We grabbed a W last night with the Celtics winning their tenth straight game, downing the Lakers even without Al Horford in the lineup. Kyrie dominated off the bounce and creating, and once again, the Lakers played well enough to win, but just can’t knock down shots. It’ll improve with time, but until they can get some better perimeter shooting, they are going to lose a lot of games that they otherwise hung around.
Elsewhere, the Warriors reminded us, AGAIN, that the gap is still as wide as ever between them and the remaining mere mortals in the NBA. The Dubs, without Kevin Durant, outscored the previously 7-3 and talent-loaded Timberwolves 74-51 in the second half to cruise to a 24-point victory at home. No Durant? No problem. We’ll just go get double figures from David West, Patrick McCaw, Omri Caspi and Nick Young…
It’s a decent night of NBA action; only five games but a pair of interesting ones on TNT including the early matchup between the scuffling Cavs visiting the 8-3, yet still under the radar, Rockets.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets -5
There is always some danger in fading the Cavs, despite their insane string of loses to borderline (or worse) playoff teams. Indiana, New York, Atlanta and Brooklyn all own wins over the Cavs. Yet they have handled the Milwaukee Bucks twice and are one of only two teams to beat the Boston Celtics. There is potential for a 50/15/15 LeBron epic masterpiece at any time, but betting on that to happen is a bit ambitious.
Meanwhile, the Rockets are at home, enter at 8-3 overall, and are 7-3 ATS in their last ten games. They have beaten Cleveland eight of ten times straight up and is averaging a blistering 108 points a night and still haven’t shot as well as their potential. They seem the obvious favorite tonight, if we can push aside the “Cavs ratchet up a vintage effort” fear.
Cleveland is 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games and while their home woes have gotten the most attention, they are only 2-4-1 ATS on the road in their last seven games as well. This team looks a little old, a little tired, and a little slow. They miss Kyrie’s pressure-relieving playmaking and their backcourt struggles to defend. That spells trouble against the gunning high-octane Rockets.
Look for Houston to score in bunches tonight and for the Cavs to struggle to match by the second half. LeBron will give a show in National Television, but I don’t think he’ll find enough help tonight.
Today’s NBA Pick: HOUSTON ROCKETS -5