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NBA Playoffs: Pistons vs Bucks

Eastern Conference Playoffs

Pistons Could be Without Best Player in Game One

The Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks will meet on Sunday at Fiserv Forum. They open their first round Eastern Conference NBA Playoff Series. The Pistons had to fight until the final day of the regular season to make the postseason. That earned themselves the right to face the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks. The Pistons won their final two games to reach .500 and earn the No. 8 spot. The team heads to Milwaukee on Sunday with some uncertainty surrounding the availability of their best player.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Detroit, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee) LINE: Bucks -13; O/U: 219.

Detroit forward Blake Griffin sat out four of the final seven games of the regular season, including Wednesday’s finale. He has a left knee injury and is considered questionable for Sunday. The Bucks are aware of the expectations that come with being the No. 1 seed. They seem to be prepared to be at their best from the start. “The playoffs bring pressure,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. “Now is the time when you’ve got to execute defensively and offensively. There’s no ‘two weeks from now we need to get better’ or ‘a month from now.’ Every team feels that pressure, the sense of the playoffs. I think our guys are excited about that and the coaching staff the same.”

This, That, and a Dart Throw

The Detroit Pistons are a heavy underdog in the series. They can claim an advantage up front with a healthy Griffin alongside center Andre Drummond. Drummond led the NBA in rebounding (15.6) and double-doubles (69) while averaging 17.3 points on 53.3 percent shooting. Wayne Ellington is averaging 12 points and shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range in 28 games since joining the team.

The Milwaukee Bucks had an NBA best 60-22 record during the regular season. Milwaukee lost in the first round in each of the franchise’s last eight trips to the playoffs. The team is trying not to look any further ahead than Game 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo battled ankle and calf injuries down the stretch. He is expected to be on the court Sunday and should be close to 100%. If he is anywhere close to the player that averaged 27.7 points on 57.8 percent shooting, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists in the regular season the Bucks should be fine. Milwaukee took each of the four regular-season meetings by an average of 14.8 points.

The Dart Throw: Bucks 121, Pistons 109

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NBA Playoffs Betting Odds & Trends

Detroit Pistons
Detroit is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
Detroit is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit’s last 5 games
Detroit is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Detroit’s last 6 games on the road
Detroit is 1-3-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Milwaukee
Detroit is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing Milwaukee
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit’s last 5 games when playing Milwaukee
Detroit is 3-7-1 ATS in its last 11 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
Detroit is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Detroit’s last 7 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee is 2-4-1 ATS in its last 7 games
Milwaukee is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Milwaukee’s last 7 games
Milwaukee is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Milwaukee is 20-5 SU in its last 25 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Milwaukee’s last 6 games at home
Milwaukee is 3-4-2 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Detroit
Milwaukee is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Detroit
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Milwaukee’s last 5 games when playing Detroit
Milwaukee is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Detroit
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Milwaukee’s last 7 games when playing at home against Detroit

Next up:
Detroit at Milwaukee Wednesday, April 17

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