I am curious, and feel free to get at me on Twitter @TheMarchManiacs with your own thoughts, and perhaps I am being a big baby but I still find myself a little annoyed and a little pissed off at the Golden State Warriors and the NBA as a whole after last night’s farce of a “big game.” This ‘resting stars for no reason’ is getting ridiculous. When a team can prioritize “rest” in a game between the two best teams in the NBA with supposedly-vital home court advantage LITERALLY hanging in the balance over fielding a competitive team, your sport has a PROBLEM.
The knock on the NBA has long been that the regular season doesn’t matter. The same knock befalls college hoops. I’ve heard them for as long as I have been writing about basketball, and I have staunchly defended both sports by replying, “if the regular season doesn’t matter to YOU, you probably just don’t really LIKE basketball that much. And that’s fine. Life’s a buffet table. Take what you want and leave the rest for someone else. No problem.”
But it is getting harder and harder to defend the NBA. After last night, it isn’t just a few grumpy ‘fans’ and talking heads saying the season doesn’t matter. It was the LEAGUE itself…
Oh yeah, we won easy with the Heat cruising past the Raptors. And can we please get the nickname “D-F-W” to catch on for Dion Waiters? Please. This needs to happen.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets -5
The Rockets have been great at home this season at 23-9 and the Cavaliers have been surprisingly vulnerable on the road at just 17-14 – a pretty pedestrian mark for a #1 seed and defending NBA Champion. But it isn’t often you can catch the Cavs AND a half-dozen points, so this line was definitely worth investigating further.
The more I dug, the more this line seems not only “right” but potentially exploitable. There are probably a LOT of people whose visceral reaction was “LeBron AND points?? Yes, please.” And will throw down all in on Cleveland. But with their 1-7 ATS record as a road underdog with a -13.2 point differential, the Cavaliers are NOT the play tonight. In fact, if you throw out the Christmas Day game (which might be the only game most fans SAW this year in its entirety) than you can find ZERO examples this year of Cleveland winning a game like today’s – a dog on the road.
Houston is 23-9 at home SU and is third in the NBA overall ATS at 38-28. They’ve been a good bet all season, and despite the always-present fear of The King, I’ll take the numbers play tonight with Houston. Cleveland is 2-6 ATS in their last eight games and looking a little bored/tired.
Today’s Pick: Houston Rockets -5