Beware the Ides of February… Inaccurate quote, but accurate sentiment. Weird things brew on both sides of the All Star Break and last night was no exception. The highlight of odd was the Warriors getting absolutely run out of the Mile High City by the Denver Nuggets. So, did Denver catch the Dubs napping or take advantage of the absence of Klay Thompson? Not really. The simply MADE MORE THREE POINTERS THAN ANY TEAM IN NBA HISTORY. So…that helps, right? In fact, the only Nugget with more than one attempt who DIDN’T shoot over 50% from distance was Jamal Murray, ostensibly the best shooter on their roster…
It is a nice reminder of a true axiom that any basketball handicapper understands (and somewhat quietly fears): at the end of the day, if one team inexplicably hits ALL their shots, they win, even if they are the way worse team. This is the anatomy of most March Madness upsets, and it certainly rings true on any given night in the Association as well. As Jeff Van Gundy likes to muse on air, “it’s a make or miss league.” Last night, the Nuggets were all “make.”
We were all make as well, as our Wizards pick was one of the easier wins of the year as they absolutely blasted the tired Thunder in casual fashion.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers -4 at Minnesota Timberwolves
It’s a light slate of NBA action tonight with just three games to choose from, but this is easily my favorite play on the board. Cleveland had some well documented struggles over the past month, but as soon as they got a chance to measure themselves against a few Eastern Conference challengers with awesome home records, the Cavs showed their championship mettle and begun winning again. They enter tonight winners of seven of their last nine including wins at Indiana and Washington and a 28 point home win over the same Timberwolves.
There’s no Kevin Love tonight, and the Cavs are surprisingly average on the road at just 14-11 SU this season, but I am still willing to ride the recent momentum and assume that The King and Kyrie will have enough to get the victory.
Minnesota is just 3-7 ATS in their last ten games and 3-5 ATS in their last eight home games. They are fresh off a dominating win over the Bulls that I am sure Coach Thibs enjoyed, but are still just 2-5 SU in their last seven games. They are just 4-9 SU this season as a home underdog as well.
Cleveland suffers from the occasional malaise, not atypical of a team with little to play for in the regular season when the February/March blahs set in. But they seem to have gotten back on track and are playing well again. If they play at 80% of their peak, they should have no trouble winning and covering in Minnesota against the fourth worst ATS team in the NBA.
Today’s Pick: CLEVELAND CAVALIERS -4