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NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Wednesday April 22

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Wednesday April 22

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Wednesday April 22

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Wednesday, April 22.

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Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic, 7:05PM ET

Seldom-used Donyell Marshall's new nickname is ``secret weapon,'' one his Philadelphia 76ers teammates greet with a laugh.

``If that's what you call playing once in 10 games,'' fellow Sixers reserve Kareem Rush joked.

For a team built around youth, Philadelphia leaned on aging veterans like Marshall to win the playoff opener against the Orlando Magic. The Sixers will likely need another strong performance from their bench if they have any chance for a repeat in Game 2 on Wednesday night.

A 15-year NBA veteran who has played sparingly this season, Marshall was perhaps the most important - and surprising - player during the Sixers' rally from 18 points down to win Game 1.

NBA Free Pick: Philadelphia | Best Line: +10.5 Sports Interaction

Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks, 8:05PM ET

The Miami Heat was certainly caught off guard.

Dwyane Wade teammates aren't used to seeing him clank open shots. They aren't used to seeing him throw the ball away. They aren't used to seeing him pull a disappearing act in the second half of a playoff game.

``He's not going to have too many games like that,'' said Daequan Cook, the Heat's second-year guard. ``Actually, I've never seen him have a game like he did the other night.''

Indeed, Wade had a miserable time in the opener of the best-of-seven series against the Atlanta Hawks. The home team harassed ``M-V-3'' with constant double teams and made him look, well, ordinary in a 90-64 blowout.

NBA Free Pick: Miami | Best Line: +5 Sports Interaction

New Orleans Hornets at Denver Nuggets, 10:35PM ET

Dahntay Jones' in-your-face defensive style appears to be getting on the nerves of the New Orleans Hornets.

Still stinging over their lopsided loss to the Nuggets in Game 1, Hornets coach Byron Scott suggested Jones' heavy contact on All-Star Chris Paul crossed the line.

``I can appreciate anybody that plays hard, but when you get to the point where you're being a little dirty, that's the thing that kind of aggravates me,'' Scott said Tuesday. ``Being that I played in this league, I know how tough that is. But when you get to the point where you're being a little dirty then I don't appreciate that - and I don't respect it.''

Getting under the skin of the Hornets is all part of the plan for the Nuggets, who were determined to set an aggressive defensive tone for the series.

NBA Free Pick: Denver | Best Line: -5.5 Sports Interaction

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