NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Saturday, May 9

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Saturday, May 9

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Saturday

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Saturday, May 9.

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Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks, 5:05PM ET

In their romp through the playoffs thus far, the Denver Nuggets have made only one mistake: blowing Game 3 of their first-round series.

Up 2-0 on the Hornets, and playing in New Orleans, the Nuggets jumped way ahead in the opening minutes - then wound up losing. They bounced back in a big way the next game and haven't lost since.

On Saturday, Denver gets another Game 3 on the road, again while up 2-0. This time it's against the Dallas Mavericks.

Have the Nuggets learned their lesson? Do they now understand the difference between a playoff road game and a regular-season road game?

Denver coach George Karl is eager to find out.

NBA Free Pick: Denver | Best Line: +4 Sports Interaction

Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks, 8:00PM ET

If this was a heavyweight fight, the referee might have already stepped in to stop it.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are on a record roll and throwing nothing but haymakers. The Atlanta Hawks are all banged up and on the ropes.

Of course, it takes four wins to advance in the NBA playoffs, so the Cavaliers' work is only half done. But it's hard to see any way the team with the league's MVP and best record of anyone during the regular season could possibly let this one slip away, not after those first two games in Cleveland.

The Cavs took Game 1 by 27 points. Game 2 was a 20-point blowout (and not really that close).

Compounding Atlanta's problems: Three starters - leading scorer Joe Johnson, center Al Horford and forward Marvin Williams - are hurting. Horford (sprained ankle) and Williams (sprained wrist) sat out Game 2, while Johnson twisted his right ankle after the contest already had gotten out of hand and left the arena in a walking boot.

They're all questionable for Game 3 Saturday night. Even if they play, none will be at full strength.

NBA Free Pick: Atlanta | Best Line: +8 Sports Interaction

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