Category Archives: NBA

Heat vs 76ers

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The young Heat vs 76ers sure didn’t look the part in Game 1 vs. the . They took their homecourt advantage in stride as the East’s No. 3 seed and made clear to the No. 6 Heat that there won’t be anything setting back this hot team.

This is going to be an interesting style difference. The 76ers are a fast defensive-minded team, while the Heat are a more grind-it-out-style team. And the 76ers are leaning on only a couple veterans with postseason experience, while the Heat are almost entirely postseason-tested. This series could be decided by whoever can control the pace on the floor, and, of course, Joel Embiid’s status will also be a major factor.

If the 76ers can carry their momentum from the regular season into the playoffs, then they’re going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. They finished the regular season on a 16 game win streak. Embiid, if healthy, and Simmons are one of the NBA’s most dynamic duos. They have the third-best defense and fourth-best net rating in the NBA. They’re an easy favorite.

The Heat haven’t always been consistent, but their depth gives them a lot of versatility. Miami can gain an advantage if they control the pace, forcing Philadelphia to play slow, and use their bench as an advantage. A lot of teams shorten up their rotation in the playoffs. The Heat doesn’t have to do that. They can adjust to whatever Philadelphia is running and counter that.

According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, the 76ers have a 14.3 percent chance to win the conference and a 3.8 percent chance to win it all. The Heat, on the other hand, has 1.2 percent chance to win the conference and a 0.5 percent chance to win the Finals. SportsLine will have game-by-game gambling advice for every playoff series here.

The Philadelphia 76ers, riding a historic 16-game win streak, host the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA playoffs Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The Sixers are seven-point favorites at home, while the over-under, or total points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 212, up two from the opening line.

Before picking either side, you need to read what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein — who has put together a sizzling run of his own — has to say.

The veteran NBA handicapper is on an epic hot streak when it comes to picking games involving the Heat, nailing 11 of 13 picks for a ridiculous 85 percent payout rate.

On Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, he nailed Miami (-4.5) against the Raptors, a 116-109 Heat victory. He also took Philly (-6.5) in a 130-95 trouncing of Milwaukee to secure the No. 3 seed.

Hartstein has examined every matchup, every player and every trend for Saturday’s showdown and locked in his pick.

He knows the 76ers have more momentum than any team entering the NBA playoffs — ever. The 76ers have won 16 straight, the longest win streak going into the playoffs in NBA history.

They’ll be without star center Joel Embiid for Game 1, but he missed the previous eight games, and Philly won them all. Ben Simmons has certainly been doing his part during this stretch, with five triple-doubles.

Miami, the No. 6 seed, has reason to be confident. The Heat split with the Sixers 2-2 during the regular season, each team winning its games at home. Oddly, Miami had a different leading scorer in each game — Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside.

None of those players is named Goran Dragic, the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points per game, who is expected to be fully recovered from a knee injury that has cost him games down the stretch.

In Heat wins, they held Simmons to 10.5 ppg. In Sixers wins, Simmons averaged 19. Against the spread, Miami is just 2-5 in its past seven. Philly is 11-3 but has failed to cover in three of four. Hartstein says the line in this game isn’t where it should be. He’s sharing why, and who to back, at SportsLine.

76ers vs Heat

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The young Heat vs 76ers sure didn’t look the part in Game 1 vs. the . They took their homecourt advantage in stride as the East’s No. 3 seed and made clear to the No. 6 Heat that there won’t be anything setting back this hot team.

This is going to be an interesting style difference. The 76ers are a fast defensive-minded team, while the Heat are a more grind-it-out-style team. And the 76ers are leaning on only a couple veterans with postseason experience, while the Heat are almost entirely postseason-tested. This series could be decided by whoever can control the pace on the floor, and, of course, Joel Embiid’s status will also be a major factor.

If the 76ers can carry their momentum from the regular season into the playoffs, then they’re going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. They finished the regular season on a 16 game win streak. Embiid, if healthy, and Simmons are one of the NBA’s most dynamic duos. They have the third-best defense and fourth-best net rating in the NBA. They’re an easy favorite.

