The story should have been the fantastic comeback, the fierce will of the Lakers (and the fortunate open-look from Carl Landry that hit back-iron) that resulted in a clutch, desperately-needed one-point win over the Golden State Warriors. Instead? The exciting and riveting story comes to a really sad ending. Kobe Bryant has torn his Achilles, and with it, any realistic hopes of a Laker playoff run are torn as well.
The inevitable story line now becomes how and why a 17-year veteran played 48 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back. The timing of the injury suggests loudly that Kobe was worn down and overworked. I’m no doctor, but it feels inevitable that the hardest work toll any player in the NBA endured would end like this…
The injury is sad for fans as well, because the most intriguing storyline of the late season and first round of the Playoffs is now gone… Get well soon Kobe. The NBA is way, way more fun with you in it…
In other news, Brooklyn beat the Pacers! OK, it’s not sexy news, but it is an interesting glimpse into an Eastern Conference that has seen the power shifting in the last two or three weeks. Both New York and Brooklyn have played well down the stretch and are getting healthy and geared up for the Playoffs, while Indiana has struggled. Chicago ended Miami’s streak and is a perfect 4-0 against the Knicks… could there actually be some intrigue in the seemingly-over Heat-won East??
First things first – let’s look into a matchup tonight for a wagering edge.
Milwaukee Bucks -4 at Charlotte Bobcats (Total: 201)
First off, you are more than forgiven if you’d rather just wager this game rather than being subjected to watching it; it won’t be a beautiful or well-played affair for sure. But there might be a nice opportunity to sneak in a winning wager. On paper, Milwaukee would appear to have the clear edge. Afterall, they ARE a playoff team facing one of the worst teams in the league (and possible EVER if looking at a three-year window). However, I like the value of getting four points with a home team, even one as inept as the bobcats (intentionally lowercase).
Milwaukee has struggled down the stretch, and has been especially awful on the road. They have lost 10 of 13 overall and haven’t won a road game since a March 10th visit to Sacramento. If any team was going to help them break that streak it would be Charlotte, but I’m going to give the young ‘Cats a chance. Milwaukee is playing for NOTHING. They’ve clinched the 8th seed and can’t move any higher. They are assured a first game butt whooping from Miami but might as well get as healthy as possible before then. I like them to have their foot WAY off the gas pedal tonight.
I’m not Charlotte fully catches them napping, but I like them to do no worse than cover. I’ll take the four points, but would also consider taking a moneyline flyer if I could get it at +130 or more.
Free Pick: Charlotte Bobcats +4