San Antonio Spurs -5.5 at Los Angeles Clippers (Total: 190.5)
It’s a busy weekend in Los Angeles to say the least. Today both the Lakers and Clippers host playoff games at the Staples Center. It might have happened before, but I would wager it has not. For one major reason, the Clippers aren’t ever IN the playoffs, and no other NBA teams share an arena. So a rare and exciting treat for Los Angelinos tonight (the Dodgers host the Cardinals tonight with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, as if the embarrassment of riches wasn’t already absurd), but will it also be a HAPPY day for LA? Let’s dig into the numbers a bit and see if any hometown fans will be going home happy.
Last night the Lakers dodged a late Durant three point attempt (well defended) and held off the Thunder by three points to pull back in the series. If only they hadn’t squandered Game Two in Oklahoma City, we might be looking at a chance for the Lakers to firmly take ahold of the series. As it stands instead they can make things real interesting by evening things up at two apiece. However in the matinee affair, the Clippers have shown nothing resembling a pulse against the hottest team in professional sports, the San Antonio Spurs.
First myth dispelled; the Spurs are not an “old team.” Timmy Duncan is old. Ginobli has a few years and a few more miles than even those years would indicate, but aside from that? This is a young, athletic, unselfish and very good team. They move the basketball better than anyone else in the league, and most importantly, the ‘get it.’ No pouting, cheap shots, arguing or other nonsense; simply a mature team playing at the peak of their collective abilities.
Is Chris Paul still slowed a bit from a nagging injury suffered in Game Six against the Grizzlies? Perhaps. Would Tony Parker and the Spurs be taking it to him and his teammates regardless? I think so. Don’t get lulled into the easy way out, and don’t get lulled into the “home court advantage” making a huge difference today. It won’t. This series is done. Finished. Curtains. Bartender, bring me another round.
I think the Spurs get a little better competition today, but in the end, just as they’ve done every game for nearly two months, the Spurs will win, and I think they win with room to comfortably cover the five and half point number.
Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs -5.5