Cavaliers vs. Pacers Pick NBA – April 6th

Well, well, well… things are certainly getting interesting on the way to immortality.  It appears things won’t be as easy as they looked five days ago for the suddenly slumping Golden State Warriors.  After two losses in three games, both at home, and both to non-elite teams (relax Celtics fans, you guys are good, but not in the Spurs/Thunder/Clippers/Raptors territory for acceptable home losses for the Warriors), they must do something no one has done in more than a year; beat San Antonio IN San Antonio (let alone beat them in Golden State as well) in order to surpass the Bulls record-setting 1996 season.

The more important question at this point might now be, “at what cost?”  The Warriors are clearly feeling some strain from the record chase, and while it feels sad to not lean through the tape at this point, there is also the all-important post season looming.  With the recent play of the getting-healthy Jazz and the veteran talent of Houston, there is not really a “rest opportunity” in the first round (though Dallas would be a nice draw), so is it wise to keep pushing?

That’s a question Steve Kerr will have to answer, and one that will only avoid second guessing if they can do both; win 73 AND a Title…

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Today’s Free Pick:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers -3.5

This game means a lot to the Pacers who can all but clinch a playoff berth with a home win.  It also would mean they are less likely to have the face the Cavaliers again in two weeks in the playoffs – a series in which they will be trying FAR more than they will be tonight.  I’ll take the motivation and the home court advantage as big chips in the Pacers’ favor tonight.

I’m a little surprised they are favored by three, but they are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against Cleveland, including a nice straight-up win last season.  They are 5-0 ATS against the Cavs since LeBron arrived back in town, which is also an important distinction.

Indiana is healthy and has a ton to play for.  Cleveland is coasting towards the playoffs.  BUT, they’re 4-1 SU against Indiana in their last five games and are in a rare position as an underdog tonight.  They need one more win to clinch the top spot in the East, so expect them to play their starters tonight (there is no indication yet that anyone is being held out.  It’s hard to not take the Cavs and the points, especially with Ty Lawson out, Monta Ellis and Paul George banged up.  Indiana has a lot to play for, but technically, Cleveland still does as well.  It may not have the edge of desperation, but it will be enough to keep them focused.

Free Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers +3.5

Chris Scheeren / Author