Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers -5.5
For those of you who are regular readers, you already happily know I’m riding a seven game NBA win streak against the spread and have won eight of my last nine picks. That pulls the Playoff record (all A.T.S. to a robust 10-3) to 77% overall. That’s good stuff. And for those of you who aren’t regular readers, we are 10-3 against the spread (77%) in the NBA Playoffs!
So let me give you an honest self-assessment of this pick; it’s a “heat check.” You know how occasionally in an NBA game a guy catches fire, hits four or five shots in a row and the next time down the floor he takes a 32-footer, or a one foot fade-away contested jumper early in the shot clock? It’s called a “heat check.” It’s as if he’s saying, “damn man, I can’t miss! Let’s see how far I can take this thing…” Usually he thuds back to Earth, but occasionally he drifts into that delirious Reggie Miller fourth-quarter zone when he, in factual truth, cannot miss.
That’s my pick today. It’s a heat check. Because I know… I KNOW, objectively, that it is against the laws of sports and wagering and perhaps even physics to bet AGAINST Kobe Bryant, at home, in a Game Seven. I am aware my pick today might contribute to global warming and rising tide levels. However, did anyone else WATCH games five and six?? Yes, the Nuggets shot uncannily well from behind the arc in Game Six, but that it’s what leaped out at me. It was the way the Nuggets were much deeper, much more athletic, and much, much hungrier. They simply cared a TON more than the Lakers.
Now the effort won’t be a problem today in a Game Seven. But it might be too late. Javale McGee and Kenneth Farried might be the only two people on Earth who believe they are a better tandom than Bynam and Gasol. And you know what? That might be the only two that matter. If they can play 75% as well as they have in Games 3-6, I really think the Lakers are in some trouble.
Does Kobe distribute the ball, and keep Bynum and Gasol happy and engaged? Does Metta World Peace bring a unifying Peace to the Lakers universe? Does he provide the missing Peace of the puzzle?? Can I write any more lame puns? The answer to all those questions?? I just don’t think so.
So – in a bold move, give me the Nuggets to cover. I am not quite ready to go moneyline (THAT would be a true ‘heat check’ pick), but with the five and half points, I’ll take Denver to surprise.
Free Pick: Denver Nuggets +5.5