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Inside Monday's Playoff Games

   by Tom Stryker - 05/22/2006

Inside Monday’s NBA Playoff Game 7 Wars

Miami is in. So is Detroit. After tonight, the final two teams that make up this year’s Western Conference finals will be locked and loaded.


Dallas had a chance to close out the defending champions at home on Saturday. But, San Antonio took advantage of a Mavs team without Jason Terry and stole game six. Now, Dallas must find a way to win at one of the toughest homecourts in the NBA.


The Los Angeles Clippers survived elimination with a 118-106 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night. In order to advance to the next round, the young “Clipsâ€쳌 will have to grow up quickly in the desert.


If you’re going to fade a home team in a game seven situation, you better have a pretty darn good reason. Counting Detroit’s win yesterday, game seven hosts are now 29-6 SU and 21-12-2 ATS including 29-3 SU and 21-9-2 ATS since 1990.


Here’s a breakdown of the two games on Monday night.


Dallas at SAN ANTONIO

Even though the Mavs own a 25-61 SU and 34-51-1 ATS record in the last 86 games against the Spurs, Dallas has closed the gap lately in the last 12 meetings posting a 6-6 SU and 9-3 ATS mark.


Historically, the Mavs have struggled a bit coming off back-to-back straight up losses notching a soft 5-14 ATS record. However, it is important to note that Dallas is on a 24-10 ATS run in its last 34 priced as a road underdog including 13-2 ATS in this set provided the Mavs are rested and matched up against a foe coming off a SU and ATS win.


As you probably suspected, there aren’t too many areas where San Antonio doesn’t prosper. Since the 2003 playoffs, the Spurs are 26-9 SU and 21-14 ATS at home including 14-3 SU and 12-5 ATS in this situation coming off a straight up win. Also, in its own backyard matched up against a foe that enters off back-to-back straight up losses, San Antonio has cruised to a blistering 68-12 SU and 48-31 ATS record.


Surprisingly, there is one area where the Spurs display a weakness. At home facing an opponent that comes in with a won/loss percentage greater than .700, San Antonio is a soft 13-23-1 ATS.


LA Clippers at PHOENIX

The LA Clippers are trekking into foreign territory and it will be interesting to see how the young “Clipsâ€쳌 respond in a game of this magnitude. You can talk all you want about a game seven set. But, until you actually play in one, the pressure and emotion can’t be duplicated.


In this series, Los Angeles has been a profitable investment. The Clippers own a 40-29-2 ATS record in the last 71 lined wars including 32-19-1 ATS if they’re rested.


That was the good news; now for the bad. As a road underdog coming off a SU and ATS home favorite win, LA is a woeful 5-39 SU and 13-30-1 ATS provided the Clippers won by 10 points or more last. Also, as a road pup running with rest and off a straight up home win, Los Angeles is a dismal 3-19 SU and 6-15-1 ATS.


Certainly, Phoenix won’t be trembling in this game seven setting. The Suns dismantled the Lakers at home by 31 points in game seven of the first round.


Since the start of the 2004 season, Phoenix has played well when priced as a favorite of -10 or less posting a respectable 70-49 ATS record. Also, as a playoff host battling an opponent that carries a won/loss percentage of .650 or less, the Suns have been red hot notching a sweet 20-4 SU and 14-10 ATS record including 6-1 SU and ATS in this set coming off a straight up loss.


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