NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Monday April 20

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Monday April 20

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Monday April 20

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Monday, April 20.

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Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics, 7:05PM ET

If words could stop Derrick Rose, the Celtics would be doing better in the playoffs.

``Everybody has their night,'' Boston center Kendrick Perkins said Sunday. ``I know it won't happen again. He'll never have another game like that against us.''

The defending NBA champions need more than strong statements to cool off the 20-year-old rookie. In his playoff debut, the Chicago Bulls' point guard had 36 points and 11 assists in a 105-103 overtime win at the Celtics home Saturday.

That's where Game 2 will be Monday night, and the Celtics know exactly what they must do better on defense - hurry back against the speedy Bulls, communicate, stop the pick-and-roll and get the ball out of Rose's hands as soon as possible.

A tall order, perhaps, but one they must fill to have a better chance of avoiding a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-seven series going into Thursday night's game in Chicago.

NBA Free Pick: Boston | Best Line: -8 Sports Interaction

Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs, 9:35PM ET

Dirk Nowitzki sat in a chair courtside, reflecting on the Dallas Mavericks first playoff road win in three years.

For a once ``terrible'' road team, in the words of Nowitzki, they looked perfectly relaxed in San Antonio, a day after beating the Spurs in the series opener.

``The advantage we just gained, we don't want to give it right back,'' Nowitzki said. ``We've seen it happen before.''

Not since the 2006 NBA finals had the Mavs led in a playoff series. But they've now got a 1-0 edge after going to Josh Howard early, relying on their bench late and wearing down rival San Antonio in a 105-97 victory on Saturday night.

About the only thing wrong for San Antonio on Sunday was that Jason Kidd didn't practice because of a stomach illness.

He expects to be fine for Game 2 on Monday night.

Dallas hadn't won a road playoff game in nine tries, but the Mavs don't seem to mind San Antonio: dating back to their memorable seven-game West semifinals series in 2006, Dallas has left the AT&T Center as winners in three of their last four playoff trips here.

NBA Free Pick: Dallas | Best Line: +5.5 Sports Interaction

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