The Heat haven’t always been consistent, but their depth gives them a lot of versatility. Miami can gain an advantage if they control the pace, forcing Philadelphia to play slow, and use their bench as an advantage. A lot of teams shorten up their rotation in the playoffs. The Heat doesn’t have to do that. They can adjust to whatever Philadelphia is running and counter that.

According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, the 76ers have a 14.3 percent chance to win the conference and a 3.8 percent chance to win it all. The Heat, on the other hand, has 1.2 percent chance to win the conference and a 0.5 percent chance to win the Finals. SportsLine will have game-by-game gambling advice for every playoff series here.

The Philadelphia 76ers, riding a historic 16-game win streak, host the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA playoffs Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The Sixers are seven-point favorites at home, while the over-under, or total points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 212, up two from the opening line.

Before picking either side, you need to read what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein — who has put together a sizzling run of his own — has to say.

The veteran NBA handicapper is on an epic hot streak when it comes to picking games involving the Heat, nailing 11 of 13 picks for a ridiculous 85 percent payout rate.

On Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, he nailed Miami (-4.5) against the Raptors, a 116-109 Heat victory. He also took Philly (-6.5) in a 130-95 trouncing of Milwaukee to secure the No. 3 seed.

Hartstein has examined every matchup, every player and every trend for Saturday’s showdown and locked in his pick.

He knows the 76ers have more momentum than any team entering the NBA playoffs — ever. The 76ers have won 16 straight, the longest win streak going into the playoffs in NBA history.

They’ll be without star center Joel Embiid for Game 1, but he missed the previous eight games, and Philly won them all. Ben Simmons has certainly been doing his part during this stretch, with five triple-doubles.

Miami, the No. 6 seed, has reason to be confident. The Heat split with the Sixers 2-2 during the regular season, each team winning its games at home. Oddly, Miami had a different leading scorer in each game — Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside.

None of those players is named Goran Dragic, the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points per game, who is expected to be fully recovered from a knee injury that has cost him games down the stretch.

In Heat wins, they held Simmons to 10.5 ppg. In Sixers wins, Simmons averaged 19. Against the spread, Miami is just 2-5 in its past seven. Philly is 11-3 but has failed to cover in three of four. Hartstein says the line in this game isn’t where it should be. He’s sharing why, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Cavaliers vs Pacers

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Oklahoma City held a 3-1 advantage this season, with each of the four games being played before Christmas. The teams have not met since December 23, well before Utah’s 29-6 close to the regular season.Overall, the Jazz are 12-27 vs. the Thunder since that franchise moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle in 2009. The Jazz went 66-79 against the Seattle Supersonics.The franchises have not met in the playoffs since 2000, when the Jazz beat the Sonics 3-2 inRound 1.Key Matchups
Ricky Rubio vs. Russell WestbrookAny conversation about this series has to start with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double—25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 10.3 assists—for the second straight season. Westbrook, who had the third-highest usage rate in the NBA (after Houston’s James Harden and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid), controls OKC’s offense, and he’ll most likely be guarded by the duo of Ricky Rubio and Royce O’Neale.Rubio, who’s making his first career playoff appearance, set career highs in points, 3-pointers, FG% and usage rate in his first season with the Jazz. Since the All-Star break, he has averaged 15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.6 3-pointers—all while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 87.5 percent from the line.Rudy Gobert vs. Steven AdamsRudy Gobert, who was named Second Team All-NBA last season, is the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason—he had the best defensive rating of any qualifying player (97.7) this season. OKC’s Steven Adams, though, just happens to be a one of the most rugged and physical centers in the league.

