Best player props for Thursday's NBA Playoffs slate: Mitchell to get it done

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell
Photo of Germantas Kneita

Germantas Kneita

NBA· 3 months ago

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As most Lithuanians, I started watching basketball from the age of six. Im based out in London and played basketball at the University of Lincoln here in the UK. I had always had an interest in the NBA but things really took off in the summer of 2010. That year Linas Kleiza led Lithuania to 3rd place at the World Championships and signed with the Toronto Raptors to replace the departing Chris Bosh. I've been a Raptors fan from that day and I've not missed a game since. I love nothing more than a bet and tend to focus on NBA and soccer matches.

Two more NBA conference semi-final games take place tonight as the Utah Jazz welcome the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks travel home to take on the Brooklyn Nets. It will be interesting to see how this Jazz and Clippers game will differ from Game 1, with both teams having had the same amount of rest this time. The Bucks will have their season on the line tonight, as a 3-0 deficit against the Nets would almost certainly mark the end of their campaign.

But now, let’s check out my two favourite NBA player prop selections for tonight’s action.

Donovan Mitchell over 30.5 points (-116)

Donovan Mitchell has been able to score 159 points in 156 minutes of playing time in this postseason campaign. After scoring 45 points in Game 1, in 37 minutes of action, it seems hard to think he will have a major drop-off tonight. In the second half of that game he was able to absolutely torment Luke Kennard and the rest of the Clippers, getting to the paint at will. He has recorded 30 or more points in his last three playoff games and does not seem like he is ready to slow down.

While Kawhi Leonard and Paul George represent some of the better perimeter defenders in the league, as we saw in their series against the Mavericks, they are willing to switch everything defensively. That allowed Luka Doncic to thrive throughout the whole series, feasting on easy matchups on the perimeter and Mitchell should benefit from the same treatment. The level of perimeter shooters on the Jazz should ensure that the Clippers will not send heavy help to stop him. Mitchell should dominate this series in the paint as a result, with the Clippers banking on the fact that they can slow down the rest of the Jazz offense on the way to a series win. As a result Mitchell should be able to clear this points total.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz

Giannis Antetokounmpo over 5.5 assists (+104)

While Giannis Antetokounmpo has struggled passing the ball in this series, he has the potential to exceed this number tonight. In the last playoff series against the Heat, he was able to record at least six assists in two of the four games in the series. That included a 15-assist effort in Game 4. He has yet to do so against the Nets, averaging four assists per game over the first two, but with the series heading back to Milwaukee, his numbers could see an uptick. Over the regular season he averaged six assists per game at home in just under 33 minutes of playing time. If this game remains tight, he could see that increase to somewhere around 36 or 37 minutes, which could further boost his chances.

One thing that could help him reach this number would be if his teammates started to knock down shots. Khris Middleton has struggled in this series but showed signs of encouragement in the second half of Game 2. During the regular season the Bucks saw an increase in their three-point percentage and three-pointers made per game at home compared to on the road. If they can carry this on in the postseason it should mean fewer of the drive-and-kick opportunities that Antetokounmpo creates would go to waste. I expect an improved performance from the Bucks tonight, and the former MVP’s assist numbers should benefit as a result.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Pickswise is the home of free NBA picks and predictions. Make sure to also check out our NBA parlays and NBA prop bets tabs for more expert picks. 

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