NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Sunday, May 3

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Sunday, May 3

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Sunday

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Sunday, May 3.

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Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks, 1:00PM ET

ATLANTA (AP) - A seven-game series is supposed to be the ultimate playoff thriller.

So, what can we say about this Miami-Atlanta matchup?

Yawn.

Even with Dwyane Wade playing a starring role, the Heat and the Hawks have managed to wring all the drama out of a to-the-limit series that - mercifully - will be decided Sunday in Atlanta. If creating a bit of excitement was required for advancement, neither of these teams would get a chance to face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round.

The playoffs: Where boring happens.

``Neither team,'' said Marvin Williams, managing a weak smile after Atlanta practiced Saturday, ``has executed as well as they want to.''

They certainly haven't bothered to show up in tandem. The Hawks have won their three games by an average of 17 points; the Heat's average margin of victory is a staggering 23 points. Three games have been decided by at least 26; none has been closer than 10 at the end.

NBA Free Pick: Atlanta – View Game Matchup | Best Line: -5 Sports Interaction

Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets, 3:30PM ET

Move over Tony Parker and Chris Paul. Make way for the old guards.

The second-round series between Dallas and Denver that begins Sunday at the Pepsi Center features two veteran floor leaders in point guards Jason Kidd, 36, of the Mavericks and Chauncey Billups, 32, of the Nuggets.

``Two old dogs,'' Kenyon Martin said.

One great matchup, proclaimed Nuggets coach George Karl and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Kidd sent Parker packing along with the rest of the San Antonio Spurs, and Billups gave Paul and the New Orleans Hornets an early start on their summer break, too.

Billups and Kidd have met in the postseason before. Kidd's Nets swept Billups' Pistons in the 2003 Eastern Conference finals but bowed out to Detroit in the semifinals in '04, when Billups got his ring.

``It's been five years, they're probably a step slower, but they're smarter,'' said Martin, who has a unique perspective on the matchup because he played with Kidd back then and he's on Billups' side now.

Billups said he hasn't had to make concessions for age: ``I'm still in my prime right now, so I haven't had to.''

NBA Free Pick: Denver | Best Line: -6.5 Sports Interaction

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