Their contrasting styles as they battle to set the tone in the post will be something to watch closely.Oklahoma City won their last game against the Utah Jazz, 116 – 108; George: 36 pts, eight 3s; Westbrook: 29 pts. Paul George scored a team-high, thirty-six points, during their last game against the Jazz. He made 13 of his 20 attempts from the field, for a 65.0% field goal percentage (2/2 from the line, 8/11 from three-point range). In 37 minutes, George collected thirty-six points, seven rebounds, one steal and eight threes with 4 turnovers.Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring against their last opponent, the Thunder. He contributed with twenty-seven points, three assists, ten rebounds, two steals, one block and three threes with 1 turnover in 34 minutes. Mitchell shot 11 for 22 in the game, hitting 50.0% of his attempts from the field (2/2 from the line, 3/7 from three-point range).Get a 50% bonus up to $1,000 when you join MyBookie with Promo Code:HeroSportsREGULARSEASONSTRENGTHS& WEAKNESSES
The Thunder have climbed the rankings this season in steals per game (#1), offensive rebounds per game (#1) and blocks per game (#11). They struggle in free throw percentage (#29), assists per game (#28) and defensive rebounds per game (#26).The Jazz have climbed the rankings this season in steals per game (#4), blocks per game (#9) and free throw percentage (#10). Their weakest areas are offensive rebounds per game (#23), assists per game (#21) and turnovers per game (#20).The first game between the Jazz and Thunder went about how we expected — it was a physical battle highlighted by incredible performances from stars Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Donovan Mitchell. OKC took Game 1, but you can tell this is going to be a great series.The Jazz and the Thunder are an interesting first-round matchup, in the sense that most series have a clear underdog. However, this series is anything but clear. Although the Thunder may have more “stars” on their roster, the Jazz are fielding a scorching-hot team with Mitchell leading the way, winning 17 of their last 21 games to take the No. 5 seed.With that being said, the Thunder took what everyone thought was a piecemeal roster and made it into the No. 4 seed. Sure the Westbrook-Anthony-George system took some lumps, but the Thunder persevered this season to make themselves look like a threatening — if flawed — presence. Russell Westbrook is still clearly the leader, but the Thunder still got over 20 points per game for Paul George and 15 from Carmelo Anthony.Here is everything you need to know about what may be the most intense first-round series:

Pacers vs Cavaliers

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Oklahoma City held a 3-1 advantage this season, with each of the four games being played before Christmas. The teams have not met since December 23, well before Utah’s 29-6 close to the regular season.Overall, the Jazz are 12-27 vs. the Thunder since that franchise moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle in 2009. The Jazz went 66-79 against the Seattle Supersonics.The franchises have not met in the playoffs since 2000, when the Jazz beat the Sonics 3-2 inRound 1.Key Matchups
Ricky Rubio vs. Russell WestbrookAny conversation about this series has to start with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double—25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 10.3 assists—for the second straight season. Westbrook, who had the third-highest usage rate in the NBA (after Houston’s James Harden and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid), controls OKC’s offense, and he’ll most likely be guarded by the duo of Ricky Rubio and Royce O’Neale.Rubio, who’s making his first career playoff appearance, set career highs in points, 3-pointers, FG% and usage rate in his first season with the Jazz. Since the All-Star break, he has averaged 15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.6 3-pointers—all while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 87.5 percent from the line.Rudy Gobert vs. Steven AdamsRudy Gobert, who was named Second Team All-NBA last season, is the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason—he had the best defensive rating of any qualifying player (97.7) this season. OKC’s Steven Adams, though, just happens to be a one of the most rugged and physical centers in the league.

Their contrasting styles as they battle to set the tone in the post will be something to watch closely.Oklahoma City won their last game against the Utah Jazz, 116 – 108; George: 36 pts, eight 3s; Westbrook: 29 pts. Paul George scored a team-high, thirty-six points, during their last game against the Jazz. He made 13 of his 20 attempts from the field, for a 65.0% field goal percentage (2/2 from the line, 8/11 from three-point range). In 37 minutes, George collected thirty-six points, seven rebounds, one steal and eight threes with 4 turnovers.Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring against their last opponent, the Thunder. He contributed with twenty-seven points, three assists, ten rebounds, two steals, one block and three threes with 1 turnover in 34 minutes. Mitchell shot 11 for 22 in the game, hitting 50.0% of his attempts from the field (2/2 from the line, 3/7 from three-point range).Get a 50% bonus up to $1,000 when you join MyBookie with Promo Code:HeroSportsREGULARSEASONSTRENGTHS& WEAKNESSES
The Thunder have climbed the rankings this season in steals per game (#1), offensive rebounds per game (#1) and blocks per game (#11). They struggle in free throw percentage (#29), assists per game (#28) and defensive rebounds per game (#26).The Jazz have climbed the rankings this season in steals per game (#4), blocks per game (#9) and free throw percentage (#10). Their weakest areas are offensive rebounds per game (#23), assists per game (#21) and turnovers per game (#20).The first game between the Jazz and Thunder went about how we expected — it was a physical battle highlighted by incredible performances from stars Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Donovan Mitchell. OKC took Game 1, but you can tell this is going to be a great series.The Jazz and the Thunder are an interesting first-round matchup, in the sense that most series have a clear underdog. However, this series is anything but clear. Although the Thunder may have more “stars” on their roster, the Jazz are fielding a scorching-hot team with Mitchell leading the way, winning 17 of their last 21 games to take the No. 5 seed.With that being said, the Thunder took what everyone thought was a piecemeal roster and made it into the No. 4 seed. Sure the Westbrook-Anthony-George system took some lumps, but the Thunder persevered this season to make themselves look like a threatening — if flawed — presence. Russell Westbrook is still clearly the leader, but the Thunder still got over 20 points per game for Paul George and 15 from Carmelo Anthony.Here is everything you need to know about what may be the most intense first-round series:

