or hype. The Bucks did what they were supposed to do and did it in style. This is simply the Bucks next step to reaching their goal of an NBA Championship and they’re good enough to do it. We’ll reassess this series after Game 1 but like Portland last night, the Raps are almost guaranteed to be flat as can be and the Bucks figure to destroy them. Swallow the points and bet Milwaukee on the ALT POINT SPREAD TOO in some money line parlays.
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MILWAUKEE -6½ -105 (Risking 2.1 units - To Win: 2.00)