NBA Playoffs 2014: Latest 1st-Round Results and Odds for Upcoming Matchups

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NBA Playoffs 2014: Latest 1st-Round Results and Odds for Upcoming Matchups
USA TODAY Sports

If the first two weeks of the 2014 NBA playoffs have resonated with you, don't worry, you're not alone.

Players, fans and pundits, including Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, all seem to be in agreement that these first-round playoffs have been wildly entertaining thus far:

But with the action picking right back up on Wednesday, let's quickly recap the latest first-round results and take a closer look at some of the upcoming matchups.

*Latest odds according to Oddsshark.com

Tuesday's Round 1 Results
Result Score
(5) Washington Wizards def. (4) Chicago Bulls, Win series 4-1 75-69
(7) Memphis Grizzlies def. (2) Oklahoma City Thunder, Lead series 3-2 100-99 OT
(3) Los Angeles Clippers def. (6) Golden State Warriors, Lead series 3-2 113-103

NBA.com

*Click here to view complete 2014 NBA playoff results via NBA.com.

Upcoming 2014 NBA Playoff Matchups and Odds
Wed, April 30 Matchup Time (ET) TV
Game 5: Mavericks at Spurs (-6.5) 7 p.m. TNT
Game 5: Nets at Raptors (-3) 7:30 p.m. NBATV
Game 5: Trail Blazers at Rockets (-5.5) 9:30 p.m. TNT
Thu, May 1 Matchup Time (ET) TV
Game 6: Pacers (-1) at Hawks 7 p.m. NBATV
Game 6: Thunder (-3) at Grizzlies 8 p.m. TNT
Game 6: Clippers (-1) at Warriors 10:30 p.m. TNT

Matchup info via NBA.com. Odds via Oddsshark.com

*Click here to view the remaining NBA first-round playoff schedule via NBA.com.

 

Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs (-6.5)

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs have each won on the road this postseason, but for Dallas, winning for a second straight time in San Antonio will be an awfully tall order.

After all, this is a Spurs team that went 32-9 at home during the regular season and could very easily be up 3-1 in this series if not for some late-game heroics from Vince Carter in Game 3. 

San Antonio is favored by six-plus points on Wednesday, and unless Dirk Nowitzki can record his first 20-point game of the series, it's likely it'll cover the spread with ease. Although San Antonio's efficiency on two-point field goals has been lights-out in this series (53 percent as a team) and a big reason for its success, Nowitzki's struggles have been the biggest factor holding Dallas back, as pointed out by ESPN's J.A. Adande:

The superstar forward averaged 21.7 points per game on 49.7 percent shooting from the floor during the regular season but is averaging just 16 points on 38.5 percent shooting through four playoff games. What's more, Nowitzki has gone just 1-of-5 from long range and is shooting only 72.2 percent from the foul line.

If Nowitzki can rediscover his rhythm on Wednesday, the Mavericks will have a shot to stun the Spurs at home again. But if the current trend continues for Dallas' marquee player, San Antonio will likely be the team that goes up 3-2 and ultimately marches on. 

 

Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors (-3)

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Just like the Spurs-Mavericks series, the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors have had no problems winning on the road this spring, with each team picking up a win on the opposition's home floor once already.

But the oddsmakers still like Toronto at home in Game 5 on Wednesday night. 

This matchup is sort of a toss-up, though, as both teams have shot the ball poorly. And while Toronto has eaten Brooklyn up on the boards, the Raptors' turnover problems have limited their shot attempts and neutralized their rebounding advantage. 

The experience edge clearly goes to the Nets, who are loaded with veterans and past NBA champions. But at the same time, the Raptors are clearly the more athletic team and have a much higher ceiling when they are taking care of the ball.

Committing only 10 turnovers was the key to their Game 4 road win this past weekend. A similar performance at home would be an easy recipe for success on Wednesday, but there's no guarantee which Raptors squad will show up.

Pick this game at your own peril.

 

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets (-5.5)

Sam Forencich/Getty Images

If there's a road team worth betting on Wednesday night, it's the Portland Trail Blazers, who smell blood in the water while leading the Houston Rockets, 3-1.

Not to mention, Portland has already won two playoff games in Houston.

But more important than the Blazers' success in Clutch City is the fact that the Rockets have had no answer for the Blazers defensively, surrendering an eye-popping 118.3 points per game to Portland in these playoffs. On top of the Blazers' remarkable offensive execution, they've proven to be the better team in crunch time, winning two of the three overtime games in this series.

Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Following Houston's overtime loss on the road in Game 4, head coach Kevin McHale appeared to express some doubt in his team's ability to close out the Blazers, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):

"The playoffs are a grind. It's a different game than the regular season. You've got to be built for the grind."

The Rockets have improved offensively after struggling in Games 1 and 2 at home, with James Harden, Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons combining to average 74.5 points per game through four games, but unless Houston can lock down LaMarcus Aldridge (35.3 points per game) and get stops in the fourth quarter (and potentially overtime), it won't matter what it's doing offensively.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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