Thunder vs Jazz

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Oklahoma City held a 3-1 advantage this season, with each of the four games being played before Christmas. The teams have not met since December 23, well before Utah’s 29-6 close to the regular season.Overall, the Jazz are 12-27 vs. the Thunder since that franchise moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle in 2009. The Jazz went 66-79 against the Seattle Supersonics.The franchises have not met in the playoffs since 2000, when the Jazz beat the Sonics 3-2 inRound 1.Key Matchups
Ricky Rubio vs. Russell WestbrookAny conversation about this series has to start with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double—25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 10.3 assists—for the second straight season. Westbrook, who had the third-highest usage rate in the NBA (after Houston’s James Harden and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid), controls OKC’s offense, and he’ll most likely be guarded by the duo of Ricky Rubio and Royce O’Neale.Rubio, who’s making his first career playoff appearance, set career highs in points, 3-pointers, FG% and usage rate in his first season with the Jazz. Since the All-Star break, he has averaged 15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.6 3-pointers—all while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 87.5 percent from the line.Rudy Gobert vs. Steven AdamsRudy Gobert, who was named Second Team All-NBA last season, is the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason—he had the best defensive rating of any qualifying player (97.7) this season. OKC’s Steven Adams, though, just happens to be a one of the most rugged and physical centers in the league.

Their contrasting styles as they battle to set the tone in the post will be something to watch closely.Oklahoma City won their last game against the Utah Jazz, 116 – 108; George: 36 pts, eight 3s; Westbrook: 29 pts. Paul George scored a team-high, thirty-six points, during their last game against the Jazz. He made 13 of his 20 attempts from the field, for a 65.0% field goal percentage (2/2 from the line, 8/11 from three-point range). In 37 minutes, George collected thirty-six points, seven rebounds, one steal and eight threes with 4 turnovers.Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring against their last opponent, the Thunder. He contributed with twenty-seven points, three assists, ten rebounds, two steals, one block and three threes with 1 turnover in 34 minutes. Mitchell shot 11 for 22 in the game, hitting 50.0% of his attempts from the field (2/2 from the line, 3/7 from three-point range).Get a 50% bonus up to $1,000 when you join MyBookie with Promo Code:HeroSportsREGULARSEASONSTRENGTHS& WEAKNESSES
The Thunder have climbed the rankings this season in steals per game (#1), offensive rebounds per game (#1) and blocks per game (#11). They struggle in free throw percentage (#29), assists per game (#28) and defensive rebounds per game (#26).The Jazz have climbed the rankings this season in steals per game (#4), blocks per game (#9) and free throw percentage (#10). Their weakest areas are offensive rebounds per game (#23), assists per game (#21) and turnovers per game (#20).The first game between the Jazz and Thunder went about how we expected — it was a physical battle highlighted by incredible performances from stars Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Donovan Mitchell. OKC took Game 1, but you can tell this is going to be a great series.The Jazz and the Thunder are an interesting first-round matchup, in the sense that most series have a clear underdog. However, this series is anything but clear. Although the Thunder may have more “stars” on their roster, the Jazz are fielding a scorching-hot team with Mitchell leading the way, winning 17 of their last 21 games to take the No. 5 seed.With that being said, the Thunder took what everyone thought was a piecemeal roster and made it into the No. 4 seed. Sure the Westbrook-Anthony-George system took some lumps, but the Thunder persevered this season to make themselves look like a threatening — if flawed — presence. Russell Westbrook is still clearly the leader, but the Thunder still got over 20 points per game for Paul George and 15 from Carmelo Anthony.Here is everything you need to know about what may be the most intense first-round series:

