The Blazers fell apart in the second half as the healthier Grizzlies overwhelmed them in Memphis and helped us notch a comfortable NBA winner. The late game last night was not nearly as comfortable. The Clippers may live to rue the moment that Chris Paul’s game winning effort went astray at the end of regulation as the Spurs got an enormous overtime road win to knot the series at a game apiece. The Clippers now MUST win a game in San Antonio to get past the champs in one of the best first round series in recent memory. And for anyone who doesn’t think NBA guys care or play hard – WATCH the Clippers frenetic and insane effort over the last four minutes of the game. Both teams left everything on the floor. It will be interesting to see who this favors in Game Three; the younger Clippers or the deeper Spurs (who will also be playing at home).
Meanwhile, we will try to keep our winning ways rolling tonight as three series shift from the heavy favorite’s floor to the underdogs chance to steal one at home and keep the series interesting.
Today’s Free Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5 at Boston Celtics (Total: 203.5)
The Celtics have a nice young, energetic team with an impressive young coach. They have overachieved beyond anyone’s expectations and made the playoffs in a year where some thought they were tanking (especially after the Rondo deal). But it is hard to see them giving the Cavs much resistance in this series. Cleveland didn’t play particularly well and still cruised down the stretch in Game Two. Yes, a disproportionate share of the work load fell on the shoulders of Kyrie Irving and LeBron, and yes, that way of winning is not sustainable through June. But it is enough to beat the star-less Celtics and make quick work of this series.
I think the Cavs are starting to get dialed in and won’t fall into the trap of overlooking tonight’s game. Boston has played well for long stretches, but has also been overwhelmed by devastating spurts of Cavaliers brilliance. They have put 55-23 and 32-9 runs on them in Games One and Two respectively. I don’t know if they’ll amass quite as much momentum on the road tonight, but a few mini-bursts should be enough to take control of the game and win and cover on the road.
I like the favorites tonight on the road, but think this game of the three is the least likely to yield an upset. I am really curious to see if Chicago coasts a little and if a talented but out-classed NOLA team can steal a home game to keep the series interesting. But I don’t see the Celtics being able to do it.
Free Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5