The playoffs are where stars are born, no matter the sport, and fans can’t help but get wrapped up in the magnitude of the moment.
This year’s slate of games have been no different, especially in the NHL, where all the favorites seem to be falling left and right. The Tampa Bay Lightning were one of the best regular-season teams in history, compiling the best record since the 1996 Red Wings, yet they somehow got swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets. And yet, the Boston Bruins just took care of the Blue Jackets in six games.
The NBA Playoffs have seen Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo play at a level above everyone else, and they’re a big reason why their teams are a step away from the conference finals. But there are still games left to be played, and we’ve got picks for Tuesday’s games.
Leonard is the best player in the series — not Joel Embiid or Jimmy Butler — and we’re happy to lay the points with him and his team at home. This isn’t the DeMar DeRozan era Raptors that always struggled in the playoffs — this is a team led by a former NBA Finals MVP, that is capable of making a run for a title.
The Sixers had some momentum early in the series, but the Raptors have stolen it back, and have proven that Philadelphia just isn’t built to play in the half court, as is required in the playoffs. Their run-and-gun, transition-based offense just doesn’t cut it in the postseason, and the defensive-minded Raptors are their kryptonite.
This series has been one of the lowest-scoring in NHL history, and has been all about hot goaltending, and limiting scoring chances. Both teams have excelled at that, as their styles of play are very similar. As such, here we are in a Game 7, with a contest that may come down to one lucky bounce, or an extra power play.
Anything can happen in a Game 7, but we’re looking to back the team with the slightly better goaltender, at home. The Stars missed their opportunity to close out the series at home in Game 6, and it’s going to be tough for them to rebound from that. Back St. Louis at home against Dallas in Game 7, in what could be a 2-1 or 3-2 win.