Jazz vs Thunder

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Oklahoma City held a 3-1 advantage this season, with each of the four games being played before Christmas. The teams have not met since December 23, well before Utah’s 29-6 close to the regular season.Overall, the Jazz are 12-27 vs. the Thunder since that franchise moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle in 2009. The Jazz went 66-79 against the Seattle Supersonics.The franchises have not met in the playoffs since 2000, when the Jazz beat the Sonics 3-2 inRound 1.Key Matchups
Ricky Rubio vs. Russell WestbrookAny conversation about this series has to start with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double—25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 10.3 assists—for the second straight season. Westbrook, who had the third-highest usage rate in the NBA (after Houston’s James Harden and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid), controls OKC’s offense, and he’ll most likely be guarded by the duo of Ricky Rubio and Royce O’Neale.Rubio, who’s making his first career playoff appearance, set career highs in points, 3-pointers, FG% and usage rate in his first season with the Jazz. Since the All-Star break, he has averaged 15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.6 3-pointers—all while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 87.5 percent from the line.Rudy Gobert vs. Steven AdamsRudy Gobert, who was named Second Team All-NBA last season, is the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason—he had the best defensive rating of any qualifying player (97.7) this season. OKC’s Steven Adams, though, just happens to be a one of the most rugged and physical centers in the league.

Their contrasting styles as they battle to set the tone in the post will be something to watch closely.Oklahoma City won their last game against the Utah Jazz, 116 – 108; George: 36 pts, eight 3s; Westbrook: 29 pts. Paul George scored a team-high, thirty-six points, during their last game against the Jazz. He made 13 of his 20 attempts from the field, for a 65.0% field goal percentage (2/2 from the line, 8/11 from three-point range). In 37 minutes, George collected thirty-six points, seven rebounds, one steal and eight threes with 4 turnovers.Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring against their last opponent, the Thunder. He contributed with twenty-seven points, three assists, ten rebounds, two steals, one block and three threes with 1 turnover in 34 minutes. Mitchell shot 11 for 22 in the game, hitting 50.0% of his attempts from the field (2/2 from the line, 3/7 from three-point range).Get a 50% bonus up to $1,000 when you join MyBookie with Promo Code:HeroSportsREGULARSEASONSTRENGTHS& WEAKNESSES
The Thunder have climbed the rankings this season in steals per game (#1), offensive rebounds per game (#1) and blocks per game (#11). They struggle in free throw percentage (#29), assists per game (#28) and defensive rebounds per game (#26).The Jazz have climbed the rankings this season in steals per game (#4), blocks per game (#9) and free throw percentage (#10). Their weakest areas are offensive rebounds per game (#23), assists per game (#21) and turnovers per game (#20).The first game between the Jazz and Thunder went about how we expected — it was a physical battle highlighted by incredible performances from stars Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Donovan Mitchell. OKC took Game 1, but you can tell this is going to be a great series.The Jazz and the Thunder are an interesting first-round matchup, in the sense that most series have a clear underdog. However, this series is anything but clear. Although the Thunder may have more “stars” on their roster, the Jazz are fielding a scorching-hot team with Mitchell leading the way, winning 17 of their last 21 games to take the No. 5 seed.With that being said, the Thunder took what everyone thought was a piecemeal roster and made it into the No. 4 seed. Sure the Westbrook-Anthony-George system took some lumps, but the Thunder persevered this season to make themselves look like a threatening — if flawed — presence. Russell Westbrook is still clearly the leader, but the Thunder still got over 20 points per game for Paul George and 15 from Carmelo Anthony.Here is everything you need to know about what may be the most intense first-round series:

Raptors vs Wizards

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The Washington Wizards stumbled into the postseason, losing five of their last six games, but were competitive in their first game against the conference’s No. 1 seed, the Toronto Raptors. Though the Wizards lost, 114-106, they didn’t back down on the road, trading leads through much of Game 1. Tuesday’s Game 2 ought to be fun.

John Wall missed all four regular-season matchups with the Raptors this season, which the teams split, 2-2, but he was back in playoff form in Game 1. Wall paced the Wizards with 23 points and 15 assists. In three regular-season games against the Raptors in 2016-17, Wall feasted, averaging 25 points, 10.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds with .473/.308/.826 shooting splits.

On Friday, the league suspended Wizards sharpshooter Jodie Meeks for 25 games for violating the terms of the NBA-National Basketball Players Association anti-drug program, meaning he will be ineligible for postseason play.

Here’s all the information you need to follow this first-round series. This post will be updated with results and news throughout.

Though the Raptors emerged from Game 1 with a welcome win, they’ll need to remain defensively vigilant when John Wall is on the floor. The Wizards point guard wasn’t great in the opener, needing 20 field-goal attempts to get his 23 points, and his 15 assists came attached to five turnovers. But Wall’s ability to blow by Kyle Lowry and put pressure on the Raptors defense promises to be a problem — one that needs to be balanced by a tidier performance that Lowry offered in Game 1, wherein he coughed up five turnovers on his 11-point, nine-assist night.

The problem is, Washington just doesn’t have many good options for guarding Ibaka. Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi are liabilities if he takes them out to the perimeter, and Jason Smith isn’t much better. Morris is the best fit one-on-one, but his pick-and-roll coverage isn’t always on point, and there isn’t enough rim protection behind him to clean up mistakes.

It might be worth experimenting with someone smaller like Scott or Porter who can deny passing lanes better, but then you’re inviting him to take it to the block where he has a size advantage. He hasn’t done a lot posting up this season, but when he has, he’s been effective.

Washington will need to figure out something because when Ibaka has it going, the Raptors are hard to beat. Toronto is 16-2 this season when he scores at least 17 points, including Saturday’s win.

Though the Raptors emerged from Game 1 with a welcome win, they’ll need to remain defensively vigilant when John Wall is on the floor. The Wizards point guard wasn’t great in the opener, needing 20 field-goal attempts to get his 23 points, and his 15 assists came attached to five turnovers. But Wall’s ability to blow by Kyle Lowry and put pressure on the Raptors defense promises to be a problem — one that needs to be balanced by a tidier performance that Lowry offered in Game 1, wherein he coughed up five turnovers on his 11-point, nine-assist night.

Lowry, who insisted he would approach Game 1 “like a Game 7,” is sticking with the philosophy. “Game 2 is another Game 7 for us — the way we’ve gotta play,” Lowry said Monday … Raptors coach Dwane Casey was asked if starting power forward Serge Ibaka is known as a good talker on defense. “In what language?” Casey quipped. In the wake of his 23-point, 12-rebound performance in Game 1, Ibaka answered questions from the media in English, French, and Spanish. Ibaka also speaks Lingala, which is spoken in his native Republic of the Congo.

Before a rollicking home crowd that made goal celebrations feel like an “earthquake in your feet,” Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs cut the Bruins’ series lead in half with an emphatic win when they really need it at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night, Bruce Arthur writes.

NBA playoffs 2018 Live

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The young Philadelphia 76ers sure didn’t look the part in Game 1 vs. the Miami Heat. They took their homecourt advantage in stride as the East’s No. 3 seed and made clear to the No. 6 Heat that there won’t be anything setting back this hot team.

This is going to be an interesting style difference. The 76ers are a fast defensive-minded team, while the Heat are a more grind-it-out-style team. And the 76ers are leaning on only a couple veterans with postseason experience, while the Heat are almost entirely postseason-tested. This series could be decided by whoever can control the pace on the floor, and, of course, Joel Embiid’s status will also be a major factor.

If the 76ers can carry their momentum from the regular season into the playoffs, then they’re going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. They finished the regular season on a 16 game win streak. Embiid, if healthy, and Simmons are one of the NBA’s most dynamic duos. They have the third-best defense and fourth-best net rating in the NBA. They’re an easy favorite.

The Heat haven’t always been consistent, but their depth gives them a lot of versatility. Miami can gain an advantage if they control the pace, forcing Philadelphia to play slow, and use their bench as an advantage. A lot of teams shorten up their rotation in the playoffs. The Heat doesn’t have to do that. They can adjust to whatever Philadelphia is running and counter that.

According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, the 76ers have a 14.3 percent chance to win the conference and a 3.8 percent chance to win it all. The Heat, on the other hand, has 1.2 percent chance to win the conference and a 0.5 percent chance to win the Finals. SportsLine will have game-by-game gambling advice for every playoff series here.

The Philadelphia 76ers, riding a historic 16-game win streak, host the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA playoffs Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The Sixers are seven-point favorites at home, while the over-under, or total points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 212, up two from the opening line.

Before picking either side, you need to read what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein — who has put together a sizzling run of his own — has to say.

The veteran NBA handicapper is on an epic hot streak when it comes to picking games involving the Heat, nailing 11 of 13 picks for a ridiculous 85 percent payout rate.

On Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, he nailed Miami (-4.5) against the Raptors, a 116-109 Heat victory. He also took Philly (-6.5) in a 130-95 trouncing of Milwaukee to secure the No. 3 seed.

Hartstein has examined every matchup, every player and every trend for Saturday’s showdown and locked in his pick.

He knows the 76ers have more momentum than any team entering the NBA playoffs — ever. The 76ers have won 16 straight, the longest win streak going into the playoffs in NBA history.

They’ll be without star center Joel Embiid for Game 1, but he missed the previous eight games, and Philly won them all. Ben Simmons has certainly been doing his part during this stretch, with five triple-doubles.

Miami, the No. 6 seed, has reason to be confident. The Heat split with the Sixers 2-2 during the regular season, each team winning its games at home. Oddly, Miami had a different leading scorer in each game — Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside.

None of those players is named Goran Dragic, the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points per game, who is expected to be fully recovered from a knee injury that has cost him games down the stretch.

In Heat wins, they held Simmons to 10.5 ppg. In Sixers wins, Simmons averaged 19. Against the spread, Miami is just 2-5 in its past seven. Philly is 11-3 but has failed to cover in three of four. Hartstein says the line in this game isn’t where it should be. He’s sharing why, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Miami vs Philadelphia Live

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The young Philadelphia 76ers sure didn’t look the part in Game 1 vs. the Miami Heat. They took their homecourt advantage in stride as the East’s No. 3 seed and made clear to the No. 6 Heat that there won’t be anything setting back this hot team.

This is going to be an interesting style difference. The 76ers are a fast defensive-minded team, while the Heat are a more grind-it-out-style team. And the 76ers are leaning on only a couple veterans with postseason experience, while the Heat are almost entirely postseason-tested. This series could be decided by whoever can control the pace on the floor, and, of course, Joel Embiid’s status will also be a major factor.

If the 76ers can carry their momentum from the regular season into the playoffs, then they’re going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. They finished the regular season on a 16 game win streak. Embiid, if healthy, and Simmons are one of the NBA’s most dynamic duos. They have the third-best defense and fourth-best net rating in the NBA. They’re an easy favorite.

The Heat haven’t always been consistent, but their depth gives them a lot of versatility. Miami can gain an advantage if they control the pace, forcing Philadelphia to play slow, and use their bench as an advantage. A lot of teams shorten up their rotation in the playoffs. The Heat doesn’t have to do that. They can adjust to whatever Philadelphia is running and counter that.

According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, the 76ers have a 14.3 percent chance to win the conference and a 3.8 percent chance to win it all. The Heat, on the other hand, has 1.2 percent chance to win the conference and a 0.5 percent chance to win the Finals. SportsLine will have game-by-game gambling advice for every playoff series here.

The Philadelphia 76ers, riding a historic 16-game win streak, host the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA playoffs Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The Sixers are seven-point favorites at home, while the over-under, or total points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 212, up two from the opening line.

Before picking either side, you need to read what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein — who has put together a sizzling run of his own — has to say.

The veteran NBA handicapper is on an epic hot streak when it comes to picking games involving the Heat, nailing 11 of 13 picks for a ridiculous 85 percent payout rate.

On Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, he nailed Miami (-4.5) against the Raptors, a 116-109 Heat victory. He also took Philly (-6.5) in a 130-95 trouncing of Milwaukee to secure the No. 3 seed.

Hartstein has examined every matchup, every player and every trend for Saturday’s showdown and locked in his pick.

He knows the 76ers have more momentum than any team entering the NBA playoffs — ever. The 76ers have won 16 straight, the longest win streak going into the playoffs in NBA history.

They’ll be without star center Joel Embiid for Game 1, but he missed the previous eight games, and Philly won them all. Ben Simmons has certainly been doing his part during this stretch, with five triple-doubles.

Miami, the No. 6 seed, has reason to be confident. The Heat split with the Sixers 2-2 during the regular season, each team winning its games at home. Oddly, Miami had a different leading scorer in each game — Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside.

None of those players is named Goran Dragic, the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points per game, who is expected to be fully recovered from a knee injury that has cost him games down the stretch.

In Heat wins, they held Simmons to 10.5 ppg. In Sixers wins, Simmons averaged 19. Against the spread, Miami is just 2-5 in its past seven. Philly is 11-3 but has failed to cover in three of four. Hartstein says the line in this game isn’t where it should be. He’s sharing why, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Heat vs 76ers Live

Welcome to Watch Heat vs 76ers Live Stream Online Free HD TV Coverage

Click Here To Watch Now Live Free


The young Heat vs 76ers sure didn’t look the part in Game 1 vs. the . They took their homecourt advantage in stride as the East’s No. 3 seed and made clear to the No. 6 Heat that there won’t be anything setting back this hot team.

This is going to be an interesting style difference. The 76ers are a fast defensive-minded team, while the Heat are a more grind-it-out-style team. And the 76ers are leaning on only a couple veterans with postseason experience, while the Heat are almost entirely postseason-tested. This series could be decided by whoever can control the pace on the floor, and, of course, Joel Embiid’s status will also be a major factor.

If the 76ers can carry their momentum from the regular season into the playoffs, then they’re going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. They finished the regular season on a 16 game win streak. Embiid, if healthy, and Simmons are one of the NBA’s most dynamic duos. They have the third-best defense and fourth-best net rating in the NBA. They’re an easy favorite.

The Heat haven’t always been consistent, but their depth gives them a lot of versatility. Miami can gain an advantage if they control the pace, forcing Philadelphia to play slow, and use their bench as an advantage. A lot of teams shorten up their rotation in the playoffs. The Heat doesn’t have to do that. They can adjust to whatever Philadelphia is running and counter that.

According to SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, the 76ers have a 14.3 percent chance to win the conference and a 3.8 percent chance to win it all. The Heat, on the other hand, has 1.2 percent chance to win the conference and a 0.5 percent chance to win the Finals. SportsLine will have game-by-game gambling advice for every playoff series here.

The Philadelphia 76ers, riding a historic 16-game win streak, host the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA playoffs Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The Sixers are seven-point favorites at home, while the over-under, or total points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 212, up two from the opening line.

Before picking either side, you need to read what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein — who has put together a sizzling run of his own — has to say.

The veteran NBA handicapper is on an epic hot streak when it comes to picking games involving the Heat, nailing 11 of 13 picks for a ridiculous 85 percent payout rate.

On Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, he nailed Miami (-4.5) against the Raptors, a 116-109 Heat victory. He also took Philly (-6.5) in a 130-95 trouncing of Milwaukee to secure the No. 3 seed.

Hartstein has examined every matchup, every player and every trend for Saturday’s showdown and locked in his pick.

He knows the 76ers have more momentum than any team entering the NBA playoffs — ever. The 76ers have won 16 straight, the longest win streak going into the playoffs in NBA history.

They’ll be without star center Joel Embiid for Game 1, but he missed the previous eight games, and Philly won them all. Ben Simmons has certainly been doing his part during this stretch, with five triple-doubles.

Miami, the No. 6 seed, has reason to be confident. The Heat split with the Sixers 2-2 during the regular season, each team winning its games at home. Oddly, Miami had a different leading scorer in each game — Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside.

None of those players is named Goran Dragic, the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points per game, who is expected to be fully recovered from a knee injury that has cost him games down the stretch.

In Heat wins, they held Simmons to 10.5 ppg. In Sixers wins, Simmons averaged 19. Against the spread, Miami is just 2-5 in its past seven. Philly is 11-3 but has failed to cover in three of four. Hartstein says the line in this game isn’t where it should be. He’s sharing why, and who to back, at SportsLine.